Atheist Coming Out Party July 31, 2008

Atheist Coming Out Party

This Saturday, I’ll be in Columbus, Ohio for the Atheist Coming Out Party!

The event is free, I’ll be speaking there along with Edwin Kagin (of American Atheists), and there will be a Mass De-Baptism.

… The event will feature talks, social events, and even a “De-Baptism” ceremony for those who were enrolled in religious groups and now wish to disaffiliate from their houses of worship.

“This will be a day of celebration and education for anyone who doesn’t believe in a God and is still ‘in the closet,” said Ashley Paramore, organizer of the event. “We’re sending the message that it is OK to not believe in a Jehovah or Allah or some other deity, and live a secular lifestyle as an alternative to organized religion.”

If you’re in the area or are able to make the trip, come on down!

You know you want to.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Shelley Mountjoy

    I’ll be there too!

  • Larry Huffman

    I understand the need for people who have left a faith-based religion behind to fill the void with similar emotions and feeling…but this just seems ridiculous…and contrary to the image that atheists have tried for years to overcome. Mainly that atheism is not a religion or anything close. It is a state of belief in deity…specifically the state of not believing.

    I can understand having an event for atheists formerly in the closet to attend and show they are atheists. But…a de-baptism? What is that? Symbolic crap akin to the crap we are leaving behind. A baptism is a religious ritual that indicates that you need to wash yourself free of sins…and is usually related to joining the faith. So…in that context…what exactly is a de-baptism other than someone trying to be cute and clever…and really just making the event look stupid. What will be involved in this ritual that they are now showing the world that atheists do? Except…we don’t do this. I have never even heard of this before now.

    I have debated many theists…and I can tell you, they will run with this one on their ‘atheism is a religion’ schtick. And I would if I were them…this is a case of atheists not even having a good sense of themselves. I can here a televangelist in his sickening sweet southern drawl filled with concern saying, “Do you know what atheists do? They perform de-baptism rituals. They have ceremonies to cleanse the atheist of their baptism. And they claim they are not a religion. tsk tsk”…And this kind of thing actually makes them correct.

  • Larry,

    I understand your concern about the de-baptism. That said, I’d like to know more details about what exactly is going to occur before making a decision one way or the other.

    If it’s just going to be collecting information to forward to the appropriate religious entity to remove an individual from the church roster, I see little wrong with it.

    Even if it is a fairly flashy “ritual,” while I see your concern, I can also see it as a bit of a liberating experience for those involved.

  • David D.G.

    What would you use to de-baptize someone anyhow? A hairdryer?

    ~Davdi D.G.

  • ubi dubius

    I’ll use the hairdryer to blow away my superstition.

  • John

    Years ago my mother asked me to ‘resign’ from our church because the church was required to send a certain amount of money to the higher ups based on its listed membership. If that’s still the case, it seems like a reasonable thing to do.

  • Ron in Houston

    While I understand the purpose of getting people to realize there are a lot of other atheists out there, overall the event seems a little silly.

  • To my understanding, while it is a “coming out” party, I figure most of the guests will be “out” atheists already. But almost anytime atheists can find a way to connect with each other, I see it as a good thing.

    De-Baptism? Kind of a tongue-in-cheek thing. Symbolic if you really are leaving your faith. Just good fun for others. I don’t think I can be de-Baptized, though, since I was never baptized in the first place…

    And I do believe there will be mass use of hair-dryers…

  • Rituals and symbols aren’t just for religious people. They are inherent to human nature. Everyone uses them, even atheists. So if some atheists want to have a “de-baptism” ceremony, I don’t see any contradiction in that.

  • I wish I could be there! My family has decided we need to have a big cookout, go to a festival, and have a birthday party this weekend. Sometimes it sucks to live so close to so much family.

  • TheOtherOne

    Years ago my mother asked me to ‘resign’ from our church because the church was required to send a certain amount of money to the higher ups based on its listed membership.

    Heh. My parents, on the other hand, got angry enough at their church to withdraw their memberships – but asked me to transfer my long-ignored membership there so that they could continue to get the organizational magazines in order to keep up with the goings-on . . .

    (I’ll be there, btw.)

  • eL_sTiKo

    Discordians have a history of sending small vials of holy water back to the vatican, along with a short letter/certificate explaining that we have removed ourselves from their “mailing list” as it were, and that they can have the water back now…I recommend athiests continue the practice.

    While you’re at it, ask them for a refund for your childhood!

    @Ron in Houston:

    No sillier than believing preposterous, outdated, redundant superstitions!

  • Larry Huffman

    It does not matter what they do. That is not the point. Don’t call it a de-baptism. The name directly implies the reversal of a religious ritual. As atheists we all know that if you have no belief in god, then there is no baptism to ‘de’ from. It just never was. So it is illogical in premise.

    Regardless of what they do…it will be perceived as moving atheism towards religion by those who pay attention. Something that has been shifting the right direction lately.

    And…if you say it is just in humor…well then this coming out celebration ends up being centered around a slap at christianity. It should be above that.

    If I were doing it, I would not use the term in conjunction with the celebration. I might chuckle at it, but I would see that it might not be in the best interest of athreists to take such a shot. But it is not that big of a deal. Just a topic on a forum…they can do what they want. Just me spoutin’. 🙂

  • jcolv

    I don’t think the ‘de-baptism’ will resemble the religious ceremony. I wouldn’t say that it’s a revival of something that we are trying to move away from either. Humans like symbols and I think that’s what this is filling in for. I think there are some important distinctions before we decide that this event will be as dogmatic as religious events. No one is going to be claiming that ‘the spirit’ is leaving you during this de-baptism.

    I think it’s also important to take into account that this is an event for free thinkers, so we’re getting together to share ideas. This is in contrast to a lot of religious events that I used to attend in which a speaker gives out ideas and interpretations of the bible and the crowd is supposed to accept them at face value.

    I feel like there is real value in an atheist event. I hope that some people show up that are hesitant to admit their atheism and through meeting other atheists realize that there’s nothing wrong with it.

    (I’ll also be there – I’m so happy that it’s happening in Columbus)

  • I’ll be there, I’m bringing friends and I just can’t wait! Columbus needs more stuff like this to happen 😀

  • Alycia

    I’m only 10 minutes away from there, but I can’t come. I vowed that Saturday was going to be a lazy day with my kid. Maybe next time.

  • Dave

    I was baptized Catholic when I was a baby, so obviously I had no say in the matter. As a non-believing adult, I want to remove myself from the central Catholic baptismal roster/records/big book…whatever it’s called? Have any of you tried to do this? Do I have to contact the bishop of the country I was originally born and baptized in, or do I try to contact a particular Vatican office? All/any suggestions on where/how to start this process, are very welcome.
    Thank you.

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