First off, I must say that I am overwhelmed (and tickled pink) over the response to my coming out poster.
Sarah, kj and Craig asked about my involvement with the Interfaith Council and here I do respond.
The Laguna Beach Interfaith Council has no website, however a GOOLE search may yield some local newspaper articles about their activities. If you have the time and stamina, look at the attachments (below) to get a feel for their business and the list of participating representatives. Following is some information about the Council from my experience with them.
I was invited to join them in 2006 and was a participating member until 2008. As can be expected, the meetings always started with a prayer and, needless to say, I was never asked to give the prayer. Discussions were dominated by church plans for prayer breakfasts, prayer luncheons, and/or prayer dinners, and when public school seniors graduated, they discussed graduation prayers them.
I had no church or religion to discuss, so I offered, in several presentations, information about non-church goers, in general to give them some knowledge and hopefully, an appreciation for atheists.
In one presentation I made them aware that in the U.S. adult population, Americans who identify with no religion are the third largest group after Catholics and Baptists, and their size is rapidly growing. Also, that they, as a group, are larger than Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Mormons and Jews all combined (ARIS 2008). This news impressed them.
In another talk I offered statistics on Federal Prison populations in the U.S. that showed that atheists were least represented and theists, mostly Christians, were over represented.
And yet another presentation offered statistics on holy matrimony in the U.S. According to the U.S. Census Bureau and National Center for Health Statistics, the highest divorce rates are in the southern “bible states” while the lowest divorce rates are in the northeastern, secular “blue states.”
Still another presentation was on a report by the PEW Forum on Faith in Public Life about the rampant musical chairs and defections between and out of traditional churches, and youth defections from their childhood faith.
These presentations were offered to be informative, to make them cognizant of their need to address these shortcomings. They politely listened and did nothing.
After a year and a half of prayer and church news, and speaking to deaf ears, Naughty Niko gave up and left the fold.