|2010 Bat Cruise, September 25, 2010
2010 Pride Festival, June 5, 2010
Texans for Truthful Textbooks Rally, May 2010
2009 Pride Festival, June 6, 2009
2009 Pub Crawl
2009 Clean Sweep
2008-2009 Winter Solstice Party
2008 Bat Cruise
2008 Summer Solstice Party
2008 Pride Festival
2008 ACA Board Election
2007 Bat Cruise on Town Lake
2007 Pride Festival
2007 ACA Board Election
2007 National Day of Reason Church-State Separation Rally
Lori Lipman Brown visit, April 2007
2007 Vernal Equinox Party
2007 Keep Austin Beautiful Adopt-a-Street Program
2007 ACA's Tenth Birthday Party
2006 Winter Solstice Party
2006 Bat Cruise on Town Lake
ACA at the 2006 Pride Festival
2006 ACA Board Election
Monthly Lecture Series
The Atheist ExperienceThe Ray & Joe Days
Activism: Page 1
Thursday Night Happy Hour
ACA at the Pride Festival, June 9, 2007
We usually have a booth at the Gay & Lesbian Pride Festival and this
year was no exception. It was a fun event for everyone involved, but also
on the hot side. The festival had about 116 booths and about 8 different
groups performing. Once again, we were pretty close to the bandstand, which
made conversation difficult at times.
Our booth had the ACA banner, information about ACA, and atheism in general.
We estimate that we had about 50 people pick up items from us, which was
fewer than last year. I suspect that the festival was not as well attended
as last year, due in part to the heat. We hope those visitors will turn
into new members.
We had a number of people drop by that visited us last year and some old
friends and previous visitors to the ACA. Our presence was important in
that it sends a message that we're a tolerant group with something to offer.
Yes, there were some other religious groups including the Metropolitan
Community Church (a Christian church catering to the G & L community,
a Baptist Church, and even a Buddhist group.)
Speaking of "religious groups", we were treated to a performance by the
Austin Baptist Women, a gospel lip-synch drag group (composed of gay men)
that has raised over $6M for charities over the years. They were fun.
Many thanks to our volunteers:
- Don Baker (organizer)
- Chuck Clark
- Matt Dillahunty
- Steven Elliott
- Leon Harvey
- John Iacoletti
- Marla Repka
- Shelley Roberts
- Joe Zamecki
Chuck, Matt, Shelley, and Mike.
Volunteers Don, Leon, Marla, John, and Joe.
The booth from behind the scenes. (The kids were organizing the stones
we were using to keep the fliers from blowing away.)
One of Austin Baptist Women during the performance.
Another colorful band.
A brief sighting of the Atheist Community News and Atheist Eve.
We produced a flier to explain why an atheist group was there at the
Pride Festival. The front page appears below. On the back, we reproduced
our press release on the 2005 passing of the
Texas State constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
Why Atheists Care about Gay Rights
Austin Pride Festival, June 9, 2007
The Atheist Community of Austin supports same-sex marriage and opposes
legislation that seeks to discriminate against individuals based on race,
sex, religious belief, or sexual orientation. We view the freedom to marry
as one of many freedoms and rights granted to all citizens as the natural
consequence of true equality and the complete separation of church and state.
Our nation has made great strides toward ensuring equal rights for women and
minorities, yet true equality remains elusive and some segments of our
population remain "fair game" for bigotry, prejudice, and discrimination.
With regard to same-sex marriage, we have yet to hear of a valid secular
reason for barring consenting adults from entering contracts, which is
what marriage is. Nearly all of the obstacles to gay rights stem from
religious conservatives as a result of their religious beliefs. While they
are entitled to their opinions, the First Amendment to the US Constitution
guarantees that the government cannot make laws that favor particular
religions, even if they are in the majority. Our Constitution exists to
protect the minority from the whims of the majority.
While religious conservatives may think they somehow own the institution of
marriage, they don't. Marriage licenses are granted by the state, not
churches. Furthermore, the government has never been in the business of
sanctifying marriages-nor should it ever be. That's the business of churches
and nobody is demanding churches to perform same-sex marriages. In fact,
the First Amendment also protects them from being forced to perform ceremonies
outside the scope of their religious views. The state isn't meddling in the
church's business and the church shouldn't be meddling in the state's
business--or yours! For these reasons, we view same-sex marriage as
primarily a church-state separation issue. ACA is a proud supporter and
defender of the First Amendment to the US Constitution, especially the
"establishment clause" that prevents religious practices from becoming
government practices. Even if you're religious, we can all agree that
any state religion won't be your religion.
Atheism is simply the lack of a belief in gods. It's the sensible position,
given the lack of evidence for the supernatural. Atheists value evidence,
reason, and scientific thinking. These are without a doubt the best tools
we have to make good decisions-both for an individual and for public policy.
Atheists value autonomy, having the education to make good choices, and
accepting the responsibility for those choices. We see no benefits from
religious belief that cannot be attained through secularism, which is free
of the divisive baggage that generally accompanies religion. We reject the
idea that any religion can serve as the basis for a superior morality or
The Atheist Community of Austin is organized as a nonprofit educational
corporation to develop and support the atheist community, to provide
opportunities for socializing and friendship, to promote secular viewpoints,
to encourage positive atheist culture, to defend the first amendment
principle of state-church separation, to oppose discrimination against
atheists and to work with other organizations in pursuit of common goals.
We welcome new members!
See the back of this sheet for a press release we issued in response to the
Texas same-sex marriage amendment to the Texas State constitution. We have
addressed gay and lesbian rights many times in press releases and on our
cable access TV show and Internet radio show over the years. For more
information about us, see our web site at www.atheist-community.org.