(Report by Hugh Kramer) I've just returned from a meeting of the Ventura County atheists where we heard a talk by and had a discussion with Richard Haynes, who runs Atheist Nexus, the new (it just celebrated it's first birthday) social networking site exclusively for non-theists. Richard, who sometimes writes under the sobriquet, "Brother Richard," was formerly an associate minister at a 12,000 member evangelical mega-church in Georgia. In 1993, he experienced a crisis of conscience over some of it's practices and, with his young wife and baby daughter, left the church. After a lot of vicissitudes and soul-searching, both he and his wife concluded that they no longer believed in God. Some of the habits of his time as an evangelist have persisted though and now he has dedicated himself to encouraging other atheists to "come out of the closet" and form themselves into a self-sustaining community. That, in fact, was the subject of his talk.
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