Been really reflective about TTA lately. Might have something to do with being a bit under the weather (less sleep + diminished physical and mental resistance = babbling like Dr. Phil).
But I've been examining my efforts here, on the podcasts and in the video production room, asking myself, "What are you trying to accomplish?"
The answer has many layers. TTA provides me the opportunity to connect with, give support to and receive support from those swimming against the religious tide. It (if I may borrow from Jerry DeWitt's analogy) gives my post-Christianity life meaning and purpose, as I take my once misdirected energies and pour them into the much more satisfying causes for reason and rationality. It allows me to scratch the creative itch as a producer. And it reminds me that, while I'm pretty isolated geographically, I am absolutely not alone in my non-belief.
Mostly, though, I want to matter.
Yesterday, I got a quick FB message from a young woman named April. She and her husband walked away from religion one year ago, and while their apostasy has undoubtedly turned their lives upside down, it has also liberated them from the superstition-based intellectual and emotional bondage many others never escape from.
I get letters from teenagers in religious schools, trapped physically in that environment but brandishing the freedom to ask hard questions and expect sensible answers, already falling in love with science despite their religious upbringing.
I hear stories from people who, after walking away from religion, still carried deep terror about Hell and found strength and comfort as others in the TTA community shared stories of their own paths out of fear.
I shake the hands of people who mention a specific video that emboldened and encouraged them to keep digging for the truth.
I receive emails from people dealing with the loss of a loved one outside of the religious concept of Heaven, and they tell me how much support they've received from this page, from our podcasts on grief and recovery, and from the freethought community in general.
And from time to time, I'll see some TTA material highlighted in The Christian Post or Ken Ham's page, and I'll find myself hoping (not praying!) that a few observers watching from the wings might nod in agreement at the challenges put to their precious sacred scriptures and perhaps one day gain the courage to present challenges of their own.
I'm an imperfect producer of imperfect videos hosting an imperfect page, but I'll tell ya, whenever I hear from the Aprils in this world, whenever I see and hear the specific stories of those who found courage, support, friendship and community here, I'm reminded of why TTA exists.
In this crazy world, now and again when we least expect it, the TTA community is making a difference.