The Brights Movement was featured in a Sacramento local paper. There is a ton of good stuff in the article!
<b>Feature Story</b> (link)
The Bright side
Is atheism going mainstream? One local group says yes, presents a new option for nonbelievers.
<i>Paul Geisert doesn’t believe in God, but he didn’t exactly want people to hate him for it. And so there he was, in the fall of 2002, contemplating plans to attend a march in Washington, D.C., organized to protest the overarching religious themes of September 11 memorials and tributes. A Sacramento resident since 1985, Geisert wanted to head east to participate in the demonstration but was aghast by the message its name implied. At best, he reasoned, the Godless Americans March on Washington was clueless. At worst, it was downright offensive.
That name, the longtime atheist remembers, left him feeling angry and defensive.
“I just went absolutely ballistic—here the [march organizer] is calling on everyone in the active atheist groups to march on Washington, and they call it ‘godless’—it was just like spitting in everybody’s face,” Geisert explains on a recent afternoon. The way Geisert saw it, the word godless is synonymous with “evil,” and its use was a surefire way to alienate the general public.
“Why would anyone want to call themselves something that was seen as evil? That ‘godless’ part just drove me nuts.’”
So the former science professor sat down and tried to think up a new term—one that was less divisive than godless but more inclusive than atheist.
The idea, he says, was to pick a word that would help public perception of atheists. Much as the term gay has largely replaced homosexual in the mainstream lexicon, Geisert wanted a word that would allow more atheists to feel comfortable being “out” with their viewpoints.
A few weeks later, after brainstorming thousands of ideas, he finally hit upon what he believed to be the perfect word: bright.</i>