In a statement made Monday during a session of the House Rules Committee, GOP Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas made the claim that abortion should be banned past 15 weeks of pregnancy, because male fetuses may masturbate while inside the womb.
I just want it known that Rep. Burgess is MY representative in the US House of Representatives. I also want it known that Rep. Burgess is a former OB/GYN.
At the time, the committee was debating a bill called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which passed the House late Tuesday.
The bill would prohibit abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy, which is in clear confrontation to the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade.
Rep. Burgess piped up during the debate:
This is a subject that I do know something about. There is no question in my mind that a baby at 20 weeks after conception can feel pain. The fact of the matter is, I argue with the chairman because I thought the date was far too late. We should be setting this at 15 weeks, 16 weeks.
Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movements that are purposeful. They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to think that they could feel pain?
Now, the statement itself may not be all that incorrect (I’m not a scientist), but it’s still hilarious.
(Thanks to RH Reality Check for breaking this story.)
On the Huffington Post’s religion blog on Thursday, Andrew Schwartz, a graduate student of Union Theological Seminary, posted a piece titled “Where Atheism Stops and Religion Begins.”
The title given on the Facebook post was “Can Atheism Save Humanity?”
The basic gist of the blog is that atheism, as it rises in popularity, needs to replace religious institutions that provide welfare to the needy and in times of disaster, but atheism is apparently incapable of doing this at the moment.
The New Atheists love proclaiming that religion is dying. It’s a claim that is hard to argue with. Religion is certainly on the decline all across the world. The “nones” (i.e. those who hold no religious affiliation) rank as the third most popular religion in the world, trailing Christians and Muslims respectively.
I really hate the term “New Atheists,” for reasons outside the obvious that it is mostly used by theists and other critiques as a derogatory term. There is nothing “new” about atheism or the recent rise in atheism.
The only thing that could be considered as “new” might be that atheists are finally standing up for their rights and fighting against the persecution and discrimination that they deal with on a daily basis around the world.
It is true though that religion is slowly dying and that atheism and an overall secular life style are on the rise, at least in the Western world. I’m glad Schwartz has come to terms with that. More religious people need to understand that, but some think that means that their rights will be taken away, which is obviously nonsense. Their superiority and greater status in society will be eroded away to a place of equality, and maybe even their influence in American politics, but not their rights.
This is a huge cultural shift and, as many prominent atheist thinkers would suggest, a necessary paradigmatic change in human history. What I find disconcerting, though, are the holes being left in the fabric of society as we see the institution of religion retreating.
As an example: when Hurricane Sandy devastated the eastern Seaboard, it was the synagogues, mosques, and churches that served as bases of operation for the Red Cross, #occupySandy, and other aid organizations. Religious communities quickly rallied their members to come out and aid the victims of the storm in a capacity that few other organizations could muster.
Even when atheism replaces theism as the predominant religious view, it’s not as if churches would be the only places that could be used for communal activities or in cases of disaster.
There are plenty of secular community centers that could easily be used. Public schools are often used as it is during times of disaster.
Schwartz then back peddles that comment a little.
This is not say that the non-religious did not show up in force to aid those affected by Sandy. Far from it. It was an amazing response across the board yet that response was certainly undergirded by and maintained through the willingness of faith communities to open their doors, their homes, and their lives to those who found themselves without.
That might have to do with the fact that there are so few atheists in America, about 5-10% depending upon who you ask. There aren’t that many community centers for us, because we are such a small portion of society. Yes, that number is much larger than Jews and Muslims combined, but we’re a segment of the population that left (or were never a part of) religion and the community that it offers.
Religious organizations have the community centers that atheists simply don’t have, but that’s not the fault of atheists.
Being an atheist in America can be social suicide. Many atheists are disowned by their families and cut off from their friends, all or many of which probably went to the same church.
There simply are not many, if any, atheist community centers in North America. There are places that atheists use to hang out, but often those are already billed as community centers that anyone can use.
Then again, there is an “atheist church” in London, England. I wonder how that will be used during disasters. Probably not all that different from a church of mosque would be, and as more people become atheists and some of those atheists start to seek out the community that religion offers, more “atheist churches” and community centers for atheists will start popping up around the world.
Or, let’s consider the food bank and soup kitchen systems in America. I live in Harlem and almost every food bank or soup kitchen is run by or through a local mosque, church or synagogue. The faith community provides the physical space, the staffing, and often times the funding. This is not to say that those associated with a faith community are the only ones working at or hosting services for those in need. Again, far from it. What I will say, though, is that faith communities account for a large part of these services and many of our brothers and sisters in life would go with far less in life if it weren’t for churches, mosques and synagogues.
Or, let’s consider that a large part of the funding for religious (and secular) charities come from the federal government.
According to Mother Jones, “Catholic religious charities alone have received more than $650 million” under the Obama administration, which I actually think is a travesty and a huge waste of money.
That money should be going towards actual welfare and actual social programs that actually help people. Many religious charities will either preach at the people they are helping or only help those that are religious.
The Salvation Army is a great example of a religious charity that does not deserve our money. They are adamantly anti-gay and even threatened to close down their soup kitchens in New York because of certain anti-discrimination laws in that state.
It is dangerous and facile to argue as many prominent atheists do that the decline of religion and the rise of secularism will somehow extinguish the devastating fires of systemic oppression and/or institutionalized racism/sexism/homophobia that are often associated with religions who appeal to an andro-centric God.
I actually agree to a certain extent.
Even if religion were to totally be extinguished, not all of the world’s problems would suddenly and magically go away, as if religion is the only source of the world’s problems, even if it is a major contributor to them.
There are atheists who don’t believe in gay rights, women’s rights, minority rights, sex positivity, environmentalism, secularism (believe me, they exist), and other things that would make the world a far better place for everyone.
One could chalk this up to religious mindsets and paradigms that have been too far engrained into the minds of certain people that left religion, but simply doing away with religion would not solve all of our problems instantly.
The new ideology of this age certainly is atheism. There is no arguing that…
Actually, there is some arguing with that, because atheism is not an ideology! Atheism just means that people don’t believe in the supernatural. That is all.
Generally speaking, that also comes with a healthy respect for science and maybe some social liberalism (but as I mentioned earlier, there are nonreligious people who are not in support of socially liberal ideas), but there is nothing inherent in atheism except for not believing in the supernatural. That is all.
The new ideology of this age, if one could call it that, is secular humanism. THAT is an ideology and belief system, not atheism. Yes, most atheists are secular humanists, but one must not conflate the two. To think of those two things as synonymous is purely ignorant.
It might not be as ignorant (or offensive) as thinking that atheists are all Satan worshipping, baby eaters, but it’s still ignorant, or at least a little misinformed.
…so, as the fresh new ideological mainstay, atheism must be prepared to assume, and improve upon, the positions once occupied by religious institutions. Or, if not occupy, then replace with new institutions that service the needs of society that government and private enterprise simply are not willing and/or are not capable of holding.
Again, I actually agree with this. One of the weak points in the atheist movement is community, for some of the reasons I mentioned earlier, such as the fact that simply being an atheist in certain communities is social suicide. In the age of the internet, people think that online socializing might be enough to fill our basic human need to be social with others, but it is not enough.
In-person socialization is needed if the atheist community wants to thrive. This is not to replace religion as a dogma or ideology, but merely to fill that human need.
I do know of atheists and other nonreligious who will go to church simply for the social aspect of church. Atheism needs to do that too.
Conventions and conferences do this, so do more local meetup groups, and there are tons of these throughout North America. Heck, I’m in charge of the Secular Student Alliance at the University of North Texas and a key organizer for the North Texas Secular Convention.
It is easy to cast aspersions at the predominate institutions in power but it is a very different thing to replace them with a viable and functional alternative that covers the needs of society.
I agree, but again, we are doing that. Atheists do have viable and functional alternatives to religious institutions, in both the fields of charity and community.
There are now entire organizations dedicated solely to philanthropy, charity, and disaster relief. The two best examples are the Foundation Beyond Belief and Atheists Giving Aid. A more local one for me, one that I have volunteered for in the past, that has gained national attention in the atheist community is Dallas-Fort Worth Atheists Helping the Homeless.
All of these are great organizations that I highly recommend people volunteer for and donate to.
And as atheism rises, as more people become atheists, more of these organizations will pop up, and sooner or later, they will be able to offer a secular alternative, if not outright replace, religious charities and organizations.
Atheism cannot simply be about setting individuals free. It needs to address the deep suffering of society and take aim at dismantling the socio-economic structures that privilege the few while oppressing the many.
Atheism has nothing to say on socio-economic structures. Atheism is not a religion. It is not an ideology. It is not a systems of beliefs or way of living. It is just believing that gods do not exist. Please, understand that.
The fight for the oppressed and the impoverished, both emotionally and economically, is what most of the world religions are predicated upon.
Even IF that were the case for “most of the world religions,” it certainly is not the case today. Christianity has turned into a business, not an engine for social change.
Many preachers and pastors in America are living lives of luxury while much of their congregation are the real impoverished ones. An example of this would be megachurch pastor Ed Young of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, who makes over a million dollars a year, while the church gets tithing from its congregates by playing videos of children with cancer and how with help from the church the family was able to keep it together (while at the same time never thanking the doctors that actually saved the girl’s life).
Atheism has nothing to say about this. Secular humanism and liberalism might, but not atheism.
Yet, the fervor for change among most of the faithful seems to have cooled and the rivers of change have grown stagnant. As evidenced above, there is still amazing work being done but that work is now struggling to survive.
So, there’s still amazing work being done by the religious and most of it comes from them, but now they’re “struggling to survive” somehow?
Please, I would like some evidence for this claim. Schwartz never links or cites anything to back up any of his claims, which are vague as they are. The one citation in the piece is a quote that Schwartz uses to try to be deep without saying much of anything at all.
While signing the “Merry Christmas Bill” on Thursday surrounded by nearly a dozen Santa Claus impersonators (as opposed to the real Santa Claus), Texas Governor Rick Perry made the statement that “freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion.”
The H.B. 308, commonly referred to as “Merry Christmas Bill,” would provide legal protection for “students and district staff to offer traditional greetings regarding the celebrations, including: ‘Merry Christmas,’ ‘Happy Hanukkah,’ and ‘happy holidays’,” because that was apparently not allowed in Texas schools before.
This would mean that I had been breaking the law for thirteen years while in Texas’ public schools. Oh no! I hope those evil, secular Nazi Muslims don’t find me out and take me to a FEMA concentration camp to endlessly watch Rachel Maddow to reprogram me to eat my locally grown broccoli and drive a Prius!
Nonetheless, as I reported on ANR when the Texas Senate passed this bill a few weeks ago:
State Senator Robert Nichols, who introduced the bill into the Texas Senate, is quoted as saying on the website of the Merry Christmas Bill, “To me this is a matter of helping our teachers and administrators feel safe talking about these holidays at school without fear of legal action being taken against them.”
“I’ve never had a question from a teacher about what they can and can’t do around holidays,” said Linda Bridges, president of the Texas branch for the American Federation of Teachers.
This is a solution looking for a problem, and it’s not even a solution. There was never, ever a problem with Texas teachers, faculty, or students saying “Merry Christmas” to each other. EVER! Despite this, the bill sailed through the Texas House and Senate with bipartisan support.
H.B. 308 also says that public schools can put up sectarian holiday displays, as long as there are at least two religions represented or at least one secular holiday display alongside them.
Obviously, this bill is open to abuse by the religious right.
Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist, said on his blog a few days after H.B. 308 was originally introduced, “Consider a school that puts up a huge Nativity Scene… with a tiny Santa somewhere nearby. It would be endorsing Christianity but following [Rep. Bohac’s] law.”
“Or a school could also theoretically put up a Nativity scene and a Menorah and call it a day,” claimed Mehta, “[If] an atheist wanted to put up a ‘Celebrate the Solstice’ sign alongside the others, the school wouldn’t have to comply since they already have two different religious displays up.”
According to the San Francisco Gate, “The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Dwayne Bohac of Houston, said he drafted it after discovering that his son’s school erected a ‘holiday tree’ in December because any mention of Christmas could spark litigation.”
No, the mere mention of Christmas would not “spark litigation” from those evil secularists. Only the endorsement of a religion would do that, and having a Christmas tree is an endorsement of Christianity. Having a “holiday tree” is not.
Just because you don’t like that your religion cannot be endorsed in public schools – well, now it can because of this law – does not mean that Christians are being persecuted. What it means is that everyone is treated fairly by having a completely neutral position taken by the government.
Now, back to Governor Perry’s original statement.
At the signing, Perry said, “I’m proud we are standing up for religious freedom in our state. Freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom from religion,” while surrounded by Santas and cheerleaders from the Kountze Independent School District.
What do religious people think “freedom from religion” means? Because I think their understanding of it is much different from mine.
Do they think it means that religious people cannot express their beliefs and only atheists have that right? Do they think it means that atheists have the right to stop others from expressing their beliefs? Do they think it means that everyone must accommodate atheists by never having religion around them in any way? What do they think it means?
I know what I think it means. I think it means that the government cannot endorse religion, but that’s just me. It does not mean that I’m going to take away anybody’s right to believe what they want. It does not mean that I will sue anybody that expresses their faith around me. It does not mean that I take someone to court for saying, “God bless you,” when I sneeze or saying, “Merry Christmas,” during the holidays.
I can’t wait to see what Texas passes next to protect the religious freedom of the poor, persecuted Christian majority.
Will they pass a law to give Christians the right to vote finally? Will they allow Christians the ability to earn the same as their non-Christian counterparts? Will they allow Christian women to marry whom their fathers sold them to in exchange for twenty goats? When will the Christians finally be given the same rights and treatment by those atheists?
Okay. Enough of that.
For fans of the recently broken up New Jersey band My Chemical Romance, the realization that Gerard Way, the band’s front man and lead singer, is also a comic book creator comes as little to no surprise.
The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, Way’s newest project following his award-winning limited series The Umbrella Academy and lesser-known The Umbrella Academy: Dallas, released its first issue on June 12th (not including the Free Comic Book Day issue that came out in May). Even with only one issue out so far, I can already tell that it will be a masterpiece for its social commentary and intense “Scorsese violence.”
Killjoys is co-written by Shaun Simon, and the art is done by Becky Cloonan. Much like The Umbrella Academy, Killjoys is set to be a limited series of only six issues, which is disappointing, but all great things must come to an end.
[You can read the rest of my review of The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys at Secular View.]
Ever thought that Russia was full of nothing but godless communists that want nothing more than to persecute the religious and take away their rights? Well, think again, because the Russian parliament just voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new anti-blasphemy law!
In the second of three readings by the Russian Duma, the parliament voted 304 to 4 for a bill in late May that would fine and imprison those that intentionally seek to cause “offense to religious sensibilities,” which would bring penalties of up to three years in prison and fines of up to $16,000.
According to the National Secular Society, based in the United Kingdom:
Mikhail Markelov, a member of the ruling United Russia party, said: “We are not talking about the subjective term ‘religious offense’, which is admittedly difficult to qualify. The law only punishes public acts that obviously go out of their way to insult a religion.” She said the new law has been “chiseled to perfection, and reflects the desires of the majority of our society.
The problem with that statement is that “offense” is always subjective, however you use it, so criminalizing the act of causing “offense to religious sensibilities” is still subjective to the individual and the culture.
If I purposely set out to offend Jews or Christians or Muslims or any other religious group in some way and no one reacts and no one is offended, am I still breaking the law? I did technically seek to cause offense, but if no one really cares, will I still be brought up on charges?
Speaking of which, the Moscow Times reports that in the initial bill there was a list of specific religions that “constitute an integral part of Russia’s historical heritage” that would be the only ones that could not have their feelings hurt, “meaning that offending the feelings of any religious believers will be punished.”
All while the Duma was voting on the blasphemy law, protests were occurring in the city of Tomsk.
One of the co-organizers of the protest said that “[the constitution] says that no religion shall enjoy preferences but we can see that the authorities breach the constitution by granting preferences to worshipers.”
The Russian Constitution states in Article 19, Section 2 (emphasis mine):
The State shall guarantee the equality of rights and freedoms of man and citizen, regardless of sex, race, nationality, language, origin, property and official status, place of residence, religion, convictions, membership of public associations, and also of other circumstances. All forms of limitations of human rights on social, racial, national, linguistic or religious grounds shall be banned.
Article 28 says:
Everyone shall be guaranteed the freedom of conscience, the freedom of religion, including the right to profess individually or together with other any religion or to profess no religion at all, to freely choose, possess and disseminate religious and other views and act according to them.
The reason for the blasphemy law is allegedly in response to the incident back in February of 2012 when the punk rock band Pussy Riot stormed into the Christ Our Savior Cathedral in Moscow and read from a poem that was directed at President Putin and the Russian Orthodox Church, criticizing their ever increasing ties over the course of Putin’s three terms as president.
Nonetheless, this law is just another attempt to further restrict the rights of Russian citizens.
Not only are they appeasing the religious in not allowing dissent or to have their feelings hurt, but on Tuesday, the Duma unanimously passed a bill that would make it illegal to spread “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations,” meaning homosexual relations.
The Moscow Times also reports that President“has increasingly relied on asserting traditional Russian values in his rhetoric and policies” since his reelection to a third term last year.
The one thing my high school World History teacher always said that still rings true to this day was that no matter the time period, no matter who is in charge, and no matter what kind of system they have, “Russia sucks.”
On Tuesday, JT Eberhard, former high school specialist for the Secular Student Alliance, posted about how Amanda Knief, managing director for American Atheists, suffers from anxiety problems.
She recently shared on Facebook about how she was planning for a party celebrating the upcoming release of her new book, The Citizen Lobbyist.
So here is an example of my social anxiety rearing its ugly head.
My book, The Citizen Lobbyist, officially comes out on July 1. I want to have a “launch party” at a local restaurant. Just celebrate the day and thank lots of people who helped me do this.
BUT anxiety tells me no one will come, anxiety tells me I don’t know how to host a party, anxiety tells me I am arrogant and narcissistic for thinking of doing this, anxiety tells me it will be awkward and no one will have fun, anxiety tell me to just forget about it and stay home. In less than 10 min from when I thought of the idea, my stomach is now in knots, I have shortness of breath, and I feel panicky.
I understand that the anxiety is not rational, but it is very real–emotionally, physically, and psychologically.
Not sure yet if my braver self or anxiety is going to win this battle.
These same thoughts and feelings happen to me every single time that I do anything at all with the Secular Student Alliance at the University of North Texas, to which I am the President and Founder.
Thoughts like these run around in my mind for days, even weeks, beforehand, and they become more pronounced in the hours leading up to it.
“You’re not good enough to run a group.”
“You’re not experienced or old enough to run a group.”
“You don’t know what you’re doing.”
“You’re awkward and weird.”
“No one likes you.”
“No one will come.”
“No one will enjoy themselves.”
“Something will go wrong.”
All of these go through my head every time I do a meeting, a get-together, tabling, and everything else that we do as a group.
Sometimes I have reason to actually believe some of these irrational thoughts. Most of the time I don’t, but it still feeds this cycle of self-doubt in my mind that inhibits my ability to function, let alone make plans for the group, preventing the SSA@UNT from becoming the most kick-ass secular group in Texas.
I just want people like Amanda and others out there to know that they are not alone when they feel these things and that they will power through them in their own way, whether that be through constant self-reassurance or from friends (or fellow officers) that help them along the way.
CrossMap is the Christian Post’s blog site. If you have ever read the Christian Post, then you know that it is chalked full of right-wing Christians. Many of their pieces are solely to bash atheism and secularism.
So you can imagine what kind of stuff is on CrossMap.
Well, they republished this fun piece the other day by Rick Osborne of Christian Parenting Daily, and it is full of fundie goodness.
They leave out the first half of the original blog by Osborne, so I will respond only to those parts (emphasis mine).
The very word Christian means Christ-like or follower of Christ. Everyone who has read the Gospels even once knows that Jesus promoted love, forgiveness, humility and godliness. He did not promote violence, war and insurrection.
“Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” – Matthew 10:34
The Body of Christ worldwide has come a long way and is a force for good on our planet.
Yes, such a force for good.
When a catastrophe puts people in harms way anywhere in the world, it’s the Christians and Christian relief organizations that dig the deepest and run to care. Millions of Christians and Christian churches worldwide reach out to help and love their families, neighbors and communities every day. These heartfelt charitable acts are a big part of what it is to live a Christian life.
One: many of those helping are not doing it, because they are Christian. Two: Christians may be able to donate the most money, because there are simply more of them in the world than atheists, and possibly also they feel that God wants them to donate more, because their preachers tell them God wants that. Three: atheists help just as much.
It’s hard to study the history of Western Civilization without seeing the amazingly wonderful impact that Christianity and individual Christians, compelled by their Faith, have had on the world today.
I feel the need to post those three pictures that I just did, again.
Furthermore, what is it that Christian parents are teaching their children?
Teaching their children to die or completely waste their only life worshipping something that doesn’t exist.
Going back to the general arguments about religion being a planet damaging force, studies show that children raised in religion are happier, more other-focused, and less prone to get involved with crime and high-risk behavior. They even tend to exercise more, eat better, and volunteer more frequently.
Atheists are far less likely to go to prison, have an STD, commit murder, commit rape, or have a teen pregnancy and usually have higher IQs and are more likely to receive a Nobel Prize.
A brief study of history will show even the casual reader that things like political agendas, territorial disputes, racial differences and yes, even atheism (the murder of countless religious people in the name of communism, for the sake of the state) have been behind some of the greatest carnages visited on mankind. Should we forbid the teaching of politics, patriotism, property rights, racial uniqueness and atheism?
Do not go there.
You even say that it was “in the name of communism,” then you chalk it up to atheism. Those two things are not the same! Atheism does not lead to communism, and communism does not lead to atheism!
Yes, people have killed in the name of atheism – I like to point to the Albania situation – but you cannot say, “They killed more people than we did, so they’re worse!”
And yes, we should not be teaching children about certain subjects, like politics, until they are old enough to understand them. I think that includes religion and atheism.
Also, “racial uniqueness”? What?
The Louisiana state senate passed HB 724 on Saturday, which would allow students and teachers to pray on school property before and after school time. Because apparently that wasn’t already allowed in Louisiana?
The entirety of the bill states:
Upon the request of any public school student or students, the proper school authorities may permit students to gather for prayer in a classroom, auditorium, or other space that is not in use, at any time before the school day begins when the school is open and students are allowed on campus, at any time after the school day ends provided that at least one student club or organization is meeting at that time, or at any noninstructional time during the school day. A school employ may be assigned to supervise the gathering if such supervision is also requested by the student or students and the school employee volunteers to supervise the gathering.
Any school employee may attend and participate in the gathering if it occurs before the employee’s work day begins or after the employee’s work day ends.
Any parent may attend the gathering if the parent adheres to school procedures for approval of visitors on the school campus.
The students may invite persons from the community to attend and participate in the gathering if other school organizations and clubs are allowed to make similar invitations. Such persons shall adhere to school procedures for approval of visitors on the school campus.
KLFY reports that, “A Louisiana lawmaker is trying to secure a piece of legislation that would allow public school students to pray before and after school, even inviting religious leaders on campus to assist.”
Again, was this banned in Louisiana public schools before?
Nonetheless, the bill is obviously open to tons of abuse by the religious right.
Americans United said in a blog post published recently, “As Americans United warned in a letter to legislators, ‘[T]he bill places no limits on the size or frequency of these events. As the bill is written, students could fill the public school auditorium to full capacity with their families and outsiders every morning for a large community-wide prayer service.’”
AU also claimed that Rep. Katrina Jackson, HB 724′s sponsor, had an original bill that “called for daily recitation of the Lord’s Prayer” in schools, which would clearly be unconstitutional.
Never has voluntary prayer been illegal within the United States. No governmental body has ever infringed upon the rights of students to believe in or worship their gods or practice their respective religions in public schools. Ever.
Conservative Christians always point to the 1962 Supreme Court case of Engel v. Vitale as the government somehow banning prayer in schools. No, they prohibited schools from forcing students to partake in religious activities. They did not ban students or teachers from praying.
This bill is just another underhanded attempt to set precedent so that the schools will have mandated prayer.
We’ll see where this goes though. It’s on its way to the Governor’s office right now.
I will never forget reading this story on NPR. The incredible bravery it took for Teresa MacBain, a Methodist pastor, to stand up and declare she was an atheist was inspiring. She went home to a community shocked by her revelation. Her life would never be the same.
A year later Teresa is an activist in our movement, working with American Atheists and other organizations.
Looking for a job with a lobbying and advocacy organization that seeks to promote separation of church and state, comprehensive sexual education, and for quality public education? Live in or near Austin, Texas (or willing to relocate there)?
Well, the Texas Freedom Network is looking for a new Outreach and Field Coordinator.
TFN was featured in the 2012 documentary The Revisionaries (whose director went to my university!), which covered the Texas Board of Education and their recent attempts to denigrate the teaching of evolution and promote a conservative version of history and social studies.
They’re an amazing organization full of amazing people with an amazing set of values and goals.
According to their website, qualifications for the position include:
Applicants must have at least two years grassroots organizing, field, campaign or nonprofit experience; be well-organized, resourceful and persistent; possess excellent verbal and written communication skills; and demonstrate a commitment to the progressive values, mission and goals of the organization. Demonstrated public speaking ability is important. Prior experience and a firm understanding of government, the legislative process and political advocacy are crucial. Applicants must be highly motivated self-starters who are able to work independently and in a team environment and have a strong commitment to social justice. Entrepreneurial spirit is a plus. Proficiency in Spanish is a plus but not required.
You should totally work for them (if you’re qualified). I would, but I don’t have the experienced required (yet).