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We got some press (sort of)

September 22, 2009

I think I told you all Ashley from the Secular Student Alliance and I were interviewed by a Religious News Wire Service. Well, here is the article that’s going around:

Campus Atheist Groups Double in Size in Two Years

Angela Abbamonte

Religion News Service

September 18, 2009

(RNS) — The number of atheist or agnostic student groups on U.S. campuses has more than doubled in the past two years — from 80 to 162 — according to the Secular Student Alliance (SSA), the national organization for the secular student movement.

PZ Myers, an outspoken atheist and associate professor of biology at the University of Minnesota, Morris, suggested the growth could be related to authors saying that it is okay to be “godless.”

Myers, who last year angered Catholics when he publicly tried to desecrate consecrated Communion wafers, writes a blog and often speaks at SSA affiliate group meetings, where he urges students to go public about their unbelief and foster a positive image.

Although SSA has four high school affiliates, most of the groups are on college campuses. Lyz Liddell, the alliance’s senior campus organizer, noted that college is a time when many people question their beliefs and break away from their religious background.

Facebook groups are used by SSA affiliates to organize events, host discussions and provide an “anonymous way to test the waters” for students who may be starting to change their beliefs, Liddell said.

“Community is the biggest thing that is provided for these students,” said Liddell.

Most of the affiliate groups meet regularly to have discussions, get involved with politics and do service projects. One group, Students for Freethought at Ohio State University, teamed up with the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO), to do service work in New Orleans in March 2009.

“We have similar worldviews” about service opportunities, said Jonathan Weyer, a CCO staff member who has been working with Students for Freethought on service projects. The two groups are planning a return trip for March 2010 with 15 students from each group.

Copyright 2009 Religion News Service. Used by permission. All rights reserved

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Richard Eis permalink
    September 23, 2009 4:52 am

    PZ Myers tried to destroy a wafer? I didn’t realise they were so tough.

    That growth size is impressive. I wonder how much though is due to polarizing against the fundies and encroachment of religion into science.

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