DAVID C. SMALLEY
I have long enjoyed providing creative solutions for intellectual activism, and have recently begun my greatest quest yet. The humble beginning of the American Atheists organization is an inspiration to many, and my ultimate goal as the new Design & Layout Editor is to help continue that legacy by adding value where ever I can. By bringing creative concepts to the table, I hope to attract and inspire even more freethinkers for our cause. I will take this introductory opportunity to present a brief summary of how this relationship, and my blog came to be.
It was January 10, 1980, just nine days after the New Year – I was lying there new to the world, and my father was already furious with me because I missed the tax deadline for him to claim me in 1979! My mother was also upset, because apparently, I had attempted to enter the world sideways, obviously against her will. Needless to say, people being upset by my unique approach to life started at an early age!
I was raised in a primarily secular household with a Christian foundation from a Catholic mother and an Episcopalian father, who never agreed on much; accept that their attendance in church wasn’t all that important. Neither really cared too much about living by particular religious doctrine, but the ‘fear of God’ was ever-present in our home. After their divorce, when I was just five years old, my mother instilled in me what she felt were Christian values; which I later came to know as humanistic ethics, but nevertheless, she did a bang-up job!
My religious knowledge as a child was minimal to say the least. I was simply taught to fear the wrath of ‘God’ but I never understood why. This caused a unique interest in religion, and I wanted to know what everyone was so afraid of. Even as a small child, I didn’t grasp the concept of having so much love for something, yet being terrified of it at the same time. In any event, as a teenager, I became active in local Baptist churches and gospel choirs as a musician, typically playing the drums each Sunday morning, and being listed as the premier drummer for main events and recordings, including a live performance at the famed ‘Potters House’ in Texas. I’m even plastered on the cover a religious album as the drummer for a popular gospel choir! Over the years, I began to ask questions, and those answers lead me to realize the many fallacies of religion. Still, the powers of ingrained fear lead me to continue performing with religious groups, until I finally began my quest to find real answers. Needless to say, the answers I received and knowledge I discovered eventually lead to the marvelous freedom of Atheism!
Moreover breaking the mold, I was the first person on my mother’s side of the family in 20 years to graduate high school, and the first ever to further an education with a university. My adult volunteer work as a secular humanist, helping the homeless and less fortunate, and a deep interest in exactly why intelligent people fall victim to the absurdities of religion, both led me to pursue an education in psychology with an emphasis in applied behavioral analysis at Kaplan University. While continuing my education, I'm also throughly enjoying this online religious discussion forum, The Smalley Debate, where theists of all types come to argue their case. Frank R. Zindler was my first inspiration, as I read the transcript of his radio debate of Noah’s Ark on the American Atheists web site.
For two years, I worked with a national television network as a graphics designer, video editor, and television producer. I often performed voiceovers for cartoons and television commercials, as well as designing scripts, magazine layouts, and billboards. Combining a creative background in graphics, media, and music, with an activist’s mindset toward Atheism, the positions of Design Editor of American Atheist, and moderator of The Smalley Debate feel like the perfect opportunities for me to make a difference! For a long time now, the way Atheists have been portrayed in the general view has been a strong motivator for me to spread the word of reason and free thought. I am eager to show the world how secular humanism is a productive way of life.
I currently reside in the U.S. with my beautiful wife Brandy, and two amazing children, Brayden and Talissa.
I feel very fortunate to be serving in our cause for reason.
Thanks for reading, and I hope to hear from you on the blogosphere!