Sometimes it’s Hard to Just Keep Going

"Hard to Keep Going" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Hard to Keep Going” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

I had an interesting morning yesterday morning. I’m an early riser, but that morning was difficult. I have a lot of work to do. I have a plan:

I’m going to put myself more out there.

And that scares me a little. Why? Because I know it will draw more fire, more criticism, and more attempts to shame me.

Have you read the amazing book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson? That book personally resonated with me because I have been attacked for doing what I do. Doing what I love to do. Publicly shamed. It’s ugly. It hurts. And sometimes it’s hard to just keep going.

I’m not alone. Just being online and expressing your opinion will invite attacks.

So what did I do, lying there in bed at 6:30am trying to get up? I thought about other people who just kept, or just keep going in spite of opposition. I thought about other people who live under constant critique and criticism. I got inspired by other people who just keep going in spite of all the odds.

Because… it’s about the work!

I enjoy and am passionate about what I do. Through my cartoons and art, and through my writing, I critique what’s wrong with religion. I analyze what’s troublesome about the church. I also provide a safe place for people to deconstruct their beliefs and their relationship to the church, and to evolve spiritually and independently. I believe in it. It’s good work. And I will keep going in spite of the opposition and bullying I receive.

Because… it’s about the work!

So, I got out of bed and got to work.


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8 Responses

  1. Denise says:

    Keep going David! This generation may shame you, but the ones to come will thank you as more and more people come to realize that Christianity is nothing more than mythology, tradition and culture………… 2 cents worth?

  2. LOL Denise. I like the way you said that.

  3. Kelly Westover says:

    And I thank you, David, for keep on keeping on! You inspire and comfort, and I am so grateful for the safe spaces you have created for us disenchanted folk. In turn, I wish we could protect you from all the ugliness somehow. THANK YOU!

  4. Thanks Kelly. Maybe I wouldn’t be who or where I am without the adversity and adversaries.

  5. Caryn LeMur says:

    As I recall, you were ‘shamed publically’ for not fully explaining your use of the term ‘safe space’.

    You do give a ‘safe space for deconstruction and reconstruction’ within TLS. And, unfortunately, imo people thought you supplied a ‘safe space’ for only deconstruction (that is, only for leaving religion).

    You allow venting. You allow thinking. You allow people to ‘wonder out loud’ about all that they were taught in their religious training.

    You allow atheists, believers, agnostics, and movement from one camp to the other.

    You ask for people to share their stories, and be open to others have far different stories.

    You allow them to simply talk about the passages of life: divorce, children leaving home, alternative marriages, and the simple joy of finding a job.

    You allowing them to have a voice that is not beaten down, has imo, helped them heal immensely, and learn to trust the philosophical path(s) they are exploring.

    Keep up the good work, David.

  6. Thanks Caryn. I get and have gotten attacked for more than that. Including about TLS. From some of the same people. It is extremely exhausting. But I’ve realized if I want to do the work I do then I cannot give up. I have to press on in spite of the adversity I face. I’m not trying to be a hero. It’s just that the only other option is to hide out in my cave. And I don’t want to do that.

  7. Caryn LeMur says:

    No hiding in the cave! Lol! We need more humor and laughter, and thoughtful ‘kick-offs’ that start interesting conversations.

    That is why NP matters. With a wink, you make a cartoon… and with a laugh, several of us start some wonderful conversations.

    And from NP, some visit TLS.

    And in TLS, they encounter a culture of mutual respect while changing their philosophy in any direction they wish to explore.

    NP will always be attacked; and some of our conversations here (in NP) are a bit rough and tumble. And that is OK. That is one of joys of life.

    TLS will always be attacked from without, by outsiders. And a few insiders will self-explode, or attack others. And that is OK. That is one of the joys of life.

    I love working for my employer. But they are not for everyone. We have a corporate culture – and not everyone can operate within it.

    It is no different in NP or TLS or …. you name it.

    So, press forward. Draw your cartoons. Kick off the ball to start the game.

    No cave for you! LOL!

  8. Oh I’m going to keep my cave for retreats.