Michael Vito Tosto is an atheist writer, poet, essayist, jazz musician, photographer, graphic artist, historian, and philosopher. Once a practicing Christian for seventeen years, he is now a vocal atheist who lends his voice to the ongoing dismantling of Christianity in the world today. He possesses a Bachelor’s degree and has spent the last fifteen years researching and writing about the evolution of humanity’s theological and existential consciousness, having published numerous books thus far, as well as over 50 articles and essays. He has appeared on national radio stations and has given lectures on atheism at various venues. His atheistic memoir, Portrait of an Infidel, was an instant success at the time of its release, though it has since been largely overlooked.
Michael describes himself as a “dysfunctional writer,” which, he says, refers not to his writing but to his life, which is then reflected in his writing. On this matter, he was quoted as saying: “Wherever the darkness is, wherever the inappropriate is, wherever things are broken, taped together, hanging on by a thread, and barely breathing, it is there that I reside. Not by choice, but because I am dark, inappropriate, broken, taped together, hanging on by a thread, and barely breathing. Nothing I write can escape that reality.”
Michael (born in 1977) doesn’t only write about atheism. No, he also tends to ramble about philosophy, life, love, and pretty much whatever bullshit happens to be going through his mind on any given day. He says his magnum opus is the book Letters From a Dissident Philosopher, and hopes that he’ll be remembered for that volume, if nothing else. His fiction series, The Offbeat Rhythms, has a modest following of fans, particularly in South Africa (of all places).
He lives in Florissant, Missouri, with his wife Valerie and their two cats. Though he still writes and publishes books, Michael retired from public life in 2014, retreating into a self-imposed existence of seclusion and severely restricting (though not eliminating) his use of modern technology. This lifestyle, he says, is the only way to keep one’s sanity in today’s world. Ergo, he no longer does book signings. He and his wife keep mostly to themselves, binging Netflix, doing complex jigsaw puzzles (with which they are both obsessed), and learning new recipes together.
A voracious reader, an avid fan of baseball and the films of the 1940s and 50s, and a self-proclaimed polymath, Michael’s other interests and pursuits include cooking, hiking, traveling, gaming, music production, script writing, art, sociology, anthropology, geology, and all other Earth sciences. He smokes a pipe daily, listens almost exclusively to the jazz music of the 1950s and 60s, has an obsession with old cemeteries, and prefers British TV shows over American. He spends a lot of his free time doing volunteer photography work for Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis.
Michael identifies mostly as a Liberal / Democrat, but has been known to say that all he wants is what’s best for the species and the planet upon which they live. His political loyalties usually take him in that direction, regardless of the affiliation.
And perhaps most importantly, Michael says the sorting hat would’ve put him in Ravenclaw.