Hello and welcome to She Seeks Nonfiction! I’m Rebekah. Allow me to introduce myself…
My (Christian) Background (1995-2018)
I spent my first twenty years living a Christian life. I was raised in the conservative Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, and even though I never really believed in God, I was so accustomed to being surrounded by Christians that I attended Grove City College, a small private liberal arts college an hour north of my home in Pittsburgh, PA. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Design and concentrations in Writing, but to be honest, I felt like I spent most of my time there being preached at. There were mandatory chapel credits and several required religion classes… and even the “normal” classes (for example, editing class) that were saturated with Christian ideas.
The Closet Atheist (2016-2018)
To deal with the stress of living a Christian life with an atheist mind, I started this blog in November of 2016, when I was a junior in college. I named it The Closet Atheist, and I “named” myself that, too. No one was to know about my secret atheist blog, so for years I wrote without ever sharing my name, face, college, or location. I was known only as The Closet Atheist, and behind that mask I was able to write however I felt about my stifled life.
Coming Out (2018)
Ironically, but not surprisingly, while I went under the name The Closet Atheist, I was coming out as atheist to the people I knew, one person at a time. Once everyone in my life knew I was an atheist, or even an atheist blogger (I found out the hard way that nothing is private when it’s publicly on the Internet), I felt that The Closet Atheist wasn’t accurate for me or my blog. This was especially the case once I graduated from Grove City in May of 2018 and married my amazing atheist husband Johnathan in November later that same year.
The Curious Atheist (2019-2020)
In May 2019, I officially changed my blog’s name from The Closet Atheist to The Curious Atheist, and I decided to share my real name (and new last initial!)—Rebekah K—on here! I was so happy to finally be thriving as an atheist and living life on my own terms. I had begun to read as much as I could by this point, having read several books arguing for or against the existence of God. As time went on, however, I started feeling more comfortable creating content on more topics than just atheism. I had begun writing in the first place to find solace away from the religion I was drowning in, but now that I was entirely out of the water, I no longer needed that solace.
She Seeks Nonfiction (2020-present)
During my time writing for The Curious Atheist, my appetite for science started running wild. I started learning everything I could about the study of human origins (paleoanthropology), and I discovered the incredible works of Carl Sagan. Soon I was so excited about the natural world and the history of science that I noticed I was barely talking about atheism at all. I still appreciate the importance of calling out religious bigotry and pseudoscience, but I realized that the problem isn’t all religion, it’s religion when it is used as a weapon. I knew that the word “atheist” can scare religious people away, even if those people are progressive.
So here we are. My current blog title, She Seeks Nonfiction, emphasizes the positivity, not the negativity, of my writing. My blog has become my place to write whatever is on my mind, discuss whatever book is in my hands, and encourage everyone to question more than just religion.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State (2022-present)
Life is crazy. I’m serious. After five years of blogging, noted atheist journalist Hemant Mehta, whose YouTube videos prompted me to start my blog in the first place, emailed me out of the blue in May 2021 asking me to write for him on the Friendly Atheist Blog after being impressed with my work on my own blog! I believe it was my work with Hemant on his Patheos blog, and later on OnlySky Media, that made the amazing folks at Americans United for Separation of Church and State take a chance on me even with my less-than-impressive Grove City education.
I have been the graphic designer for Americans United for Separation of Church and State since late September of 2022, at which time I inevitably slowed down my blogging. AU’s mission perfectly combines my passion for human rights with my disdain for Christian Nationalists and the harm they cause. Working with AU to create change, such as fighting abortion bans and raising awareness of Christian Nationalism to a wider audience, means that I don’t rely solely on this blog for my activism. So while my blogging has slowed, my passion has not.
If you want to meet me and see my work in action, I invite you to join me for AU’s annual Summit for Religious Freedom, happening every spring.