You have done an amazing job. And it's wonderful for all of us to be able to come
out of the closet, so to speak. To be able to reach this level is encouraging indeed.
I would love to host some meetings in our house especially on discussions of raising
happy healthy well adjusted children with no religion as we ourselves feel we have
done...so far anyway. This is really the test, I believe, as it is far easier to have one's
own individual philosophy to live by as opposed to a family unit which also strives
to be open, respectful and tolerant. We do observe holidays but not as holy days.
Our daughter did get married in a traditional South Indian way with new interpretations
of old traditions as well as have an American style wedding. We do not want to throw
out everything as the Cultural Revolution did in China in a well meaning but very
naive way. Just as religions took over local pagan ways, we can take over major holidays
and give them new interpretations, oftentimes the actual core meaning can be discerned
but without god running through it.
I look forward to this next chapter of local and national development and discussion of
this most crucial issue. Hopefully in my life time the dollar bill and the Pledge
of Allegiance will go back to their original states and no one will ever be required to
swear on the bible ever again....and the idea of prayer in a public school will be banished
Subject: [bostonatheists] Leadership transition in the Boston Atheists
From: [address removed]
To: [address removed]
Date: Mon, 17 Dec[masked]:37:11 -0500
I'd meant to send out a notice early this week about the leadership transition, but the mention of Josiah's new title in the Daily Item (http://itemlive.com/articles/2012/12/17/news/news02.txt
) somewhat preempts that message. At last week's steering committee meeting, I submitted my resignation as Director of the Boston Atheists, and the committee members voted unanimously to appoint Josiah Van Vliet as interim President. Josiah's first task will be to work with that steering committee on a transition over the next two months, from our present status of a casual membership organization of some 1,100 members, to a registered non-profit community group with a board, elected officers, and standing program committees. The election will take place so that we have the new officers in place by March 1st. I or another member of the transition team will send around information about how members in good standing will be able to nominate candidates to the board, and to put themselves forward as candidates for the officer and committee positions.
Five years ago, the steering committee set a target goal of reaching 1,000 members before we returned to the question of non-profit status. We hit that mark this summer, and are now the largest secular membership organization in New England. In innumerable conversations with members, I have heard time and again that people are ready for a community that does *more* and *more often*. Well, this leadership transition is part of putting that goal square in our sights. The monthly brunches are now going to be weekly; we'll have more programs in private homes and civic spaces, as against bars and restaurants; we'll have a membership directory, a retooled website, and more opportunities for members to undertake service, outreach, and advocacy projects under the BA banner.
For my part, I am terrifically excited to see what comes next.
State Director, American Atheists
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