A Finch Ain’t One

The Secular Student Alliance affiliate at East Central University in Oklahoma is on a roll.

First they held a Blasphemy Bake Sale.

Second, they’re advertising their meetings with these hilarious flyers:

Other SSA affiliates are already using the template :)

Finally, Sarah Erwin, the president of the SSA at ECU, wrote a powerful piece for her school paper responding in an open letter to the vandals who constantly tear down her group’s flyers on campus:

A day has not gone by that I do not have to replenish our signs that have been torn down and thrown away. I only hope that the offenders are at least recycling the paper. Does free speech not extend to the atheists and agnostics?

I believe in tolerance for every group. Daily, I am affronted by churches, prayer flyers, and other perspectives with which I do not necessarily agree. However, I encourage and welcome any challenges to my own perspective in order to better understand myself. I would hope my classmates would afford the Secular Student Alliance at ECU the same rights. Challenging views and critical examination of one’s beliefs is a critical learning component, and we could all learn from each other.

Many of our flyers have been vandalized with messages of Jesus. One even had an advertisement for the Z Tree on it. We have received no apologies from any Christian group, even though our e-mail is available on these flyers. Is this behavior tolerated, or worse, encouraged by the leaders of local churches? The Secular Student Alliance at ECU is a group of open-minded individuals who would never condone violating the information of a church or any other groups’ advertisements.

This is a group that’s reaching out to people who are like-minded but may not know other atheists are out there, and they’re also setting a strong example for people who don’t agree with them. It’s a group I’d want to be a part of if I went to that school. Hopefully, other students there feel the same.

(via WWJTD)

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.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.zamecki Joe Zamecki

    “…but a finch ain’t one. Hit me.” I don’t get it. What’s that mean?

  • http://thatweirdatheistgirl.wordpress.com That Weird Atheist Girl

    My Freethinkers group put up signs on campus for Carl Sagan Day and someone took them all down. They were really nice posters too. 

  • Dark Jaguar

    The pun, which is a stretch, takes up way too much of the flyer.  There’s also the sexist issues with the source material the pun was derived from.

    Still doesn’t justify vandalism though, and that clearly wasn’t the reason for it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anthony-Okafor/1759887752 Anthony Okafor

      How is 99 problems sexist again???

      • Anonymous

        Well, most women don’t like being called the term for female dogs.

        • Anonymous

          Yeah, and most men don’t like being called dicks or bastards, but that doesn’t mean that those terms are sexist. They are referring to individuals within a gender, not the gender itself.

  • TiltedHorizon

    When truth is nothing more than a puff of smoke every breeze delivers fear. Can’t have the posters alert people of the existence of evil atheists, someone of the faith could make the mistake of meeting one and learning for themselves that we are not evil.

    NOOOOO!!!

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    I tend to imagine that campus vandalism of atheist posters is done by one individual, maybe two at most, and they probably don’t even know each other. Somebody who is not really college material, sent there because it’s expected of them, or they aren’t even students. I think they’re probably generally insecure, inarticulate, and socially inept, a misfit in any “camp,” and so not a member of a church or a religious club. They probably don’t even read the college newspaper.

    They’re just acting out the bigoted attitudes they learned from their parents, focusing their general frustration about their general failure in life on to a scapegoat that they have heard is a socially acceptable target. If you were able to catch one and ask them why they do it, they probably couldn’t come up with much of an intelligent explanation or rationale.

    However, I would not be against setting up a trap to video catching one in the act, and confront them on video demanding an explanation for their actions. It would be an interesting exercise in psychological and sociological observation.  It might also put a stop to the vandalism until a new misfit comes along.

  • http://twitter.com/Doubting_Tom Tom

    When I taught Biology a couple of years ago, I enumerated all the various obstacles that humans have had to overcome to get to where they are in the food chain,


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