1. I think it's pretty arrogant to say, "If you don't come out as I have done, then you are hiding." People here definitely know who I am. My read name has been circulated a couple of times to those who needed it. And, frankly, if this guy had read my blog regularly, then he would know that.
2. He's an author pushing a book. Well, of course, you are going to put your real name out there! Otherwise, how will people find your book?
3. He completely ignores that, for some, coming out is still dangerous. There's nothing brave or courageous in coming out if it means you will lose your job, your children, your life, or any number of things that we cherish. A reader, who can self-identify in comments if he chooses, recently went through a nasty divorce. Despite that his ex-wife was an atheist at the time their children were born, she converted after the split. She told the judge that her husband was going to force the kids into atheism and this judge decided that was reason enough to deny the husband's request for joint physical custody. Standing up for who and what you are is admirable. But, there are consequences. Boy! Do I know that?! So, to flippantly say "I came out and so should you." is short-sighted.
4. He says,...
But what about other oppressed minorities whose members have had the courage to
take a risk, to stand up for what they believe? Should Rosa Parks have given up
her seat on the bus to a white person? Should women have agreed that they
weren't worthy of the right to vote? Should gays and lesbians stay in the closet
and suffer? What about Bertrand Russell's courage?
I may be dense, but I don't see how these examples relate to his "challenge". He's using emotion to prompt someone to come out. I find that ironic because he says that he knows atheists work from a grounded position with reason. So, why appeal to the emotional?
5. His blog is fairly new with few comments on the entries. And, he has a very generic list of blogs that he reads or subscribes to. I've chatted with some of the people who also received his e-mail and they've never heard of him before now.
6. You don't have to go by your real name to have an impact.
So...I know some of you are wondering why I'm not linking to his site. I have two reasons. One, I think he's only trying to drum-up an audience for his book. I'm not going to be a marketing tool for someone I don't know or a book I haven't read. If he wants to end me a copy of the book, then I'll read it and share my thoughts. I'll post a link...if the book is good. But, somehow...I'm guessing that won't happen. Not because he wouldn't do that, but because I'm pretty sure he's not actually reading the blogs he's claiming to have surveyed. I want to see if he really reads my blog or if he just spammed the first fifty hits in Google.