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(Post 1 of 33 in my 16-hour shift for the Secular Student Alliance Blogathon.)

8:00 am

Here’s the first of 33 consecutive posts in 16 hours — about the same number I’ve done in the past six months. I do this NOT because I think I have 33 things to say, but because Jen McCreight told me to. I am nothing if not obedient.

I also do it to support the Secular Student Alliance, the World’s Bitchinest Freethought Organization™ and beneficiary of this Blogathon, to which you must donateifyoureachtheendofthissentence. HA! Now go straight to the sidebar and chip in for the future you say you want.

Ideas for ways to pledge (yoinked from Ellen Lundgren):

1. Pledge per word…say 1/10¢ a word.
2. Pledge per post (33 total).
3. Pledge per thing you’ve learned. If a post teaches you something new, you donate your pledge amount. (This may be the cheapest option.)

I’ll post on the hour and half hour until midnight tonight, holy shi’ite. About half will be on topics I’ve been ordered to write about (see? obedient) by Facebook friends and lovers, while the other half will be what I damn well feel like writing about, so OFF me.

Many are drawn from titles on Post-It Notes all over my desk, but none will be written in advance. This is a huge mistake. I usually edit the crap out of everything I write. Today you get it undigested, and it just may look like that.

Between now and midnight I will talk about the part of my brain that’s being born again, convenient monsters, implicit believers and lazy atheists, making Quakers, hiding in plain sight, a 400-year-old secret atheist document, funerals, my disappearing kids, the things that piss me off most when atheists do them, and whether my wife has ever been an idiot (spoiler alert: no). I will make a big, cool announcement and write one post buck naked. I’ll share the one extremely common word in blog names that’s most likely to keep me from reading the blog (sorry), reveal my two degrees of separation from Lisa Simpson, and offer my opinion on the single best intro to freethought. I’ll say nice things about a minister and pissy things about a theologian, introduce you to my favorite blogger (who happens also to have been the first), and wish like hell we would pay more attention to Santa Claus.

I also plan to write off the top of my head about 10-12 hot secular parenting topics (i.e. topics of interest to hot secular parents).

Pray for me.

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Dale McGowan is the author of Parenting Beyond Belief, Raising Freethinkers, and Atheism for Dummies. He holds a BA in evolutionary anthropology and a PhD in music.