Let me start by saying one thing: I've always been an Atheist. I was born an Atheist (as everyone did) and my parents Catholicism just never took with me. In the third grade, I came across a definition of Atheism in the dictionary at my parochial grade school and it changed my life forever (this story also includes my friend Bill and I discovering the definition of "Fart" in the same dictionary). For the first time I had a title for what I felt beyond simply "Different." Throughout my life, I have carried the mantle of out-of-the-closet Atheist with pride and I've never backed down from a theist's challenge or debate, but I've also always figured that people can believe whatever they want as long as it doesn't effect me. But recently, something else is stirring inside me...activism.
I have two wonderful children that are just now entering that phase of life where they start observing what is going on around them and asking questions. Around Christmas time last year, my daughter (7 years old in the 2nd grade) started coming home with stories about baby Jesus from school (yes, public school). I could never get a clear answer of whether these stories were coming from the teacher or other kids, but either way it has changed the way I feel about the religion around me. I now realize that I am going to have to fight the influence of religion in my children's lives whether I originally wanted to or not. And like any other fight that I've undertaken in my life, half-hearted isn't going to cut it.
I'm going to the Reason Rally on the 24th and that day will mark the first time that I have ever been to any kind of Atheist, Humanist, Freethought, etc function...ever. It seems weird that I have lived as an outspoken Atheist for all these years, and I've never attempted to reach out to other Atheists for support or community. There is a part of me that wants to start making Youtube videos about the perils of being an Atheist parent in America and another part that wants to start getting together with other Atheists and other Atheist parents on a regular basis. All I know is that I have to start somewhere. Any input from the community here that may help me direct this drive to activism that I feel would be much appreciated.