How to Make Organized Atheism More Accessible to the Poor

It’s no surprise that organized atheism — conferences, Meetup groups, lectures — tends to attract people who aren’t exactly living in poverty. You have to have money to purchase tickets for a conference, meet people at a restaurant or bar (and pay for the food and drinks), or travel to hear a lecture. Campus groups may not charge a membership fee, but they serve those who have the ability to pay for college in the first place. Even writing a blog like this one isn’t really possible without either getting paid for it or having another source of income and free time. (Admittedly, some of the costs I’m talking about are, in large part, required for those sponsoring groups just to break even, but that doesn’t make it any more accessible for those without cash.)

That’s not to say atheists don’t care about the poor, but let’s face it: it’s a lot easier to be religious if you’re poor. We can joke about tithes all we want, but churches don’t charge entry fees to walk through their doors and many of them have the infrastructure necessary to help people who are hungry or homeless.

In a piece for AlterNet, Alex Gabriel suggests a number of sensible ways atheists can reach out to people who may not have a lot of money — because why atheist gatherings shouldn’t be geared only toward the well-off.

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Satanic Groups Are Now Arguing Over the Proposed Oklahoma Monument

Last week, the Satanic Temple unveiled the monument they planned to erect on the Oklahoma Capitol grounds:

(Even though they raised the money to build it, it won’t be going up anytime soon given the state’s moratorium on monuments pending the outcome of an ACLU lawsuit.)

In any case, you know who’s *really* upset about that monument?


Different ones.

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How You Can Help Send Freethought Books to Prisoners

A month ago, I posted about the Center for Inquiry’s new initiative to send freethought books to prisoners, giving them something to read besides the Bible, as well as coordinate a pen-pal program between inmates and volunteers.

At the time, the website for the project was still bare-bones, but that’s no longer the case. CFI offers this update:

In December, we sent out a total of 45 shipments, one to each of these individuals, including a total of 130 books and 20 magazines. A month ago, we wouldn’t have had the resources to make this happen.

One of our contacts (kept anonymous), recently released from her sentence, had this to say about what the books and the experience with Freethought Books Project mean to her:

“After 41 years of not knowing what I want to do when I grow up I have finally figured it out. I am already looking into going to school so I can someday join the fight for secularism and basic scientific understanding. I don’t know exactly what I will major in yet but I have a direction as never before.”

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This is How You Can Help a Ugandan School Built on Humanist Principles

I’ve posted a couple articles on this site, written by Sean McGuire, about the Kasese Humanist Primary School, a school in Uganda that’s founded and run on Secular Humanist principles, a school that emphasizes science and teaches students to think critically.

Now, McGuire has put together this beautiful video of how things are going and what still needs to be done to make the school successful. (The song by Shelley Segal is a perfect fit, too.)

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15 Ways Atheists Can Be Even More Assertive

Jeffrey Tayler, writing for Salon, offers 15 responses atheists can give people who use any number of religious clichés:

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