My name is Abel. It’s not my real name, but as it’s still not safe to speak openly about atheism, cults, and religious abuse, I hope you’ll understand my ‘nom de plume.’
I’ve been dreaming of this organization, ABEL, for a while. I’ve been disgusted by the Catholic sex abuse scandals, and know that clergy abuse isn’t restricted to Catholicism. I was raised in a Lutheran church and was seeking truth in some other religions and mystical cults before realizing that atheism, science, and skepticism gave me the most answers to reality, the best attitude to discover truth, and ultimately the greatest freedom from fear, superstition, and craving.
This organization will hopefully grow. My dream is that ABEL can grow to be a charity which can help those escaping cults or recovering from religious abuse. The Catholic Church has gone to great lengths to hide, deny, and discredit the children abused by Catholic priests. If I had the resources, I’d gladly pay for therapy, medical care, and a new life for those who have suffered from religious abuse. You see, even though I’m an atheist, I believe in ethics and the power of caring.
There are a few acronyms which fit ABEL. I chose ABEL because Abel in the Bible was the first main victim of religious abuse. His jealous brother killed him due to some delusional fantasy about a God and rituals to influence this invisible friend. It’s true that both Adam and Eve were also victims of religious abuse, if their story is to be believed. But Abel was their child, and it is the abused children which deserve the most help and compassion.
Other acronyms I have contemplated are:
- Atheist Believers in Ethical Love
- Atheist Believers in Ethics & Logic
- Atheist Believers in Ethics & Liberty
- Atheist Believers in Ethics & Law
But the most honest and open-ended of these seems to be Atheist Believers in Ethics & Love.
I’m starting this as one person, but hope it grows. ABEL is starting as a website, but will hopefully become a real Non-Profit Organization. I think there’s a need for it, a role for it. Frankly, I think there are many atheists out there who would like to have a charity to contribute to which makes a real difference in individual lives.
I donate recycling, clothing, and other household goods to our local Mission Homeless Shelter. I like the idea that homeless people can go there for a warm meal and perhaps inherit my old socks or pants when theirs are falling apart. I don’t like the fact that it’s a Christian proselytizing organization which makes people listen to Jesus myths before feeding them. But that’s not enough to stop me from wanting to support a charity which makes a real difference for some. I would feel better about a service which helps people recover from religious abuse and deprogram from cult brainwashing. So here it is.
Over the years, I’ve found many inspiring websites in late night surfing sessions. Reading fascinating, mind-expanding posts about religions, cults, science, skepticism… I still find myself looking for new material on these topics. The truth is, I’ve read enough. It’s time for me to share, to write, to help others. Hopefully some troubled minds will find this site during their own dark nights of seeking, and hopefully we can build some meaningful community to offer both hope and truth to those who need it most.