Secular Students Sell Their Souls and Offer to Go to Houses of Worship

The students at Wayne State University’s Secular Student Alliance in Michigan auctioned off their souls a couple weeks ago and it was worthy of news coverage.

(News coverage for “selling your soul”?! That’s just ridiculous…)

More specifically, the students said they’d go to a house of worship for anyone who purchased a soul.

During the soul auction, most students walked by the SSA’s table with indifference, often giving them questioning looks. Curiosity was the prevailing attitude among those who stopped.

A student who walked faster when confronted with the group, as if she were running away from them, refused to comment about her thoughts of the alliance. “It’s strange,” she said, as she kept walking.

In other words, a lot of students had this look:

[Founder and president Hassan] Khalifeh said the SSA gets mixed responses from students during events. However, the group has been subjected to abuse, as its flyers have been torn down and its members have received emails harassing them, according to Khalifeh.

“Some people are very intolerant to others’ ideas,” he said. “That’s why confidentiality is very important in our group. We don’t reveal members’ names because it might hurt their lives and relationships with family and friends. You don’t have to sacrifice yourself for the cause.”

If you look through their Facebook pics, you can see a couple of the awesome ways they’ve promoted positive atheism, like Ask An Atheist and Hug an Atheist.

This is how you do it. You start a group, gather some like-minded people, and then show strangers you’re not as bad as their pastors and parents made you out to be.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Ben Zalisko

    We’re dong the same thing as the title at the University of Chicago. We occasionally sell our souls for cookies. (free cookies) We have also started going to a different house of worship every month. We went to the Living Hope Church in Hyde Park last week, and we met with the pastor and members of the church afterward for a Q&A. We’ll be heading to a mosque, a synagogue, and a Mormon church in the near future. It’s important for atheist students, especially those at such a secular university as U of C, to learn first hand about as many of the world’s religions as possible.

  • Roxane

    “(News coverage for “selling your soul”?! That’s just ridiculous…)”

    It’s this sentence that makes it art.

  • Mac McCarthy

    I love the ‘Trade fiction for fiction’ event — trade a holy book for a book of (declared) fiction.  Hah hah hah! Keep going, guys!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dchackunkal David Chackunkal

    Yea Wayne State!! haha who would of thought the small  school in the heart of Detroit would make the headline. How can I join/help out?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000234489507 Randall Slonaker

    This article stated that SSA members faced harassment and threats, and that their flyers were torn down.
    It is bad enough to see members of the general public do this, but I would hope for better behaviour from my fellow college students. I know that that last sentence may sound condescending, but my point is, that college students are supposedly intelligent, rational people, who as students, should value lively intellectual discourse. Therefore, even if they may not agree with someone else’s viewpoint, they should tolerate dissent and freedom of thought and expression. I guess a lot of people, both in and out of college just don’t get that. Truly a sad commentary.

    • varen

      I was at Towson University for a while. I can tell you that college students really don’t like thinking about other people’s points of view. The things said on the gossip websites such as juicy campus were enough to put the KKK to shame. Racism in that school was obvious, along with xenophobia. The queer student union faced very little nastiness, mostly because they were a huge group, and they made things happen. The Cristian Crusade members in my biology classes would stick their fingers in their ears during the evolution lab and then start going, “lalalalalalalalalala!” In order to drown out the evil words. When I told my lab partner I was atheist, so no, the evolutionary theory did not offend me, he actually called a study meeting where he and his friends tried to convert me. Boy were they upset when they realized how many levels of “Hell” I would be going to… These days, college is just high school 2.0; I can only hope grad school is better.

    • Roxane

      Kids don’t suddenly become compassionate critical thinkers when they turn 18.  If they’ve been to high schools where most of the work is in the form of machine-graded tests or simple worksheets, and then go into programs with cut-and-dried curricula, they might never learn to think.

  • Anonymous

    Dawkins is the “pope of autism”?  Cool!!!

  • Matthew Thompson

    I do want to point out that I have personally talked to this group.  Upon questioning their perspective on anything, they throw scriptures in your face to show that God is cold-hearted.  Upon showing them how they are misinterpreting the scripture and giving them a glimps into the history at that time, they inform you that you are probably going to be blocked from their forum, or facebook page because you are making “attacking” comments.  This is the intellectual dishonesty as well as the unwillingness for public discourse that comes from this group, at least on the Wayne State University campus.  I do agree that they shouldn’t have flyers tore down and such, but they are playing the victim card, while their whole purpose is to, upon no real reasoning, tear down others’ beliefs in order to make theirs seem more real.  I would actually appreciate a group like this on campus, if what they were standing for was real.  But this group is a joke.


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