Atheist Writers

A place for all of us godless writers to discuss writing, language, and literature. Feel free to post your poetry, short stories, or anything else you'd like to share with the community.
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  • Don

    Josh, I'm not sure what your reason might be for restricting access to the group. Is there some sort of problem you are trying to solve? Or do you mean to propose another special area?

    I have to say I favor allowing anyone who's on this site have access to whatever may be posted here.
  • Joshua McGee

    I'm parroting/interpreting concerns that others had had. Some beginning writers are afraid of random criticism by passers-by -- limiting the scope to TA members or Atheist Writers members seemed a solution. But I'm happy to withdraw my request.
  • Joshua McGee

    limiting the scope to TA members

    For all I know, it is already. I don't know enough about ning, and haven't experimented without being logged in.
  • Don

    I understand your point, Josh, but let me say that if a beginning writer is afraid of criticism, then she should not be posting her fragile work on any public forum, however it may be circumscribed. Criticism, even when it's harsh, is to be welcomed, pondered, and endured. Writers must invite criticism, and then they have to learn to discriminate, by shrugging off or ignoring criticism that isn't helpful to their intentions. The works-in-progress presented to writers' groups, workshops, or forums like this one are almost always fraught with many problems. The reason a beginning writer openly asks for criticism is not to coax praise out of other beginners; it's to find out what isn't working in the minds of readers who are willing to pass specific judgment.
  • Joshua McGee

    I'm happy to start a conversation for this -- I'd even be willing to seed it with a work-in-progress -- but what is holding me back is whether something better than a comments thread can be arranged. One thing on which ning is very week is threading of comments (visually, at any rate). It's slightly better at the topic level, so we may want an adjacent group wherein each topic is one person's submission.

    Of course, these are all approximations, and other solutions, from MediaWiki to hand-rolled solutions, would almost certainly be better, so after exploring what we have built-in (paging Morgan) we could look into how to extend it, if desired (paging again).
  • Don

    SS, I have never come across (or heard of) any small press or literary journal that would consider a WIP posted to any writers' group (online or elsewhere) for feedback or criticism equivalent to publication. Indeed, year after year hundreds of MFA candidates publish their master's theses (collections of poems or stories) in bound volumes that often find places in the university's library--and after that they're free to offer the first North American rights to those works to any publisher without any fear that they've compromised their work or themselves.
  • Don

    One solution might be for group members to post submissions privately, as personal messages on the Home Pages of certain willing group members (or even as private email attachments). But that would not allow for any group discussion--unless the writer decided to arrange for it selectively.
  • Joshua McGee

    But that would not allow for any group discussion

    I think we're trying to build a solution with the wrong toolbox. I've installed, extended, and administered several collaborative environments (in a prior life) and would be willing to work with Morgan to tie said software more-or-less seamlessly into TA. I'm actually really, really good at this sort of thing, so I'm formally volunteering now.
  • Joshua McGee

    more-or-less seamlessly into TA...

    ... out of respect. I'm also happy to do it all on my own (WIP for AW) and link to it, but I expect that this proposal would/could be read with (unintended) mutinous motives.
  • David Cardoso

    I am currently writing a story entitled, "Jump for Jesus" and yes it is as hilarious as it sounds. I'm planning on finishing it soon, maybe in a week or little less.
  • Don

    Astute professional editors are crucial to the refinement and effectiveness of most published writing, fiction and nonfiction.
  • Joshua McGee

    Can I take a moment to cheer other members on to submit a WIP? You're among friends -- I believe and hope -- and I would love to read the work of some more of you. I could post another, but I already have posted a novel excerpt and a poem, and this is not "The McGee Show" -- nor even "The Fibber McGee and Molly Show". :-) You have my support! Go for it! And consider using the [WIP] notation for your excerpts.
  • Joshua McGee

    A contributor to this site posted a poem in the Green Atheists group. Maybe we could get some cross-pollination going? Have Green Atheists post their works as WIP here (for discussion, criticism, whatever) and maybe some of our writers here try their hand at Green-themed poems? Thoughts?

    Or, you know, anyone posting anything? I want to read your stuff, people! :-)
  • Michael Sizer-Watt

    Wow, I didn't know there was a writer's group. I've written for Canadian Freethinker and now I'm tackling for my first time (and quite unexpectedly) a documentary film (writer, director and producer).
  • Don

    There's a writers' group on TA, all right, Michael, but as you can tell, it has not been particularly active for quite some time. Maybe all the writers are off on their own writing wonderful things.

    Good luck on your film project! I've done some screenplay work myself (for features), and I know what a challenge that represents.
  • Kenneth Montville D.D.

    Come on people, let's get this thing rolling. I joined because I am on the slightly more active Atheist Writers group on Atheist Nexus.
  • Justin


    Variations of the future play out in my thoughts.
    I flip through the possibilities like a photo album
    In an attempt to determine the one that best fits me.
    Each time I start to believe just where I am headed,
    Chance will alter the course that my moments take.

    I cannot know anything beyond my experiences,
    My mind is a product of unique genetic evolution.
    The slight differences present in every human being
    Incite a fabricated sense of specialness in the world,
    The result is a dualistic belief that plagues mankind.

    I am made out of the coalescence of lifeless matter,
    Fate is an illusion generated through random chance.
    The realization of a godless universe excites me,
    It frees me to truly live and make the most out of life.
    No other realities are necessary for happiness to exist.

    Consciousness may never be able to explain itself,
    The nature of its survival depends upon speculation.
    A heavy focus on divinity obscures possible truth.
    I believe I have successfully released these shackles,
    Perhaps I will at last open my eyes and see the world.
  • Michael Sizer-Watt

    Just a general FYI, I've been following writer "DianaLuger" on twitter and I find her tweets very informative.
  • Don

    Michael, just curious. What do you find informative about her tweets? I've never followed anybody's tweets, so it's hard for me to imagine what would be useful in the very brief and fleeting messages from a blog writer. I don't mean to sound snide here--I get tweeting in a general way, but it seems to me that they'd be pretty superficial, unless they were haikus, or something.
  • Phenom Won

    i relate,
    church to business.
    depending how deep your pockets are,
    you receive the forgiveness.
    there i said it, and let it, stay embedded in your mind and i don't regret it.
    a myriad of wars are based on religion,
    because prayer to god gave them permission
    pillage a village,
    murder the men,
    take their virgins, and molest their children
    meanwhile pay them tithe
    so every corner will have their erected buildings.
    scare you with fallacy
    pastor says the scientists are wrong,
    but visits his doctor for signs of a malady.
    religion a folly that's expensive, but yet they don't get taxed
    honestly what kind of bullshit is that?!!!!!!
  • George Sterpka

    I guess I am just as shy as the rest. I have a suggestion.
    What if we post our writing to another site: I have my own web pages and can hide them.
    Describe the writing briefly, then leave a link here for people to download the story?
    I am writing a spoof on the Bible, not a small undertaking, and some of it is rather suggestive, so I hesitate to publish, for fear of being banned.
    It's not what I would call pornographic, but very descriptive.

  • George Sterpka

    OK, here goes.
    I had been working on writing a spoof on the Bible, and read a book on writing that recommended trying different formats. I decided to try a personal letter.
    This is rather short and not as risqué as some of my other material.
    I also have a letter from Cain, answering his father.

    Email Letter to Cain from his father Adam.

    Dear Cain,

    How are you?
    It’s been so long since we saw you.
    Your mother and I are doing well.
    We would like you to know that you have seven new brothers and I think as many sisters, though the ones that left home had us swear not to reveal their address, and under the circumstances, I think you understand.
    Don’t ask me their names either. You’ll have to ask your mother since she named them. Besides, I don’t have time to remember names. I am too busy working in the fields to provide food for all these mouths.

    Have you heard from God?
    We have not received one word since we were expelled from Eden, so I guess he is still pissed. He must hold a grudge forever.
    Haven’t seen the talking snake either.

    Of course your mother and I have forgiven you for killing your brother Abel. Who knew killing was wrong and that he would eventually smell so bad? Your mother came up with a word for Abel’s condition. He’s officially “dead“.

    God never said anything about such things, so how was anyone to know?
    We certainly wouldn’t judge you. Abel was such a kiss ass anyway, and your new brothers and sisters were so easy and fun to make. I am sure your mother and I will make more, just as soon as her headache goes away.

    I have considered making babies on your sisters, especially the older ones. I will have to move fast though since several of their brothers seem interested too.

    I suspect that some of the younger ones may not be mine, but I can’t prove anything.  Of course your mother and brothers deny it. Not that I would hold it against her. Actually, I held it against her so many times, I had to add several bedrooms to the house. LOL.

    I also had to knock out a wall in the kitchen, since there wasn’t enough room for  all of us to sit down to a meal.

    Are you living alone, or have you found someone?

    I suppose that is a silly question. I can’t imagine who or what your might have found, since as far as I know your mother and I were the only ones of our species. Well, until you and your bother came along, which was a real surprise.

    Maybe god has provided for you?
    I hope you find some one or something as pretty as your mother. Hopefully she at least walks on two legs. LOL

    I personally haven’t had any luck with the four legged creatures yet. Not for lack of trying, but I have gotten older and they run too fast. Let me know if you have and if you think it worth the effort. Please be specific as to which ones to try.

    Well, now that we have the internet, please don’t be a stranger. Let us know how you are doing.

    Your mother and I both send our love, and if you are ever back this way, please let us know a day or two in advance, so we can hide your siblings.

    Best wishes, Your Loving Father (That I am at least sure of, LOL)
    Adam (The Very First)

    P.S. If you hear from God get his email address.
    I have a few things that I would like to say to him.

  • Jonel Burge

    This is actually the main reason I joined Think Atheist...I have friends who are writers, most of them are Christian or not-so-active creatively. I am hoping to find some people that I can basically converse with--bounce ideas off of, etc, I perform this exact function for a few different people and will do likewise, I swear I'm crazy creative and I'm online all the time on AIM(which is posted on my profile), and for some examples of my writing style I shall point thee hence:
  • Don

    As a loyal member here and as an atheist writer of fiction, I hope you will forgive my suggestion that holiday gift-givers consider one of my mystery/suspense novels as a treat for anyone who likes to read.  Hector Bellevance, the sleuth-hero in my series, is a staunch atheist himself, although he doesn't make anything of it, really, in the stories.


    The most recent novel (of three) in the series, THE ERRAND BOY, came out last fall:




  • Eddie Miles III

    @ George Sterpka


    I thought of doing a spoof of the Bible. I thought it would be great to rewrite it as a comedy and with each character being represented by current celebrities. Unfortunately, I was too short on time to work on it and eventually, I lost my notes and forgot about it. The moral of this story is that if there's any book worthy of a spoof, it's the bible...


    -Eddie Miles

  • Ken Hughes

    Been writing both prose and poetry for a long time, and one day in my career in Physical Oceanography, sitting on a research vessel's deck in the high northern Atlantic SSW of Iceland, as I normally do I slipped into a pensive mood.  As a non-participant in any religion I got to thinking about the elaborate religious-themed funerals I had been forced to endure over my past then 37-years.  I had been watching those very cold waves and rollers and thinking of the Battle of the Atlantic and the great many Merchant Marine and other sailors lost on those waters and as happened many times the first line of a poem zipped through my mind and quickly wrote it down to finish it later in my stateroom, ergo;


    My Final Passage


    I want to go to the ocean,

    I need to go to the sea.

    I want to be around water,

    I need water to be around me.


    For my last passage across the bar,

    Make not my grave a landlubber’s chore.

    Slip me across the starboard fore-quarter,

    Find me a place far, far from shore.


    Allow not a single parson to speak,

    Nor a choir to sing sad songs over me.

    Remember me as I once was

    Make my monument the eternal sea.


    In the sea I can rest,

    Be it calm or storm-tossed.

    In the sea I can rest,

    In the sea I’ll never be lost.


    No flowers bloom on a mariner’s tomb

    Down in the deep blue sea.

    When I’m laid to rest down among the rest,

    Fret ye not about flowers for me.


    When fog rolls in and foghorns keen,

    May there be one keening for me.

    My spirit will forever seek another passage

    In my eternal voyage from sea to sea.


    Ken Hughes

    North Atlantic, 1982

  • Don

    Thanks, Ken--a poignant sentiment, no question.  There is an appealing simplicity and grandeur, too, in a burial at sea.
  • Ken Hughes

    G'Day Don,  Thank you and it is part of my living will.  I told my true-believer bride for soon to be 45-years that if my wishes for a non-theistic wake or whatever are not honored and I'm being sent away with a standard bible belt ceremony, and there's a minister speaking over my atheist carcass they will think it's the second coming, as if there was ever a first, because I'll get up and walk the hell out of there.
  • NA

    Hi, I don't know if anyone remembers me but I started this group a couple years ago before being booted off by my religious parents. Just wanted to say I'm back:)
  • NA

    Yes I did, thank god...oh wait.
  • Don

    Now there hangs a tale, Tim.  Glad you have managed to shuck such wrong-headed oppression, but this kind of freedom usually comes at a cost.  Some of us would like to hear more of this story, I'm sure, if you're inclined to elaborate.
  • NA

    Sure thing, Don.

    A couple of years ago I joined this site for similar reasons that I think most people do. I live in a heavily religious area, my family is religious, etc and it is nice to talk with people who share some similar views.

    My family did not know about my atheism, which caused me some anxiety. It wasn't nice having to live a lie all the time, especially when religion is so important to the people I love and care about.

    My parents found out about my atheism on this site which they found through looking at the internet history. And looking back, I honestly don't think they were intentionally looking for anything other than a site they had visited earlier in the day. But I had forgotten that one time to delete the browsing history (which I think one member commented on the ludicrousness of having to delete this site like it was trash, which I agree with). Ironically they found out on Ash Wednesday (the start of the Easter season in the Catholic Church). 

    They were initially very upset, but were not angry. They pushed religion even harder, praying more often at home, making me discuss my views with a deacon (who, by the way, thought I had a right to whatever views I like, but unfortunately agreed with my parents' right to take me to church).

    It's been a while now and while they bring it up on occasion and still take me to church (I can't afford to leave home until I go to college in a couple months), I have to say although I would NEVER want anyone else to go through this experience, I am glad that my beliefs are out in the open, even if they cause some emotional distress to certain family members.

    And obviously I will make damn sure that I never make my child feel as though they are somehow disordered for their view on the world. I hope that my generation (or at least, the next couple generations) will have cleared this particular path of religious conflict in the family so no one will have to go through this. Because unfortunately I'm not the only one and sometimes the consequences are much worse.


  • Ken Hughes



    That's a story of true perseverance and determination of which you should be proud in that you maintained your sanity; many, far too many don't in similar circumstances.  Thanks for sharing it with us.

  • Don

    Thanks, Tim.  Bad as it was to have been to have been outed accidentally at home, the ensuing family conflict might have been a lot worse, I'm sure.  And it has been exceptionally generous of you, I think, to continue to go to church despite how uncomfortable that kind of ordeal must make you.  

    Glad to know you'll be going off to college soon.  Do you know yet where you you will be going and what you will be studying? 

  • NA

    Thanks Ken:)

    Don - Yeah, it has been extremely uncomfortable especially now that they're aware of my beliefs. But like I said almost done with that so I've given up that fight in favor of peace in the house. I'll be starting school this summer at Florida State, going to double major in English Lit and Physics.

  • Don

    That's great, Tim.  FSU is a fine university, as I'm sure you know, with a great dept. in physics and astrophysics that ties into a demanding variety of interdisciplinary majors building on physics--in oceanography and geophysics, for instance.  I know you're not even there just yet, but once you are (speaking now as an English prof) I'll bet you'll rethink the second major in English lit.  You're gonna have your hands full. 

    My daughter is finishing her BA (in anthropology) this spring.  Her university discourages double majors when the two disciplines aren't closely related.  Satisfying the demands of both can be a huge--and hugely time-consuming--challenge.  Good luck. 

  • NA

    I'm hoping I'll be able to do it (I'm not naive enough to say I have my life planned out), I'll be going in halfway through my sophomore year and attending year round, so I think that should take some of the stress off.

    Congratulations to your daughter, Anthropology is a very intriguing subject. My sister just started her doctoral program in Anthropology this past fall and she seems to enjoy it a lot.

  • Don

    Those members here who are seriously yearning for some regular online discussion about writing, publishing, agents, strategies, tips, and so on and so on may be interested in joining up over at

    This site is huge.  There are even discussions devoted to godless writers and subjects, but primarily the site is for active writers and poets of all creative abilities and interests.  For that reason there's a lot of bullshit to sort through, but there's a lot of exceptionally smart and helpful advice and support there, too.  It may take a new member some weeks of lurkerish investigation before he will figure out where to make contributions and ask questions, but really for dedicated writers who lack academic or professional support elsewhere, AbsoluteWrite is the place to be.

  • Ken Hughes

    Recent bit.  I don't think I posted it before;


    On your knees you pray.

    Did your answer arrive today?

    Your head you bow your eyes you close,

    Are you unafraid He'll think you dose?


    How many prayers float up every day?

    Has anything changed in any way?

    Children suffer in cancer and burn wards.

    While you claim to be God’s stewards.


    How many will float up on the morrow?

    When will “believers” all cease to sorrow?

    You give your God omnipotence,

    Yet call your suffering penitence.


    What did you do to be in a bind?

    Have you let your God overrule your mind?

    Look around, there’s far more to life

    Than creating your own suffering and strife.


    You claim “Rapture” may come any day,

    You say we must prepare in every way.

    You swear we must all be ready for “it”,

    You curse all who say “Who gives a shit”?


    Two-thousand-years have come and gone,

    You stand there quaking in every bone.

    “To prepare a place” He said He’d go,

    All I can say; He’s surely damned slow.

  • Beth Eileen Zurkowski

    Nice Poem Ken Hughes.
  • Brian Stewart

    Here's the preface to my book "Moses was a Liar" (Raider Books NY 2010):

    "People have an apparent and sometimes almost insatiable need for ‘ekstasis’ or ecstasy, to give meaning to their lives. This so-called ‘stepping outside’ finds expression in many ways such as music, dance, sport, sex and sadly in drug- and alcohol-abuse as well. It can also be found in religious fervour, attending religious gatherings in churches, mosques and synagogues, Satan worship; participating in secret societies, group activities and community projects. It also forms an important basis for joining radical groups, labour movements, political meetings, and for fundamentalism and radicalism.

    It is not strange therefore that the emotional expression and participation in these activities can become addictive or that the expectations of what benefits are to be derived from such activities, are often totally unrealistic and indeed silly.

    It is not evil or abnormal for people to have this need, it is merely human. However, when the derived and perceived benefits impinge upon reason and one’s grasp of reality, it becomes problematic. Unfortunately there are no boundaries drawn by those who promote such participation. In fact it is probably the opposite.

    Disciples of these activities actively seek to increase and deepen participation to the n-th degree, sometimes leading to mass hysteria, mass suicides, murder, gang-rape, fanaticism, suicide bombings etc.

    Mysticism and its attendant practices – which include religion, and political activities creates its own “realities”, e.g. false standards, guilt where no guilt exists, external deities and magic powers.

    Mysticism is the ultimate primacy of emotions over reality and reason and when the human need for ‘ekstasis’ overrides reality and reason, one enters the realm of the unreal and indeed of the actual surrender of man’s mind to the ceremonial reverence of objects, deities, visions and external influence. Primitive man used emotions to create his own ‘platonic reality’ (Reality is what the mind thinks or imagines.

    Homo dialogicus (reasoning or thinking man) on the other hand reflects a critical consciousness which explains man’s capacity to reason and question anything in terms of its opposite. It implies that s/he can question issues of importance, evaluate alternatives and make choices of his/her own. Such a mind is light years away from the mind of primitive man who relies on imagination but does not grasp the implications that he does so and who creates an own reality, a false reality.

    When myth and legend become inextricably intertwined through the application of emotions with reality, consciousness and evaluating alternatives, it is no wonder then that people become confused and are unable to make reasoned and rational choices in life. It is this confusion which leads to control and manipulation; it is this lack of the conscious will of man to distinguish between the real and the unreal; this illogical preparedness to accept what he is fed through the controlled media, from religious- and political platforms which is promoted by the mystics of the world, by the religions and by the political leaders. It is time for homo dialogicus to stand up and say: ‘Enough is enough, get out of our way.’

    This book was written in honour of homo dialogicii, wherever they are.



  • Jazz

    A piece of my thoughts i got from looking outside one starry night.




    What about the unseen stars? I'm sure they try just as hard, to shine as bright as they can. For me to stop living my ignorant life and admire them. So bright they are. So far yet so close to touching them as if you could lift your hand and leave this life behind, to explore something totally different, but the only place i leave is my mind. The stars give us the honor of gazing upon them while they are still here. Almost gone forever, they are our creators.  They teach us and show us the inevitability of death. For the lessons and beauty i thank the stars, universe, cosmos, my creators. My destroyers, bringers of death to my insignificant life.


    hmm this sounded way better in my head...

  • I Pee Freely

    A unfinished thought I had and wanted to share


    The funeral march chimes on in the back ground the streets are so somber lost in the profound foolishness of life

    Living so that we may meet death face to face what cowards we are as we sit in our houses made of glass trying so desperately not to break. The days grow tiresome and the nights seem to have no end, the age of man appears as though it will never end we are but vessels loomed from the fabric of nonsense what a bleak existence one faces when the curtain falls and light can be shed into the bowels of reality no longer does the air taste so sweet it has been tainted with bitterness that comes with living we see it each day and yet try to avoid it; our minds preoccupied with thoughts of nothing, daydreaming to escape the caulis inconvenience we call life, merely to find when the daydream ends we still are never truly awake all that surrounds us is lucid watching from a far as everything  we have created crumbles and falls apart before our very eyes, the only tangible in life is the thought that I will not live forever  I may hold on to that for it has been built upon a foundation that no logic can crack

    Yet again the bell tolls and it reminds us that the hour of everlasting darkness grows nearer what a cruel fate to count the minutes on a clock dreading, fearing, the moment when the hands of time no longer move for you, oh what a divine comedy it is to watch when man has no other option but to abandon his faith

    Where may one go to escape from the world, does such place even exist? I have envisioned myself running in the wild where the warm rays of the sun always shine and I am free from the prison of reality, a place where my thoughts, ideas, emotions, and conscious can run wild across the vast fields of possibility. An endless utopia of clarity, how I wish that place was real  

  • Johno

    • Help! I need a pediatric / obstetric / childbirth doctor to help me by providing a quote for my new book. Does anyone know one, or are you one?

    • wrt the probable outcome of a 9 month pregnant lady walking or riding a donkey for 80 miles...

  • Don

    Johno, as somebody whop makes this sort of request often, let me suggest that a little more story context might be welcome.  When and where might have a bearing on advice you may find useful.  The nature of the woman's plight or situation (and character) could help inform a response.  What is she like?  Is she like this woman

  • Johno

    Classic link! You might have heard of her - she's called Mary. She gave birth to some bloke called Jeb.., no, Jesus!

    Basically, I am writing a comprehensive look at the historicity of the nativity narratives. I am looking to mention how unlikely it is a loving husband would make a 9 month pregnant woman do a gruelling 80 walk to Bethlehem for a census that did not require her (or them), or to ask her to sit on a donkey. i would like to know, medically speaking, what would likely happen. Would there be a miscarriage, or an immediate birth? Would she likely make that distance? etc etc.

  • Don

    Well, the trip wouldn't induce a miscarriage.  Nor would the little guy be "premature."  If she's at nine months, then she's ready to give birth any time the biology kicks in.  I can imagine that giving birth under most circumstances back in the year zero might be problematic for all kinds of reasons.  At home on a mat of straw, on the road, in a manger, what's the difference?

  • Johno

    the point being that is she did have to make that journey (assuming naturalism here, of course), would she ever have made walking 80 miles? or riding 80 miles on a donkey? What is the probability that she would have given birth 20 mile sin on the roadside? What are the health implications of the pounding of the donkey on the cervix? etc I am building a cumulative case of all manner of arguments and am just interested that we plausibly thing a woman could go that far without giving birth.

  • Don

    I'd say it's remotely plausible, the 80-mile journey.  If a 9-months' pregnant woman can run a marathon then, yeah, it could've happened.  So where does that get you?  To mount a case against Mary's arduous journey is to beat a dead horse.  It just didn't happen--but not for this reason.  The whole myth is hugely implausible for a host of other reasons.  Not the least of which is that there is no contemporaneous record of Jesus's even having existed.  What's more, the story is patently derivative of many other myths that were in play at the time this one was written.  Whether Mary could have ridden 80 miles on a donkey and then had a baby is, for me, a hair-splitting distraction.  She could have, that's clear--who's to say it's not possible?  The main point is that the whole birth of Christ story is just that, a story.  There is no way to verify ANY of it.    

  • HughMurris

    jonel  saw your comment.   i too saw the writers group and atheists too!! woohoo.   its hard for me to find feed back on my blasphemous satire stuck here in the bible belt .  but this looks like the place to be.  hello everybody.   iam hugh