A start-up college atheist group has already gotten the attention of its campus newspaper.
At California State University (in Sacramento), says hello to the aptly named Atheist Student Organization:
“It is important for atheists to be represented on campus and in the larger society. Often atheists don’t make their feelings known for fear of abuse or attack” said graduate English student Robin Martin.
“It’s essential to inspire people to think and question the historical and present inconsistencies, violence, and exclusivity of theism and to educate through public speaking, printed materials, and creative events,” said Rebekah Hall, a prospective graduate English student.
[Angelique] Lopez, a senior English major, said she wants “to talk to people about being an atheist and to get them to see that an atheist isn’t something bad or something that has a negative connotation.”
Junior computer engineering major Bikrum Singh Jolly, the vice-president of the Sikh Student Association on campus, said he would not hold any bias towards the atheist group.
“We have freedom of speech and freedom of religion. We have to be open, accepting, and willing to learn about different religions, about different cultures, and about different beliefs,” Jolly said.
Senior ethnic studies major Marc Sorensen said he’s having a hard time understanding the purpose of the group, however. Sorensen is a member of the on-campus International Student Christian Fellowship.
“What are the reasons for creating an atheist organization? To discuss someone you don’t believe in?” Sorensen said.
No, it’s to discuss how ignorant some religious people can be and to commiserate about the negative perceptions of atheism that we have to put up with on a daily basis.
Ideally, there are more positive activities in the works, too, like community service projects, the promotion of critical thinking, and bringing together an ignored and undervalued minority of students.
(via the Secular Student Alliance)
[tags]atheist, atheism, Leonard Low[/tags]