THE BLOG
08/21/2014 05:01 pm ET Updated Oct 20, 2014

Freedom from Religion

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Photo: Artist Alan May and myself at an event for the SF Food Bank (photo by Blodwen Tarter)

I wrote "Losing My Religion" a scant 48 hours ago. Much has changed since the publication.

The next morning, I walked into the restaurant and was told that my services would no longer be needed.

I am okay with that. I really want to get involved with either a group looking for franchise concepts or a group currently franchising. I love opening new places, researching local markets and adapting a menu, and teaching staff. I am a great teacher. I am available September 7th.

I got seven death threats and several more promising me that their version of god would punish me. I did not contact the police as I don't think an 85-year-old man from Kentucky is truly going to do god a favor and send me to hell. I think I hit a nerve with a lot of angry believers.

My mother was attacked verbally and in writing. Understand she was battered as well. There were no TV gurus giving advice, no shelters we knew of, and no help from the church for her. She did the best she could until finally a minister told her that divorce was okay in her circumstance and then she turned into a LIONESS.

She literally worked three jobs to make sure her five kids were fed and cared for. I have enormous respect for her and blame her for nothing.

I don't blame god either, not any god. I could not blame god any more than I could blame Scarlett O'Hara. Though I have to say I have more respect for Scarlett.

If you read the comments you will see attacks, arguments, flame wars and other ugliness in the name of the gods of the commenters. They came on Twitter and email as well.

There was a huge misconception that it was anger at god that caused my lack of belief. It was not; it was education. I read all the Holy books, I visited the Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall and discovered they had a society who just made up answers to everything. How rich must the Watchtower be?

What truly convinced me was the Bible. Read it, cover to cover, and if you can still hold onto 'faith' after that, feel free.

I was writing from the perspective at the time. I am not some damaged angry person holding onto hate. I am a happy productive man who has a great life. I worked very hard to get over it, but I never forgot, not entirely.

My big sister came to my defense with some of the commenters. It made me remember how she used to stand up for me when I was younger. She taught me to read before even kindergarten. She was abused too, we all were, save my eldest brother. Yet despite his alignment with the abuser, I doubt he came out of it unscathed. We no longer know each other and have not spent much time together in decades.

I remembered things about my 'Grandma,' Bob's mother. The few times we stayed there I would find money and bank books hidden in the house. She was a bitter and sour woman. She too was a victim of abuse, and I wonder now if the money was her stash, her hope of getting away someday. She never did.

Every person with an alternative religion tried to convert me, they found me on Facebook, Twitter, email and yes, phone. I was even contacted by a vegan who told me removing meat from my life would remove anger... and also I would have clearer skin.

A few Christians tried to bring me 'back to the fold' telling me that I would be forgiven for my sins against god... no thanks.

And the love and support came from the non-believers and other abused children. Beautiful comments on Twitter and in social media. You want to know those with empathy and love, they are not likely in church.

Near the end of the day, I got a phone call from a dear friend just diagnosed with cancer. No deity gave him cancer to teach him a lesson. He knew better than to ask me to pray for him, but instead asked for positive thoughts which are equally, if not more effective.

And thus my day ended.

I do not blame, nor am I angry at anyone any longer. My life is my own, and I love it.