Friday, October 26, 2012

Come join us on Freethinking Island!


Welcome to Freethinking Island! Where the prevailing winds of reason blow and the waves of evidence and logic flow!

Yes, last week was the first episode of "Freethinking Island" a podcast designed to bring the voice of Caribbean atheists, agnostics, humanists skeptics, freethinkers and whatever other species of non believer to the world. For a long time I have felt that notwithstanding the power that the written word can bring in highlighting our story in the islands, there is nothing more captivating than hearing the actual voices of those among us who have chosen to let go of God.

You can flip through any Christian based TV channel in the Caribbean and hear story after story of 'lost souls' who were 'set free' by Jesus and turned their lives around. Moving as these stories may be, for everyone of them, there are equally compelling accounts of people going in the other direction. Stories of individuals of all types, finding new purpose and drive in life after abandoning the faith that had previously held them in emotional and intellectual bondage. The problem is, nobody hears these stories.

At least until now.

'Freethinking Island' is seeking to change all that. In the last few years, I have come across many persons who have been 'set free' from religion, especially in the Caribbean. Now, on 'the island' you will get to hear these voices and realise that even in a part of the world where the rough seas of religion often mercilessly pound away at our shores; freethinkers with a different vision for what the islands could be are making their presence felt and taking a stand. I feel honoured to be now in a position that I can help them tell us of their experiences.

Helping me make this happen is Joy Holloway. She is the broadcast professional that has been guiding me through the ropes as a 'newbie.' I am learning fast that 'talk radio' is an entirely different challenge from writing blogs, but I am really relishing it. Joy is also very keen and  has a passion for reaching out to our people and getting Caribbean people to 'wake up' as she likes to put it.

Joy and I have a strange shared history in that we are not only both from the same island, Barbados, but  were in the same Sunday School class! We completely lost track of each other since then, only meeting up mere weeks ago through Facebook. Her journey has taken her since to New Jersey in the US and mine has led me to Calgary, Canada but we join forces now to promote the virtues of evidence, reason and critical thinking for the Caribbean. I hope that you will all join us on what promises to be  an exciting journey.

On 'the island' we also look forward to inviting  'tourists' from around the world. Leading voices that can bring an outside perspective and help to guide us as we start on this journey. At the same time we hope that our stories will enrich them and help them understand the challenges of  leaving faith for those of us that come from the region.

In the first episode we set out to give you a taste of what to expect in the weeks ahead and let you know who we are. I got into telling my own deconversion story and ended up going far deeper into things than I expected. I have to say it was cathartic and I was happy to get things out there in a way that I never had the opportunity to before. It means that I now have a one hour audio capsule that I can make available to anybody who wants to understand why, how, when or where I made the change.

Today I will leave that with you to listen to here. Having spoken to the public through written word for the last couple of years it was great to now be able to speak to listeners directly. I can only hope that others that join us on 'the island' will feel the same liberation as I did in sharing my story with the Caribbean and the world. Look out for Joy's story next time and make sure you keep tuning into 'the island' where the prevailing winds of reason blow!

Caribbean  Freethinkers' Society

This week has to go down as a memorable one for our secular movement in the Caribbean, because even as the podcast came online, there is now a new 'Caribbean Freethinkers' Society' blog/ website where the intention is to collate writings from many of the secular writers in our community in one place.  This will be another great resource and a 'one stop shop' for seeing what is going on in the region.

Great to see all this happening, I feel very proud to be part of a movement like this and I am grateful to all who have worked hard to make these initiatives happen. We have to rally around our West Indian freethinkers. We are by no means in the forefront of the world of non-believers yet, but at least we now have a team on the field and we are playing. We can only look to go from strength to strength.

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