September 8, 2008

Does American Atheists Do Anything?

I am a member of American Atheists. I joined close to a year ago because I wanted to find out whether the organization would be a worthwhile one to support via membership. I have been fairly disappointed and do not plan to renew my membership when it expires. I have been much happier with the Freedom From Religion Foundation and Americans United for Separation of Church and State. These organizations are clearly worth supporting. American Atheists? Not so much.

I joined American Atheists with some reluctance. I remembered how they refused to support the Secular Coalition for America when most of the other freethought groups were doing so. This left a bad taste in my mouth and made me wonder whether they were capable of playing nice with others. And then there was the matter of Ellen Johnson telling atheists that we should not vote. Still, I was determined to give them a real chance. They are one of the few organizations willing to call themselves "atheists," and that had to be worth something.

Now I am left wondering what American Atheists actually does. I receive all sorts of helpful communications and action alerts from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Secular Coalition for America. Not just that, but I see these groups actively serving the atheist community through activism, legal action, lobbying, and many other worthwhile efforts.

Meanwhile, American Atheists have issued no action alerts since December of 2007! One can only wonder what country they are living in to have not seen a need for activism since then. Since they do not seem to be doing much of anything, I think I will reserve my support for those organizations that will.

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