National Ask An Atheist Day

Last month, members of the Secular Student Alliance affiliate at the University of Illinois set up a table on their quad. A sign on it invited people to “Ask an Atheist” anything. The members sat there ready to answer any questions people had about not believing in a god.

Other campus groups have put on similar “events” over the past few years, but the Illinois group wants to make this a national thing — there’s more impact that way — and the SSA is ready to help.

So we’re proposing that April 13th be National Ask An Atheist Day.

(See? It’s on the Internet now; it must be official.)

National Ask An Atheist Day (April 13th) is an opportunity for secular groups across the country to work together to defeat stereotypes about atheism and encourage courteous dialogue between believers and nonbelievers alike. The event is intended to be an opportunity for the general public – particularly people of faith – to approach us and ask questions about secular life.

If your group wants to participate — and I don’t see why non-campus groups can’t also participate — the SSA has Ask An Atheist stickers and other resources to send your way. You can let us know you’re taking part by RSVP-ing on Facebook.

More power to everyone who takes part in this, helps set straight some of the nasty stereotypes about us, and answers tough questions in a respectful manner.

  • HumanistDad

    I hope I come across one of these signs on April 13th. I really need to know the answer to the question of my generation: Coke or Pepsi?

  • Kristi

    I would be very interested in seeing some video or dialog of the questions asked (since I don’t get to visit colleges anymore). I hope there is more on this to come.

    The only downside about this is that really the only thing that unites us as atheists is our lack of a belief of a deity and our desire to exercise the right to keep religion out of government. One atheists actual reason for not believing could be different than the next. Our opinions differ on just about everything else along with the reasons for those opinions. (not so unlike Christians with their doctrines ~ almost no two agree on the same god, let alone the issues of their entire religion)

    Don’t get me wrong, I still think this is a great idea so long as people are not attempting to speak for all of us concerning issues like abortion, politics, LGBT, etc (these issues almost ALWAYS come up in atheist/theist discussions because they teeter on the “morality” fence with many people) because atheists come in all shapes, sizes and colors and we don’t all share the same views on these issues. It needs to be clarified that the answers given are custom to the person being asked. It IS good way to invite people to get to know that we are not the “satanic, immoral” people that many are stereotyped as. It’s a great way to show people we are just as open about our ways of life than any other person and we really are not so different than most with the exception of the lack of religion and gods in our lives.

    Either way, I would like to see more of this. A very interesting idea and I would like to see how this turns out.

  • http://www.furtherthoughtsfortheday.blogspot.com EnglishAtheist

    International Ask An Atheist Day? Not sure if I’ve the time to do anything on the 13th, but I’ll certainly look – can see if there are any religious meets in the evening (can’t take a day’s holiday for this), and ask if they’d like to have me along. It’s on the intenet, so it’s got to be worldwide now!

  • Potco

    I don’t think this just has to be groups, as individuals we could do something similar as well. I think I will post this offer on fb, and say I will answer any question honestly on April 13th about atheism, and how that affects my person views on any issue.

  • http://camelswithhammers.com Camels With Hammers

    Might as well also have atheist bloggers do threads where they take questions from non-atheists in the comments too.

  • ursulamajor

    That’s my birthday. It’ll give me something to do rather than lament how damn old I’ve gotten.

  • http://kitchenfallout.blogspot.com DianaG

    That’s a really silly date to pick seeing as classes end somewhere in the first week of April and exams are going on at this time.

    There won’t be any students on campus – they’ll all be home studying. The ones who are there, are there to write an exam and won’t want to be distracted by silly things that don’t have to do with their course.

  • Allison

    @DianaG – Not sure where you are located but in the US a vast majority of schools have classes end and exams begin in the first weeks of May, so it seems like a great date here.

    I second the idea of posting on facebook for those of us no longer in college – that could be an interesting status thread.

  • http://corvustristis.wordpress.com Corvus

    I’m an atheist-who-is-a-blogger, but not so much an atheist blogger: I consider myself craft blogger, and my atheism rarely comes up. I may have to bring it up this time.

  • http://politicsandpucks.blogspot.com Mike Brownstein

    I’m curious to see if the national press picks this up…I think this could be spun positively by most

  • Michael

    Hm… I’m going to see if I can get group involved.

    Question, is this restricted to groups related to schools? If not, what should be entered in the relevant field?

  • http://www.youtube.com/aajoeyjo Joe Zamecki

    Ask an Atheist Day. Cool! And on Madalyn Murray-O’Hair’s birthday too. Really cool. :o)

  • http://midohioatheists.org Ron

    It’s also Christopher Hitchens’ birthday!

  • http://littlelioness.net Fiona

    Have lined up a blog post to solicit questions from my readers :) Shall make this an international day, whether people like it or not ;)

  • bob

    The “Ask an Atheist” thing should be done frequently in in bible belt.

  • CanadianNihilist

    Hope everyone has boned up on their studies about evolution and cosmology, as those are most likely the only question’s you’ll be asked.
    That and “what if your wrong?”

  • http://wading-in.net/walkabout Just Al

    Great idea! I hope it takes off.

    While I’m not a student, I figured I’d throw my own hat in the ring, and created a semi-permanent page on my blog to participate, not limited to any particular day. It can be found here.

    Good luck with it! College campuses are a great place to pursue this.

  • http://hewhothinksaloud.blogspot.com/ Emaj Cirtap

    The “Ask an Atheist” thing should be done frequently in in bible belt.

    Well, I’m an atheist and live in the Bible Belt so I get a lot of questions about atheism year round. Most of my friends are Christians(not the “lukewarm” ones either) so they are usually curious about how I get through my day without God to fall back on.

    I will try and participate in this, but my being open about atheism has gotten me some negative attention in the past. I’m in college now though so maybe people will be a little more open minded about it. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking.

  • http://adumbape.wordpress.com Josh

    I’ve literally just begun blogging a couple days ago, but my blog is perfectly suited to cover this so hopefully I’ll have some followers by then.

    My blog is an attempt to discuss things like religion, conspiracies,doomsday theories and other similar current issues. These things all really bother me on varying degrees. Religion is a tricky topic to cover without seeming like I’m attacking, which I don’t intend to do. So this will be a great opportunity to start the conversation.

    I am in Canada and think this is a great idea that the media really should pick up. Its only fair to give us some air time the way religions get it for their issues.

  • Lost In The Bible Belt

    Would love to have a t shirt that said “Ask An Atheist”. Of course, it may get my ass kicked but thats the risk, getting a beat down from all the good Christians I am surrounded with!
    But seriously, it might get a dialog started with someone with honest questions.


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