• Representing Godlessness To The Godly at #RNA2016

    My badge from last year’s conference

    One of the most important things an atheist activist can do is spread the message of reason to those who worship the unreasonable. Last year, thanks in large part to the support of a few of my supporters, I was able to attend the Religion Newswriters Association conference in Philadelphia.

    While there were a few humanist organizations which had tables at the conference, I was to my knowledge the only atheist attendee. Last year, the focus was on Catholicism since the conference was in Philadelphia ahead of the Pope’s visit. I wrote several blog posts about my experience at the conference and even made some great contacts within the religious newswriting community.

    I have been to a few atheist/humanist conferences in the past and I love them. I love being surrounded by my fellow atheists, but as an atheist activist, there is just nothing quite like being openly godless among the devout godly. What I mean to say is that some of them are afraid of me, while others are intrigued and it is so much fun interacting with them. These aren’t the under-educated religious followers that so often love to argue with atheists. The religious believers at this conference last year were highly educated and open minded. They are used interfaith dialogs, but they just don’t have experience with atheists. They aren’t prepared for an atheist at their event and it makes for some great outreach opportunities.

    This year it is even more important that I attend the Religion Newswriters Association conference since they will be having a panel discussion on “The Nuance of Nones.” Like I said before, last year I was to my knowledge the only atheist attendee. This year there seems to be at least some focus on atheism so it would be nice if someone like me could actually represent atheism.

    Even though the conference isn’t in my home city of Philadelphia this year, it is within driving range. So I don’t need to get a hotel room or spend money on airfare. I do still need to pay for the price of admission and maybe some minor travel expenses. I am hoping to raise maybe $350 for the September 24th conference. Can I count on my fellow Dangerous Talkers to once again send me to this conference? Will you become of Patreon Supporter or donate directly to Dangerous Talk to help send me to this conference?

    Last year, I reported on so many great experiences. I ate lunch with Focus on the Family and had an extended conversation with an Opus Dei Priest. Then there was the strangest thing I heard from a Christian and a general account of the experience.

    Please consider supporting my trip. Even if you just become a Patreon supporter with $5 or $1 a month. Again, you can also make a one-time contribution through the link in the sidebar. There are other things in the sidebar for you to check out too like my Amazon Affiliate link and Dangerous Talk Bookstore.


    Category: AtheismAtheist ActivismfeaturedHumanismIntervaluessecularismThe Media


    Article by: Staks Rosch

    Staks Rosch is a writer for the Skeptic Ink Network & Huffington Post, and is also a freelance writer for Publishers Weekly. Currently he serves as the head of the Philadelphia Coalition of Reason and is a stay-at-home dad.