I’m doing a mini-blogathon today for Secular Students Week!
This week is Secular Students Week, when people around the Internet are celebrating the fantastic work the Secular Student Alliance is doing to empower students. Their goal is to get 500 donations now through June 17th: if they do, they’ll receive a $20,000 challenge grant! Help them keep up their amazing work by giving this week. A gift of $5, $10, or $20 will go a long way towards helping them reach this goal and empower secular students: please give today!
In today’s mini-blogathon, I’ll post a new blog post once an hour, from now (a little after 9:00 am Pacific time) until 5:00 pm Pacific time. In addition, for every donation that’s made today via my blogathon, I’ll post a new cat photo!
For this hour’s blogathon post: Why The Secular Student Alliance Means So Much To Me, Anyway.
When people in the atheist movement talk about the importance of secular students, it’s often cast in terms of the future. Student leaders are being trained to be future leaders. Student atheists will build future atheist communities. The large number of non-believing students means rates of non-belief will continue to rise. Etc.
All of that is certainly true. Assuming that most non-believers continue to be non-believers throughout their lives, the high percentage of non-religious young people does mean that, as older and more religious generations die off, the total rate of non-belief will continue to rise, and rise dramatically. And it’s definitely true that student groups are a great training ground for future leaders: many of today’s “professional atheists” were once involved in their secular student groups, and that will almost certainly continue to be true. As the years and decades pass, and as older organizers retire, I would expect that a very large proportion of atheist organizers will be Secular Student Alliance alumni.
But as Lyz Liddell has often said (Liddell is Director of Campus Organizing for the Secular Student Alliance), students aren’t just the future of this movement. Students are the present of this movement. Yes, young people are leaving religion in record numbers — and student organizations are there for them, providing support, pushing back against bigotry, creating opportunities for charitable and social justice work, letting them know that non-belief is an option in the first place. Many people in organized atheism are talking about how important it is to build atheist communities, to replace the social and practical support people often get from religion — and the student organizations are doing exactly that.
Student atheists aren’t just future atheists — they’re atheists right now. Student communities aren’t just the building blocks for future communities — they’re communities right now. Student leaders aren’t just future leaders — they’re leaders right now.
Once again — please support the Secular Student Alliance! Help them get their challenge grant of $20,000 by reaching their goal of 500 donations now through June 17th. Even small donations help. Please support them today!