Thursday, October 8, 2009

There are times...

and there are times...

Occasionally I have a series of fresh experiences, new news arrivals, in-coming mail and other odds-and-ends communiques on top of my own realizations and study all crashing in on me in a compressed space of time, so much so, that I have to pause and take notice of what it all means when looked at in concert. This week has been one of those times.

I follow a heap of online writers, almost all of them pro-atheist and pro-secularity, and from these people I'm able to gather an impression of how things are going on issues important to me (and to the whole world if it's paying attention). This week brought in a tide of articles that seemed to be carrying with it an ordinarily cargo of flotsam - some good news, some bad, and some neither here nor there. My impressions were mixed yet I was nonetheless impressed. There was volume to be had... and quality, too... the movement, the grassroots, were in deed moving. I read from Trina Hoaks, vjack and Paul FidalgoHemant Mehta and a good many more. A good week.

FFRF, tireless and dedicated in its effort to call America's law-defiant, selfish thinking religionists into court, made the news on several fronts. I was pleased to know that my subscription money, a mere $40, was hard at work keeping prayer out of schools; admonishing elected officials to avoid religiously sectarian policies and practices while attending to their public duties; fighting for the equal right to advertise non-belief fairly and competitively in the public forum; and, too, vying for the attention of ordinary citizens (and with a good degree of success) to rightly see their atheist neighbors as valuable community partners. All was well nationally... I was pleased.

Add to this the welcome this fall of additional Darwinian evolution programing on PBS through its popular Nova series, an arrangement made in part by the efforts of the American Humanist Association, (a few more well spent bucks) as this week's news grew even brighter. But it still wasn't done, since additionally there was all that great stuff coming out of Burbank California as Atheist Alliance International held its annual convention. Richard Dawkins, Bill Maher, PZ Myers, Jerry Coyne, Lawrence Krauss, Eugenie Scott, Daniel Dennett... and it goes on. Wow. All of them making the news and drawing the attention of America straight to atheism's door and to recognizing its place (my place) at the table.

And then came the best stuff.

I keep myself busy within my own local world and that world seems to keep getting larger and larger. My email was crammed all week long by people I know through atheism. I heard from Texarkana and Conway (two groups I help start) and Little Rock (they'd decided to start a new Earth Scouts group for kids); all of them gave news of the things they were doing, of meetings they'd planned and of open invitations. I was passed fresh news out of Joplin (a group I like to visit) on the success of their "light debate" meeting with a local Christian group and the newspaper coverage they were getting as a result. I heard from my friend Darrel Ray, of Kansas, who's book tour I helped arrange, and who shared how his continued success establishing additional "RR" groups in cities across the country was going. I was reminded to meet up with my new Springfield, MO friend, someone I finally met up with face to face while attending an unexpected evening invitation. We'll have a drink together when I attend the Skepticons II wing-ding this November and I'll hope to meet up with the others Springfield Freethinkers. And, too, (this was especially kool) there was enthusiasm aplenty (so KOOL) for a new project here locally - to create a cable TV show for freethinkers. I shared in that excitement when I took part in my first orientation class along with ten or so others, all of us ready to take part, and all Northwest Arkansas atheists.

A busy week. A busy week. And I keep blogging, of course. It all pays.

But what does it all mean, reflecting back it? Well... I guess it means atheism and the secular movement are more real than Jesus... and, for me, that's well worth the time and the few small bucks I've invested to help make it true.

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