ACA is making an impact on the world
May 14, 2006
The ACA is making ripples! We're having an impact on the world through our various efforts.
The Internet is certainly helping to make that possible. Let's take a look at
some of the things we've done in recent years:
Looking back to 2004, one of the ACA's more notable
accomplishments was our participation in a "friend of the court" brief for the
Supreme Court in the Michael Newdow pledge case. While his case was thrown
out on a frustrating technicality, he will likely be back before the
Supreme Court on the pledge issue in the next few years. Perhaps we can re-file the
brief for that case when it happens. ACA member Jeff Dee was a major
contributor to the brief on the ACA's behalf.
A number of our members have also testified before the Texas
State Board of Education to try to improve the textbooks used in schools
throughout Texas. We like to think our testimony in 2003 helped keep
Intelligent Design out of the biology textbooks under review that year.
Unfortunately, in 2005 the health textbooks were already censored of much of
the contraceptive information before the state reviewed them.
They've gone to press as "damaged goods", as far as we're concerned.
One of the cool things on the Internet is an audio syndication mechanism
called "podcasting". Our Atheist
Experience TV show and Non-Prophets
Internet Radio show have been podcast for a number of months now. Both
shows are easily found in well-known audio syndication hubs and both now have
an international audience. The Atheist Experience has had kudos from as
far away as England and Canada. A recent note from American Samoa have us a
little taste of atheist life there. Letters to the Non-Prophets have
come from Canada, Scotland, and Australia. A universal theme to these letters
seems to be a sense of amazement at just how crazy those religious nuts are
in the US. We agree with them! And that might be why they like our shows
so much. Another common theme is that they love what we're doing and they wish
they could join us for dinner! Both of these shows are high caliber efforts
that rival much of the other atheist media out there. We're lucky to be host to
these excellent programs.
Eve is a monthly cartoon by ACA member Tracie Harris that is carried on the
ACA web site. ACA member Don Baker lends an idea here and there to the strip.
Atheist Eve was picked up in November 2005 by the Icelandic site Vantru. Her strip appears
though you'll have to know some Iclandic to read the page. Vantru,
which means disbelief in Icelandic, is an Iceland-based group
promoting the separation of church and state in their country. Sadly, in
Iceland there is no notion of separation of church and state. And, according to
Vantru member Hjalti Runar Omarsson, the Icelandic constitution states that the
state must "support and defend" the Evangelical-Lutheran National
Church--the state church. This is despite the fact that over a quarter of
the population doesn't believe in Gods. We certainly hope that Tracie's humor
translates to Icelandic to help bolster the esprit de corps among atheists
More recently, by Freethunk.net,
a freethinker humor web site run by Jeff Swenson has picked up Atheist
Eve. Jeff is a cartoonist himself who saw the need to bring together other
cartoonists under the same umbrella. He came up with the nonsense word
Freethunk to refer to all freethinking entertainment that could be
considered part of the new, emerging pop culture--from net radio to comics to
fiction. There's certainly enough of us
freethinkers to warrant a good humor site. Check out Atheist Eve and a host
of other cartoonists featured there. Freethunk is gathering momentum
and we wish them well.
Other ACA members have had an impact with their writing
efforts. Many of our members have web logs, or blogs.
Russell Glasser's Kazim's Korner
has excellent postings concerning atheist issues. Lately, Russell has been busy
with his graduate school classes, so he's not writing quite as frequently. Don Baker has
his Christianity Meme web site,
where he looks at Christianity from the perspective of memetics.
ACA member David Kent had an article published in the
November 2005 issue of Freethought Today,
the publication of the Freedom From Religion
Foundation titled "The
Lethal Mix of Religion and Torture" concerning the long association between
religion and torture. Don Baker wrote the February 2006 feature article for Internet Infidels, titled "ID, Gaps,
and Vats", a tongue-in-cheek look at the intelligent design movement and
the logical consequences of intelligent design theory. While these are
widely viewed publications, we have a handful of ACA members who have had
publications, such as letters to the editor, which are read by hundreds to
thousands of people.
If you know of anyone's efforts we've missed, send us an
e-mail and we'll
give them credit.
From the officers:
The ACA Lecture Series continues Sunday, February 4th, 12:15pm at the Austin History Center, 9th and Guadaupe. Chase Hunter will speak on "Inside Scientology 2: the Sea Org". The lecture is free and open to the public. The building opens at noon.