Date & Time: Jun 15 2010 - 7:00pm
Location: Stone Creek Bar and Lounge / 140 East 27th St. (3rd/Lex)


 NYCA Meetup Discussion Topic:
What Are the Risks of Being an Open Atheist?

You’ve heard it everywhere in the Atheist movement: Come out, come out, wherever you are. You’ve heard encouragement from the Gay Movement, too: There is safety and satisfaction in coming out in numbers, our gay friends tell us. But in a society that is predominantly religious, where being a member of any kind of religion is seen as an improvement over no religion at all, where every political and civic event starts with an invocation to god, where religious people are seen as moral, upstanding citizens while the morality of nonbelievers is suspect—how much do we risk in “coming out” as Atheists?
That is the topic of the NYC Atheists Meetup discussion group on June 15 at the Stone Creek Pub, and it is as serious a topic as we have ever considered.
Just the other day, we at NYCA received a phone call from a woman worried for her husband’s job: He is an Atheist who had taken a new job for an organization that advises church leaders on business issues. The organization was holding a convention and the church leaders wanted her husband to open the convention with a prayer. He, a staunch Atheist in his private life, found this distasteful and hypocritical, but he had not told his employers that he is an Atheist. What should he do, the wife wanted to know.  Should he swallow his true beliefs and lead the prayer? Or should he tell his employers that he is an Atheist? In this struggling economy, when jobs are hard to get, what would you have told this woman?
The Price of Truth and Honor
There is no doubt that being an open Atheist exacts a price, and it has been so since Madalyn Murray O’Hair first sued the Baltimore school system in 1963 to get prayer out of the public schools. Bricks were thrown through her windows, the air was let out of her car’s tires, her cat was strangled, she got bags of hate mail, she lost her job and she was beaten up by the Baltimore police. Eventually she fled to Hawaii, then to Mexico and Austin, Texas, where she set up her organization, American Atheists, again. It was later in Texas that she and her family were abducted and their bodies found in a shallow grave on a remote ranch six years later. Paul Kurtz, erstwhile leader of CFI, has recently called for a new investigation of the crime.
While that is an extreme and bizarre case, and America has made progress in accepting nonbelievers (as current population statistics show), there is no doubt that we Atheists face some kinds of discrimination. Still, the percentage of nonbelievers in America’s population has grown from 14% to nearly 25% of the population, if you count those who list themselves simply as “non-churchgoers” or “non-affiliated.” Atheist books have become best sellers; prominent Atheists have hit the airwaves and TV; the President of the United States has even included “non-believers” in his inauguration speech in a list of those who make up this country. Isn’t it time to stand up and be counted? Is it time for us to show the badge of Atheist honor so that no one Atheist can be singled out? Or is now the time for the “accommodationists”—those who favor “accommodating” religion—to prevail?
What’s To Be Done?
Come on Tuesday to tell us your story, your feelings, on this deep and emotional matter. Join our discussion leaders Alexandra Sidiropoulas and Michael Dorian in their courageous exploration of this intense and troublesome topic of what to do, and how to deal with, the risks of being an open Atheist. Are those risks real, are they current, in what areas of life do they predominate, and what can we do about it?
WHAT:                  “What Are the Risks of Being an Open Atheist and What Can
                                We Do About It?” –an audience-participation discussion led by
                                Alexandra Sidiropoulos and Michael Dorian.
WHEN :                 Tuesday, June 15th at 7 P.M.
WHERE:                 The Stone Creek Bar and Pub
                                140 East 27th Street (Between Lex & 3rd)
                                Back room
COST:                    Free. But we encourage you to purchase a drink or food to   
                               compensate the Stone Creek for letting us use their back room.
                               The menu has excellent noshies and sandwiches at a reasonable price
                               and a connoisseur’s selection of beers.

Cost: Free, but participants are expected to purchase a drink or food to compensate Stone Creek for use of their space.

Come, hear this cisco training unusual educator examine how constitutional ccvp law impacts the intrusion of government into the religious sphere. Find out how the constitution could possibly allow religion’s ccnp dumps infringement into our daily lives though the “under god” slogans.ccna wireless