Help the Secular Student Movement

The Secular Student Alliance is an “organization that creates and supports atheist (and the like) college groups across the country.” They’re currently doing a fundraiser, and Hemant (who serves as the chair) explains why you should help them:

There has been no better time to be an active atheist on campus — and no time more important for a group like the Secular Student Alliance to be there for those students.

We want students to feel confident when questioning religious beliefs and thinking critically about their own faith.

We want secular students to realize that they are not alone, and we want their friends and neighbors to realize that someone they know is nonreligious. The only way to do this is to make the secular student movement more visible.

As an incentive, they are giving away an atheist necklace I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing, a signed copy of Hemant’s book, Kevin Roose’s The Unlikely Disciple, and Atheist Nexus t-shirts.

They are asking for $5 donations, but I think we can do better than that. I just donated what I could, and I hope you’ll consider donating too!

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  • Caitlin B

    Thanks for posting this, from a student who knew nothing about this organization. I’ve been actively recruited to Christian groups outside football games, while walking down the street, and in my dorm, but never knew that there was a secular version. Now I do! I’m going to go look up the next meeting on my campus right now.

  • Hemant Mehta

    Thanks, Daniel!

  • Bryan


  • dr.R.

    We want students to feel confident when questioning religious beliefs and thinking critically about their own faith.

    IMHO you don’t deserve to be at a university if you’re not prepared to think critically about your own faith.

    • Elemenope

      Because that is obviously critical for getting a baccalaureate in physics.


      • vorjack

        Well, if you believe in Intelligent Falling …

        And if you believe in Intelligent Design, they make you become an engineer.

        • Elemenope

          LOL. My point was, I see in the university experience nothing necessary with re-examining beliefs not incident to the subject of study.

          Now, it may be *preferable*, even highly so, that people use the critical thinking skills they gain in their field and apply them in all areas of their thought and life, but I think it a bit narrow to say that people who for whatever reason fail to do this highly preferable thing do not deserve to attend a university and get an education.

          In general I find the concept of “deserving” to be nothing more than a clever mask for internal prejudices, and useless for analysis in any case.

          • GBM

            Just out of curiosity (and on the off chance that you actually read this thread again) are you a utilitarian about punishment?

            • Elemenope

              Yes, in the bare sense that if punishment has utility, that is the only grounds for which it would be appropriate. But I am a severe skeptic of the utility of punishment in the first place.

            • GBM

              So more like an abolitionist then? Interesting. Personally I don’t have particularly strong opinions either way, but I have always been leery of concepts like ‘desert’ that seem to bear little or no concrete relation with the empirical world.

    • rodneyAnonymous

      You can go through school — get an advanced degree — and never have your faith explicitly challenged.

  • zach

    I would love to chip in, if only I had a paypal or online bank account =\

  • tysdaddy

    Roose’s book is excellent. I attend a university in NE Indiana. May have to check if they have a chapter . . .

    • LRA

      Are you Ty? If not, your gravitar looks like how I imagined him (from his descriptions).

      • zach

        I think he makes it quite clear that he is “ty’s daddy”

        • LRA

          Well, the family resemblance is striking!

          • tysdaddy

            Ty who? I am a big King’s X fan, and have been mistaken for their guitarist’s daddy a time or two.

            I also get Ty Pennington a lot. Hate. That. Man!

            My teenage son is Ty, and I am his daddy. The other three, younger kids hate my screen name . . .

            Hope all that helps . . .

  • Logan

    I’m spearheading the effort to establish an SSA chapter at the University of Central Oklahoma. I have to tell you guys, the nationwide organization is an excellent group of intelligent, friendly, helpful individuals whose help is proving instrumental. My efforts to start an atheist club in the bible belt would be a completely uphill struggle without SSA’s help.