It was sometime during an average day in November of 2009 that someone over on the now-defunct Experience Project site told me about this other website: Atheist Nexus. Unlike EP, it was open to atheists ONLY, and was intended to be a place where atheists, agnostics, skeptics, and other freethinkers could express themselves and exchange ideas without the constant harangue of believers who were determined to convert us from our supposedly sinful ways. Having already grown tired of countering the same old arguments and apologetics countless times, the prospect of having an atheistic pied-à-terre was extremely attractive to me, and after poking about Atheist Nexus a bit and seeing it for the promising new place to explore that it was, I signed up.
In the time between then and now, I was up to my eyebrows in A|N, learning new things, becoming aware of people I hadn’t known, people with names like Dawkins and Harris, Hitchens and Dennett, Andrews and Ra, as well as refreshing myself of older names: O’Hair, Russell, Ingersoll, and others who had espoused atheism long before the “New Atheism” that arose out of the ashes of 9/11. I sopped all that up like a sponge as I began expressing myself in groups and forums and writing my first blog entry about a then-recent incident at Fort Hood in Texas, about one Nidal Malik Hasan, what he had done there, and the unavoidable connection between his actions and the religion he espoused.
And with that, I was on my way. Fully 179 blogs would follow that first one under my by-line, as well as posts regarding news articles regarding or relating to religion and religious practices. Rather inevitably, with the advent of our 45th president, more of my work bent toward his words and actions, especially considering his obvious and inappropriate association with the Religious Reich. My muse was occasionally narcoleptic and would show up frequently late if at all, providing grist for my creative mill on these and other topics, but when it did deign to come to work, what resulted was at least pretty reasonable in quality. There were technical issues with Ning here and there which would temporarily disrupt the operation of the website, but we mushed on anyway. The years whittled us down from a considerable throng to a small bunch of hardcore nutcases who continued to focus on our own interests and specialties and worked with and supported each other. It was a damned fine ride.
Sadly, “was,” not is. On Thursday, 23 July, 2020 at around 4 PM, EDT, I refreshed a page on Atheist Nexus, and instead of getting the expected updated content, what I got was: Error 404. Subsequent searching using all the techniques I had learned since discovering the internet yielded the same outcome. Atheist Nexus was gone. Email conversations with its founder, “Brother” Richard Haynes revealed that this had been coming for a while, and when he tried to hand off A|N to another manager, Ning just went ahead and unceremoniously pulled the plug.
Where there is a beginning, there has to be an end, and with an end, another beginning … which is what brings me here. Having been a part time venue for me in the past, Atheist Universe now becomes my full-time base of operations. I hope you enjoy what I have to offer here, and I look forward to your input and feedback.
We’ll see you around.