Friday, May 20, 2005

Turning Athiests Into Activists

There are several striking quotations in this San Francisco Gate story about this weekend's "All Atheist Weekend." Let me give you a few...

"We're trying to do what church people call outreach," said Jim Heldberg, a Pacifica software salesman and onetime Methodist who coordinates the group San Francisco Atheists.

"Atheists are not joiners," said Ellen Johnson, national president of American Atheists, which the country's most famous modern atheist, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, founded in 1963.
"You hear people complain, 'Look what they (religious people) are trying to do now,' " Johnson said. "Well, yeah, sure. They're better funded. Better organized. That's why atheists get pushed around. I say if you don't like it, get involved and do something about it..."

American atheists "depend a lot on wills," Johnson said. "People donate to us in their wills, but with all due respect, we don't need dead atheists."

And my favorite --

One point of All Atheist Weekend is to expand a base that the 64-year-old Heldberg describes as "a bunch of old white guys who sit around and bitch."