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Sue M.

Event Organizer

Location:

Portland, OR

Member since:

February 19, 2008

How did you hear about the group?

On a visit to Portland I attended a United States Atheists meeting and ran into leaders from BAM. Of course, I was invited to attend a meeting when I got back to town. In the meantime, I signed up for the meetup online and watched as the group evolved into CFI. I was thrilled, having attednded many CFI functions back home, including a panel discussion involving Eddie Tabash.

What kinds of activities would you like to see this kind of group do?

You seem to be doing just great. I guess I would only add some outdoor activities (you can never trust that those Sierra Clubbers are not just green Christians.) I like hiking, camping, sports, picnics, walks, outdoor performances, etc, It would be fun this summer to have secular company for such outings.

What does being an atheist/agnostic/etc mean to you?

Pretty much it is my identity, since it defines my interest in science and the intellectual pursuits of homo sapiens (including both modern and ancient art and literature), my painful rejection of religion which concluded in the loss of family ties, my love of stimulating conversation and supportive companions, my political activism and global concerns, while providing a community that -- for the most part -- is free of gender, race and age biases.

How long have you been a non-believer?

I've been on the path since a wee girl enjoying nature and the night sky in my backyard. I started to express my "freethinking" in 6th grade with a receptive teacher (at home I was told to stop asking so many questions); then more questions in junior high science classes and in high school at Methodist Youth Fellowship. I was afraid of the term "atheist" as a 20-something, so used "agnostic" until I met the Unitarian-Universalists in my 30's who accepted me even though I thought I might be an atheist. I was finally introduced to a "Freethinker" group out in the high-desert in my late 40's and when I came back into town in my early fifties, I found an atheist group meeting at the UU church. For the last few years it has been a whirlwind of activity, attending every group and convention I could travel to. The next step was to move to the most active freethinker community I could find on the west coast (or, it would seem, in the U.S.): so, here I am in Portland!

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