While followers of Republican Jesus turned their back on me, atheists saved my ass


Some readers didn’t get a chance to kick in and asked for the donation page, there’s the link, address is darksydothemoon-at-aol-dot com. But the homelessness crisis and eviction woes are taken care of this month. Well, here I am, up at 4 AM working on job number two, or in Romney speak, mooching.

Update: someone I’ve worked with extensively in the past wants to explore some commissioned writing work at a more than fair rate of pay. Best of all I’ll have extreme latitude on the topic; when and if this comes to fruition and I link it here, any clicks would be as good as paypal gold to me.


I avoided eviction with hours to spare. I had to persuade my bank to look at the paypal transfers but they consented and loaned me the 1200 bucks it took (The money will show up tomorrow, for that I’ll pay about 50 bucks in interest). I’ll have a little left over too, unless they find ways to get that.

I’ve sent each of you thank you letters, not a mail merge, a custom written email. But I wanted to get this wider attention, despite the less than unimpressive light it portrays me in. Here’s that diary that got tens of thousands of hits last night:

“The headline read: I May Soon be Homeless. and it wasn’t a joke, I wrote it and it’s about me. (This is not a plea for money; my atheist peers have already taken care of that or I wouldn’t have posed this, and offers to help are greatly appreciated, they warm my heart, but in my view it’s not appropriate for a front page writer to be asking for money. It’s not unethical for a diarist or a politician or an activist, but the FP is a different deal imo)

It’s common fare to read at a religious site that atheism is a hot bed of callousness, dog-eat-dog, no morals or ethics to guide them. Conservatives masquerading at Christians on the other hand hold themselves out as the epitome of generosity and selflessness. They and only they hold the keys to decency and love of their fellow man. The rest of us are one step away from sociopathy and Nazism, or so legions of young are taught in conservative Christian Madrasses.

A few years ago I suffered a personal loss. It happened right when the economy sputtered and plunged over a cliff after years of conservative deregulation, the bills and economic fall out were ruinous. Self professed evangelicals like George Bush wasted no time shoveling truckloads of tax payer money to bail out the heretofore free market and preserves the multimillion dollar salaries and bonuses of those who engineered it. His cohorts have spent the ensuing four years dong everything in their power to prevent those of us who cosigned the loan to save the rich from any relief that catastrophe wrought on our lives.

I was one of the millions of those casualties. After losing almost everything I had worked for the better part of half a century to earn, I moved halfway across the country to take a job paying less than half of what I used to make. Within months of taking that job the career ladder the firm had developed and used to recruit me was broken into firewood and burned so that Bill Lumberg’s stock would go up a quarter point. Things were grim, I took a second job to make ends meet; the ends that include nothing but a tiny filthy studio apartment. It was brutal, I barely hung on for a year or two, and yet I succeeded at work, quickly becoming the most productive person in my 300 person department and winning an award for it.

Then one day, sitting at my desk, I suffered a massive widow maker heart attack. I was lucky to survive, luckier still to be relatively unscathed. But even though I had bought extra disability insurance, living on less than half my usual really bad pay ($12/hour) was simply impossible. During the time I was on disability I fell behind on everything; trust me, if the choice is between heart surgery and cable TV, the choice isn’t difficult.

I managed to barely scrape by, for a month or two. But for complications I’ll explain another day, I’m now facing eviction. Late charges and other add ons turned my measly 500/month studio into a $1200 proposition. I live in Texas, there was no financial aid, there were no government programs that would help. By the end of April I would be living on friends’ couches for as long as that lasted, then in shelters or under a bridge I guess. I stressed out so bad one night my heart went into an irregular beat and I had to go to the ER, adding another huge copay on my back.

It was then that I shamefully turned my reg readers on an atheist site, FreeThoughtBlogs, and virtually panhandled. They come through, some were so strapped themselves all they could give was five bucks, but it added up. Enough that I won’t be homeless this month. I get choked up just thinking about it.

What struck me about this was how the so-called followers of Republican Jesus turned me down at every request, in person and in the State and Federal level, even Congress seems more enamored with austerity and than life and family. Bear in mind, I work two jobs, when most of these happy conservative Christians are asleep, I get up at 4 AM and start working. Then I go to my office job and work from 10 AM to 11 PM, I do this 24/7. I have no vices, no dating life, no hobbies, I don’t even smoke or drink. But it’s just not possible to support recovery from heart surgery and cover all the drugs and copays on 60% disability or the full pay I resumed, it’s a stretch to do it on my regular pay. Which I guess makes me one of those 47% moochers Romney was referring to.

I really have to wonder, who are the ones with morals, and who are the ones who lack them? My experience is the atheists are the ones who cared about me, the progressive Christians are the ones who serve their fellow man and community. I don’t know what moral coda the social conservatives follow, but it bears little resemblance to anything Jesus taught, it bears little resemblance to the basic human decency amply demonstrated by my godless amoral peers.”



  1. magistramarla says

    Hey Stephen,
    I’ve been following this, and I’ve really felt bad that I couldn’t help.
    We’re about to move back to Texas, so our renters moved out. Thanks to the furloughs, our orders have been delayed, so we’re paying rent in CA and a mortgage on an empty house in TX.
    Once we get back there, if you are in SA, you have an open invitation for a place to stay and good home-cooked meals. The next time we’re in Austin, we’ll have to meet up for a good dinner, on us!

  2. says

    Like #2, I feel really bad I wasn’t able to help out. PayPal is blocked at work. On the other hand, I feel really good that the kindness of, I won’t say strangers, because I’m sure most contributors were regular commenters you interact with, but the kindness of the anonymous Internet came through for you.

  3. Alverant says

    Please put the PayPal donation link back up. I wanted to give but I forgot. I’m a very bad procrastinator. Don’t think of it as charity. Think of it as a grateful Atheist happy you’re still here and able to fight the good fight. Despite everything that has happened, you’re still producing your blog and that’s something to be proud of and worth the rest of us applauding. There’s always next month to prepare for and there’s always another emergency. If you have another visit to the ER or your medicine gets more expensive, it’s better to have the money now instead of later.

  4. Karen Locke says

    It was my pleasure to help, little though I did. I would be worse off than you are without a husband to support me; multiple health problems have been keeping my productivity almost non-existent, to the point where I can’t hold a job. Fortunately my husband doesn’t mind me giving to those in need.

    This is an extraordinarily difficult time for you, and my only advice is to do whatever you can to keep your sanity. Hold out hope that a better job will come along. Take care of yourself in any way that you can. We’re with you.

  5. JoeBuddha says

    Not a Christian, but not part of the Atheist community; nevertheless, glad to help. You know, I get a lot of entertainment, edification, and things to think about here, pretty much for free. I don’t mind chipping in a few bucks now and then.

  6. Ben P says

    I avoided eviction with hours to spare. I had to persuade my bank to look at the paypal transfers but they consented and loaned me the 1200 bucks it took (The money will show up tomorrow, for that I’ll pay about 50 bucks in interest). I’ll have a little left over too, unless they find ways to get that.

    There was an NPR special on these advances yesterday, they’re about to be limited by the Consumer Financial Protection Commission.

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