Friend a Day – Stephanie Zvan
CONvergence week continues here at Friend a day headquarters!
I met Stephanie when we were in the same play in college. I was nearly killed by a piece of scenery on opening night. That’s a different story.
After that show, I hardly saw her for years. It was only through the Skepchick/FreethoughtBlog events at CONvergence that we re-connected.
Stephanie is devoted to supporting social justice issues through her Almost Diamonds blog. She has become a target for a lot of internet hatred because she’s not willing to back away from an important fight. She’s openly critical of well known members of the atheist community like Richard Dawkins.
I can’t imagine how exhausting the abuse can become and yet Stephanie faces it with a sense of humor and, I think, the conviction that she is right.
When there is an issue that has me upset, I find that Stephanie frequently is commenting on exactly the thing that has me frustrated. Her thoughts are well researched and detailed. Certainly you can disagree with her but you can’t disagree with the effort she put into presenting a cogent argument.
She was a guest on Geeks Without God our first weekend and was one of the people who helped set the tone. We’ve had her back since to play the horrible Left Behind Board game. You have to have a little extra helping of respect for anyone who endured that game.
I remember working with Stephanie on that show all those years ago and even back then she had a ton of confidence you knew would get her through a lot. It is that strong sense of self that helps her keep saying things that make her a target for a lot of petty stupidity.
And that is something I don’t think the petty, stupid people have figured out. Being an asshole on the internet is easy. Fighting against the assholes is a lot harder.
I’m really proud to know someone who is fighting the assholes.
Friend a Day – Brianne Bilyeu
I’ve only called Brianne a friend for a couple of years now. We knew each other but it was only once I started co-hosting Geeks Without God that I began to grow more familiar with some of the prominent secular voices in my part of the country.
Because it impresses me, I’d like to tell you what Brianne does on weekends.
She goes to women’s health clinics and escorts patients past the protesters who are standing out front.
She walks women (and men) past crowds of people who are there to call them names.
I don’t care what side of the abortion debate you are on – what Brianne does is amazing. She stands up and defends those who have made a decision that is, to some, extremely unpopular. She shows them that there are people out there willing to sacrifice time so they might have some dignity at a very difficult time.
There are lot of other things I like about Brianne, but what she does so many weekend mornings is, to me, heroic.
Brianne blogs as Biodork on the Freethought Blog network. She blogs about social issues and atheism but she also does a lot of photoblogging. It makes her blog one of my favorites on the site. She has a voice that is one of my favorites and I always look forward to a new post.
As the result of appearing on Geeks Without God, Brianne is also responsible for introducing me to Lords of Waterdeep, which is only a problem because all I want to do is play *more* Lords of Waterdeep.
She’s one of my favorite sources for new games. Whenever we are at Omegacon together, she makes me play at least one new game that inevitably results in dropping several dollars at the Source one or two weeks later.
Finally, while I could say this about most of my friends, Brianne has one of the best smiles around. It is a smile that will brighten anyone’s day and it is a smile that she hardly ever puts away.
Brianne is a great friend and a great person. I’m glad that choosing to use my voice helped me to get to know hers.
What the Fuck is Wrong with People?
I wrote about the conversation surrounding Atheism Plus a few weeks ago. In general, I like the idea. I don’t think it needs to be all of what being an atheist is about (neither does anyone else) but I think it’s a good idea and I don’t understand the vitriol that is aimed at the people spearheading the idea.
That vitriol has managed to silence one of the voices behind that movement (at least for a time) and now I’m going to ask what the fuck is wrong with you people?
A Couple nice Blog entries about Geeks Without God!
By the time we were recording our fourth episode at CONvergence, I feel like the three of us were starting to figure out how to do our jobs. It has been over a month and we have finally posted that episode (which ended up being our sixth). I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out and so, it would seem, were our two guests.
Both Stephanie Zvan and Jason Thibeault have blogged about being on the podcast and while I really appreciate the signal boost, I am more appreciative that they enjoyed the experience and want to share it with others.
So hey – back at both of them! Stephanie’s blog is Almost Diamonds and Jason’s is Lousy Canuck. They are both over at FreethoughtBlogs and you should read what they have to say.