Hi!

My name is Chris Lamke and I'm a married father of three children and three cats. My wife and I are atheists and we are raising our children as atheists while giving them all the information and support they need to explore the entire spectrum of belief systems out there. We are also all vegetarians.

I live in Northern Virginia and work as a software engineer. My first love is philosophy, closely followed by computer science and a number of the physical and social sciences. I am a social democrat and an activist for human rights, animal welfare, environmental health, political progressivism, education, and universal health care. A member of Atheist Nexus recommended this site to me while I was working to get Obama elected late last year. I spend most of my rare free time working on my facticity.org site, but I decided to join Atheist Nexus so I could chat with other thoughtful people.

I'm looking forward to reading and occasionally contributing to the discussions here.

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Hello back at ya,
A pleasure to meet you here. My husband Gerry and I are also atheists and you can find out more about me on my facebook profile. My husband and I are pescatarians, I learned that is what you call fish eaters and human, animal, planet activists also deeply committed to universal health care. We are social democrats, but our true party doesn't exist here in America, but we do support Obama, only wish he choose Hillary for his vice president. Anyway, we currently have 2 cats and 1 dog. Our children are all grown. We live on the Jersey shore so if you ever get up this way we hope you will pay us a visit. Take care, Toni Gandel and Gerry (Gerald) Kamber
Hi, Toni. Thanks for the welcome!

I agree with you on social democracy and on Obama and Hillary. My wife Barb and I (especially me) feel like we belong in another nation, like Canada or one of the Nordic countries, because we feel so out of place around most people here in the US. I would much prefer that the US was a parliamentary democracy with many parties having to form coalitions to govern. I think such a setup would have prevented us from committing many of the worst acts we are guilty of as a nation. I was very upset that we would actually reelect Bush/Cheney in 04 that I was seriously considering leaving for Canada, and if McCain/Palin had won, I was going to consider the US a hopeless case and move to Canada or somewhere else that could use my skills as an engineer. My wife is a stay at home mom and wasn't keen on leaving but she shared my disgust with most Americans' refusal to think beyond the Republican fear-mongering.

Thank goodness Obama won! I consider Obama a purer (less conflicted or tied in with special interests) and more capable candidate and I thought he was the best choice by far to signal to the world that the US is starting over as a new nation with new ideas and is determined to be a good global citizen. I do have a lot of respect for Hillary and I wish she had a larger part in the government, like vice president. I also think she'd be an excellent president. I just think the time for Obama is now. I hope Hillary has a chance to run for president in 8 years, although she'll be fairly old then to handle the stress. If I could have had my way, I would want the nation and world to be in somewhat better shape, elect Hillary president in 08 (Obama as VP) and then Obama president 8 years later. I think 16 years of their leadership would place our nation on very firm footing and really determine whether the people of this nation deserve a democracy. If we then elected someone like Bush again, then I think it would be time for the thinkers among us to decamp to a more enlightened nation, and there are many to choose from.

Anyway, I'm rambling on. Thanks again for the welcome and the invitation to visit. I'll check out you and your husband's Facebook page when I get a chance.
Welcome to A/N. I'm a single mom of 3 year old, sometimes-college student, liberal-leaning independent, and former cult member. I recommend you join some groups here to get the most out of the experience. There are Humanitarian groups, one for cat lovers (I think called Atheist Ailurophiles), several devoted to Science, a vegetarian group, and environmental ones as well.
Thanks for the welcome, Angie!

My wife Barbara Lamke (also new on Atheist Nexus) was a single mother when I met her. We were and still are very different (I'm very intense and intellectual and she's easy-going and just likes to enjoy life) but we share the same basic values, which was enough to keep us together through the rough times of getting rid of the idiot (lying, manipulating, non-providing, etc.) biological father which permitted me to adopt our daughter Jessica, and through raising our twin sons without much help from our families. My wife's mother even secretly baptized the boys. Hilarious! It didn't work. We believe in telling our children the truth about the world as far as we can see it and we are raising them as atheists. The boys are 8 and are already excellent critical thinkers. No Easter Bunny, Santa, god(s), etc. for them, although they like to pretend sometimes. I studied religion formally and informally and I tell them whatever they want to know, and if they end up as theists, I'll be fine with it, but I just don't see how that can happen if you're a good critical thinker and aren't indoctrinated into belief as a kid.

I wasn't turned off monotheism by anything like a cult. I bet that was very traumatic for you though. My story is much simpler. My parents always took me to church as a kid and I really tried to believe, but in the end, I just couldn't do it. Becoming more educated and studying philosophy made me realize the tenets of the theistic religions are logically impossible and also downright ridiculous.

I have a couple degrees but I think we value formal study way too much in the US. I think college is a great way to study certain topics (e.g. math, some engineering and science, some philosophy), but what really matters is the books you read and the people you discuss them with. Having said that, I did get a computer science degree so I could get the kind of jobs I wanted. (A lot of companies really want you to have that piece of paper.) I'd love to teach philosophy but I don't have a PhD and there's no way I could afford to work for what they pay professional philosophers.

Thanks for the heads-up on the groups here. I'm sure I'll end up joining and enjoying several of them.

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