Hemant Mehta is creating
Friendly Atheist Blog, Videos, and Podcast
Because a rational outlook is worth spreading
2 Milestone Goalsreached
There are certain topics that aren't covered as much as I'd like to see on the website, mostly because my writers and I don't have the expertise needed to cover them. If we reached this goal, I would love to bring on additional writers, in various niches, who can contribute posts on a regular basis. (*NOTE*: I have already begun doing this slowly with the revenue so far, but the more money Patreon brings in, the more contributors I can bring on.)
Commission longform pieces
There are several articles I've wanted to write (or want others to write for the site) that require research and/or travel. These would be lengthier pieces that don't need to rely on pageviews to make up what they cost to develop. I would love to run one of these per month and pay the writers something worthwhile for their contributions. (This may take more or less money that the milestone suggests, but I'll adjust it as necessary.)
Create an online magazine
I would love to curate periodic collections of longform articles about atheism-related topics. This would involve paying writers, editing the pieces, hiring a designer to make it all look beautiful, and setting up a system where people could order the final product. (This may take more or less money that the milestone suggests, but I'll adjust it as necessary.)
Writer. Blogger. YouTuber. Podcaster. Teacher. More details over there on the right.
Naperville, IL, USA
Top PatronsSee all 122
Who the hell are you?I'm Hemant Mehta (pronounced HEH-mint MEH-tuh). During the school year, I'm a National Board Certified high school math teacher and serve as head coach of our school's forensics/Speech team. I graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with degrees in Mathematics and Biology and obtained my Masters in Math Education from DePaul University. I've worked with the Center For Inquiry and the Secular Coalition for America. I've also served as chair of the Secular Student Alliance and currently chair the Foundation Beyond Belief. I'm vegetarian. My initials are HAM. I also have a Wikipedia page. My ex-girlfriend once edited it to say I received no love as a zygote. I didn't notice for months. It has since been changed back.
Uh-huh. But do you BLOG?I do! For nearly a decade, I've been writing about atheism at FriendlyAtheist.com, which is now on the Patheos network. The site publishes several items every day, hosts a team of excellent contributors, and receives millions of pageviews each month. It has been cited in multiple books and media reports and takes up 98% of my waking life when I'm not at work. Sometimes, I write and eat simultaneously to save time. The people at the local Jimmy John's know my name. (I tell them it's "Bob." It's just easier that way.)
That's nice. Got anything tangible to show for your "activism"?I've written a few books! I Sold My Soul on eBay (WaterBrook Press, 2007) documents my journey visiting Christian churches around the country. I once went on a TV show to promote it and the host accidentally said it was a bestseller. Since anything people say on television is true, that means I've written a bestselling book. Suck on that, Malcolm Gladwell. The Young Atheist's Survival Guide (Patheos Press, 2012) is all about the struggles young atheists face and how all of us (parents, teachers, friends, etc.) can support them. Someone gave it a 1-star review on Amazon because it assumes "God's nonexistence." I did not find that review helpful. The Friendly Atheist: Thoughts on the Role of Religion in Politics and Media (Hyperink, 2013) is a compilation of several of my blog posts dealing with topics such as politics, LGBT issues, and religion in public schools. You may think you can just read these posts for free on my website. You may be correct.
Meh. I don't read. What else you got?I create videos for a popular YouTube channel called The Atheist Voice. One of the videos has over 1,000,000 views and all of the videos have comments about the thickness of my eyebrows. I've also appeared on CNN, Fox News Channel (really), and several other media outlets to talk about religion. So far, no shouting matches. Success! And thanks to Patreon supporters, I was able to begin a podcast called the Friendly Atheist Podcast in the summer of 2014. It took a long time to come up with that name. Don't bother asking about the acronym.
You're a teacher. You must be filthy rich. Why are you here?It takes a substantial investment of time to write/edit posts for the website, get the videos prepared for YouTube, and tape podcasts. My work colleagues tutor and teach summer school and take on second jobs... but I do this. I also pay my contributors for their work on the site because they deserve it. Many people have wondered if there's any way to help support these endeavors, and I felt this was a perfect way to facilitate that. Also, it's so much better than throwing more ads on my site.
I gave all my money to the guy making potato salad. Now what?Everything except the books will continue to be available for free. The donations just help keep them going and give me the opportunity to work on new ways to spread atheism, promote critical thinking, and save the world. But, you know, potato salad is nice, too.
Okay, I found my wallet. How much do you want?Anything helps, but keep in mind that the money goes right back into these projects. (I'm not pocketing the cash, going to Vegas, and betting it all on one spin of the Roulette wheel. That's what my teaching salary is for.) All of the reward levels are below, though you're welcome to support what I'm doing without asking for anything in return. God will reward you in the afterlife for that.
Specifically, here's what I'm offering in exchange for your generosity (all levels also receive rewards from the lower amounts):
$1/month — You'll get my non-eternal gratitude!
$5/month — You'll possess the knowledge that you're supporting a worthwhile cause!
$10/month — I'll send you a handwritten card thanking you for your contribution!
$25/month — I'll throw in a signed copy of I Sold My Soul on eBay!
$50/month — You will receive a personal video thank-you. I might dance in it.
$100/month — You'll also get first access to new content in the future and we'll set up a time to chat over Skype.
If you still have questions, then just email me through Patreon or directly at Mpromptu@gmail.com. That's the same email address my mom has for me. And I'd much rather get emails from people who are thinking about giving me money than another crazy-font-filled chain letter from 1997. (Love you, mom.)