Name: Cayora Rue
Location: Denver, Colorado
Organization: None, currently, but I founded the atheist club at Metro State College of Denver.
Former Religious Affiliation: Catholic, sort of
I am an atheist. I no longer do a lot of activism, but I do try to be as out as possible. I’m an unusual atheist because I am a woman and I make dolls. But then, all my dolls are atheists too. I never really believed, although I was raised Catholic. Religion was this incomprehensible thing that adults did for no apparent reason. I remember spending a lot of time being bored out of my mind and arguing that I should be allowed to read collections of mythology in church because they were religious. I just desperately wanted something to entertain myself during the interminable drudgery that is a Catholic mass. But I went along to get along until I became a teenager and started to want to assert my identity.
In college, I started the atheist club at my school. As far as I know, it is still functioning today. I don’t have any atheist friends these days, but I listen to podcasts like The Atheist Experience and the Non Prophets so I don’t feel too isolated. I am always proud to have done that little thing. I know it helped people.
People often assume that I am a bad person because of my atheism. I have been asked if I have a heart and treated like a child because of it. Or theists assume I am a terribly damaged person who must have been abused as a child and traumatized out of my faith. But I try to approach the world with as much compassion as possible and my childhood was fine.
Because I managed to escape the religion in my upbringing with no psychic damage, I try to be as out as possible and to make sure the theists know the damage they are causing. I know people who turn into quivering balls of mush because of the damage religion inflicted on
them. I view it as my duty to make it clear to theists that this sort of damage is unacceptable. I only pursue this in a small way, these days, but I always do it. I always try to make the street preachers aware that there are people who know that they are hurting others. I always try to make the casual Christians I work with aware that there are many people who do not share their beliefs.