About Kelley Freeman

Kelley is a recent graduate of the University of South Carolina. She is a former president of the Secular Student Alliance at the University of South Carolina and a former intern for both SSA and Foundation Beyond Belief. Kelley is also a board member for both Camp Quest South Carolina and the Carolinas Secular Association, a Volunteer Network Coordinator for the southeastern region for the SSA, runs a vlog series called Secular Start Up, sometimes does stand up comedy and can crochet like a fiend. She's on her way to becoming a Jane of All Trades. Follow her on twitter @ramenneedles

This Clever Shirt Features an Acceptable Use of the Term “YOLO”

Here’s an opportunity to help a Secular Student Alliance affiliate raise some money while getting a reward of your own :)

The Secular Student Alliance at Old Dominion University (in Virginia) is fundraising by selling t-shirts online. The front of the shirt has a phrase that we all know and love…

… but I think that SSAODU gets a pass on using this decade’s most cringeworthy catchphrase because the back of the shirt is just so darn clever!

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Could Atheism be the End of Charity? (Hint: No)

While not the focus of a recent article in the Columbus Dispatch, the Columbus Coalition of Reason and quite a few of its member organizations are mentioned favorably because of their awesome tradition of doing community service. For example, the Humanist Community of Central Ohio has regular blood drives every eight weeks and Mid Ohio Atheists sponsors collections for the Harmony House shelter in Mansfield, Ohio. This is not necessarily news (but it is still great to hear).

However, despite all of the great work that non-religious groups can do, researchers are still concerned that charitable giving will decline along with the decline of church attendance. Some are concerned that soup kitchens and medical facilities (most often funded and run by religious organizations) will close because they won’t have the support they used to.

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High School Atheist Activist Accepts Scholarship from Camp Quest South Carolina

On the heels of the awesome news about Kalei Wilson and Pisgah High School’s newly-formed Secular Student Alliance affiliate, Camp Quest South Carolina (CQSC), which also serves North Carolina and Georgia, has offered Kalei a full campership for her brave work.



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South Carolina Air Force Base Removes Nativity Scene

Thanks to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the mythical War on Christmas has some soldiers helping out this year. Last week at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina, a nativity scene was taken down after complaints, just before the annual tree lighting.

Mikey Weinstein, president of the MRFF, said they got complaints from Air Force personnel and contacted the Pentagon. After the call from the Pentagon, the display was removed in two hours and fifteen minutes. He cited Air Force Instruction 1-1, Section 2.11 as reason for the removal:

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Indians Fight for Recognition of ‘No Religion’ Category in National Census

More than 80% of Indians identify as Hindus. Islam is the second largest group, and it’s six times the size of the third largest category, Christianity. There are a plethora of other religious identities in India, including Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs. When it comes to the national census, though, the rest are all lumped into a single category: “Other.” That includes animists, Baha’is, Jews, Zoroastrians and… atheists. As it stands, there’s no category for “No religion.”

For the 2001 Census, the “Other” category added up to 0.6 percent. Which sounds small, until you realize that it amounts to around 4,500,000 people in a nation the size of India.

What’s the breakdown of that group? We have no idea. But we do know that the size of the “Other” category doubled between the 1991 and 2001 Census. If global trends are anything to go on, they may have doubled again between 2001 and 2011, which could mean we’re talking about 1.2 percent of the population or 9,000,000 people.

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