PRESS RELEASE: Big news for the online atheist community.
BIG ONLINE PARTNERSHIP IS FINALLY HAPPENING…
The atheist community is ready to stand up, speak out and be counted.
CLICK HERE FOR THE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE… and share it!
“Telling someone you are an atheist shouldn’t change their opinion of you, but it might change their opinion of atheism. “ – ADAM BROWN (AtheismResource.com and WeAreAtheism.com)
It’s tough to be an atheist. No one disputes that. We have been called the “most hated group in America” several times. Luckily, we find support online on atheist forums, like AtheistNexus, facebook pages, Reddit, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, and dozens of great atheist websites like AtheismResource.com and WeAreAtheism.com. These groups try and connect atheists around the world and give them a sense of belonging that is much needed… something churches do very well.
We have noticed over the last few years that the most important thing we all can do for the atheist movement is to live out and proud as atheist. Being visibly atheist is important. Knowing that you are an atheist shouldn’t change the opinions about you from people that already call themselves your friends and family, but it might change their opinion of atheism. That’s the point. For us to be able to live comfortably as atheist without the stigma of not having a personal religion, we have to change peoples’ minds about what atheism is… we have to put a face to it. We have to show that we aren’t evil people, we have morals, and we care about helping our neighbors too, but not because god told us to or because we are storing up ‘treasure in heaven’. We do good for the sake of doing good and for the sake of our fellow man.
A few months ago, my wife, Amanda Brown came home from the SSA (Secular Student Alliance) annual conference in Columbus, Ohio with a great idea. Already an active supporter of the LGBT community, she said, “Why don’t we start an ‘It gets better’ campaign for atheists?” Immediately the pessimist, I started a list of reasons it would be difficult. After a few minutes, we realized that we had the resources, connections, abilities, and commitment to make it happen. So, literally two nights later, we had purchased the domain name WeAreAtheism.com and had a website put together. It was a video sharing sit for people to submit their short YouTube videos explaining why it’s ok to be an atheist. We gave them a place to stand up, speak out, and be counted. Many that couldn’t make their own videos just submitted essays. Other videos were shot and edited by our team at local atheist conferences, groups, and meet-ups.
To our amazement, when we launched it (thanks to the help of friends like JT Eberhard, Hemant Mehta, Jen McCreight, and Greta Christina) we had over 40,000 people visit the site in the first week and got over 2,500 friends on facebook since then. Hundreds of people from around the world have since submitted their stories and videos. Without us even knowing, the Richard Dawkins’ Foundation’s OUT Campaign (well known for popularizing the red “A” logos, pins, and apparel now seen everywhere) and AtheistNexus (the world’s largest online atheist forum) were both working on similar projects behind the scenes. Since both groups were in the planning stages of this and we had already launched a successful campaign, we were contacted by both organizations about teaming up to reach more people. This type of partnership hasn’t happened online yet and we were excited to make it a reality. Joining forces is always a good idea. We swallowed our pride, dropped the “it’s our website” mentality that too many groups have, and made it happen.
So, as of today, we are proud to announce that Atheist Nexus is an official partner of WeAreAtheism.com and the Richard Dawkins’ Foundation’s OUT Campaign is an official sponsor. We are thrilled to be associated with two such prestigious and respected organizations. Both have done enormous amounts for the movement and for increasing understanding and acceptance of atheists around the world. We know that this new partnership with Atheist Nexus and our alignment with the OUT Campaign will allow all of us to reach more agnostics and atheists out there that need to tell their story or need to hear others’ stories to help them come out.
All three groups plan to attend numerous atheist conventions and conferences across the United States in 2012, including the Reason Rally in Washington DC in March, where over 10,000 atheists are expected to gather. They will shoot and edit videos and take essays from atheists all over the world that want to tell people that it’s ok to be an atheist. These submissions from regular folks from all walks of life, celebrities, politicians, and atheist icons, lecturers, and entertainers help put a face on atheism. They are male, female, transgender, and every age and color there are. Atheism is global and the countries that are the most secular tend to be the most happy and have the lowest rates of crime, divorce, abortion, and social problems.
It’s time for atheists to have their voices heard and WeAreAtheism.com is going to help do that. It is a free and open forum that allows people to search for videos of people like them or near them that are also freethinkers. It shows how normal people are that are rational, reasonable critical thinkers that have come to the conclusion that there isn’t a god. They are happy successful people that have morals and goals for good like everyone else. As video and essay submissions pour in every day, the site continues to expand and reach more people. The group is on Facebook and Twitter under the same name and encourages believers as well to come and watch the videos and read the stories of atheists so that they too will realize that many of the doctors, lawyers, politicians, teachers, waitresses, garbage men, and thousands of others they come in contact with every day are atheists.
Recent research shows that while countries like England are as much as 40% secular, the United states is still only 15-18% “non-believer”. However, 29% of those between the ages of 18 and 30 say they don’t believe in any god. With each new generation, the church loses people in droves while the atheist community welcomes them in record numbers. WeAreAtheism.com will show the world who these people are, and let them all know that for atheists, like the gay community, it DOES get better.
More about each group:
ATHEIST NEXUS: From the very beginning, our vision has been to be much more than simply a “Facebook” for nonbelievers. To be honest, social networking sites are a dime a dozen. They easily come and go. Some do things better, some worse. Our success in becoming the world’s largest community of nontheists has been our strict adherence to our mission.
The first part of our mission has been to make Atheist Nexus a resource to empower nonbelievers to “come out” of their nontheist closets. In my travels you have humbled me with your powerful stories. Many of you have found the courage and strength to be honest with your families through Atheist Nexus, and the new friends you have met have provided ongoing comfort and support.
None of this has happened in a vacuum either. Many media outlets have taken notice and featured Atheist Nexus and our members. Stories have been reported in: The New York Times, USA Today, NPR, CNN, Fox News Radio, Wired, and a handful of books. I am contacted almost daily by reporters asking to speak to members from a particular area.
The second part of our mission is the most crucial. My assertion has always been that Atheist Nexus would be useless if it did not provide a stepping stone for members to get involved in local communities and national organizations. In the beginning I was surprised that many of the “newer” atheists were not aware of the great groups that existed.
So far, we have had tremendous success. Many national leaders have told me their membership numbers, and attendance at their conventions, have increased because of Atheist Nexus. Also, many local groups (some quite large) have been formed by individuals who met on our site. I know of two weddings between members who met on Nexus, and I was told by one individual that they lost their virginity because of us. (I’m not sure, but that might make a great billboard!)
THE OUT CAMPAIGN : Atheists have always been at the forefront of rational thinking and beacons of enlightenment, and now you can share your idealism by being part of the OUTCampaign. Atheists are far more numerous than most people realize. COME OUT of the closet! You’ll feel liberated, and your example will encourage others to COME OUT too. (Don’t “out” anybody else, wait for them to OUT themselves when they are ready to do so).
The OUT Campaign allows individuals to let others know they are not alone. It can also be a nice way of opening a conversation and help to demolish the negative stereotypes of atheists. Let the world know that we are not about to go away and that we are not going to allow those that would condemn us to push us into the shadows. As more and more people join the OUT Campaign, fewer and fewer people will feel intimidated by religion. We can help others understand that atheists come in all shapes, sizes, colors and personalities. We are laborers and professionals. We are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers and grandparents. We are human (we are primates) and we are good friends and good citizens. We are good people who have no need to cling to the supernatural.
It is time to let our voices be heard regarding the intrusion of religion in our schools and politics. Atheists along with millions of others are tired of being bullied by those who would force their own religious agenda down the throats of our children and our respective governments. We need to KEEP OUT the supernatural from our moral principles and public policies.
WE ARE ATHEISM : This is your chance to finally be heard. This is our chance to stand up, speak out, and be counted. We want to provide a platform for atheists around the globe to see that they are not alone. Atheists come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and backgrounds. The only thing that we all have in common is that we don’t see any credible evidence to believe in a god. It’s ok to be an atheist, and we want the world to know.
- Provide an outlet for atheists to feel comfortable to come out of the closet.
- Always let visitors know there are other people out there that are non-believers just like them.
- Help people find other atheists in their state, city, and even neighborhood.
- Give access to local, national, and international organizations to become involved in the secular community.
- Empower people to start their own organizations in areas that do not already have them.
We are not just here to let you watch movies; these are real people living real lives as atheists. We want
the world to know we exist and we will not be ignored. We will stand up, speak out, and be counted.
Who are the We Are Atheism Team?
Amanda Brown, Co-Founder of We Are Atheism
This entire idea and website was Amanda’s idea. It dawned on her at the Secular Student Alliance Conference in 2011 that is was time to “Stand up, Speak out, and Be Counted” and she knew that there was this need for a place or website like this in the secular community after hearing Jessica Albeit’s plight in her community and feeling alone in her area. So after talking to a lot of people at the conference about this idea she knew she had to find a way to make it a reality. She came home and immediately went to work with Kyle and Adam to make this idea become a reality. She knows this website and its resources will help build a united community that will be able to support each other.
Amanda is a 25-year-old Psychology major with an emphasis in human sexuality undergrad at the University of Kansas (KU). She is the Director of Recruitment for the student campus organization Society of Open-Minded Atheists and agnostics (SOMA) and the Director of Philanthropy for the Kansas City Atheist Coalition. She was also the co-researcher for the Sex and Secularism survey with Dr. Darrel Ray, author of “The God Virus”. She plans to use this research and her education in order to become a sex therapist who is centered on the atheist community and alternative lifestyles.
Amanda is more than just her involvement in the atheist movement. She has a 3-year-old daughter, Lily, who has been the biggest motivating factor in her life to create change and be an example of how someone can truly be “good” without god. Through the philanthropic efforts with KCAC and her drive to build community with SOMA, along with living life as openly and honestly as possible she feels she I now setting the best example possible of what it means to be an atheist. Which to her is as simple as saying the words “I don’t know”. She understand that she doesn’t know everything and will never profess to, but with the ability to think critically, reason out what is the most probable answer, and see if that answer is supported by evidence that people who are experts in that field and have scientifically and methodically proven. Then she can come to a good conclusion about what is and isn’t. So… God/Allah/Yahweh/Thor/Zeus/Aphrodite/etc. have no evidence or proof of their existence therefore the default says, There is no god. And that is why she’s an atheist.
Adam is the marketing and graphic design genius of this website. He is the Co-Owner and Creative Director forVoss Visuals, who are THE Marekting, graphic design, printing, and web designers for secular organizations/groups and small businesses. He makes people want to come to your events and websites by making them look professional and imaginatively designed. He takes pride in philanthropic and activist activities which is why he is also the Director of Fundraising for the Kansas City Atheist Coalition.
He is also the partner of Amanda Brown and the two of them have an intelligent daughter, Lily, who is the main reason they do what they do in the secular community. They are both dedicated to making a difference in this world through creating change and living by example. His passion and drive in this community has been unparalleled. He edits the videos into the wee hours of the night because he believes in this project and knows that it will help build community and allow for a place to help “new” atheists come out and help us to connect and become a united movement that will help religion die a quick and painless (well maybe not painless…) death.