Last night I got the chance to address our Tucson Drinking Liberally group. The title of the talk was “Atheism and Liberalism” and was to be focused on what Atheism and Liberalism have in common. Originally, I was asked there to promote a Roy Zimmerman concert sponsored by FreeThought Arizona but found out that I would be the featured speaker at the meeting. No problem. I give prepared PowerPoint presentations to my groups every month.
The first step was to go to the meeting a week before I was scheduled to speak, which I did. It was a location that I’m familiar with but I needed to see what happens at their meetings and what I can expect by way of audio visual support. Even with all the preparation, there were the normal glitches but I got through all of them to deliver the message that Atheists and Liberals have a lot in common and we should be working together when our goals line up. I must say, however, that they were some of the most nit-picky people I’ve ever met and that is NOT a problem. I had fun answering the challenges but it made my 10 minute presentation a bit longer than planned.
Here is one of the questions I got. “What do Atheists discuss at your meetings?”
This is a very common question. “What do Atheists talk about?” and before I answer I usually point out that our regular general meeting is once a month. In comparison, Christians meet once a week and they only have the contents of one book to discuss. The answer is that we never run out of subjects. For example, we might discuss how an Atheist comes out to other family members or how to tell your grandmother that you no longer believe in God or gods. How does an Atheist handle family holidays? What experiences lead you to becoming an Atheist? There are many, many more examples. I’ve kept track of every subject covered since September 2008:
YYMM Subject of the meeting
0809 What if we’re wrong (about god)?
0810 Report on the Atheist Alliance International Convention on the Queen Mary
0811 How do you know that there is no god. Why is the evidence lacking?
0901 Holidays and family, coming out as an Atheist.
0902 Darwin and Evolution, Dr Masel’s Presentation on Evolution (at CFI meeting)
0904 Report on the American Atheist Convention, what should Atheists agree on?
0905 Atheist Activism: Guest lecturer Earl Wesley Jernigan, an anthropologist
0908 Atheism defined, Atheist or Agnostic, least trusted group in America
0909 Atheism and Skepticism, Skeptical education, logical fallacies, arguments for religion
0910 Report of AAI convention in Burbank, the roots of Halloween
0911 The Atheist Split, Paul Kurtz in the news, old guard vs “New Atheists”
0912 “Solstice Party”, no meeting
1001Holiday family experiences, plans and prediction for 2010.
1002 Are science and religion compatible?
1003 Are Atheists happier, smarter, and more moral?
1004 American Atheists Convention and Atheist Scruples
1005 This I Believe
1006 God and the Constitution
1007 Is Atheism a Religion?
1008 OK, You’re an Atheist, Now What?
1009 Militant Atheism
1010 Guest Lecturer, William Farris: “Clifford Algebra”
1011 Guest Lecturer, Mitchell: Replacing Religion
1012 Winter Solstice Party
1101 Ethics and Animals (Guest Lecturer: Jamie Massey)
1102 Building Coalitions
1103 Someone is wrong on the Internet
1104 Why is Atheism Important?
1105 How Should Atheists Handle Loss
1106 Atheist Heroes
1107 Will Atheism Replace Religion?
1108 Is Atheism Gaining Acceptance?
1109 Coming Out
1110 The Mythology of Atheism
1201 Separation of Church and State (Ben Butterfield)
1202 Sociopaths are Atheists and that doesn’t say Atheists are Sociopaths
1203 Should the government get out of the marriage business? Mitchell Timin
1204 The out of control Arizona legislature
1205 What would a religious free society look like?
1206 Ashley Paramore from Secular Student Alliance and “What’s an Atheist to do?”
1207 Atheism on the Rise in America
1209 Eric Paul Lunsford guest lecturer: The Righteous Mind: How God People are Divided by Politics and Religion
1211 Where do we go now? Activism in 2013?
1301 Does being an Atheist make you happy?
1302 Is modern science due to Judeo-Christian influence?
1303 Is religion dying in the US?
1304 Atheism: past, present, and future
1305 Are Christians being persecuted in America?
1307 Personal Stories
1308 Feminism and Atheism
1309 Divisive Against Atheism
1310 The Benefit of Firebrand Atheism
1311 Tom Mates: Belief and Non-belief—A Look Across the Divide
1312 Winter Solstice Party!!!
1401 Things for Atheists to do in the new year
1402 Evolution and the “Ham on Nye debate”
Yes! We have plenty for like-minded unbelievers to discuss each month.