Pastor Mike wants to register atheists like sex offenders. While I’m sure he meant to be offensive when he tried the “chicken” approach — (paraphrased summary): “Oh, you don’t WANT to be registered? Are you ASHAMED of your atheism?” — the fact is, he’s offering to do something that could really benefit the atheist community.
I’m not ashamed, I’m out. And if someone were to register atheists, he could only register those who are openly out as atheists, anyway; so, it’s not any sort of actual threat, but a childish ploy to try and evoke an outraged response by comparing atheists to criminals.
When a person tries to emotionally manipulate me in such an obvious way, though, I tend to respond by laughing, pointing, mocking. However, in this case specifically, I think Mike’s registry idea would be an awesome assist to the atheist community. I’d almost beg for one, and that’s what I tried to post to his blog, but (1) it’s invited members only, and I wasn’t one. And (2) the article keeps being pulled down and moved to other sites. Due to this, the best I can do is point you to an article about it (further below), not directly to it, because any link to the original would only be moved by the time you try and hit it. However, here is what I tried to reply. If you would also like to see the International Atheist Directory become a reality, you can thank Pastor Mike personally with an e-mail (provided below). I recommend every atheist who is “out” on the globe send a “thank you.” I’d like Mike to get 100,000 messages showing the atheist community’s gratitude, and asking him when it will be up and if it will be publicly available or paid subscription only and searchable? My response:
Will there be an annual yearbook published? Like a directory? I’m an “out” atheist, and don’t want to miss out. Is there a fee to be included? Thanks for your efforts! I’ve been trying to get a comprehensive list of atheists in the global community for years now, and have been doing it the hard way apparently — collecting them slowly over years on social networks. But if you’re willing to do the leg work, that would be awesome. You rock, Pastor Mike! Please make the list publicly available, we get a lot of letters from atheists asking where they can meet other atheists in their area. A listing like you suggest would be a big help!
Here is a link to a blog about the original article. This at least will be a stable place to see most of the content.
You can send your inquiries about the upcoming International Atheist Directory to Pastor Mike Stahl at firstname.lastname@example.org, if his e-mail account is still up and running. Someone gave me this address, and I Googled it, and it did lead back to his blog, which is now set to private. But I’m sure he would love as much feedback as possible from the atheist community — how else would we be able to send him our info for the Directory?