I have been off my blog for a few days while I attended The American Atheist conference in Atlanta. Had a hugely fun time. Athiests know how to have fun but I have to say that the Alabame Atheist contingent with Blair Scott could take the prize (if there was one). The height of the conference was the debaptizing ceremony led by Edwin Kagin and his cronies. It is a simple process, quick and painless by hair dryer no less!

The official sacrilegious food was peanut butter crackers and root beer. Several hundred got debaptized and received an official certificate.
I am happy to say the book sales were outstanding in part because of some new friends who went about hawking the book to people. John and Fran Welte did everything but put sandwich boards on to get the word out. They are fun people. In addition, at this moment, the State of Alabama has more copies of The God Virus than any other state. Who would have thought Alabama would get so interested in The God Virus? I heard rumors that Blair Scott threatened to excommunicate any of his group that did not buy it. I couldn't verify the rumor, but there sure were a lot of Alabama people buying the book.

As usual, the presenters at the AA conference were outstanding. The one presentation that brought me to tears was by Nate Phelps, formerly of the Fred Phelps family. Nate gave a very moving account of his life growing up under the tyranny of Fred Phelps and his cult in Topeka. If you don't know about the Phelps family, read about him here.

Dr. Richard Dawkins also had a great presentation. If you have never been to an AA convention, you are missing one of the best events for your mind on the planet. There are more intelligent people per square foot at an AA conference than about any where on earth.

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Tags: Alabama, American, Atheist, Dawkins, Edwin, Kagin, Nate, Phelps

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Comment by Blair Scott on April 13, 2009 at 11:53pm
Regarding CFI: I am not sure why they insist on holding the conference on the same weekend as American Atheists. AAI changed their convention to the opposite side of the calendar so everyone could enjoy both conferences. It would not be a big deal for CFI to change theirs and stop competing and start cooperating.

The American Atheists Conventions combine speeches (education and humorous) with fun activities (every pep rally needs some pep) and tons of post-convention partying each night. We also have a guided tour on Sunday to take advantage of local attractions that are unique to the city we are visiting.

FYI: You do not have to be a member of American Atheists to register and participate in the Conventionl
Comment by Blair Scott on April 13, 2009 at 11:48pm
Thanks for the props Darrel! We had a great time hanging out with you in the Lounge getting drunk. The "Alabama contingency," as you put it is definitely a partying group of folks and I love them all! I didn't threaten ex-communication, but I certainly recommended your book to my group and reading list and I am getting ready to write up the review for Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and my Recommended Reading List.
Comment by Robert Posey on April 13, 2009 at 11:35pm
HA! Everyone seemed to have a lot to say when they found out we were from Alabama. I have some pictures of you hanging out in the lobby with us which I will post in a bit.
Comment by Darrel Ray on April 13, 2009 at 10:53pm
The American Atheist Conference is usually on Easter weekend (convenient). They have not announced next years time and location yet but check their website and I am sure they will have it soon. I have been to two and both were excellent. A good mix of play and brain stimulation. They don't take themselves too seriously, but they are serious about Atheism.
Comment by Allison Schreier on April 13, 2009 at 4:53pm
ahhh im so jealous... I been trying to find a conference or some kind of group that I could go to!!! very cool
Comment by John Welte on April 12, 2009 at 9:55pm
Thanks for the kind words Darrel. When I read a book such as yours that brings together some ideas floating around the edges of my brain and expresses them and expands on them simply but thoroughly, I want to spread the word and share those ideas with as many people as I can.

I had a great time at the conference. It was entertaining and enlightening. I was able to get together with some old friends and make a few new ones.

The de-baptism ceremony was great fun. Be sure that when you tell people about it that you emphasize that it has as much meaning and significance as a baptism. NONE!

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