Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lincoln Atheists

When I was growing up, I didn't know a single other atheist. In fact, as far as I knew, I didn't know a single other person who wasn't a Christian.

I was always a reader, so I knew other non-believers existed. But it wasn't like today, with frequent bestsellers by "new atheists." And, of course, there was no internet.

These days, it's easy to find atheists online. You have your pick of atheist, agnostic, skeptic, or humanist groups online, and you can join as many as you want. I must say that there are real advantages to online communities, too.

But most human beings want more than that. Sometimes, you just want that personal contact, face to face, with people who understand what it's like being an atheist in America. Well, that's becoming easier, too.

Here in Lincoln, Nebraska, for example, we have the Lincoln Atheists, a small group which meets for coffee on Sunday mornings (every other Sunday) and for supper once a month. (I'm a member, though I haven't yet attended any meetings.)

There is also the Lincoln Secular Humanists, though I'm not sure if they're still active. That website doesn't appear to have been updated in a long time. They seemed to be mostly into left-wing politics when I discovered them a few years ago (they even considered me to be hopelessly conservative!).

If  you're still in school, you can check out the Secular Student Alliance. As far as I can tell, there's no affiliated Lincoln group, but there is one at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. And groups seem to be starting at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, Wayne State College, Chadron State  College, and even Crete High School. Gee, what happened to Lincoln?

Well, there are groups, not of atheists, but where you might find compatible people. The Nebraska Citizens for Science is based in Lincoln. And there's R.E.A.S.O.N. - Rationalists, Empiricists and Skeptics of Nebraska - but that's based in Omaha.

Well, it's not much, not yet, but it's a lot better than it used to be. And there's the internet, which tends to suit me just fine. :)

2 comments:

JW said...

I'd like to post this message from Mike Newdow, who is looking for plaintiffs in a challenge to "In God We Trust" on our currency

=====================


There have now been three Supreme Court cases dealing with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) as it pertains to federal laws. A review of the opinions show that RFRA was strongly supported by 8 of 8 justices in Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita  (2005), by 9 of 9 justices in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby  (2014) and by 9 of 9 justices in Holt v Hobbs  (2015). Thus, the time is ripe for Atheists to challenge being essentially forced to bear the message, "In God We Trust" – in violation of their religious beliefs - as the price to pay for simply choosing to carry the nation's currency in their pockets.

In fact, in the seven federal circuits where "In God We Trust" has yet to be litigated, challenges are now being organized to do just that. If you could use your voice to notify your followers of this fact, it would be greatly appreciated. Individuals (or organizations) who wish to serve as plaintiffs and who are from those seven circuits (i.e., who are from Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia or Wisconsin) should email their contact information – including city and state of residence - to NoMoreIGWT@gmail.com as soon as possible.

Because the Supreme Court has indicated that it is more concerned about constitutional guarantees when children are involved, those who wish to protect their children from the government’s religious transgressions are especially encouraged to write. Please be assured that we will move for a court orders to keep the names of families with children under seal. (To date, those motions have always been granted, and – as far as I know – the families’ names have always remained undisclosed.)


Thank you.

                                  Mike Newdow

JW said...

I'd like to post this message from Mike Newdow, who is looking for plaintiffs in a challenge to "In God We Trust" on our currency

=====================


There have now been three Supreme Court cases dealing with the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) as it pertains to federal laws. A review of the opinions show that RFRA was strongly supported by 8 of 8 justices in Gonzales v. O Centro Espirita  (2005), by 9 of 9 justices in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby  (2014) and by 9 of 9 justices in Holt v Hobbs  (2015). Thus, the time is ripe for Atheists to challenge being essentially forced to bear the message, "In God We Trust" – in violation of their religious beliefs - as the price to pay for simply choosing to carry the nation's currency in their pockets.

In fact, in the seven federal circuits where "In God We Trust" has yet to be litigated, challenges are now being organized to do just that. If you could use your voice to notify your followers of this fact, it would be greatly appreciated. Individuals (or organizations) who wish to serve as plaintiffs and who are from those seven circuits (i.e., who are from Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia or Wisconsin) should email their contact information – including city and state of residence - to NoMoreIGWT@gmail.com as soon as possible.

Because the Supreme Court has indicated that it is more concerned about constitutional guarantees when children are involved, those who wish to protect their children from the government’s religious transgressions are especially encouraged to write. Please be assured that we will move for a court orders to keep the names of families with children under seal. (To date, those motions have always been granted, and – as far as I know – the families’ names have always remained undisclosed.)


Thank you.

                                  Mike Newdow