Ewan answered my request for suggestions by asking for reasons to support the SSA. Greta has a good selection of quotations on that.

JT Eberhard, a campus organizer and high school specialist with the Secular Student Alliance, gives us his personal account of what he does. He starts with Jessica Ahlquist on what the SSA did for her:

When JT Eberhard contacted me and gave me the support of the Secular Student Alliance I felt like I had friends again.  Over the course of two years the SSA provided me with support and JT closely monitored the actions of the school committee, always ready to come to my defense at any minute.  He expressed that he cared not only for the issue at my school but also for my well-being and shared personal stories and advice.  Anyone can tell that for JT and the rest of the SSA staff, their positions within the organization are not merely a source of income, but a life-long passion and a genuine desire to help young secular people.  When I attended their annual conference last summer and was given the opportunity to share my story I felt a sense of community I had never experienced before.  I know so many other students who share my feelings and are thankful for the SSA and their brilliant staff.  They are literally changing lives.

You know (if you’ve been reading here) how isolated Jessica has been and still is at her school and in Cranston. You know what it’s like to be a teenager. Adults have had time to thicken their skins and get used to conflict, but teenagers are raw. Given the bizarre way the religious majority has been encouraged to see itself as a persecuted minority over the past two or three decades, their unleashed rage can be incredibly intimidating. That right there is a good reason to support an organization that can give isolated bullied teenagers a set of allies and friends.

Donate to the SSA!


  1. ewanmacdonald says

    The Jessica Ahlquist quote had me sold.* I must confess, when I thought SSA, I could only remember their connection with the Harvard Humanist Chaplaincy. Of course I see now that they are doing a great deal of valuable work and I’m happy to donate.

    *That’s not to say there aren’t compelling reasons on the Greta post as well.

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