19 May 2011

Secular Student Alliance, in MY city? (It's more likely than you think)

Apparently the Secular Student Alliance Annual Conference is being held right here in Columbus, Ohio, which happens to be where the freakin' SSA is headquartered.  I'm not sure how this slipped my notice until now, but it's pretty thrilling to know that so many leaders of the secular movement will be speaking at an event I could attend without traveling across the country, let alone on OSU campus!

It'd be a great opportunity to meet fellow atheists from around the country (hopefully I manage to not be awkward and shy around them like I have at local meetups so far).

Over the past few months I've given a lot of thought about what I want to do with my life.  With that comes a lot of thought about the kind of impact I want to make on the future, particularly on the future of the country I happen to call home.

When I think hopeful thoughts about the world in which my descendants will live, a recurring theme is a secular society with superstition absent from public life. I hope for a future in which:
  • religion is never called into question in politics, and elected officials' speeches don't all seem to end with "God Bless (America/Our Troops/etc.)" or other such religious frippery;
  • schools freely teach modern science, without parents and politicians forcing them to push a false parity between scientific theory and mythological speculation;
  • atheists and agnostics don't even need to be "out" about what they are, nor fight for their right to abstain from religious practice, because belief or disbelief in any god's existence is a non-issue;
  • the holier-than-thou evangelicals who whine that they're being persecuted because they have to tolerate the presence of homosexuals or pray on their own time are just an annoying fringe group instead of a major Republican voting bloc.
I've come to the conclusion that, for the time being, supporting an organization like the SSA is going to be the most effective way for me to help achieve that goal.  The atheists, agnostics, and humanists among the students out there are future of the secular movement, and helping them organize will help us all have a greater voice in the world.

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Creative Commons License