Monday School: Atheists invade Street Fest!

It’s Monday, which means it once again time for Monday School… your ongoing weekly fix of the ‘Rational Corrective To All That Nonsense You Learned Yesterday!’

This week’s entry is going to be a little different as I’m eager to share something fun I did yesterday. About once a month, a street in the downtown area is blocked off and people are allowed to set up tables and either sell or advocate for something during what we call here in the Hammer as ‘Street Fest’. It’s a lot of fun and this time out, I got notice that a group of Atheists were going to have a table at this fest and were looking for volunteers to sit at this table and interact with anyone who came by to talk.

Being the outgoing (and outspoken) Atheist that I am, I volunteered to watch the table for three hours, which was perfect timing as I had to drop the boys off with there mother only a few blocks away from where it was happening. I went down to the street fest and I had no trouble finding our table:





Thankfully the table was also in the shade as it was very hot in the city that afternoon. I took a seat with the other atheists who had volunteered to watch the table and had a great time. I talked with the other atheists as well as anyone who came by our tables with questions or comments. We had books, buttons for display/sale and also free stickers and pamphlets for anyone who wanted more information.

We had an occasional heckler telling us we were all going to hell, which really didn’t bother us. Telling an atheist he’s going to hell is like telling us Santa isn’t bringing presents this Christmas. It’s not much of a threat when the idea isn’t real to begin with.

One part that I felt was interesting was that someone questioned whether or not we should have been allowed to have a table in the first place. An odd question since there were other tables being used by various churches to promote their stance on the issue, it would be unfair to deny us the same right.

I had a lot of fun and I really hope they do it again next month. This was a good group of non-believers and they are very well organized online so I plan to meet with them for future events and what not. I actually found it very relaxing to hang around a bunch of people who share the same views as I do. It felt relaxing and very easy going to speak freely and not worry about offending someone’s imaginary friend.

This kind of Atheist organization is something that is becoming a lot more common these days. Groups within universities are doing the same thing as well as other groups such as the one I hung out with on Sunday afternoon. I think the attention and positive feedback we got from a lot of people walking by at the fest made having an atheist table there a great success… and more than reason enough to try again.

So what do you think of this kind of promotion? Would you volunteer to run an atheist table in your town if asked?

PJ

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