Today I decided to go to an event listed on the Indiana Brights Meetup group's calendar. Its a Sunday morning coffee and conversation at the Indiana Center for Inquiry. It was fun to finally meet some other people who think like I do. For the first time, I felt that I was not in combat mode when talking about thinks like religion and politics. These people, when they don't agree with you, still allow you your time to speak. I didn't ever feel like I was arguing a point.
But for the first time, I realized that when I am around others that aren't freethinkers, skeptics, or atheists, I have constantly had to worry about what I say about religion. I told them about my Flying Spaghetti Monster shirt, about the fork on a cross, and instead of blank stares or comments about how bad that was, I got laughs, because its funny. And they knew who I was talking about when I said the name Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris. These were people who enjoyed being who they were, and lived without guilt. These were my people.
For the first time I don't feel like I'm trying to fit in, I feel like I am accepted for what I am, a freethinker who doesn't simply accept what he is told, someone who requires evidence. For that reason alone, I will likely drive the hour drive to get to the Center For Inquiry on a Sunday morning just to shoot the breeze with people I barely know yet. I plan to change that and even become a member of the Center because I really want to support this place. Whats better, I took all three kids with me and they weren't in the least bit critical or try to step in and assist where it wouldn't be wanted. That is something I am not used to.
If there happen to be any people who support their local Center for Inquiry, you should know that just being who you are has gained another supporter. Thank you for helping me find a place where I am accepted in a new town.