See? 6,923 words. Considering I was at 1,700 at the start of last night, that's not so bad, now, is it?
I'll be sending chapters out to all of you who requested them quite soon. For now, content yourselves with a snippet. This comes from Chapter One: Right. What's An Atheist? We're talking here about atheists in action, and it's my sad little attempt at categories:
Hidden atheists: Those who are flying under the radar for fear of what their friends, families, and communities will do to them if anyone ever discovers they're atheists. Hidden atheists are, shall we say, atheists with the potential to act on their atheism, even though at the moment they're not speaking out.
Trailblazing atheists: They've found the courage to speak out: on blogs, in communities, founding organizations, and in a myriad of other ways. Their example makes it possible for the hidden atheists to emerge, throw off the shame they've been made to feel at their lack of belief, and start putting their atheism to good use. The trailblazers prove it's possible to live a full and happy life without belief in the supernatural or the afterlife. They debunk a lot of the myths just by living openly as atheists, doing good works, taking care of others through love and shared humanity, and showing that losing faith doesn't mean you lose your sense of wonder at the beauty of the world. Every atheist who's not hidden in a trailblazer in some fashion.
Atheist Ambassadors: These atheists are natural mediators, who work to foster understanding and cooperation between the religious and godless. You'll find a lot of them in the ranks of organizations like Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. They strike a fairly moderate tone with the faithful. They're skilled at finding and emphasizing common ground. They often work to overcome the fear so many of the faithful feel when confronted with atheists.
Militant atheists: I hate that term, but a lot of them own it proudly, so in the book it goes. These are the atheists who work actively against religion: they try to deconvert the religious, tirelessly point out the dangers of religion, and argue passionately against the irrationality of faith. They may not go so far as to think of religion as an evil - although many do - but they envision a world where, if religion isn't eradicated, it's at least greatly reduced in importance. And they have an arsenal of evidence to show you that religion is uniquely capable of getting good people to do horrible things.
And yes, my darlings, those categories are prefaced AND followed by disclaimers explaining that this is a spectrum, and no one atheist is likely to fit only one category and no other, and I'll even whip up a nice little illustration to drive the point home when I'm done whipping out 50,000 words. I'm not trying to stuff us into restrictive little boxes, just make us somewhat comprehensible.
Actually, do. If you see the categories of atheists-in-action differently, by all means say so. Just remember I'm trying to keep it to four broad categories, not four thousand precise ones. While that would do wonders for my word count, it would really defeat the purpose of the book.
Keep in mind that the three broad types of atheist - Natural, Apathetic, and Dissonant, as enumerated here - have already been defined earlier in the chapter.
Right? Good. Then me and my aching brain are going to bed.