Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dawkins Drama?

 I've known for a while now that the Atheist community in Michigan has been far too quiet. This recent turn of events just goes to prove my point:


Richard Dawkins was barred from a planned speaking engagement for being an atheist. Apparently, the country club in Rochester Hills where he was going to speak discovered his lack of belief at the last minute and stated that they wanted nothing to do with him. Their source of information? Fox News.

They may not be as loud and proud as the wingnuts in Texas or Kansas, but there are definitely pockets of religious nuts of all stripes in my home state of Michigan. The difference between here and Texas is that there, they have the likes of Matt Dillahunty and Aron Ra to oppose the champions of wingnuttery. Michigan really is not a bright light on the map as far as the movement is concerned. This needs to change.

Clearly, if an intelligent, eloquent and well qualified scholar is barred from a scheduled lecture because of his atheism, we have problem.

One thing I am glad for, however, is the fact that not all hope is lost here for Professor Dawkins. He'll be doing a book reading on Saturday:

I'm happy to say that I'll be there volunteering for the U of M Secular Student Alliance. My hope is that we'll be able to give RD a much warmer welcome and become more aware of the fact that we as an secular group need to become more active so that things like this incident don't happen again.

4 comments:

  1. Do you want someone to TP the country club? I'm not sure what you think can be done. I know that the Center for Inquiry people have released information about it in order to call to attention how unfair and ridiculous the whole situation is, but I'm not sure what else you might propose. I'm just glad the event is still on and that CFI isn't keeping quiet. Maybe I will see you there!

    Also, you should look into CFI Michigan, as well as the other freethought, atheist, and skeptical groups in the state. They're everywhere and I am really proud to be from Michigan. Plus, there is at least one freethought student group in Kzoo, so I think Michigan is doing okay as far as freethought goes.

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  2. I'm not suggesting that freethought groups don't exist here. Nor did I mean to imply that we should punish the country club for being assholes (though, being a midnight post, I may not have come across clearly). My point is simply that I feel like sometimes the groups here keep to themselves. I've known quite a few passionate atheists who feel alone and isolated and when I mention groups like CFI and SSA, their reply is generally "never heard of them". There has been an SSA in Ann Arbor for several years, but up until the last month, they were a tiny, relatively unknown group.

    I think it's definitely true that there are a lot of atheists and freethinkers in this state, but I wish we could be... well... louder, I guess.

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  3. And, to be quite honest, I don't have anything against the freethought groups here at all. I'm just a little put off that the dawkins drama happened in the first place. That's all

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  4. Glad you got it fixed. I just wanted to say that I think it is BS that this whole situation even happened. So much for religious freedom. I know its a private club, so they can do what they want, but imagine the outcry if he was refused for being Muslim or Jewish.

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Please be civil. :)