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Atheist Community of Austin

Activism - Page 1

Someone once said, "Organizing atheists is like stacking marbles."  We couldn't agree more. Being independent thinkers and specialists at critically analyzing any given situation, atheists' opinions on politics, as any subject, are as varied as opinions could be. However, when we do agree on something, we can accomplish amazing things.

On these pages are just some of the projects ACA has worked on in the political arena.  Please note that as a non-profit organization, ACA cannot, and does not, endorse political candidates (don't even ask!).  But on important issues regarding the separation of church and state we are trying to give voice to atheism whenever possible, and we have made significant headway. In 2002, our protest against the explicitly Christian "National Day of Prayer" got as much local TV news coverage as the prayer breakfast itself, even though there were 1000 of them and about a dozen of us! In January of 2002, ACA held a rally on the Texas Capital steps celebrating the 200th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists, in which he coined the phrase "wall of separation" to refer to the necessity of keeping government out of religion.

One of our primary movers and shakers in the political arena is Rodney Florence, who has kept us aware of pertinent issues and informs us on the proper procedures for making our voices heard. Rodney is also a professional photographer, so we have him to thank for the many of the photos on these pages. Well done, Rodney!

Here is the Ten Commandments monument (which, puzzlingly, has eleven commandments on it) that stands on the Texas Capital grounds. Over the years ACA has been involved in efforts to get this monument relocated to private land where it doesn't pose constitutional problems. Before he moved, former Atheist Experience co-host David Clark launched a campaign he called "Remove the 10," and most recently, Thomas van Orden, a local church/state separation activist (he is not an ACA member) brought suit against the state of Texas to force the removal of the monument. The judge found on behalf of the state since he didn't think that it posed any church/state separation conflicts. Note the two Stars of David and the Christian "Chi Rho" symbol near the bottom, which clearly identify this as an explicitly religious monument. Van Orden is appealing, and the battle goes on....

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