About Nate Pratt

34 year old dude. I've been in fistfights and have had at least one brush with death. I once got hit in the mouth with a lead pipe and it hurt pretty bad. Don't do drugs.

What I’ve Learned After 6 Years of Godlessness – AKA “Dogmas, bruh.”

Technically, it wasn’t after 6 years. More like 2 years, but it’s taken me 4 years to finally write this down.

So, prepare yourselves for this mind blowing truth bomb that comes with a heaping pile of anecdotal evidence gathered personally and through discussions with others.

The truth I’ve learned after 6 years of walking away from belief is that just about everyone requires belief in something bigger than themselves.


Less because of the validity of “god shaped holes in our hearts”, but because of plain old fashioned tribalism and fear.

Be it politics, science, social justice causes or straight up theism, everyone clings to their own dogmas.

Having personally been raised in a church and by conservative parents, I’d assumed once I left belief and walked into a new community of people, that I’d be awash in open minded free thinkers.

I was wrong.

It took some doing, but once the newness of weak atheism/agnosticism rubbed off, I felt like Saul in the book of Acts when the scales fell from his eyes and he could again see clearly.

These atheists I’d assumed would be less likely to blind spots in their thinking were every bit as emotionally tied to their beliefs as the christian fundamentalists they raged against seemingly without end.

This mostly seemed to take the form of political worship of the left in varying degrees of  severity. To even entertain the idea of conservative thinking meant you were, by default, a racist homophobe that hates women.

The God of Government is the new deity and the only holy denomination is leftism.

Gag me.

I wonder what atheists would think of one of their heroes, Christopher Hitchens, if he were still alive today.

While many an atheist will send you endless YouTube clips of people getting “Hitchslapped” (see video below) by Christopher, those same people seem to forget that Hitchens was a pro-life conservative.

In today’s extreme political tribalism, I think even Hitchens, with all his oratory skill, could get swallowed alive by the gaping maw of the left.

You see, to be a conservative atheist puts you in a rather small section of an already small group, but to throw pro-life in there, too, well now you’re sitting at a corner table of a hot wedding tent next to the port-a-jons where nobody can see or hear your cries for fresh air.

Atheists, it seems, are a monolith of political leftists that worship the state.

And they all have iPhones. Weird.

Science is another thing people really get into when you leave religion.

Did you know that we’re all stardust?! DID YOU KNOW THAT?!

That means like, that we’re all stars and connected and part of a larger piece of the universe!

These people will post endless Neil deGrasse Tyson videos and talk about how glad they are that when they die, their essence goes back to the universe. An endless cycle of death and life!

These are also the people that like to point out how improbable something is in a sci-fi movie because it’s not realistic.

I know I’m taking the piss out of large groups of people, but this is how I see it.

Maybe it’s easy for me to poke fun at these groups because I’m so whatever about most everything.

My wife once, I believe, correctly summed former believers up so I’m going to paraphrase here and omit all her swears because she’s such a potty mouth:

“The type of believer someone was is probably the type of non-believer they’ll be. If you were On Fire for Christ, you’re probably obsessed with science now. If you were a hardcore Republican, you’ve probably flipped to Democrats.”

Based on what I’ve seen and learned. I think she nailed it.

Lucky for me I was a lukewarm Christian, so I’m a lukewarm weak atheist.


We live. We die. We should try to not be assholes during that period.

Avoid groupthink and ideologies where you can. If someone isn’t hurting another party, let them do their thing.

Let’s take everything with a nuanced approach and go from there.

Except iPhones. Those should go where Steve Jobs did.



35 Years Old and Half Dead

So, this is it? Pretty much halfway there give or take.

Feeling good. Feeling pretty good.

Fighting to keep my hair from leaving me. The laugh lines are ever deeper and ‘The Battle of the Gut’ is always in full swing, neither side willing to relinquish control over the geographic location known as my tummy.

I have 2 wonderfully funny, kind and affectionate children and a wife that still thinks I’m pretty funny, if not still a little too crass at times.

I feel a good bit less about some things than I used to and an overwhelming amount more about things I’d never considered.

I’m more or less tired most of the time and figure people are, usually, good individually, but terrible in groups.

I still enjoy nothing more than laughing until I cry and cherish time with my friends as we bend elbows at a local place of delicious brown beverages that make me laugh harder and louder than normal.

I’ve lost some people I loved immensely and miss them daily, but have been blessed with more love because of it.

Been in more fistfights in my life than your average next 2 or 3 guys combined. Done some walloping of my peers and also had the shit kicked out of me.

My cage is generally rather hard to rattle, but I still fear leaving my family early more than anything else on this floating rock.

I’ve rather enjoyed this first 35 years and am looking forward to seeing what happens in the next 35 should I be so lucky to make it there.

5 Years On, It’s the Small Things that Mattered Most

Today at 12:48 PM, my brother will have been dead for 5 years.

This particular day doesn’t feel any more special or worthy of note than any others, but here I am, making note of it. Probably more out of habit than anything else.

Five years on and I’ve realized it’s the small things that have left the largest impact on me since Phil’s passing. How people around me reacted at a low point has taught me a great deal about loving others.

Patti, the receptionist at work who heard me lose it on the phone when I got the news, who came over to me and rubbed my back with one hand back and forth slowly, gently as I cried at my desk. She cried with me as I packed my things to go be with my family.

Jeff, a good friend that was walking into the hospital as I pulled up to it, who simply sat with me in silence and waited patiently for me to say it was okay that he go home to his family.

Brandon, a dear friend that drove 4 hours to be there at the funeral and embraced me like a brother.

An uncle that, to this day, sends me “head check” texts on the anniversary of Phil’s death as well as on Phil’s birthday.

Seemingly endless amounts of people that showed up to the visitation and offered kind words and cooked meals for our family.

Almost daily messages in the weeks and months that followed of people talking about Phil and sharing funny stories.

Others reached out and offered sage advice on dealing with loss. One such friend even shared how he was able to grieve after he lost an infant to SIDS.

Loss, it seems, has the ability to expand love in this world as well as end it. I count myself blessed for having received an overflowing amount of it.

I share all of this now as a poor way of saying thanks to those that have lifted me up in low moments.

Having been shown such kindness and grace from family and friends, it further cements in my mind that it’s the small things that matter most in life.

A gentle hand. A warm smile. A strong embrace. Kind words. Being present.

These things matter.

Agnosticism > Atheism (and Theism)


With as much as I generally don’t like to run, you’d think I was running some crazy ass marathon for the amount my intellectual landscape has shifted over the last 5 years.

From lifelong believer to outspoken atheist full of venom to an atheist that’s just live and let live to now just a plain old boring lacks the balls to take a firm stance agnostic.

Continue reading

A Death, A Loss of Faith, A Baby, A Divorce and A Wedding


The Pratt boys from today’s wedding – Me, Dad, Masen and Jay

Today my father got married to a very nice woman named Gayle. Gayle’s a very sweet lady that adores my father and he, in turn, loves her dearly. By all accounts and from every way I look at it, they’re going to be very happy together and will serve each other well. I couldn’t be more thrilled.

But as I stood on stage with my dad, my older brother, Jason, and one of my father’s dearest friends, Mark, I was hit with a very sudden and unexpected crushing sadness. I was thrilled for my father and Gayle, but it hit me up there on stage, listening to my dad swear vows to a woman that isn’t my mom, that this was the climax and finale of the death of my brother.

If my brother dying suddenly on May 16th 2012 was the start of a new book in my life, today, with my dad marrying Gayle, was the end of that book. A final punctuation mark on a rather tumultuous 4 years summed up perfectly with, “You may now kiss the bride.”

After Phil died my immediate family, a once shockingly close knit group, was thrown headlong into uncharted territory which resulted in my mom hating my father, me losing religion and having a baby girl, begging my father to divorce my mother and finally with my dad marrying Gayle. (Certain drama left out because well….I don’t want to share it.)

The only constant in all of this is that my brother hasn’t been here for any of it. While I should’ve seen it coming, it was today, over 4 years after Phil’s death and a good 3 and a half years of being totally numb to almost all emotional pain that I was brought to tears and forced to again face the realities that Phil has missed everything and will always miss everything.

Would my parents have divorced if he hadn’t died? Would I still be a happy member of the Christian village? If my parents divorced, would my dad have met and fallen in love with Gayle?

Phil is both the missing component in all of these events as well as the very likely reason any of these things are happening.

So, it was with both great joy and sadness that I hugged my father and Gayle and wished them the best of luck in their new life together.

I just wish Phil was there to give dad a hard time and to take pictures with us again.

This is all probably his fault anyways.

The only picture of all the Pratt boys in existence – Me, Jay, Masen, Phil and Dad


Why Immortality is so Boring


There was a time when I couldn’t imagine my life, or afterlife, without the reality of living forever in some form. In one way or another, in some form or another, Nate Pratt was going to live forever.

What a terrifying thought.

Why does the thought of eternity, something that brings comfort to billions, bring me such fear? In a word: Time.

Time, friends, is what gives life meaning. Time is what allows us an appreciation of relationships and goals. Time is what permits us to evaluate what is most important in our lives by deciding where we put our most precious and limited resource.

Time is the most valuable commodity any of us have and whether you like it or not, where you decide to put your time says a great deal about what’s important to you. You will not be able to buy more time. Nobody is selling sand to refill our figurative hourglasses.

If all people had access to some form of immortality or infinite time, time would become meaningless as well as our goals and relationships. When you have an eternity to do anything or be with people, where does the significance  of that goal or relationship go?

By me choosing to spend time with you freely, I’m carving out space in my limited life to build something valuable between us. I’m telling you, in an indirect way, that you’re valuable.

When I write on my blog or take time to tell a joke, it’s because these things are important to me. I’m attempting to pass along some kernel of thought to make you look at something in a way you hadn’t before or I’m trying to illicit a laugh to make you feel well and myself, selfishly, validated.

The pains of death are the ultimate proof of what I’m saying. For those of us that have felt the utter depths of agony in the sudden and unexpected loss of a loved one, we’re only able to feel these pains because we know what it means to love and cherish someone.

We feel that terrible because we know what it means to feel the opposite of that in love. The pain is a testament to how much and how capable we love or fellow man. What an amazing gift.

Death, as much as it hurts, is proof of the value of time. If death were written off, there’d be no more appreciation for life and with that, much of what we cherish and find beautiful would leave as well.

Or to put it as beautifully and succinctly as I once heard in a movie:

“The sweet just isn’t as sweet without the sour.”

How true of life and death.

Time gives us the highs and lows, victories and defeats that immortality couldn’t dare bless us with.

Let me be clear, I’m not looking forward to death or am pretending to enjoy the idea that one day my consciousness will end, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t treasure the many benefits and appreciations limited time grants.

So the next time we hang out, I’d really appreciate a hug or a thanks for granting you some of my precious limited time. I promise I’ll return the favor because let’s face it, immortality would be such a bore.

Can An Atheist Do Church?


For a good while now, I’ve immensely enjoyed having 2 day weekends. I work Monday through Friday and, generally, don’t work weekends unless my shop is busy during outage season, but even then, it’s not a common occurrence.

When I was a regular church attendee and worked this same schedule, I had a 2 day weekend, but largely felt cheated out of the 2nd day. Why? Well, you’ve got stuff to do! You’ve got to wake up and make yourself look presentable and get your ass to church!

From wake up to walk back in the door of your house, you’re looking at a minimum of a solid couple of hours removed from your “free” day. Since I did this 5 times a week already, a 6th time is a drag, especially when there’s so much other stuff I could be doing, but leaving the church has allowed me to fully enjoy the 2 day weekend! Continue reading