Atheists in Southern Georgia Get Positive Press

The Albany Herald (Georgia) has a really positive article about the Albany Atheists and founder/President and Foxhole Atheist James Gillham:

Gillham never had a strong belief in God, he said. Since he was very young, he felt something just wasn’t right. Nothing made real sense. Then, during the first of two tours of Marine duty, he came to an understanding with himself.

“By the way, the old saying about ‘no atheists in foxholes’ is just not true,” Gillam said. “The idea is that if someone is shooting at you, you’re going to pray just didn’t work for me.”

According to Gillham, it was during heavy fighting in Iraq — before Fallujah was taken the second time — that he happened to read an article on atheism.

“Suddenly, everything made sense,” Gillham said. “I understood why all those years I could never find faith in a higher power — because I was an atheist.”

The group is currently at 65 members and you can find out more about joining them here.

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.7 Joe Zamecki

    The comments at the bottom of that news report are face-palmingly scary.

    • cipher

      I was just going to say as much. The article may be positive, but the comments are predictable.

      • Anna

        It’s so depressing. Whenever there’s a good article, it always ends up being canceled out by the horrible comment section.

        • Castilliano

          I think you mean “enhanced”. The theists’ darkness makes our bright article shine even more. :)

    • Mario Strada

      Personally, I am going to keep a screenshot of those comments handy in case I drink some poison and I have to induce vomiting.

      I am afraid I would never be able to live in that area with small minded idiots like that running around.

      They are unable to behave like good christians, let alone good human beings. Beside the vomit part, those comments are going to be a good reminder as to why we should aim to make religion less and less relevant. It makes people evil.

      • http://www.facebook.com/jsgillham James Gillham

        Just to put things in perspective, Albany, GA is the home of Sherwood Baptist Church, which is responsible for all those awful Christian movies like Fireproof, Facing The Giants, and Courageous. It’s a special kind of crazy here in Albany.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RevOxley Matt Oxley

    I know those guys, good folks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jsgillham James Gillham

    Thanks for putting this out there, Hemant! We’ve actually added seven more people to our group since I did this interview last Wednesday bringing us up to 72 members! Two weeks ago we were at 55. We’ve been building a lot of momentum in recent weeks and there is no sign of it stopping. We’ve even got local organizations reaching out to us, telling us they would love to have us volunteer. The last few weeks have been incredible! Again, I appreciate the nod!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.t.phillips Mark T. Phillips

    Way to go James! Thanks Hemant! Glad to be a small part of this wonderful group!

  • DougI

    Great article but the comments below it are filled with typical Christian love.

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

    the part that struck me: “read an article on atheism.”

    it seems to me that the most effective and useful thing we can all do as freethinkers and atheists is share our message. i don’t know what this man was reading or where it came from, but i’m glad he was exposed to it. as gays used to say during the early days of the AIDS crisis: silence = death.

  • Crazy Russian

    Wow, these guys are only 40 miles away, and I haven’t heard about them. I really have no excuse for not going there and joining in now :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/jsgillham James Gillham

      No excuse at all. We’ve added quite a few people in the last few weeks and we have people coming to us from all around us… Valdosta, Americus, Baconton, Bainbridge, etc…

  • Randay

    “Have you found a church yet?” or “Why don’t you visit my church?” Those are exactly the same type questions that Europeans who had to work in the South or the Mid-West for a while told me they first received from neighbors when they moved in. They told me they didn’t know how to respond, not wanting to be impolite and cause conflict immediately. The church thing puzzled them. Oh, those heathen Europeans.

  • BrotherReggie

    Thanks to James and the Albany atheists for what they are doing. I grew up there. He has his work cut out for him.


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