Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Bold New Atheist Semester

Summer is winding down and I am less than 3 weeks away from beginning a new semester of grad school. I have a lot of goals I want to achieve this next semester. I need to buckle down and do research, I will have 3 classes to teach, I need to knit more, and Philosophychick and I are hoping to start something atheist-related on campus. A freethought society was attempted last year, but apparently fell apart. I’m not sure that a school-sponsored group is the best way to go. It’s a lot of paperwork and trouble for something that may not have much interest anyway. I think a better alternative is a casual, no-pressure atheist social night at a local restaurant (with alcohol!). Relatively good success has been achieved with a microbiology social night I was involved in, whereas a Microbiology club would not have had that interest. Later, if interest is consistently high, a school club might be organized.

I’m also going to resolve to be as out as I can be. I do not anticipate this being the right time to tell my parents (see this post), but they are pretty far away from school. I’ve already been out to my professors, who are mostly supportive. Oddly enough, the one that gives me the hardest time is my Indian Hindu professor, not the Christian ones. When asked, I will resolve to proudly proclaim my atheism, and if appropriate, debate it. If that asshole street preacher comes back to the school, I’ll have a little fun with him if I can. I might even buy one of these shirts to wear.

People need to know that atheists exist, and that they aren’t evil, immoral people. Nothing I plan to do would make anyone bat an eye if it were Christian in nature. To be a proud atheist is not the same as always arguing with others, or rubbing it in people’s faces. I resolve to start the new school year off right: as a normal, happy, and fun girl who happens to not believe in god and isn’t afraid.


5 comments:

Belasco said...

When I started college back in 1998, I decided to start an official Freethought group on campus since there were none. It is a lot of paperwork and drudgery getting it started, but there are some really nice benefits too. The Center for Inquiry and other national Freethought groups send all kinds of wonderful material to campus Freethought groups. Your magazine and book library will grow quickly and you can get access to public funds for your group to bring in really interesting guest speakers.

The downside is this initial work up front. In my case, I was the driving force behind the group and no one really took the reigns after I graduated so the group quietly faded away. But, it sure was great while it lasted.

Kazim said...

Microbiologychick,

Yeah, I'm surprised that I hadn't thought of CFI as a valuable resource for this project. Check out this site for information about affiliating with them, it might be worthwhile.

Technomonk said...

"I’m also going to resolve to be as out as I can be. "

Very cool.

vjack said...

Absolutely! They need to know we are there among them and that we do not eat babies (at least, not very often).

Karen said...

@Microbiologychick:
I think a better alternative is a casual, no-pressure atheist social night at a local restaurant (with alcohol!).

Just make sure the venue welcomes people who aren't yet drinking age. Those young undergrads need your inspiration!

@vjack:
They need to know we are there among them and that we do not eat babies (at least, not very often).

Speak for yourself. I'm contemplating munching on a bit of baby (sheep) for dinner. It's time for Karen's mint-marinaded leg of lamb.