Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Red State Atheists: We Need YOU

I can't play atheist victim. I've frequently said that starting a Brights chapter here in Northern California is about as brave as starting a Book of Mormon study group in Salt Lake City. San Fran is a pretty tolerant place, and I'm proud to live here.

But from time to time, if only from the standpoint of vain blogger, I still catch myself wishing that I lived somewhere where "out" atheists were fewer, and less understood, and had more work to do. If you live somewhere that you feel isn't quite as accepting as Blue State America, then the difference you can make as a public voice or organizer is that much bigger, and that much more desperately needed. An atheist blog or podcast in Tulsa, Oklahoma is likely to draw more attention, and a tighter-knit community, and in general make a bigger difference, than yet another atheist blog in New York or California. Don't waste your opportunity!

Similarly, if you're part of minority community that doesn't have all that many vocal atheists, we need you. Or you're an ex-fundamentalist, -Muslim, -Mormon, -Scientologist, etc. you can have a huge impact too. We need you! Now! Get out there, meet people in person, volunteer your time for secular groups like Camp Quest, and get involved.


vjack said...

At least in this age of the Internet, those of us in red states can access the blogs from blue state atheists too. I'm not saying we shouldn't do our own thing - many of us do - but it is nice to be able to hear how different things are in civilized parts of the country and even globally.

Michael Caton said...

True enough vjack, and I hope that someone who feels they can't be open about their position can get support from resources they can find online. But that's a pale comparison to forming a community with real flesh and blood people. The point is that each of us can make things different where *we* are.

Dan said...

Maybe we need our own Atheist salt?


Better would be a spread called "I Can't Believe It's Not Sacred!"

Michael Caton said...

I like the spread better.

I'm trying to think of a Halal joke for 2001 and falling short.

I'm still going to start that Young Earth Oil Company dammit. At least it'll be good for a few Cafe Press T-shirts.

Dan said...

Get some Godless popcorn and sell all three as a set...an unholy trinity, if you will.