When I announced on Facebook that I was going to do an article based on my interview with YouTuber Rachel Oates, some people were excited yet a little surprised. I’m a devout Christian and Rachel is a very outspoken Atheist. For those of you that have read my blog before (hi there!), you’ll know that I strive to reach out to different people (not just YouTubers) with a wide range of views and/or beliefs, but I need to connect with them on some level. If I don’t feel any connection whatsoever, then I don’t know what could be gained from having a conversation. Don’t get me wrong, I love being challenged, but if I know it’ll just be a long argument, then again, what’s the point?
Just like everyone else on this blog, I felt a connection with Rachel through her content. I found her to be an intellectual, funny, pretty and such a delight to watch. Yes, we disagree on some major things such as Religion, but I always felt like she’s been non-judgmental with her content. That’s important to me. This is another reason why I felt the need to reach out to her and interview her -that and I wanted to challenge myself and open up a dialogue with someone intelligent who had a different opinion.
I tried to do an interview with Rachel at one time with her a few months ago but wasn’t able to follow through because I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and I was going through a difficult time. Not only did Rachel completely understand, but when we did the interview she made sure I was doing OK. I can’t tell you what that meant to me. Thank you, Rachel.
I asked Rachel how she got started on YouTube, and she told me that she never meant for it to be a full-time job. It was after she had graduated from college (or Uni, as they call it in the U.K.) and was working for a social marketing team that she started casually vlogging about makeup and fashion. Around this time her boyfriend, Dan told her that she could do this full-time. Unsure, she gave herself six months to see. Luckily, it worked out, because she ended up getting 40,000 subscribers! That right there, made her realize that she should be doing this full-time.
She told me it was around the six month testing period when she stopped doing her makeup and shopping vlogs. Rachel wanted to talk about atheism, critical thinking and making people laugh. I told her that as a Christian myself, I enjoy her content. I assured her that I’m not trying to convert her, but I felt that it was important to let her know that we’re not all homophobic like Girl Defined. (Watch one of her many excellent videos about that here.) We discussed the difference between what Paul said and what Jesus said. For instance, Paul talked about homosexuality, but Jesus never mentioned it, nor did he talk about premarital sex. Paul talked about a woman cutting her hair, but Jesus did not. Rachel understood completely where I was going and agreed. From there, she mentioned the rules about not eating shellfish and not wearing clothing with more than two pieces of fabric woven together. We happily agreed with each other that a lot of these “rules” are irrelevant!
I want Christians to know that when Rachel does her atheist videos, this isn’t coming from a place of hate. Rachel doesn’t come from a religious background and has always been a woman of science. Just like many people who are big into that field, Rachel wants proof there is a God, and she doesn’t see that there is one. I told her that I was on a podcast called Hope After Faith (Great Podcast!) in which I said that I believe that atheists go to Heaven as long as there’s no evil in their heart and they aren’t murdering anyone. I told Rachel that I don’t believe God has a book that He keeps and goes, “Oh, you didn’t do this little thing right here, you’re going to Hell!” Rachel agreed that many Christians do seem to disagree on what type of God they believe in and I told her that I was always taught to believe in a loving God. Rachel liked hearing that.
I mentioned her video in which a man who claims to be Christian justified staying in an abusive relationship because it’s “Biblical.” I told Rachel that I didn’t want to say too much because it’s still hard on me, but I thanked her for making her video, telling people like him to stop justifying abuse. I then told her about my friend that was in an abusive relationship and that it didn’t have a happy ending. Rachel said compassionately, “Sorry about your friend.” I thanked her. It was a very sweet moment. So Rachel, once again, thank you.
I then told her how much I love her video about the Pearls and her reviews on their books. One of the reasons why I won’t watch Fuller House is that Candace Cameron Bure uses Debi Pearl’s disciplinary guide on her children (which turned out to be the book I’m about to mention) and my response was, “Nope, nope, nope.” I asked her what got her into reviewing their books. She said that someone she knew suggested a book by Debi. As Rachel read one of Debi’s books, she did her research and couldn’t believe what she found on their website! This is where she found the horrifying book written by her husband, Mike Pearl, To Train Up a Child. That’s when Rachel knew she needed to review that book. (I highly recommend you watch the video. I warn you though, it’s intense.) I told her that I enjoyed her review. We talked about how awful their disciplining is and she said sincerely, “Those poor children.” I agreed and we went on to talk about the children who have died as a result of the Pearls’ advice! I’m glad there are wonderful people like Rachel out there calling them out.
I asked her what made atheism the route she felt like she needed to go. (I reassured her that I wasn’t trying to convert her.) Rachel was cool with the question and said that she didn’t grow up in a religious family or around religion and that she’s always been a person that feels like she needed proof of someone or something’s existence. That’s just who she is, and her boyfriend Dan has always been the same way.
I asked how she and Dan met. It was a very lovely story! The two of them were in the same college as one another but didn’t know each other for a while. One night Rachel was in a dorm room at a party with her friends and Dan was there with his friends as well. Their groups were “party hopping” that evening and their groups kept winding up in the same places. What’s cute is that at first, Rachel thought Dan was kind of a jerk because he has a very distinguished accent and she thought he had a bit of an ego by the way that he talked to her. Turns out, Dan spent a lot of time in growing up Brazil, Singapore and India so he has a pretty strong accent in his voice when he talks that’s not very British, which might make him sound like he’s full of himself, but that’s just the power of what one’s accent can do! Anyway, as I was saying, the two of them kept bumping into each other all night, and they were the sober ones out of their group of friends. Dan and Rachel started talking and agreed that they didn’t want to be up all night partying. But, they ended up staying up until 6 A.M. watching Doctor Who clips on her phone because they found out they’re both fans of the series! Once 6 A.M. hit, someone approached them in the dorm room and asked why they were still there at 6. Rachel and Dan realized they had lost track of time, exchanged numbers and became best friends very quickly after that. A relationship didn’t happen right away. Dan had just gotten out of a relationship with a girl who hadn’t been good to him, so it was good that they took their time. It was three months into their friendship that they were dancing at a club when Dan looked at her and said, “I think I’m falling in love with you.” Rachel wanted to chat about it, they did and agreed to start dating. (I told you it was a lovely story!)
Speaking of Doctor Who, I freaked when I found out that they’re fans of the show! I told her that I have a thing for Peter Capaldi and that I’ve liked Billie Piper since I was a teen. Rachel said that she always liked her, too! I then shared with her that when my husband and I were dating, we were watching the premiere episode with Christoper Eccleston as the Doctor and I told him I was already a fan of Billie. My husband responded by saying, “You know who she is?!” (For those of you don’t know about Doctor Who, basically the series continued with Christopher Eccleston after it went on hiatus from 1989-2005.) Rachel and I talked about how much we loved Billie’s song, “Because We Want To”! (Ah, memories!)
I got to know some interesting tidbits about Rachel, like the fact that she’s a geek such as myself, that she likes DC more than Marvel, and that has more male friends than friends than female. I asked her if there was a specific reason why she preferred guys to girls. She said there wasn’t and that she actually has a group of girls that are close to her, but overall she just simply prefers guys over girls; nothing to it more than personal preference.
As for her future plans, she wants to continue with both her Channel and her photography -which is quite good, and that she wants to take more classes in photography so she can polish her skills more.
Oh, before we finish, I wanted to tell you all how she and Dan adopted their dog, Kyra. The two of them had traveled two trains over to the shelter for a dog and were left without one because they were told WHEN THEY GOT THERE they didn’t have the dog they wanted there anymore. Shortly after that, they were able to adopt Kyra from an animal shelter only forty-five minutes from their flat (known as an apartment to us Americans). Kyra is 5, and the two of them take such good care of her. The name of the shelter they adopted her from is named Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. While we were on the phone, there were times she talked to Kyra and at one point in time said, “Sorry, that’s my dog voice.” I said, “Oh no, I do that with Baxter!” She replied, “Good, it’s not just me!” (I love how much she and Dan love Kyra!)
We said our goodbyes and now I’m here, reflecting on the wonderful conversation. I’m so thankful and blessed I got a second chance to interview one of my favorite YouTubers whom I admire so much.
Rachel, you are not only beautiful on the inside and out, but you are smart, hilarious, and your love for both people and animals is endearing. May you be successful in whatever you do.
Please be sure to check out her Channel and here and subscribe while you’re at it, no matter what faith you are. Follow her on Twitter here, Instagram here, Facebook here and you can listen to her Podcast here.
Here is her merch store: https://shop.spreadshirt.co.uk/rachel0ates/ (Pretty cute if you ask me!)
Here is her P.O. Box Address:
PO Box 6945