An entertainment weekly recently wrote a story about my show at First Baptist Church in Denver in November. I provided a photo, and loved the caption they gave it: “Thea Deley, a new face of atheism.”
The article focused on the partnership the church’s minister, Brian Henderson, and I had forged around our shared belief that LOVE is where it’s at.
A couple days after the article came out, my partner Mike said about 40 people had commented on it. Exciting! I made a cup of tea and sat down to read them.
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (Me, I Guess)
The comments started off logically enough — people actually discussing the topic of the article, namely atheism and religion in America, and correcting the journalist on a couple of points.
One guy called Atheists like me “crybabies,” “bullies” and “fascists,” and advised us to “Keep your beliefs to yourself.”
That’s cool — at least we’re talking about the topic at hand, right?
And then, the comments devolved into two Jewish men flinging Old Testament verses at each other, one to prove the existence of his “G-D” and the other to show the ludicrousness of such a being.
And finally, some dude made the most poignant comment of all:
Listen I’m not naive — I know the relative anonymity of the Internet brings out the worst in people sometimes. I also know I’m putting myself out there with a play about my recovery from Christianity, and I can expect some kind of backlash.
But my TEETH for fuck’s sake?
I do have a theory about this that ties it in with religion. Katha Pollitt says it best:
“The subordination of women has historically been one of the main purposes of religion. It’s the original rulebook for patriarchy.”
And strangely, this video made me feel better about the teeth guy. Because come on people! If POWERFUL women, BEAUTIFUL women, INTELLIGENT women are routinely belittled, I’m in good company!