I did not know how, even though I was there with 3 catholics--they didn't tell me CRAP, and I had to sit in the bench with my long ass-legs while people shuffled past me and I felt awkward.
Of course, they were too retarded to tell me at the time that I could have gone up, crossed my arms, and asked for a blessing rather than being in everyone's way on the bench(we were riiiight at the outer end, so yes, everyone had to get past me and my largeness. Thanks assholes!).
@Park, Great holiday idea, I am all in on that one.
@Dawn, Very good idea about holidays based on scientific discoveries. I also believe your thoughts on social needs being met are spot on. What do you thin kthe best ways of implementing them might be?
Indeed, the times of the solstices and equinoxes were four of the major holidays in the ancient European Neolithic and Bronze Age world. The christians felt obliged to eliminate them from their converts minds which they did by twisting reality, and that was nothing new to them.
In the course of the research work for a major thesis (M.Sc in archaeology), I was able to reconstruct the calendar of those times. Eight major points emerged. The other four were the quarter days.
The local meetings--I've been kicked out of them, by suggesting that we listen to minorities and discriminated people when they have a beef with the words we're using to talk about them--the white, young, relatively well-to-do males told me to shut up, that it didn't matter, and that I was impinging on their rights to say whatever they want by suggesting it.
I don't go to any more meetings around here. I can't take having to fight for the right to speak just as much as the rest of the males there, rather than taking a backseat. Also, I find them as shallow and nonsensical as any christian group--just choosing another view to hold a seat of power from. It's disappointing, and yes, I think atheists need local family-friendly meeting group--right now it's always young, males, whites, and relatively well-to-do--when I know churches do everything from trips to Chicago to bowling nights.
We do need this, I'm just not the one to implement it--I have a horrible track record of getting anyone to listen to me due to being a feminist and not being attractive at all. Anyone else with an actual chance want to try?
Basically it's all young college guys who are only interested in attractive girls--they've regularly scared away any of the other girls who either won't date them/aren't pretty enough for them--the gender mix of our group is around 90/10, as well, I'm 'not the face they want', as far as I've seen. They also have zero minorities--it's all whites.
Even when I was there I felt uncomfortable and although I tried to fit in at meetings--I simply didn't. I asked them why there wasn't more diversity in the group and got a shrug in return--they didn't even want to entertain the idea that it was their fault and they might need to change something to attract more people, or at least people other than young white males.
And yeah, they do suck. That's why I don't waste my time on groups anymore if I see the makeup to be mostly white males--I find them to be utterly shallow, conceited, and misogynist but vehemently opposed to the idea that they're being assholes.
After the big throwdown I declared I wasn't going to any more meetings first-then I was told I was an idiot for walking away, as it was important for me to be part of it--then later comments simply said "fine, don't go to any more meetings--it's not like you have any opinions anyways."
It's very hard to be part of a movement that feels so exclusive, locally--perhaps if there was at least a close mix of genders--40/60, or if every time I went to have a conversation with another girl there wasn't 5 dudes edging me out to talk to her. I'd have liked, as well, for a solitary women's event to be organized--when all of the activities seemed geared towards the guys of the group--Monty Python, etc. There was also the fiasco at the southern atheist meetup where a guy basically talked down to a girl by making a joke at her serious inquiry, then when I disparaged that sort of behavior--I was told that it was none of my business and that I wasn't supposed to read it--as well as I was told off with a fucking internet meme--just so I knew how little I was respected--and no one defended me AT ALL, and that's when I knew--it was pointless being part of the group any longer.
You have to be inclusive of people--you cannot simply chase them away with "IT'S MY RIGHT TO SAY WHATEVER I WANT." or "YOUR OPINION DOES NOT MATTER." as well as many of the people organizing these events need to ask and realize that not everyone is interested in the same things as them--movies are okay, but where is a crafting day or an evolutionist poetry meetup or a festivus party?