What we're about
Hello! This is the public page for "Contra Costa Atheists and Freethinkers (CCAF)." Most of our events are in the cities of Pleasant Hill, Concord, and Walnut Creek — Contra Costa County — San Francisco Bay Area, California.
You may find our group interesting if you subscribe to the idea that knowledge of reality advances most effectively by way of scientific inquiry, using the latest, proven methods of science:
We especially encourage you to disclose your atheist or freethinker views as a method of educating the uninformed public about who we are — and that we are many!
Note: Among other things, the terms "atheist" and "freethinker" refer to a person who does not believe in any gods. While atheists and freethinkers agree on this issue, they may or may not agree on other important issues.
As we have learned from the LGBT community, an effective strategy for promoting positive change for atheists and freethinkers — and others — is to come out, stay out, and speak out. The Openly Secular campaign provides one way you can come out and tell your story:
CCAF endeavors to provide informative and enjoyable activities that promote opportunities for discourse without endorsing beliefs in gods or other supernatural ideas, either ancient or new. If you have a belief in astrology, angels, reincarnation, ghosts, heaven, hell, auras, and the like — then our group is not for you. Unless it's from a sociological or critical perspective, we are also not interested in discussing more modern mythologies surrounding acupuncture, reiki, homeopathy, UFOs, ancient astronauts, and so on. We look for plausible theory and verifiable evidence — not unsubstantiated belief. It should also go without saying that there is a difference between "energy" as a vague metaphor and "energy" as described by carefully controlled experiments and scientific theories involving biology and physics ... but we're mentioning it here anyway.
Our activities have included thought-provoking talks by invited speakers... • discussions about various topics, including videos and books... • group rendezvous at museums, clubs, movies and restaurants... • organized hikes and tours... • and just getting to know each other at parties or salon discussions at a member's home. Suggestions for new activities are always welcome.
If you want to join CCAF, you will need to be signed-up with Meetup. However, CCAF is a private organization, and requests to join will be reviewed. This is to provide a measure of security for members who are not yet ready to announce their atheist or freethinker views to casual online visitors. This is also to discourage commercial solicitation or tacit endorsement of weird viewpoints.
If you want to join, please be prepared to provide an image with your request. While a photograph of yourself would be appreciated, you may use any legal picture or graphic that you like. This removes the unsightly and distracting question mark or blank square that would otherwise be attached to your name.
Also, please be prepared to answer a few simple questions fully and honestly. Note that we may ask for clarification. If you can't receive or don't answer a message from us through Meetup, we might not approve your membership request. So, it is important to have your Meetup preferences set to receive messages from Meetup organizers. CCAF is not just a list service for events.
Although CCAF is affiliated with other atheist, freethinker, humanist, and skeptic organizations, we do not share our membership list. Our general focus is to provide a safe local community forum for atheists and freethinkers while making ourselves visible as a group to the general public. We are also ready to inform and mobilize members for action if local issues directly impact the status of atheists and freethinkers.
Most importantly, we support efforts to protect the secular values that are the foundation of American government — being free from religious discrimination and tyranny.
A brief history: Beginning in 2006, CCAF was originally known as Atheists and Freethinkers of Contra Costa County. It was organized around an email list of interested individuals. In July 2011 CCAF migrated to the Meetup platform, which provides useful membership and organizational tools.* We pay a bi-annual fee in order to maintain our website on Meetup. Our finances are readily available for review by any member. Donations are always welcome, but never required.
If you have additional questions about our group, please email us: contactCCAF@gmail.com
*Note: We are monitoring recent and ongoing changes to the Meetup organization, including its philosophy, intent, and online functionality.