Even thou A|N is less then a year old, we are already making an impact in the realm of unbelief. As we approach the new year, I can't help but think (and dream) of what we collectively could accomplish in 2009.

Let's brainstorm. What are your ideas? What would you like to see us achieve this year?

Also, this shouldn't be a place to poo-poo other's ideas. Let's just dream unencumbered, and then worry about the details once we get some decent ideas.

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Well, I'm new here, and I all ready feel extremely comfortable. Im only requesting an on-going, informative, and inviting scene, although I'm new to atheism and have no where else to speak about my inner soul other than to myself, I know this wonderful site will not only teach me, but embrace me with an infinitive and endless knowledge of such a good belief.
Hi Kristy,

I appreciate the passion you have for challenging the vatican. I am concerned that your goal is rather large and undefined. I agree with you that the Catholic Church is the nexus of much hocus pocus nonsense and the real hatred and violence that stems from their 'truths.' That said, I am wondering if you would be willing to work on a smaller but perhaps even more critical campaign - the fight to protect the integrity of our science curriculums. Today, every day the battle continues between the rational and the crazed creationists/intelligent designers. We need to organize and understand the school boards/cities/states where debates are on-going or planned. If we know where and when we should be able to ensure that the scientific method and empirical knowledge are defended. So what do you think Kristy? Are you game?
Hi Erin, I am already working on a major project which addresses religion and school curriculums, faith based initiatives, the separation of church and state, and a number of other major issues. Our government has called for submissions on "Freedom of Religion and Belief in the 21st Century" and a group of Australians on Atheist Nexus have brainstormed ideas for a paper which I am currently writing. You can read what has been done so far here. When it is completed, the paper will have involved approximately 3 months full time work - so I don't have a great deal of time to join your particular campaign at the moment, although I support it wholeheartedly.

In researching for this paper, I have also identified a major area of concern with faith-based pregnancy counselling services and have passed that information along to an Australian senator who has already sponsored a Bill identifying similar concerns.

When our paper is completed, as well as sending it to the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission, we will forward it to a number of Australian politicians who may be able to use the research we have done in furthering our cause through the Parliament and Senate.

I have also been involved in doing some preliminary research for a book on atheism in Australia and have been invited to a write a chapter for it. It is proposed that the submission we are writing will, in some form, be added to the book as an appendix. This will provide an even wider audience for our arguments.

I have recently joined the Atheist Foundation of Australia and have pledged to support their Atheist Bus Advertising Campaign. I am also a founding member of our local atheist meet-up group and a member of the meet-up group in my nearest capital city.

In my 'spare time' I also blog and comment on atheism blogs on myspace and host the Australian forum here on Nexus - a small contribution, but important nevertheless. From time to time I've also been able to provide a little help and advice to Brother Richard.

So, you see, you need not be concerned that my goals are 'large and undefined'. We have a number of specific religious problems here in Australia and my colleagues and I plan to be in the forefront of tackling them.
Advertise more? I would like to see a few more people from Canada on the site. Maybe get in on those google ads. I've never seen nexus pop up yet.
how about a Podcast or "radio talk-show" like format, 2 moderators and people call in, touch upon current events, books, and have open discussions?
Also, very important to watch the religious right very closely, especially in local elections and push forward the separation of church and state.
About me: Heres my Dream ... a real Dream I had as a boy. I was a boy born between 2 sides of a family, maternal half roman catholic, paternal half taoist, and to add to the mix, with a few older folks theravada buddhist. I was brought up in a multi racial island (singapore), where racial and religious harmony is expoused, but from my experience, we have achieved merely a level of "tolerance" rather than harmony. It was a world where accepting one faith meant shutting the doors on another.

A Freethinkers Guild: To reconcile the mess and adopt the best of each religion,
I dreamt what it would be like if a secular freethinkers guild was founded.
A secular guild which can replace the useful societal functions of major religions
A secular guild which is inclusive to all people, and does away with dogma, doctrine, evangelicism, conservatism.
A secular guild which lends its members the social leverage they need, but yet allows its members to ultimately make their own choices

A society of people who:
- Collectively study and learn about all living religions and philosophies, by inviting guest speakers from all over, and organising field trips local and abroad to immerse in different cultures.
- Cater as a focal point for community activities. This can be similar to the various ministries of the church, with various volunteer and special interest groups.
- Collaborate on self improvement by organising various workshops for its members especially useful stuff not taught in school, for example workshops on making financial investments, to cope with realtionships, and other lifestyle workshops.
- Are fun! Love to party, encourage people to be sociable, and give people excuses to party! (Sounds like some megachurches I know). Instead of having praise and worship or mass prostration sessions, let the talented members of the guild lead in rock concerts and dance parties! The less active older members can have a separate group to do their own thing. =p
- Act as a platform for social entrepreneurship (go google if u dunno what that is). For example you can band together all the delinquents on the street and teach them proper ways to make a living. As steven covey says teach a man to fish and feed them for a lifetime kinda thing.

All in all
- its up to your imagaination really, I just want a platform for people to meet up and add VALUE to the lives of others in the ways open to them.
- The guild will be funded by donors, and those who do not have $$ to donate should volunteer their help. This creates a positive externality of fostering a sense of involvement of the volunteers in their community. The board of management will consist of volunteers with no pay.
- A guild which does the right thing, without the need for being needlessly pious, religiously polarised, morally hypocritical.

Of couse its a dream, I know it will never be realised...
Great post and a great dream but I disagree with you on just one thing. I think it can and will be realized. Yes Athesits are an independent bunch, but all that needs to happen is for a critical mass to get together and work together towards this goal. Never before has the technology existed to get such a diverse group together. Our ideas and concepts, which show religion to be the fraud that it is, are simple on their face, but seemingly complex to a population lost in religious fantasy. The technology today allows these ideas access to a very large segment of the population of Earth. Where at some time in the past, this would just have been a dream, today I think it just might be inevitable. Information is the enemy of religion, and the friend of Atheism, and we are still now, only at the beginning of the information age.
I do like that dream though..It's a good one!
I would add that steps in the right direction should also be noted in the Watch, i.e. Pres. Obama's recent inclusion of "non-believers" in his inauguration speech, now being castigated by the fundie wingnuts who think we are not "true Americans" if we don't profess belief in one of the judeo-xtian sects. Just as we fight against the negative, we should express praise for the positive, minor though it may be. After all, it's the best way to train children, and what are theists if not wards of Big Sky Daddy?
Yes, Don..I did see a statement issued by some fundie group condemning the inclusion of both non-believers and muslims in his address. I'll see if I can find it and will post a link when/if I do.
I'm still orienting myself to the site. I'm just SO happy it's here.
We're glad to have you here, Timothy!



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