Donate to the Secular Student Alliance

While it’s nearly impossible to get a group of atheists to do anything together (the reaction to the Out campaign demonstrates that!), you’ve all got to agree* that at least the Secular Student Alliance is a good idea. Maybe you don’t know what it’s like for new students entering a university, but getting them involved in student organizations is an important step in getting them involved in the university — our administrations know that, and they push and we faculty advisors push, all to get these students who have left home and are facing a new and challenging and sometimes intimidating environment to make these informal connections with their peers. And what student organizations are waiting for them, licking their chops and looking forward to recruiting new bodies for their cause? A huge part of the collection are religious: we have Campus Crusade for Christ, Chi Alpha- FUSION, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Catholic Campus Ministry, Free Church Campus Ministries, Lutheran Campus Ministry, Lutheran Student Fellowship, Morris Community Church Campus Ministries, the Dungeons and Dragons Club, you get the idea. This is fertile recruiting ground for the cults.

The SSA tries to foster groups to give students a secular alternative. At the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, for instance, we have Campus Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists working to keep a lively freethought community going; we’re starting a chapter here at UMM (web page is under construction, sorry). Universities are one of the best places we’ve got to build secular leadership.

So what we need, though, is support. Maybe you hated the idea of buying a scarlet “A” t-shirt with Richard Dawkins’ name on it — but are you also going to refuse to donate to the Secular Student Alliance? It’s a great cause. Do what you can to help out.

*It’s like throwing a bone to a dog … you people are all going to rush to disagree now, aren’t you?


  1. says

    ….the Dungeons and Dragons Club….
    You put that in there just to see if anyone would read the list all the way to the end, didn’t you?

  2. stogoe says

    you people are all going to rush to disagree now, aren’t you?

    No we aren’t.[/snark]

    They’re a cult — an insidious, dangerous cult.

    Perhaps a cult of wasting too much free time on fun vs studying, perhaps. A cult of excercising the math side of the brain insted of spending Wed-Sun in a drunken stupor*.

    *I’m just going by my experiences, obviously, but even my little ragtag band of ambitious nerdlings spent some time with various mixed drinks… just not half the week.

  3. Mike P says

    Sounds like a great cause. I can’t afford a monthly donation, but I did just donate a one-time amount. Having graduated within the last few years, I can attest that there is no shortage of faith-based organizations trying to lure in the unsuspecting and gullible.

  4. kmarissa says

    Stogoe, are you knocking the drunken stupor club? I’m offended! It’s perfectly possible I belonged to that during one of those periods of time I can’t remember…

  5. Mike P says


    Ah! So that’s why you don’t like journalists! It all makes so much sense now…

  6. povertyrich@hotmail says

    I had a huge crush on this cute brunette my freshman year of college. When I finally got to hang out with her outside of class one day, she talked about how excited she was to be part of the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

    I wasn’t quite sure of my atheism then, but I extricated myself from that social interaction as fast as I could. Too bad, too, because she was really hot.

  7. Dustin says

    Your DM must have been a moderate.

    If your friends don’t hate you the next day, you’re doing something wrong.

  8. Graculus says

    If your friends don’t hate you the next day, you’re doing something wrong.

    Wait, is that as the GM, or as a player?

  9. tony says

    My favorite ‘club’ was ‘the scurvy doc society’ – logo was a dog with an eye-patch, one ear, and a large pint of bear in his paw… no guesses as to the intent of the club

  10. RamblinDude says

    “No, man. They’re a cult — an insidious, dangerous cult.”

    I think you just made thousands of nerds glow with pride.

  11. says

    They’re a cult — an insidious, dangerous cult.

    Hey now! I’ll have you know that role-playing games were very influential to my budding atheism. Long story short: they made it crystal clear what the world would be like if there were actually any magic in it.

    And yes, before you ask, I have also kissed a girl ;-)

  12. says

    Nothing to do with your current post; but just a short message to express my joy in reading your excellent blog.

    Bravo and congratulations!

    You made my day — so, all is not lost



    P.S.: I’m creating a link with you on one of my many logorrheic blogs…just to return to you from time to time, and likewise others too

  13. Karley says

    I ordered a packet from the SSA in the hopes of starting my own club.
    Too bad A) My school is in the middle of the Bible Belt and B)I have the social skills of a rotting gnu carcass anyway.

  14. says

    a few questions:

    1) Was it their intent top have the acronym CASH?
    2) What’s the deal with the boobie guy?
    3) Did you really want to piss of the D&D guys? That seems like a good way to lose the majority of your readers :)

  15. DamnYankees says

    I wish this was around when I was in school, and I went to Berkeley! 98% of clubs on campus are about three things – race, religion, and politics. But if you’re not religious, don’t belong to either of the two major parties, and don’t think your race is very important, there isn’t that much to do.

  16. Graham says

    O.K., I took the very last part of your post and plugged it into Chris Clarke’s BlogWarBot. This is what I got.

    BlogWarBot: I’m BlogWarBot. Didn’t we ban you?
    Guest: It’s like throwing a bone to a dog … you people are all going to rush to disagree now, aren’t you?
    BlogWarBot: Lemme guess. You’re a Libertarian.


  17. dveej says

    “you people are all going to rush to disagree now, aren’t you?”

    (Let’s see: what would be the absolutely most contrary response possible to that presumptuous assertion…mmmmm…got it:)


  18. Brian W. says

    i’m planning on going back to school this semester and i’m really hoping there are some good atheist and/or skeptics clubs to join. But how i will be going to school in fundie central (Tomball, Texas) i’m not too optimistic. And i won’t be there long enough to try and start any.

  19. Wiley says

    Well, the Baptists for Brownback have gone after Richard Dawkins this morning…
    “The “Richard” this miscreant refers to is a foreign science fiction writer named Richard Dawkins, a man so blinded by hatred for Christ he even confuses the false Jesus of the muslim koran book of lies with the true Jesus of the Holy Bible. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr Dawkins bears malice towards a third of the male population of South America, merely because they share the name of our Lord. Ironically, Mr Dawkins’ irrationality has alienated two groups–islamofascist terrorists and hispanic illegal immigrants–who would otherwise have been his natural allies in his war to destroy all that is good in America.

    Mr Dawkins’ insanity and his place on Mrs T.D. Gaines-Crockett’s Hellbound list have not prevented the liberal atheist elites who control our publishing industry from turning his rambling deceits and evilutionary claptrap into massive bestsellers. He writes book after book, each more spiteful than the last, books filled with fantasies about monkeys copulating with cavemen to produce humanity and suchlike jibber-jabber. A vast audience, ill-educated by the Godless secular school system and untrained in the discipline of The 10 Commandments, hungrily gobbles up Dawkins’ sci-fi babble as if it were manna from Heaven. The money flows into Dawkins’ counting house and he lives the life of a mad king, like Xerxes of Persia or the Ayatollah of Iran.”

  20. Chet says

    And yes, before you ask, I have also kissed a girl ;-)

    Pfft. That’s nothing.

    My wife and I first met playing Dungeons and Dragons. (And our combined weight is under 300 pounds, yes.)

  21. Donalbain says

    Err… why exactly would I pay for a social group that has nothing to do with me? Nobody donated to the hockey club when I was at university, we didnt get donations for the drama club. If you want to do thosethings (whatever they are), you pay for them. Thats just the way things work.

  22. Richard Harris, FCD says

    Wiley @ # 36, I’ve just had some correspondence with the Baptists for Brownback. I really can’t make up my mind as to whether or not it’s a spoof Xian site. (My Asperger’s score put me into that part of the autistic spectrum.)

  23. says

    My wife and I first met playing Dungeons and Dragons. (And our combined weight is under 300 pounds, yes.)

    Didn’t meet there (actually, we met in high school Math Club), but we did actually play D&D together (hell, we fumbled our way through the original text-mode Adventure together, back in the late 70’s).

    Our combined weight was less than 300 lb. at the time. Creeps up on you, over the course of 30 years….

  24. Richard Harris, FCD says

    PZ, thank you for making that clear about the Baptists for Brownback site. I made my anti-religious comments while aware that it might be a spoof site, but they censored me when I used words suggestive of it being …. ohhh, I get it.

  25. Glenn says

    I don’t see what is so humorous about a group of people with similar philosophical beliefs about the nature of the universe forming a student group. People seeking the company of others that have something in common with them for support and companionship is far from new and is not exactly hilarity.

    Do secular student groups engage in violence against the property and persons of the religious, other outsiders, or ex-members? Do these groups intimidate and brainwash their members into believing in bizarre superstitions, for which there is no conclusive evidence, against each individual’s own reason and common sense? Do these groups encourage self-destructive behaviors among their members, like suicide, self-mutilation, or isolation from their friends and family? I would say “no” to these questions.

    If secular student groups are cults, then the word “cult” is left with the rather weak meaning “a group of people with a common interest or belief” (along with the other meaning of “cult” associated with dedication to the work or works of particular artists, filmmakers, etc. which I won’t get into).

    At this point, Cult Watcher, I’d say the burden of providing a reasonable quantity of evidence is on you to show that you’re not just saying something derisive and idiotic on PZ’s blog to get attention. Why are secular student clubs cults, CW?

  26. Dutch Delight says

    There’s a common theme with all these people comparing outspoken atheists to christian/islamic fundies. After the comparison is done the fundies never return to the argument while the atheists get hammered with silly rhetoric, i suppose their denouncement is scheduled for another time.

    It makes the whole thing incredibly embarrassing to read. How hard is it for these people to at least check up on their arguments. Do they really think the weak excuses they are fed will hold up against a non strawman depiction of contemporary atheists?

  27. Stogoe says

    Real men, manly men, men in tights, play Call of Cthulhu.

    I’ve never understood why anyone likes that game. Bringing a sixpack of generic PCs each session, knowing that all of them will probably die unspectacularly to an unknowable horror, without any way to affect that outcome, just doesn’t engage me. It’s not why I role-play.

    I understand why PC-killing DMs love it, I just don’t know why anyone would willingly play it.

  28. dwarf zebu says

    *It’s like throwing a bone to a dog … you people are all going to rush to disagree now, aren’t you?

    Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark! Bark!

    Oops! I mean moooOOOOooo!

  29. zeekster says

    Although I have have met many boyfriends at D&D gatherings in high school, I met my current beau at a local Atheist and Freethinkers meetup. w00t!