A new atheist student group has formed at the University of Oregon. They have the most pleasant name I’ve heard in a long time: The Alliance of Happy Atheists.
Lucy Gubbins, the group’s recently elected president, says the group’s goal is not to be anti-religious. Instead, the group is focused on being courteous, tolerant, and supporting atheism and atheists.
“I think the Alliance of Happy Atheists creates a community for people to come to,” said Gubbins, a University freshman. “I think it’s a wonderful social atmosphere. I think people really feel that they can be honest, and they can really can talk about their struggles, and I think that’s the most important thing.”
Sounds like a very open, tolerant group that wants to provide a haven for atheist students. They’re going out of their way to say they’re not anti-religious.
Here’s where the story gets weird:
The group applied to be a recognized [Associated Students of the University of Oregon] group but was denied. The ASUO explained that the group must exist for six months before it can gain official recognition. “The ASUO hasn’t let us use any kinds of materials,” Gubbins said. “It’s like they don’t even want us to be a group.”
The article (and the subtitle of its headline) makes it sound like some anti-atheist conspiracy that angers group members.
It’s not. I spoke to the group’s Vice-President Greg Kirby and he said they know the six-month-rule very well. They should become an officially recognized group sometime this summer.
Not sure why the reporter chose to go with that angle…
Still, it’s great to see the group get some publicity. You can join their Facebook group here.