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Atheist Social Networks

First and foremost, I think that it is important for atheists to build a strong local community. There are freethought, humanist, and skeptic groups all over the nation and the world and we should all take part in those local groups. The new Coalitions of Reason (COR) are also helping to bring atheists together locally. In addition, we also need to continue to build strong online communities too.

It is actually easier for atheists to build online communities than local ones, but make no mistake both are very important. Atheists have created a strong presence on MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, and that is really great. I think it is important for us to be on those sites but I also think we need a safe places to network together.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. When a Christians finds something offensive (which is pretty much all the time) they go on one of their networking sites or Churches and get the work out. Then a large number of Christians write letters, make phone calls, etc. Atheists don’t have that.

Also, many Christians promote their religious and secular endeavors within their social networks. Churches and Christian websites promote businesses of other Christians. The atheist community needs to start doing this type of thing too.

Now over the weekend, two issues came up which reminded me of the importance of building these social networks. The first has to do with a local issue. The Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia put up a Tree of Knowledge display in West Chester, PA. You can read more about this on my Examiner article. Friday, I found out that Christian groups had organized to call the county commissioners to demand that our tree be taken down. As a result, over the weekend, it very nearly was taken down. Lawyers are currently involved and I don’t want to discuss the details more at the moment because I don’t want to hurt our case.

The point is that we needed to organize a similar call bank in support of the Tree. But our social network isn’t as strong or as organized. We need to fix that.

The other issue related to social networking came about when I got into a rather heated argument with some of the moderators of one of the atheist online social networking sites. Think Atheist and I don’t seem to see eye-to-eye on what the purpose of a social network actually is. As a result, I will be using their site less and want to focus on building the Dangerous Talk page on Atheist Nexus more.

With that said, I want to encourage my fellow atheists to create a page on Atheist Nexus if you haven’t done so already. It goes without saying that you should add Dangerous Talk as a friend. I also want to encourage you to be active on that site. I have not been as active there as I should be, but I intend to change that.

I want to also encourage my fellow atheists to support other atheists and their endeavors whenever possible. This means re-posting links to articles, blogs, or websites that you enjoy (including this one), donating to sites and groups when you can, clicking on ads on atheist websites, posting comments, and generally being part of the greater atheist community both online and off.

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