Atheist Community of San Jose Message Board › Why I'm leaving the group
|A former member||
Fasial was interesting and a good subject for the group. After he left I was bored. I was also bored at the first meeting I attended some time ago. I'm just not a fit for your growing community but I thought that instead of silently leaving I would at least say why.
Brian is putting a lot of his energy and heart into this group and is an excellent leader. It looks like an active core is coming together. I really wish all of you the best!!!
I've tried various atheist groups and attended events but the main topics of discussion are always the same. I'm bored with the same old rehashing of why there is no God and how to convince theists they are wrong. The wonderful Monty Python movie "Life of Brian" parodied this very well with the scene of that "free Palestine" group always discussing what they should do but never executing on a plan.
They were happy with that level of involvement and that is fine. Complaining is therapeutic.
I'm bored with it. It is well proven there is no God. Enough discussion. The research needs needs to be evangelized to get past the superior marketing of the clergy. They have anti-theism outgunned with money, people, laws, their myths. For me that is interesting. I've been trying for decades to find a group that wants to move the ball forward in a very big way. I'm not going to lead it though. I have other projects that interest me also and I'm done with organizing.
Cesar Chavez called me one of his top organizers for the Grape Boycott. I was a Draft Resistance leader, a felony at the time but we won and Carter pardoned us. There is much more on my resume.
With the Grape Boycott we fought Big Agriculture and their huge financial resources and legislative clout. I developed a backend method of protest that seemed to be the factor that forced them to sign contracts and start providing water and toilets in the fields among other things. (Those portable toilets for farmworkers got into the fields with blood and death in case you don't know the history.) In the Draft Resistance we also innovated with a new method of protest that worked. We were hunted by the FBI and had no Internet so organizing was a bit more challenging than usual.
I'm used to big tough projects that most people consider impossible and I'm used to wining.
My philosophy is that belief an any myths, political, economic, religious, whatever, is immoral. It negatively affects all of us by making large numbers of people subject to manipulation. Germany was overwhelmingly Christian at the time of the Nazis. It was the Christians who did almost all the killing. They could not have done so much with the 3% of the population who was atheist and most of those were scientists and not involved with the Nazis. Hitler was a Christian leader. (Not all religious leaders are believers by the way. Check out the Clergy Project.)
Stalin studied to be a priest. He learned how to manipulate theists. That is way Lenin warned his comrades about Stalin as he was dying. Communism is always a peasant revolution and almost every one of those peasants were Christian in Russia. Christiani is the Russian word for peasant! (The "i" at the end is plural in Slavic languages.)
So we have two major examples of why even your dear peaceful law-abiding theist friends are a direct threat to all of us. We must change the world to an evidence-based worldview and install better due diligence and critical thinking in societies.
Theists can be manipulated to act against their own values. All of us who have had a psych class know this. I want to meet people who recognize this threat and want to get shit done. If you run across other oddballs like me please ask them to contact jim at conceptuate com.
Sorry, I just get bored with less. I'm NOT dumping on those who are satisfied with just socializing and don't want to get involved in a big project. Big projects are really hard and you get slugged, spit on, and it gets ugly. It isn't for most people.
Thank you for explaining your position, I really respect your honesty.
I would also like to say that I too hope for a large sweeping movement, and perhaps that day will come.
In the meantime, I am focused on growing the community aspect of our atheist base. Part of the appeal for religious groups are the social foundations they have built in nearly every city across the nation. It is my belief that if we (humanists, secularists, atheists) can create a better option for community support, religious groups will be left with their unappealing dogma and therefore become obsolete. In my experience, pushing people hard against their beliefs only causes them to dig their heels in.
I certainly would like for all of us to band together, I think we have power in numbers no matter what our personal goals are - but if you are bored, it is not worth the time.
I wish you the best Jim, and hopefully find what you are looking for. We will be around if you ever want to pop back in to see how things are going.
San Jose, CA
I'm confused by your post. You say you are bored of hearing why god doesn't exist, etc., and I'm with you there! But then you go on in detail about Stalin, doing exactly what you say bores you:-) Also, we agree with you that atheism needs to grow, so your leaving is actually counter to that end. Not that you're going to stop being an atheist. By leaving, you are not helping to shape the group into activism instead of complaining. Brian has made it clear he doesn't want it to be a bitch fest, but a community that influences the greater community by coming out as atheists, by doing community service and other type of outreach, etc.
I do relate to you getting tired of having atheists go through the huge lists of why god doesn't exist. They are singing to the choir! But there are always going to be folks who are fairly new to atheism, who haven't quite come fully public, and need to vent. I try to exercise patient compassion there. You don't need to be an ear to that, but you can help promote other types of conversation by jumping in and changing the topic. In my discussion with those folks, there are a few that have a difficult time getting off the arguments against god. But I've also had wonderful conversation with people there about technology, science topics, human rights, their jobs, their families. We get out of discussions the same energy we put into conversations.
I hope you will reconsider, and if not now maybe later. We do wish you well. Maybe the humanists group might be more suitable for you? Anyway, be well! We hope you will return:-)