Last nights “Ask an Atheist” booth was rained out along with many other things from Border bash, but with the help of 2 volunteers, we managed to pull in a few more interested non-believers into the organization. We did start off with a woman who tried to state a fact with Jesus and it ended there pretty much as I told her that it was a nice story but was not fact. We didn’t have any other problems other than the bad weather.
An interesting thing did happen to us…TWICE!!! A ministry had a booth there and they were trying to raise funds for a new church van and the first time they came, we just ignored them and threw away the paper they left on our table. The second time, I had to ask them if they new what an atheist was. They said yes and I politely told them that we would not be supporting their cause and it wasn’t against them. They walked off bewildered. I am sure they would have stopped by a couple more times if it wasn’t for the rain that killed the event. LOL Maybe I should ask for donations for our organization from them at the next Border Bash if they are there. HMMM
There than that, it was a great second event for us!
Out of all that attended Border Bash in Bristol, TN/VA, we had only 2 hateful Christians! Everyone else was so pleasant and peaceful and willing to at least listen and converse civilly. There were even Atheists that came by and thanked us for finally getting a group together that they can be a part of.
I would like to personally thank Cody, Mat and Ethan for showing their support and being gentleman at the table and with others. We showed the community that we are here and our voice will be heard.
We received the usual questions like, “Who will you call out to on your death bed?”, “Where do you think you will go when you die?” and “Don’t you know you are going to HELL?!?”. There was more discussion then questions asked, but that is fine and whatever it takes to make a person think!
Next Border Bash, we hope to have an even bigger show of support! We will have our banners by then, also which you will get a preview of hopefully at the first meeting this coming Thursday, May 8th! I am also creating some “Ask an Atheist” t-shirts to be worn by the volunteers!
If you can come out to these events and show your support, we would greatly appreciate it!
P.S. We only made $7 in donations tonight, but that is more than we expected and it will be put directly into the Tri Cities Atheist Society PayPal account. (Will take 3-5 business days to transfer from my savings)
Our first official meeting will take place at The Willow Tree Coffeehouse and Music Room at 216 E. Main St, Johnson City, TN at 6PM. Please RSVP your coming to the meeting: www.meetup.com/Tri-Cities-Atheist-Society/events/179080442/ You will be able to order food and Drink and then at 8PM, you can stick around for some LIVE music from Mark Schimick and Billy Constable. There is a cover charge, but it won’t be much.
If you are wanting your voice heard, then this is the meeting to attend. And if you want to help spread the word, you can print out this flier and pass them out to all your friends and/or acquaintances. Just click on it to see full size version. Right click and save or print. Thanks for your help!
I guess this should be a formal introduction for the Tri Cities Atheist Society, but I have been too serious with the construction of this group so far. So I will try to inject a little humor into this entry. Let’s see what happens!
There are many atheist groups in the Tri Cities, but they are no where near what this organization is trying to do. They have put the proverbial foot in the door and gathered a lot of closet atheists along with a few outspoken ones, but they have failed to accomplish what they set out to do. This is not their fault completely. They are somewhat afraid of the repercussions from their family, friends, coworkers and employers if they state their disbelief. This is a problem many atheists face in the entire world, but I am just focusing on one particular region called the Tri Cities which has 3 major cities, Johnson City, Kingsport & Bristol (which is on the TN/VA border). There are many smaller cities in this region which also have a few non believers and all this is inside what is called the Bible Belt.
There is great concern for how people will react and treat others, but not as much as one would assume. I have been in the Bristol, VA area for 2 years, but lived in Abingdon, VA for 3 years before that and I have yet to see anything completely negatively influenced by religion. But I have no kids, although I work with them, so I do not know what goes on in the school system. I do not get in trouble, so I have no knowledge of the courts. I don’t have cable or read the newspaper, so I do not know all the current events. I have not been to any city meetings, so I do not know what goes on in our local government. With all that being said, does it mean there is not a need for an Atheist organization in our area? NO!!! We do need one, especially with the way our federal government is being imposed upon by the religious right.
This organizations purpose is to be proactive with opposition to that religious right and maintaining a peaceful atmosphere in our area with education and understanding of what atheism is and who we are. This will be achieved through meetings that will take place once or twice a month, setting up booths at local festivals and events, providing charitable and community services, organizing our own events and many more avenues that will allow us to get the word out that we are “Good without God”. If need be, which we hope will never happen, we will oppose the religious right through legal means using local and outside sources such as the ACLU, Freedom From Religion Foundation, American Atheists and many more. We hope to be able, as a collective of rational thinkers made up of a wide variety of individuals and professionals, find peaceful solutions to any issues that might arise. We do not picket or protest the way theists do. We do not preach or proselytize our non beliefs. We do voice our strong opinions, based on facts provided through evidence and knowledge, just as the theists proclaim. It is only right as they have the constitutional freedom to spread their ignorance using the 1st Amendment, so we have the the same rights to confront it.
The entries here and the posts on our Facebook Page will all contain issues ONLY from our local area. We are having our first meeting on May 8th at 6pm at a location TBA. You can find out more about it here. This meeting is for atheists and agnostics ONLY. If you are a theist reading this and plan on coming to the meeting to protest, preach or proselytize, you will be escorted from location politely.
As time goes on, the organization will grow and the information we provide will be quite substantial and educational and maybe a little controversial. We will just have to see.
Oh yeah, I was going to inject some humor. Jesus walks in to a bar with 3 nails and asks the bartender… “Can I get 2 fingers of scotch on the rocks? The Conservatives disregard my teachings they claim they are following! Fuck them!”
Okay, I am sorry. No more jokes from me!