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Next Wednesday night, I’ll be giving a talk at Valparaiso University, and Jerry Davitch of the Post-Tribune did a nice write-up in anticipation of that event. The most interesting part, to me, is the bit about the person sponsoring the talk:

The lecture, free and open to the public, is hosted by the Valparaiso University Secular Student Alliance and the Northern Indiana Atheist Community. However, it’s underwritten by a well-known physician in this area who’s an atheist but still not comfortable going public with his beliefs. Or his nonbeliefs in this case.

This doctor, however, is a bit unusual because he was once a true believer in God and all things holy. Not anymore after “reading” himself out of heaven, he said.

Still, he thinks to reveal such a thing in public would be bad for business. Possibly career suicide. This is how fearful it is for many atheists in our God-fearing country. An estimated 7 percent of Americans admit they don’t believe in God, but less than half of those label themselves as atheists, according to Pew Research data.

For that reason, I hope religious people attend the talk, too. Even if we disagree about God, I would hope they support our right to speak up and speak out about our beliefs without fear of retribution. That goes both ways.

The talk is free and begins at 7:00p in Harre Union, Ballroom B.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.