** Before I get started, I wanted to make sure you know - especially the mods - that there is a discussion question at the end. I just needed to give background information and context. **
I am a computer consultant, author, and speaker. In the mid-to-late 1990s and early 2000s I had my own business, and it was doing very well. I also had a very popular blog. On this blog I not only talked about technologies, offered tips, tricks, code, etc. but I also talked about politics and religion - and was an unabashed atheist.
And then this recession hit.
Business dried up, I tried to get jobs but kept getting laid off as those business dried up, and to be honest I've been out of work for over 2 years, except for the occasional odd, small contract here and there. During this hard time I also went through a serious bout of depression, and found out I was bipolar. Because of all of these things, I have let me blog go dormant. I haven't posted there in a long, long time, and it is now "off the air". Probably for good.
The upside is that I think I've turned the corner. I'm on good meds so my emotions and moods are definitely more stable (and happy), and I have a very good shot at a 1yr contract, and will know next week.
During the "boom days" my blog had thousands of readers. My business was so strong that, even though I'm in the South and was a vocal, public atheist I was able to get steady work. Once I was unable to get any work, I of course have become more desperate. I have posted atheistic stuff on my Facebook occasionally, but my family is extremely worried that this could severely, adversely affect my ability to get chosen for jobs. Since I can't refute that, and since I haven't been able to get a good, long term gig, I have severely cut back on my religious posts (I did, however, post the Hitchens-Ohair graphic from today; I couldn't help myself. ;) )
I am a freethinking, political creature who loves to state opinions and stir lively (civil) discussions. I terribly miss this from my blog, and I haven't been able to "get a fix" from Facebook. So, I have been trying to come up with a solution - and I think I have found one.
I believe I am going to start an "anonymous" blog. One where I can discuss my views, thoughts, etc. about being a Progressive, Freethinking Atheist in the Bible Belt - without a muzzle, so to speak. This way I can satisfy this need, yet ensure that I protect myself (somewhat) from any negative impact my views may have in my ability to find work.
The topic for discussion is this: Is this a good idea, or a cop out? I definitely believe we should stand our ground, but I also have to face the cold hard reality of the country, and region, I live in. I know "Google is Forever", but it is harder to find much of that stuff anymore - and most of it is very old. I will still discuss being an atheist if asked - but of course they won't ask that when interviewing me, as that is illegal. What I mean by "discussing" it is in the workplace - when stuff like that comes up, I definitely won't shy away. But once I'm there it is much harder to get rid of me for those reasons. Plus, that stuff doesn't come up that much anymore (and I tend to work from home almost all of the time - including this upcoming contract).
So, given the shitty reality of this climate I live in, do you think this is a good compromise? Or am I really being a pussy? I hate to say it, but given both the professional and familial pressures being put on me my choice is to either do it this way, or not at all - and just keep my opinions to myself (which I have to admit is almost painful; I need to talk things out).
What do you think?
Sorry to hear about your work situation. Hope you get that contract.
As for your anonymous blog idea, I say go for it. It's a fair compromise, considering your living situation. I have come across a few anonymous atheist blogs from the bible belt, and even though I don't know the person by name, what they say is what matters, not who they are.
Go for it, and make sure to post a link on here so we can all check it out!
Best of luck.
I think that the blog will be your "baby", so to speak, and that in the end the most important part of the blog will be that it is your way of communicating your experiences and opinions with a larger crowd. If the content of the blog is most important to you why would you not use anonymity?
Anonymity is not cowardice so you're not being a pussy you're just being careful. If you would, at one time in the future, like to get rid of the anonymous character of your blog you could always just put your real name on it. The other way around however is much more difficult. Once you're out, you're out and there is no going back.
So why not test the water for a moment before you jump in?
Also, Kudos for attempting to get back on the horse and good luck with the possible contract!
I'd go with being anonymous and I wouldn't be ashamed to do it that way either. I have a fake name on here for that very same reason...I'm looking for work. I think it's the smartest way to do things. Try to change minds and at the same time sheild yourself from the worst of the bigotry. I hope your blog gets up and running and that you get your contract too. I wish you the best of "luck."
No problem with anonymity; as you can see I am using it myself.
Atheism isn't a death pact, you are not required to martyr yourself. (Here's hoping it never gets to the point where that could literally be an issue!)
I am basically in the position of waiting on a job offer that is supposedly one more approval away.
I think you are right to remain anonymous. You could post a question just to elicit opinion while it may not be the view you hold yourself. However others may assume it is your view and form a biased opinion as to the nature of your character. It is also useful to be able to “park” it in hyperspace and get on with your day without hearing if people agree or disagree with everything you posted. Imagine if a nut job Theist decided to track you down because his god told him to and “learn you a lesson”?? I know somebody who had over 100,000 unique hits in a day over a certain Atheist article and heard theists at work talking about it. Nobody knew she wrote it though. Good luck with it.
Wow, that sure went viral!
This makes me think of the film "Pump Up The Volume" where the shy kid has the pirate radio station running at night. Be the shy kid on your FB pages, but let it all hang out on your 'pirate' blog. :)
Survival is nature's prime directive, so what you do for your own self-interest is fine as long as it doesn't hurt others unnecessarily.
Advancing your own best interests is not copping out. And even if it were, who's in a position to judge you?
Do what you think is best.
But you should know that your reference to "atheismyall.com" is now forever tied to Rocky Oliver (LotusGeek) in Googleland.
When expressing opinions that people can use against you, anonymity is sensible.