I hold an individual membership in Atheist Alliance International, and am a life member of American Atheists.

My question may seem strange to some, even naive to others, but -- Why isn't AA a member of AAI? Or vice-versa? Or why do they not cooperate more, say by holding joint rather than competing conventions?

It just seems to me that we are not strong enough to be splintering into rival groups and offering duplicate services.

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Simple anwer John. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ ;0)
Doesn't sound like a dumb question at all. Sounds reasonable!
Meh. I don't think it's useful to have all these tall groups. A lot of churches are tiny. Hell, most are. They crop up like mold on bread. If we're to stand united in atheist identity, it'll likely take the same sort of situation of buttloads of small groups all over the place (like church congregation -sized.) to swing around some weight.
It's like that South Park episode when Cartman gets sent to the future and there's this worldwide war between the Allied Atheist Alliance, the United Atheist Alliance and the United Atheist League over which should be the correct name for the organization.
Like it's been said over and over again, it's hard to group people over a thing that they don't have in common. What I mean to say is: although atheism is natural, the need for atheist to unite is purely responsive to the presence of religion. Maybe it's easier to face these challenges in individual, regional groups. Getting atheists to get together is like herdi- oh! look! a bird in the backyard! meow, meow, meow
The answer is that the two organizations have a different focus.
AA is a national organization that primarily focuses on the defense of church/state separation. The primary focus of AAI is to support local atheist groups and build community. (And it has an international, not just a US, focus.) We do both support the goals and mission of the other and work together when opportunities arise, for instance, we're both members of the Secular Coalition for America.
This reminds me of that scene from Life of Brian where The People's Front of Judea, The Judean People's Front, the Judean Popular People's Front, the Campaign for a Free Galilee, and the Popular Front of Judea can't get along (starts @ 1:42).
I have to agree with Vicki.

The voice of the rational movement is split unnecessarily and resources are being wasted.




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