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Secular Outreach in the Park/Ask an Atheist (Booth)

This is very much a “3 Level Outreach” event.  Come anytime between 10-4.  Stay as long as you like.  Participate at any level.  No pressure.

1) Share camaraderie with your fellow non-believers. There is no commitment to staff the table or talk to believers. None. Come hang out with us on the grass behind the table and socialize. It’s a fun day in the park. Bring food/drinks/chairs if you like (certainly not required). Or just come visit. Stay five minutes, stay all day. Bring kids, bring partners. Everyone is very welcome.

2) Staff the table. Again, there is no commitment to talk to believers. Our mission is outreach to the non-believing community. Passers-by are generally friendly and there will always be others around if non-believers want to engage in deeper conversation. It’s fun at the table and everyone is welcome to try, if they’d like.

3) Ask an Atheist. For those who like to, and are willing (and there’s always a lot of us in this category), be ready to engage believers in discussion. This is a lot of fun for those who enjoy this kind of thing, and it’s good practice for your personal life, too! If you just want to come hang out, we’d love to have you, however long you want to stay. It’s fun to be out in the open as a non-believer, and the camaraderie and number of folks we have there give a very positive impression to all who walk by – even if many are just hanging out on the grass. For those willing to staff the table or talk to believers, we now have a good set of guidelines/suggestions for both. This helps us generate good will, stay positive and keep consistent.

Everyone is welcome to join from every group. Everyone that does join us is encouraged to bring a chair, drinks and snacks (depending on how long they plan on joining in the fun). There are however great restaurants and cheap food, all within a rocks throw. A few of us often bring snacks, desserts and beverages for all to share and anyone is of course, welcome to be so generous. Everyone is encouraged to wear their favorite anti-theistic or Humanist t-shirts and don't forget your Scarlet A lapel pins if you have them.

We have received a very positive response from a surprising number of visitors. Other booths in the park include the Mormons, Hari Krishna, Christians, Muslims, evolution deniers and Jehovah's Witnesses. So the public is encouragingly receptive to our presence there among the others. However, please do not feel as though you must converse with the believers or even the non-believers in the public as many of us simply sit in the shaded grass behind the banner and enjoy good conversation with each other all day. Finally, no one is expected to be there all day. If you can only swing by and say hi, please do.

We will be located on El Prado (the pedestrian avenue in-between the two large fountains in Balboa Park), right in front of the House of Hospitality that holds the restaurant, The Prado.

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  • Tommy J

    Besides seeing so many TunaFish & ChoChipCookie eating amorous atheists hanging out in one place I had a fave moment with a group that walked by. A guy made a snarky comment about "ask an atheist" to the group he was with. I decided to try a little advanced Jedi mind-trick outreach maneuver on him I discovered in an ancient box of Cracker Jacks. Rather than chasing him down and beating him to within an inch of his shallow life (given the limitations of my walker) I called out that we had other options besides asking an atheist, I informed him he could instead "Hug A Heathen." Kinda put him on the spot with the group he was with. So I went in for the kill and let him know he wouldn't even have to hug my horns, just a harmless hug between humans, yet he shrank away even further. Then It Happened. A woman walking with the group blurted our "Really?" I said "You Betcha" in my best Sarah Palen and she ran back to get a hug from a heathen. Best part was, I got to take one for the team ; )

    1 · July 28, 2013

    • Bo

      It's very generous of you to bring sandwiches and chocolate chip cookies. The big rainbow parasols of yours are awesome, too.

      July 28, 2013

  • Jes

    I look forward to meeting some like-minded people!

    July 22, 2013

    • Tommy J

      It was fun to meet you and your lovely family. My son had a blast tweaking your noodle with his card tricks & pulling a few on your boys. Hope to see you at other events & we got a few pics of you posted in the photos of the day. Have a groovy week : )

      July 28, 2013

    • Jes

      Thank you, Tommy. It was nice to see you and your boys too. Your son is very talented. Tell him to keep working hard and maybe one day we'll see him on one of the big networks? You have a good week too. BTW, I didn't even realize someone was taking pictures of me!

      July 28, 2013

  • Jes

    Very nice. A fun and laid-back place to hang out.

    July 28, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Interesting how we sit around for a couple of hours and then we get swamped. What a fun day. Lots of people showed up.

    July 27, 2013

  • Tommy J

    Excited for this weeks event. Bringing two sons & two big 8 ft Rainbow umbrellas. Cheese & crackers, ripe peaches, and some other goodies. Someone brought awesome homemade cookies last week, had one and it was awesome. Got Chicago stuck in my head "Saturday, in the park, I think it was the 4th of July...."

    July 26, 2013

  • Tommy J

    PART ONE> This will be my fourth OutReach@ThePark. If YOU have not attended one yet, all I can say is; "Don't Be Stupid!" (grin) Seriously, you have to admit dealing with a bunch of Free Thinkers can be like herding cats, BUT, if you can pull it off, it is a beautiful thing. IMHO (which is never wrong) this event IS a beautiful thing. Awesome People, having a Great Time, while doing Real Outreach to the community. Even if "personing" the actual booth is not your thing, YOU ARE NEEDED & WANTED at the "Come As WHO You Are" party on the grass behind the tent. Here is how your TAX DEDUCTIBLE donation of bringing yourself helps. > 1) People walk past the booth and see YOU in the middle of an awesome party behind the tent. > 2) It's a party, They HAVE TO LOOK! (Google Monkey See Monkey Do). > 3) They see the non-intimidating Outreach booth with only two people in it. > 4) They come over to see what all the fun is about, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!. > 5) You go home having had a blast, AND...

    1 · July 21, 2013

  • Tommy J

    PART TWO>> ...AND you get a "Free (supernatural) Hero's Cape" to wear around town for the rest of the week as a Thank You Gift because YOU DIRECTLY HELPED grow the cause. Talk about a WIN-WIN-WIN argument. As a Rational Thinker you have to admit you would have a hard time coming up with a reason not come to @LeastOne >> OutReach@ThePark. People go to the park To Have Fun : ) The other booth(s) tell them they are going to burn in hell : ( They see us having more fun @ThePark than they are ; ) They get jealous and want to see if they can MUSCLE IN on OUR FUN. I know it’s irrational, but it works! We really need YOUR HELP. Hope 2-C-U there. RSVP YES RIGHT NOW. I personally GUARANTEE you will start feeling better about the planet and the direction we are headed even before the Saturday event because at the very least; YOU know YOU are going to a party where we really want to see you regardless of what else is happening on the planet at any given moment. San Diego needs HEROES LIKE YOU.

    2 · July 21, 2013

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