Sunday, October 09, 2011

Atheist Alliance America & Texas Freethought Convention – Shout Outs!

This past weekend has been the joint convention of the Texas Freethought Convention and the Atheist Alliance America in Houston, Texas. Somewhere around 700 people attended this conference – a very impressive and positive development in any place at this time of dangerous Christian fascism within the U.S. and rising fundamentalism throughout the world. But come on now: Everyone knows it is even more impressive, and positive, if this many people turn out for atheism and secularism in Texas! Rick Perry, get the fuck out of the way!

Over several years of traveling and speaking nation-wide, I have always been struck that progressive people, radical people, revolutionary people, and atheist people in Texas really have to be bold and courageous. Certainly, one of the very best parts of attending the convention was getting to know and learn from the impressive number of atheists and freethinkers who came from all over Texas. This included many who came on their own, who had never been to a gathering of atheists before, and who might not even be open with their families and friends about being atheists.

So, before anything further: a heartfelt shout out to all the atheists and reality-based people who took this step for the first time!

Also a shout out to those who spent many hours of many weeks of many months organizing this conference. Special appreciation to Staise Gonzalez (President of Houston Atheists), Paul Mitchell (President of Texas Freethought Convention), and Nick Lee (President of Atheist Alliance America). Also, Angelo who moderated all three panels I was on and to the volunteers who got my powerpoint running (sorry, I didn't get your name but THANK YOU). Obviously, to everyone else who made this thing come together – I know there were a LOT of you. Thanks.

As at any conference, I wasn't able to catch every panel or plenary. Nor do I feel that the most interesting post from me would be an attempt at a round-up of the whole weekend.

Instead, over the course of several installments: a few highlights... some reflections mainly on questions that came up in the panels I was part of... as well as in my conversations with participants... and an invitation to continue the dialogue.

Tomorrow: "Diversity (and Black people specifically) in the Movement"

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posted by Sunsara Taylor at 5:32 PM


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