Texas: Where Even the Atheist Movement is Bigger

The Dallas Observer has a wonderful cover story by Anna Merlan on the rise of atheists in Texas:

Despite these sputters of public activity, non-believers have mostly remained out of sight, both in Texas and throughout the Bible Belt. But lately, a small army of determined atheist groups throughout the state has begun working to raise the profile of the not-God-fearing any way they can: engaging in well-publicized charitable work; buying roadside billboards; launching print and television ads; and, in FOF’s case, strategizing on how to turn their following online into a larger, flesh-and-blood organization. The activity is especially concentrated in Dallas and Houston: The Houston Atheists are the single largest group in the state, with around 2,000 members, while the Dallas Fort Worth Coalition of Reason, an umbrella group for all of the DFW area’s atheist, agnostic, skeptical and freethought organizations, has an estimated 3,000 members.

Zach Moore (Fellowship of Freethought) and Aron Ra (YouTube) are featured prominently in the piece and Madalyn Murray O’Hair is profiled as well.

Overall, it’s a positive article focusing on how atheists are building communities in the area and getting their voices heard.

More of this, please.

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.

  • Octoberfurst

    Houston has an atheist group that has 2,000 members?  Wow, I never would have guessed that! I’m impressed!  It is nice to know there are islands of sanity in the sea of religious craziness that is the Bible belt.  (And don’t forget that The Atheist Experience is filmed in Austen. )

    • Ryan Bauer

      *Austin

      • Octoberfurst

        Oops, my bad!

    • Revyloution

      Ya, and don’t forget,  atheists are like cockroaches.  For every one you see in public,  there are probably 20 more hiding in churches.

      • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

        Point taken, although I kind of wish you had used a different simile. ;)

        • http://twitter.com/Cafeeine Cafeeine

           Why? The Cockroach is a noble beast, hardy and benefi….ACK! IT JUST WALKED ON MY FOOT! KILL IT KILL KILL KILL!!111

    • Curt Loose

      Actually, there are only 1981 members in the Houston Atheists right now, but I expect we’ll have “thousands” of members by our 10-year anniversary in two weeks.  It’s a thriving community.  We have 25-30 events every month, all over the city and suburbs.  It’s a great time to be an atheist in Texas!

      http://www.meetup.com/Houston-Atheists/

      • Octoberfurst

         I really need to go visit Texas!  I’m impressed that you have such a thriving atheist communty there. Here in Harrisburg Pa we get around 30 people at our atheist meeting if we are lucky. I can’t even imagine having 25 to 30 events a month. (We do one.)  But then Houston IS 34 times bigger than Harrisburg so maybe it evens out. LOL.

  • https://agoldstardad.wordpress.com/ Fozzy

    They need to get to work as there seems to be a lot of hostility to people wanting god stuff on the public square today

  • http://twitter.com/ylaenna M. Elaine

    I love the “religious shackles” graphic!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    please come to the north. no one asks about your religion, before giving you a job. if this seems strange, try applying for work outside Iran, Uganda, and the american South. 

    • Vanadise

      I don’t like to give up and run away at the first sign of adversity.  Besides, why do you think anybody would ask about your religion before giving you a job in the American South?  (that’s illegal, actually, and if an employer asks that, now you’ve got grounds for a discrimination lawsuit)

  • Phred_P

    Awesome picture!  I’d steal it, but I’m sure it’s copyrighted…


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