January 2, 2007

American Atheists President Responds to My Question

Thanks to Friendly Atheist, I was able to ask the president of American Atheists, Ellen Johnson, a question about how her organization works with other freethought organizations.

Friendly Atheist recently interviewed Ellen Johnson, president of American Atheists recently (see interview here). At the end of his post, he offered to take reader questions and pass them along to Ellen. You'll see in his comments that I asked a question about the relationship of American Atheists to other freethought organizations and whether it might be wise to build political clout through some sort of combined organization. I suppose I didn't ask the question as clearly as I could have. My intent wasn't to suggest that all freethought organizations give up their identities and merge into one mega-organization. I was thinking more along the lines of having some sort of umbrella organization to capitalize on membership numbers while individual organization would continue to exist underneath this umbrella.

Anyway, Friendly Atheist passed my question along and posted Ellen's response here. I thought it was very cool to be able to ask her a question like this. I appreciate her response and Friendly Atheist's facilitation very much. It was nice to hear about some of the ad hoc collaborations. I don't now if I'm the only one who lacks clarity about the unique differences of the many freethought groups, but I certainly do feel that this is a membership obstacle. Of course, there is also the question of how best to allocate one's donations.

It also turns out that there already is an umbrella organization like what I was thinking of - the Secular Coalition for America. However, I couldn't help noticing that American Atheists is conspicuously absent from the list of their member organizations. I can't help thinking that this is a mistake on their part. I can't help being curious about why they wouldn't support such a group.

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