Texans keep going against the stereotype

Look, Texas is supposed to be all about the Gablers and Don McLeroy and the dwarf from Pampa and George W. Bush, and then the darned atheist Texans have to show up and ruin the image. The Texas Freethought Convention is happening on Sunday, 26 October in Austin — check out the infomercial. I wish I could go — it’s a state that hasn’t worked its way onto my itinerary yet, and I keep hearing about the good people working hard against rampant idiocy down there.


  1. says

    A for-study-purposes Texan AND an atheist, I think you do my “home for now” state a disservice.. any chance of you being near Dallas?

  2. Cafeeine says

    Now a thread like this couldn’t go on without a mention that Austin is the home of the ACA (Atheist Community of Austin), of the Atheist Experience TV show and Non-Prophets podcast fame(not that it needs reminding)

  3. Richard Harris says

    Hey, Lance Armstrong, well-known atheist, was born in Plano, Texas.

    I’ve got a book by him & his (former) coach Chris Carmichael, ‘The Lance Armstrong Performance Program’, & every few pages, there’s some text in a box headed ‘What would Lance do?’. That made me chuckle.

  4. gsenski says

    You may want to hold on to your reserved views of texas, PZ.
    For every Athiest in texas there is a mega church crammed with thousands and thousands of ‘borned again dumbassas’.

  5. Marty says

    Umm, I meant atheists, not born again dumbasses. Though, there is no shortage of them here, either.

  6. says

    That’s cause Austin ROCKS! All the delicious Texas BBQ without the wingnuts. And with a great live music scene to boot.

  7. Benjamin Geiger says

    Marty: I’d like to think that’s the case everywhere. Maybe Religulous will help make them (that is, they who is us) more visible.

    And I’m seriously tempted to move to Austin… though I’m more likely to move to, say, Ottawa.

  8. Quiet_Desperation says

    Well, stereotypes generally tend not to be reality. People forget that sometimes. Well, most of the time. OK, all of the time.

  9. freelunch says

    Stereotypes tend to exaggerate reality, but are rarely, if ever, developed without any regard to reality.

  10. John Bode says

    Dude, you hand out Molly awards every month; you know we’re not all idiots.

    Little-a atheist here, raised in San Antonio, currently living just outside Austin.

  11. Maynard says

    Scholz is not a huge venue, so obviously not expecting an extremely large crowd, but I plan to go just as a show of support. Parking can be a real pain in this part of town if there are other local events so come early and fyi: parking meters are not enforced on nights and weekends (woo hoo!).

  12. Tim Newell says

    No, we’re not all stupid down here. We would LOVE for you to come down here and speak though. My sister-in-law moved from the Twin Cities a while back so I have no excuse to go up there. Austin would make more sense but it would be cool if you put Houston on your list of cities to visit.

  13. JJR says

    Yes, it’s being held in Austin, but they are inviting people from all over, including the DFW Metroplex (North Texas Church of Freethought), and the Houston area (Humanists of Houston, Houston Church of Freethought). I live in Denton but am originally from Houston, always enjoyed the atheist meetups in Houston (HOH, HCOF and the Meetup.com groups).

    I like NTCOF, but Denton isn’t exactly close to Irving, where NTCOF meets. I tend to stay closer to home, and sometimes do things with the student-led Freethought Alliance based at the Univ. of North Texas here in town.
    My university (Texas Woman’s University) has no freethought student group that I’m aware of.

    I’m sure the convention in Austin is going to be cool, and I’m a big fan of Matt Dillahunty and the other Non-Prophets, and the ACA in general. But my finances won’t let me fit this in this year. But hats off to everybody who goes.

    This will be a cross section of at least educated urban/suburban Texans from the major metropolises of the state, not just Austin, our “San Francisco on the Travis”, so to speak.

  14. Justin Schenk says

    Hey JJR!

    You should come check out the UNT freethought group. The more the merrier. It’s probably Denton’s biggest freethought group (sadly…)

    You can probably find it on facebook if you search for “freethought alliance”

  15. robin says

    Temporary (well, for the last 5 years or so) Texan living in Dallas here. I am not sure if we can make it down to Austin or not..

  16. texaskeptic says

    If you ever make it down here P.Z., the Shiner’s on me. – Atheist, Longhorn and proud of both here in Houston.

  17. Ethan says

    Glad to see some Texas atheists represent. I’m really hoping we can push Texas a little further back towards sanity land this election.

  18. Chris says

    I first heard the term “freethinker” on San Antonio Public Access TV when I was in high school. It’s good for more than pseudo-porn!

  19. SASnSA says

    I’m an imported atheist into San Antonio, after retiring from the Air Force. I’m considering going to this.

  20. Bob says

    That may have been the worst song I’ve ever heard. For a minute there I thought PZ accidentally linked to a spoof of the infomercial.

  21. SC says

    David Marjanović,

    Are you involved with that organization? I remember before the last election a friend of mine who lived in Budapest was asked to do some work getting Americans there to register. Don’t know if it was the same group.

    Also, while you’re here (I asked once before, but either you didn’t see it or I missed your response) – Which syllable is stressed in your last name?

  22. Kronos says

    Just a word from two more atheists in Plano, Texas. I can assure you that there are more of us in the Dallas area.

  23. Texas Reader says

    One more atheist in Dallas here.

    fyi: on Saturday someone knocked on my door. I answered to find two women with bibles wanting to tell me something abut their bible study, for which I presume they were going to ask money.

    I said “no thanks, I’m an atheist” and closed the door. Whenever someone knocks on my door and asks for anything I like to say “no thank you” as if they had offered me something.

    If I’d been more awake I’d have suggested they study something productive, like personal financial planning or the essays of HL Mencken.

  24. dboy says

    I’m in Dallas and a native Texan. Thanks for helping me find this meeting in Austin. Doubt I’ll ever see that many atheists in one place in this state ever again so will have to go down to Austin. Frankly I’m not sure the other people posting “from Texas” really exist. Thought I was the only one.

    BTW, Religulous is playing at 3 locations in the Dallas area. The fact that the number is more than 0 shocks the hell out of me. This place is ground zero for relidiots and shitty megachurches. I hope Obama wins just so these asshole xian e-vans can be miserable for the next 4 years.


  25. says

    @Maynard — the event will be in the Saengerrunde Hall part of Scholz’s, and I think that holds 300 or so people and even more can overflow into the Biergarten. I hope 300 show up — that would be sweet!

    Yeah, the parking is dicey, but there are parking garages around if you can’t find street parking.

  26. Rowen says

    Texan here, although I transplanted myself to NYC. First of all, there’s a lot of people in Texas who’d make you think twice about stereotypes. I’ve been to some freespeech/atheist rallys in COLLEGE STATION of all places.

    Secondly, and I keep pointing this out to people here who accuse me of being in league with the Anti-Christ. . . W’s from Maine. And went to school in Yale. I have no idea where he got that “accent.”

  27. says

    Click on my name for pictures of the Saengerrunde Hall @ Scholz’s — you can get an idea of the size.

    @Rowen — that is so true about College Station — in fact, the Secular Web (infidels.org) was first hosted on the tamu.edu servers (Texas A & M)!

    W got his accent in Midland, TX, where he grew up. I have a feeling he exaggerates the accent though.

  28. Bill Dauphin says

    Not sure if anyone’s still checking this thread, but here’s a case of Texas Democrats and Republicans coming together to fight for freedom of speech!

    Of course, once again, it’s in Austin.