Woozle was right.
We're not done yet. There's some cleaning up to do - atheist bios to add, a bibliography and list of resources to complete - but for the most part, this is the finished first draft. It never would have happened without your help, input and encouragement.
Copies will be going out in a few days to those of you who requested one (it's not too late - if you've decided you want an advanced peek, email me at dhunterauthor at yahoo dot com). Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to tear the damned thing apart. Help me improve the arguments, clean up the messy bits, cut the repetition, and kick this into shape. The goal is to make this catch a publisher's eye, so that we'll have one more tome on the shelves to swell out our paltry little atheism section. Either that, or bookstores will stick it smack in the middle of Christianity, which will be just as satisfying.
Nothing really outstanding emerged from tonight's writing - it was a matter of filling in the holes - but I'll give you this bit from the beginning, where I'm showing folks we can get along before I start smacking them with the common mistakes Christians make in conversation with us:
WHAT WE CAN DO TOGETHER
Atheists and Christians have already started talking. Not just that, they've started doing. In the past, we worked together on projects like abolishing slavery, advocating civil rights, and earning women the right to vote. We're working together today on all sorts of issues. There are plenty of areas where religious belief doesn't matter so much as shared ideals.
I want to highlight a few of the efforts and organizations out there that specifically and explicitally foster cooperation between believers and non-believers alike. We're not only united around shared ideals, we're united around the idea that we each bring unique strengths to our efforts to enrich and improve the world.
Many of us are also united in our desire to protect religious freedom. The following examples should give you an idea of what we can accomplish when we come together.
I go on to cite Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, Talk to Action, the National Center for Science Education, a foodbank project between freethinkers and a Christian group, and a talk given by the Friendly Atheist at the Interfaith Youth Core Conference. It's a pretty good range of examples, I think.
Thank you all again for making this book not only a possibility, but a very likely success. You guys are teh awesome.
Best of luck to the rest of you who are in the final stretch of NaNoMadNess today. Once again, I find myself wishing we had a real cantina so I could be there with the drinkage for you after you've crossed the finish line.
You can do this. I don't have faith in gods, but I have faith in you.