In my local atheist group we have discussed setting up a booth at the
local gay pride day event to get some new members- the logic behind it
being that these people were directly harmed by religion... it seemed
to make sense to me. But I sent out a newsletter saying "okay this is
what we're working on right now and we need donations desperately" one
of those things was the booth (among a couple other things including a
billboard and protesting our local city council who have decided to
pray before meetings now) and I got a huge huge backlash of people
telling me that we shouldn't get involved with gay people.. it was too
controversial.. that i was trying to force my beliefs on them- that i
just had an agenda because i am bisexual.. we even had about half a
dozen people leave. So what are your thoughts on leaving out lgbt
issues and the like from an atheist group? Some people even said if we
did a gay pride booth then we should do a pro life booth.. again, what
are your thoughts on this? I could really use some advice.. It just
seems like specifically not doing this booth is saying "oh no, we can't
get involved with *those* people". I should also add that about half of
the people who spoke up about it were for the booth and half were
against it (it was about 45% for and 55% against).

I try very
hard to have activities for everyone and I know that not everyone will
want to attend every meeting- some want a social group, some want an
activist group.. we have things like this booth, the billboard, the
city council thing, as well as plans for a helping the homeless
program, adopt a highway, etc and we also have bowling nights, movie
nights, dinner nights, and backyard BBQ's for people who just want to
have some social time with non religious people.

As members of the atheist and lgbt communities, how would you feel if
you saw an atheist booth at a pride day event? Do you think the two
mesh? How many church booths do you usually see? Do you think some lgbt
members feel like the churches are their only choice? Opinions?

**EDIT** just in case anyone wants to donate for the atheist booth at the pride day our website is http://www.greensboroatheists.com and there's a donate button

Views: 33

Replies to This Discussion

possibly :-/ i don't really want to make that accusation against my members.. especially ones i know who never seemed that way.. but i honestly can't think of another reason that lgbt issues are the *only* issues they have a problem with.
Maybe it's not homophobic but from what it sounds like, they remind me of little boys who don't want to be seen playing with their friends who are girls because they might be mocked for spreading cooties. At the very least, they sound really immature and need to grow up.
Heather, at some point, since I suspect you are doing an awful lot of work organizing this group, you (anyone actually) as an organizer might want to ask what you are getting from your actions organizing the group. I'm not suggesting that because you are "the boss", you should take your ball and go home. What I am suggesting, is that if you have put so much time and energy into this group, maybe you need to get something out of it, too. And, if half the members don't want the group to sponsor a booth at Pride, maybe it's time for the group to split into two. I personally wouldn't want to be part of a group where half the members could block having a Pride booth. A Pride booth seems an ethical, and sensible thing to do. Like I mentioned elsewhere, I would have been so happy to have had some atheist group reach out to me, years ago, at Pride.

Also, I think you have presented your case quite well elsewhere on the site. I think most reasonable people see that.
It's not half the members.. it was half the people involved in the debate which was about 10 out of 140 :-) some of them not even active members! I really value some of the great friendships i've made in the group and most of us, especially the active members, are on the same page. we are doing the booth on saturday and we're really excited about it :-)
Heh. Thanks for pointing out my math error.

That changes everything. Good to hear most of the active members are on the same page. Great to hear you were able to get the booth going!

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