SMU — Southern Methodist University, home to Perkins Chapel, shown above — now has its own campus group devoted to atheism, and the student paper dropped by the first meeting:
Homosexuality, creationism and religious acceptance were all hot topics at the Secular Humanist club’s first meeting Wednesday night in Hughes-Trigg.
Though the club functions mainly as a support group for anyone at SMU who identifies as nonreligious, the conversation turned into a heated debate over religious reasoning when a devout Catholic entered into the equation.
“It would be silly to be a Christian and not come out to these things,” sophomore Arnaud Zimmern said. “It’s a chance to finally duke it out with your faith.”The club began back in March and is now working towards a charter with SMU.
“I started this group primarily because it’s not very comfortable to be an atheist on this campus and I want to change that,” president and founder Carmen Tinker said.
Members at the meeting defined secular humanism as a “life philosophy that promotes reason and ethics, but rejects the supernatural.”
“I came here because to me I don’t need a God to act good,” said senior Vladimir Jovanic. “To me it comes naturally to be nice to people.” Jovanic has been a member of the club since its founding last semester.
The group discussed different labels of religious and nonreligious thought, as well as the difference between being an “accomodationist” and a “nonaccomidationist.” Basically, they debated interfacing with religions such as Christianity versus getting rid of religion in society entirely.