• Secular Nation Podcast Episode 20 – AAACon2015

    Your host, Tim Branin

    Your host, Tim Branin

    Tim and Mike finally get their bearings and discuss their experiences at the 2015 AAofA conference. Debates between Silvermans! (Silvermen?) Workshops! Stink-eye and abuse from other conventions! Atheist rap! Godless meditation! Bonding! Satanic Panic! Sunday Assembly! Jesus as emcee! The vision thing!

    We also shoot the breeze* about the study on the generosity and ethical behavior of religious children and everyone’s favorite topic, Ben Carson!

    We also say farewell to outgoing Executive Director Amy Monsky, who’s bringing her considerable talents to Camp Quest Southeast.

    Your co-host, Michael X

    Your co-host, Michael X

    *No breezes or other associated wind-related entities were harmed during this podcast.

  • Atheist Alliance of America Congratulates Dr. Rebecca Goldstein, National Humanities Award Winner

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    Atheist Alliance of America congratulates philosopher and writer Rebecca Newberger Goldstein on being named a 2014 National Humanities Award winner. The award will be presented by President Obama in a White House ceremony.

    According to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Dr. Goldstein is recognized for “bringing philosophy into conversation with culture. In scholarship, Dr. Goldstein has elucidated the ideas of Spinoza and Gödel, while in fiction, she deploys wit and drama to help us understand the great human conflict between thought and feeling.”

    Among her many achievements and recognitions, Dr. Goldstein was the 2014 winner of Atheist Alliance of America’s Richard Dawkins Award, given each year to honor an outstanding atheist whose contributions raise public awareness and promote acceptance of the nontheistic life and who, through their work, advocates increased scientific knowledge.

    “I was proud, when the NEH asked me for contacts, to put down the Atheist Alliance as among my cherished connections,” Dr. Goldstein said.

    Atheist Alliance of America works to develop and provide educational, advocacy and community-building programs for the atheist community. To learn more, visit AAA at www.atheistallianceamerica.org or find us on Facebook and Twitter.

  • Secular Nation Podcast Episode 19 – Ryan T. Cragun, “How to Defeat Religion in 10 Easy Steps.”

    HowToDefeatReligion Cragun

    This episode, Tim interviews Ryan T. Cragun, whose most recent book makes a case for eradicating fundamentalist religion in 10 easy steps. Find out — how easy are those steps?

    They also discuss the value of formally debating religion, get into religion’s privileged place in our society, and how atheism needs to be about more than atheism.
    Cragun also makes a case for taking over all religious holidays, and argues for the benefits of “out-Christmasing the Christians.”
    Tim and Mike open with a tribute to Chuck Vonderahe and chat about marriage equality and the shootings in Charleston.
  • Marriage Equality Victory!

    11403008_872250279515543_6039135987937975568_nToday, the United States Supreme Court, in a landmark 5-4 ruling, declared that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry, making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. The Atheist Alliance of America applauds this landmark decision and joins in celebrating this long overdue advancement in civil rights for those in the LGBTQ community.

    “Congratulations to LGBTQ couples and their families who, for the first time, can now be assured of marriage equality everywhere within the U.S.,” said Amy Monsky, Executive Director of Atheist Alliance of America. “This decision is a victory for reason and compassion and a blow to those who use religious dogma and fearmongering to deny citizens their equal right to happiness and to legal protection under the law.”

    Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, noting the evolving concept of marriage is in keeping with “developments in law and society.” He also wrote, “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family.”

    Thank you to all of the activists, LGBTQ community members and allies everywhere who worked so hard to make marriage equality a reality.

    Atheist Alliance of America is a 501c3 grassroots organization that promotes secular values and the separation of religion and government. We strive to be a positive voice in the atheist community, providing educational, advocacy and community-building programs.

  • AAofAmerica Mourns the Death of Chuck VonDerAhe

    Chuck and Bobbie

    With great sadness, Atheist Alliance of America announces the death of respected, long-time atheist activist Chuck VonDerAhe, Jr. on June 20th from cancer. Chuck was a current Board member and immediate past president of the Atheist Alliance of America. He lived in Mobile, Alabama.

    “At a time when AAofAmerica most needed him, Chuck stepped up at my urging.  When he became ill, I wondered if I had done him a disservice, but Chuck never complained. He loved working for freethought, advocating for feminist causes, and cheering for his favorite basketball teams. He was a good friend to me and a great friend to freethought,” said Bobbie Kirkhart, Vice President of Atheist Alliance of America.

    Jana Weaver, President of Atheist Alliance of America, recalled, “Chuck was the one who introduced me to atheist activism on the national level, inviting me to run for a Board position with AAofAmerica.  He always had more confidence in me than I had in myself and I am grateful for his support, encouragement and friendship.  I will miss his smile and his wit.”

    Our condolences to Chuck’s family and his many friends and colleagues. All of us at Atheist Alliance of America will miss him deeply, but we celebrate his legacy in the freethought community and we promise to carry on the work that was so important to him.

  • AAofA Condemns Charleston Church Shooting

    ema1Atheist Alliance of America is saddened and appalled by the tragic shooting deaths of nine people at the historic Charleston, South Carolina Emanuel AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Church on Wednesday. Among those killed was Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the church’s pastor and a South Carolina state senator. The shooting is being investigated as a hate crime.

    “Atheist Alliance of America condemns the violent actions of the shooter and as well as any act motivated by hatred, intolerance, or racism,  and we extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families and friends of those who died, and to all in the Charleston and Emanuel AME communities,” said AAofAmerica Executive Director Amy Monsky, who lives in Charleston. “As humanists, we respect the inherent dignity of every person and the freedom to be in community with one another in safety.”

    Emanuel AME is the oldest African American church in the south. It was founded as a meeting place for freed and enslaved black people in the late 1700s. One of the church’s founders was Denmark Vesey, a freed slave who planned a massive slave uprising starting in late 1821. The plot was revealed before it could take place and 35 of the plot’s leaders, including Vesey, were executed. During the investigation, the church building was burned down. It was rebuilt but all-black churches were outlawed in 1834, so the congregation met in secret until that law was overturned in 1865.

    Photo credit: www.nps.gov

  • Remembering Anne Nicol Gaylor

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    The Board, Staff and Volunteers of Atheist Alliance of America would like to express our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Anne Nicol Gaylor, who died on June 14 at the age of 88. An atheist and reproductive rights advocate, Ms. Gaylor co-founded the Freedom From Religion Foundation and served as its elected president for 28 years. Among many recognitions, she received the Humanist Heroine Award from the American Humanist Association in 1985 and the second annual Dr. George Tiller Memorial Award by NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin in 2011.

    According to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Ms. Gaylor founded the Zero Population Growth Abortion Referral Service in 1970 and co-founded the Women’s Medical Fund in 1972 to help low-income women pay for abortions. In 1976, she co-founded the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) along with her daughter, Annie Laurie, and another gentleman, to promote freethought and the separation of church and state. Annie Laurie Gaylor now serves as the FFRF co-president, along with her spouse, Dan Barker.

    “All of us in the atheist community owe Anne Gaylor a debt of gratitude for her lifetime of work as a staunch activist for atheism and other progressive causes. Her contributions to the advancement of freethought will have a lasting impact,” said Amy Monsky, Executive Director of Atheist Alliance of America.

    Bobbie Kirkhart, Vice President of AAofAmerica’s Board of Directors added, “Many organizational leaders have a single focus on their work. This was not true of Anne Gaylor. Her nurturing of Annie Laurie not only earned her the deep love and loyalty every mother wants; it assured all of us that Anne’s legacy continues. This strong family value, enriched with a sense of purpose, earned open and loving respect from Dan Barker when he came into the family. While we are all grateful that Anne left us this legacy, we must not forget that she was not only a champion of our cause but a mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother who will be deeply mourned.”

    Photo credit:  FFRF.org

  • Secular Nation Podcast Episode 18 – Richard Carrier – “On the Historicity of Jesus”

    On the Historicity of Jesus

    On the Historicity of Jesus

    It’s a miracle! The Secular Nation Podcast has been resurrected!

    This episode, Tim and Mike talk with Richard Carrier, author of “On the Historicity of Jesus.”

    We cover topics such as, are atheists who claim Jesus didn’t exist guilty of motivated reasoning? What do other historians think of Carrier’s work? How do we know about whether or not Hitler was a Christian or an atheist?

    We also announce Atheist Alliance of America’s new “AAACE” Scholarship award contest!

  • Atheist Alliance of America Launches Scholarship

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    Atheist Alliance of America and Secular Nation magazine are proud to announce the First Annual AAACE (Atheist Alliance of America Championing Education) Scholarship of $500 for atheist students accepted to or currently enrolled in college, including graduate school.

    The scholarship is open to students who are residents of the U.S. or its territories, self-identify as atheists, have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better at the time of application and submit a 1000-1250 word essay. The essay should reflect how positive atheism acts in the world to make it a better place. One scholarship winner will be chosen and the winning essay will appear in Secular Nation magazine.

    According to Executive Director Amy Monsky, Atheist Alliance of America (AAofA) provides educational, advocacy and community-building programs for the atheist community. “We strive to be a positive voice for atheism and to advocate at the grassroots level. The AAACE Scholarship gives us an opportunity to encourage and
    nurture the next generation of atheists who will help transform society for the better through secular values such as critical thinking, scientific inquiry and social justice,” she says

    Essays will be judged by a panel including the Executive Director of AAofA and the General Editor of Secular Nation magazine. All eligible applicants receive a complimentary one-year membership in AAofA. The winning entry will receive a $500 check, a one-year print subscription to Secular Nation and free registration at that year’s annual AAofA national convention, where the award will be presented, though you need not be present to win.

    For more information on the AAACE Scholarship, visit atheistallianceamerica.org/scholarship.

  • Winter 2015 Secular Nation is here!

    We are pleased to announce the release of the 2015 Winter edition of Secular Nation, the quarterly magazine of Atheist Alliance of America.  Our central focus for this issue is the intersection of race, religion, and rationality.

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    Secular Nation is currently delivered as a annual print or electronic subscription to our members.  Members also have access to our magazine archive, giving them exclusive access to past issues of Secular Nation dating back to 2013.   Not a member?  We can fix that!  Click here to become a member of and show your support for Atheist Alliance of America.

    Electronic issues may also be purchased individually for $2.99 each.

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    Winter 2015

     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Secular_Nation_Fall_cover

    Fall 2014

     
     

     
     
     
     
     
     
     

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    Summer 2014