Sunday, October 30, 2011

Send an Atheist to Church

This is the schedule based on who showed up at the last meeting. If you can help at any of the times, please let me know, either by commenting, or writing on the facebook page. Thanks!

Monday Nov 7
11:20-12:55
Andrew
Emily
12:55-2:30
Nathaniel

Tuesday Nov 8
11:20-12:55
Emily
12:55-2:30
Danielle
Emily

Wednesday Nov 9

11:20-12:55
Andrew
Emily
12:55-2:30
Nathaniel

Thursday Nov 10

11:20-12:55
Emily
12:55-2:30
Danielle
Emily

Friday Nov 11

11:20-12:55
Joshua
Scott
12:55-2:30
Scott
Nathaniel

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Meeting Minutes 10/27/2011

Secular Social!
It's still Carl Sagan themed and it's still November 4th
The address will be sent out via Facebook Message so please rsvp! Thanks!

Door Monitors:
900 - 1000: Joshua
1000 - 1100: Arthur
1100 - 1200: Nathaniel
1200 - 100: Emily

Send an Atheist to Church 11/7 - 11/11
We have (so far) three potential places for our fundraiser for JumpStart:
St. Vincent de Paul
DePaul Hillel
St. Ita's

We will also be tabling between 11/7 - 11/11 in the Student Center

Also, Remember that there is an intercollegiate panel on Carl Sagan on November 12th at Northwestern's Downtown Campus

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Shower the Secular Student Alliance with Your Love

So, I've never been a fan of Reddit. Too many encounters with r/atheism's (is that what it's called? I am such an old man) sexist trolls. However, my opinion of it may be changing.

The Secular Student Alliance, our parent organization, made the front page of that particular subreddit today thanks to Kenny Flagg, a tobacco-chewing rogue and a leader of the Freethinkers at the University of North Dakota, and in a short space of time its Facebook page has gone from ~6,000 likes to over 14,000.

Why is this important? Because the Internet is a powerful thing. And the SSA are among the most valiant crusaders for truth, justice, and candy in the world, and they deserve every bit of the acclaim. Even more importantly, they announced today that they have been given a $20,000 matching offer from Ron Verstappen, and every new membership they get goes towards that offer; that's a lot of money on offer for the organization. They could do so much more awesomeness with that kind of cash.

So what can you do, courageous DAFTers? Go like the official SSA Facebook page. If you're a Redditor, upvote the article; there are a lot of Christians and other mean types downvoting it, and we can't let them win. Finally, and most importantly, if you can, please become a member; it's only $10 per year for students. In fact, we will make this announcement: show a DAFT officer proof that you have become an SSA member, you will you get into next Friday's Secular Social for free. And for the first person who does it, I will act as your personal bartender all night long. I am completely serious. I will be at your beck and call, the Jeeves to your Wooster, the Alfred to your Bruce Wayne. Do you really want to pass up that chance?

Go forth and conquer.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Why, American Cancer Society, Why?

Guess what, everybody? The atheists are blowing up the Internet again.

This time, though, it's not our own in-fighting. This has to do with the American Cancer Society.

Now, at my high school, and maybe yours too, every year near the end of the term there was a thing that happened called the Relay for Life, a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society. I was too busy being an unpopular misanthrope to ever participate, but essentially what would happen is teams of students would form and raise money to be entered into the event, and then spend a night on our track/football field hanging out and participating in non-competitive relay events for the cause. I seem to remember it being cold and rainy every year, but those involved kept on keeping on to cure cancer.

A few months ago, Todd Stiefel, the founder of the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, a philanthropic organization that provides finances to various secular causes like Camp Quest, Reason Rally, and the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, offered to make a matching donation $250,000 to the American Cancer Society so that secular groups all across the world could participate in the Relay under the heading of the Foundation Beyond Belief. This meant that half a million dollars would be going to the American Cancer Society.

But, this never came to be. Phone calls went unanswered, e-mails were ignored. Stiefel relayed this to AlterNet:

Reuel Johnson of ACS was completely disinterested in the matching gift. He made no effort to try to gain the money and attempted to ignore that the offer was even made. When I brought it up to him, he referred to it as merely "fine" and then started complaining about how it was a hassle to ACS to have to try to track the challenge. Of course, it should not have to be a hassle; they have an automated system to track team and individual performance. I don't know why he acted like this, but something clearly was amiss.
Stiefel was given a whole host of flimsy excuses, none of which held water, to deny them participating under the Foundation Beyond Belief banner. Now, the ACS was still happy to take the money, just as long as there was no overt atheist presence in Relay for Life.

If you want the rest of the story, go read Greta Christina's post over at AlterNet.

The ACS is never going to come out and say "we didn't want these dirty atheists representing our name." They'll continue to throw out the legalese and procedural nonsense. The only conclusion to be made seems to be that the ACS is well aware of the stigma associated with atheism in America. We are not well-liked here, that is not up for debate. But, the only way to change that is to do things like these massive activism campaigns, showing people told all their lives that nonbelievers are evil and immoral that we're actually kind, conscientious members of society, just as generous with our money and time as religious institutions have been for decades.

In the end, the ACS turned down a huge chance to help swing public opinion in a better direction for us. Let's hope that the next organization that Todd Stiefel and Foundation Beyond Belief choose to support are more open-minded and less skittish when it comes to our movement.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Meeting Minutes 10/10/2011

Meeting Minutes October 10th 2011

Thank you to everyone who came out tonight to participate in our We Are Atheism Project. Our pictures will be uploaded to our tumblr

Emily will be posting about t shirts very soon, stay tuned!

Upcoming Events
SerĂ¡h Blain at University of Chicago from 6-9PM
Tree of Life Screening with Interfaith, October 27th
SecSocSag November 4th
Send an Atheist to Church November 7th - 11th

Dan from NUSHIFT wants to host a Carl Sagan themed panel discussion on November 9th so please contact professors who would be interested in talking about physics or astronomy!