Well, it wasn't like that. It wasn't like that at all. Richard Dawkins, my seating companion at the table, was, as David Silverman, president of the American Atheist, Inc., said, ".... sometimes funny, sometimes fascinating, and always interesting..." But, more than that, a delightful host. He made me feel welcome, comfortable, at home. All of them did.
It was a small group at the table. Several brilliant women, three Turks, one who played polo, a guy from Australia, a lawyer from Texas--hope I've not left anyone out--I didn't count, I listened and talked and had a great time.
The experience, I suppose, was something like it might be for you Christian guys having supper with Jesus. We didn't drink blood or eat flesh, but we did wine and dine. Richard didn't wash anybody's feet. Good thing. I was wearing a pair of Haines Barely There panty hose which would have turned foot washing into a rather awkward feat at the table.
The introduction by the others was impressive. Lot of letters before and after names, degrees in fields of science I didn't know existed. But there was a human quality there. No chest pounding or me me meing. They were almost humble. Richard's introduction was, "I'm Richard Dawkins."
When my turn came, I said,"I'm Bettejo Dux. The lady from the provinces. I'm an atheist. No buts about it." It was an 'inside' joke and Richard grinned. That made me happy and set the stage.
Sometimes the banter became a little hefty but all of it fascinated me. Held my interest. I could have sat at that table for hours listening in.
I think the women were a bit more interested in the awful ways in which atheists were treated. I told my story about guys on Kauai who say, "I agree with Bettejo but I can't say it." "I'd lose my job." "I couldn't be elected." "Neighbors wouldn't talk to my wife." "What would I tell my flock?" We all agreed speaking the truth was a dangerous step but one which all of us had to take. Someone said, "Like our gay friends, we have to come out of the closet. Too many are sadly locked in there alone."
I make it easy on myself. As an atheist, "...I prefer to pal with astronomers rather than astrologers. Reason my way through life rather than indulge in make believe. Study The God Delusion rather than the Bible. Watch Cosmos, narrated by Carl Sagan, rather than any sermon from any televised house of worship."
Lets teach kids the truthful magic of math, not the mythical magic of religion.
What do you think?
Check out the October 2, 2015 interview with Richard Dawkins by Bill Maher on HBO's real time.
|Bettejo a few years back playing checkers|
with her nephew...