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Posted by on Nov 28, 2013 in Uncategorized | 8 comments

Thankful

Photo courtesy of Cindi Albright/Flickr

Photo courtesy of Cindi Albright/Flickr

2013 has been a tremendous year for which I am thankful.

While the year has included some challenges and difficulties, there have been many great moments largely thanks to people — friends, supporters, allies, my students, organizations, and co-workers — who make my life more enjoyable and this world a better place.

I am thankful for supporters who helped fund my appearances at Women in Secularism 2 in Washington D.C.; Empowering Women Through Secularism in Dublin, Ireland; and the 2013 Freedom From Religion Foundation annual conference in Madison. In 2012, I never thought I would be attending events like this with help from supporters. Thanks, too, for those who have sent donations – helping keep Brave Hero Radio online.

Thanks to the Freedom From Religion Foundation who continues to support my activism and fight for the separation of religion and government. I am thankful for receiving a graduate student scholarship from them — which helped fund my education — through their essay contest. I appeared on their radio show in early 2013, responded to the National Day of Prayer with a banner in my community, and attended their annual conference in Madison. Keep up the good work, FFRF.

Thanks to Reap Paden; the team at the A-News Podcast; Damion and Chas from the Oklahama Atheists Godcast; the team at Chill Girls in Pink Corvettes; Clownshoe and G from Full Frontal Zealotry; Carl from Post Rapture Looting; the team at Road to Reason; The Bitchspot Report Podcast; and National Progressive Talk Radio for having me on your shows.

Thanks to co-organizers of NEPA BlogCon 2013 for having me speak at your conference. Thanks to Professor Kuna from Marywood University for having me speak for your Intro to Religion classes.

Thanks to Justin Schieber of the Reasonable Doubts Podcast and Harold F. for spending time with me at conferences and lessening the financial burden.

Thanks to Al Stefanelli for your activism, support, and including me on your blogroll at Syndicated News Services.

Thanks to Michael Nugent for conversation in Dublin, your activism and work with Atheist Ireland, and being a gracious conference host.

Thanks to Ronald Lindsay for graciously welcoming me to Women in Secularism 2, your work with CFI, and for your opening speech at Women in Secularism 2.

Thanks to D.J. Grothe for your genuineness, activism, and work with the James Randi Educational Foundation.

Thanks to Hemant Mehta for writing about my activism, church/state issues in Pennsylvania, and news that matters.

Thanks to guests who appeared on Brave Hero Radio.

Thanks to Peter Boghossian for inviting me to edit your recent book “A Manual for Creating Atheists,” regularly chatting with me and vetting ideas, and supporting my work.

Thanks to Pastor Michael Brewster for accepting my debate challenge and debating with me at your church in Wilkes-Barre, PA.

Thanks to Pastor Dan Nichols for having an open-to-the-public discussion about religious faith and atheism with me in the Downtown Arts building in Wilkes-Barre, PA and having me at your house for dinner.

Thanks to Reverend Shawn Walker for regularly meeting and chatting with me, moderating my debate with Pastor Brewster, and moderating my discussion with Pastor Dan Nichols.

Thanks to regular posters at the Slymepit for adding a good deal of humour to my life, helping make my appearances at conferences possible, and supporting me through difficult times.

Thanks to Brian Fields and Carl Silverman — activists for church/state separation in Pennsylvania — for collaborating with me on matters of activism, engaging in your individual activism, and supporting my work. Thanks to Erik Dickerson, Bill Dickerson, Ron D., Rodney Collins, and members of the NEPA Freethought Society for building community for non-theists in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Thanks to Dorene S. for videotaping my objections to prayer at Wilkes-Barre City Council meetings, my debate with Pastor Brewster, and my discussion with Pastor Dan Nichols.

Thanks to Karla Porter for guidance, support, laughs, transportation, co-hosting Brave Hero Radio, and travelling with me to Women in Secularism 2.

2013 is not yet over. I am optimistic and anticipate more great things to come.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving. I give thanks once again to my supporters – all of whom I can’t recognize and mention in fewer than 700 words.

  • http://karlaporter.com/ Karla Porter

    This is a really well thought out reflection on the past 92% of 2013 Justin. It’s been a lot of fun and interesting to share a small part of it with you – and for that I’m thankful =)

    • http://www.justinvacula.com Justin Vacula

      We will finally get around to the Scrabble games in the 8% remaining!

      • http://karlaporter.com/ Karla Porter

        I better start reading…

  • Phil Giordana Fcd

    yeah, you’re welcome!

  • John Greg

    I may not always condone or enthuse over your methods, per se, but your goals and efforts seem gold star.

    Best luck in the future Justin.

  • Skep tickle

    I’m glad you were able to both expand on your atheist activism and also garner some new experiences this year! Keep on rockin’!

  • Abbie Smith

    :-D

  • Guest

    Except who are you thanking? The Flying Spaghetti Monster?
    Would serving pasta instead of Turkey become as common as saying grace (aka thanking the Almighty) once you’ve converted the masses?
    I was disappointed that you did not thank the pastor who stepped up to debate you after your long search for an opponent? .