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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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  • A former member
    A former member

    Even though some parts of the day are rather slow, this is the most fun thing I do all week. The funny thing is, that I predicted that when we were taking every thing down getting ready to pack it in, someone would come up and start an interesting conversation. And sure enough, A believer and his wife stayed and talk to Jim and myself for an hour. And he was freezing the entire time. Hope he comes back and visits us again.

    October 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This week for the roundtable we are going to talk about violence and atheism. If anyone wants to give a mini-lecture on a subject for the roundtable discussion, let me know and I can agange it for the roundtable.

    October 17, 2013

  • Tommy J

    If you have not joined us in beautiful Balboa Park yet, or even if you have been away for a while, you are really missing out. We have been having a blast!! The weather has been fantastic and on the semi crisp fall side and the volume of people in the park walking by has diminished just a bit. This has left more time for us to interact with each other and that is often even more enjoyable than mixing it up with theists.

    There is still plenty of opportunity to do outreach, but, the inter-atheist conversations tend to be deeper and way more thought provoking. And, we have been laughing more than those "power of laughter" churches you see on TV. If you're lucky you can catch one of our round table discussions if the crowd is thin. People stop by just to see why we are having more fun than they are at the park. We would love to have your voice and thoughts join the conversation whether you are a "hard core" atheist or just a "weekend" atheist, come on down; The Reality Is Fine ;-)

    October 13, 2013

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  • Bo
  • A former member
  • A former member
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