THE LAKESIDE FREETHINKERS
Submitted by Ken Crosby
Non-religious ex-pats live in a very religious community at Lakeside. Some seventeen churches advertise their services, not to mention bible study and prayer meetings, and scarcely a week goes by without missionaries appearing at my gate to try to tell me the “good news.” In such an environment it is difficult for freethinkers--atheists, agnostics, humanists, and others who reject belief in the supernatural--to find others who share their views.
Just two small ads inviting freethinkers interested in forming a group for fellowship and discussion to contact me produced an unexpectedly large response, resulting in a current mailing list of 30 persons. Who knew that there were that many freethinkers here?
The first and very successful meeting of the Lakeside Freethinkers was held on May 16, with eighteen people attending. Most of the others on the mailing list were out of town or otherwise unable to attend. Those present first introduced themselves, finding that most were meeting each other for the first time, and what a great pleasure it was to do that. The group decided that it would meet on the third Wednesday of each month, discussed topics that might be addressed at future meetings, and heard a speaker describe the voyage that he and his wife took from being active fundamentalist Christians to becoming atheists.
The Lakeside Freethinkers appears to be meeting a need. Its objectives are to provide opportunities for socializing and fellowship and for discussion of subjects of interest. Discussion at upcoming meetings will focus on separation of church and state, led by a member who has been personally involved in it, and tax exemption for religious institutions.