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If Madelyn Murray O'Hair Had Been a Man: Organized Secularism in America
$5 at the door or pre-register at Madalyn Murray O'Hair Would Not Have Been the Most Hated Person in America... If She Was a Man: Organized Secularism in the US. Presented by: Ryan Cragun, PhD While the 19th century saw a wave of popularity for freethinkers in the US, much of this excitement had died down by the early part of the 20th century. Just a handful of non-theist and freethought organizations remained, and most of them were very small and on the verge of collapsing. However, starting in 1941 with the founding of the American Humanist Association and followed by the founding of American Atheists in 1963, the number of non-theist organizations experienced a slow increase. Today, there are several large, national, member-based non-theist/freethought social movement organizations in the US and thousands of smaller, local organizations. In this presentation, I examine the origins and inter-relations of four of the largest non-theist/freethought organizations in the US: the American Humanist Association, American Atheists, the Council for Secular Humanism, and the Freedom From Religion Foundation. In examining the origins of these organizations, I draw upon several social movement theories but also extend current theorizing by discussing the importance of interpersonal relationships for understanding how social movement organizations “split” or “fracture”. We also discuss whether these “splits” facilitate or hinder the aims of the broader movement in the US.

Master the Possibilities Education Center, Live Oak Hallt

8415 SW 80th Stree · Ocala 34481, FL