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SSA eMpirical No. 29 - Busy As Usual

Secular Student Alliance Board Member Matthew LaClair Published in L.A. Times

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Matthew LaClair
Matthew LaClair will be presenting at the 2008 Secular Student Alliance conference. This conference is being held jointly with the conference of the American Humanist Association and the world congress of the International Humanist and Ethical Union.

Secular Student Alliance board member Matthew LaClair is the author of an Op-Ed piece in the April 27 edition of the LA Times. In it, he talks about the recent controversy where a nationally used American Government textbook was found to contain several mistakes and conservative bias. Matthew, with the help of the Center for Inquiry, alerted the publishers of the book (along with the media) about these problems. The full report can be found on the Center's website.

Matthew urges students to not remain silent when these misstatements occur. He writes:

What is most distressing is not that some public school teachers preach their religion, or that some authors put politics ahead of education. It is that it is so rare for anyone to call them on it. This text is widely used. Yet to my knowledge, no one has challenged these incorrect and misleading statements.


Fiction for Fiction

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From friendlyatheist.com

A few weeks ago, Jennifer at Purdue University threw out the idea of having people swap their Bibles (or other religious texts) for novels: Fiction for Fiction.

The event took place recently and Jennifer gave us an update:

We ended up receiving a bunch of books, mainly Bibles or other Christian spiritual books. We also had people turn in a Book of Mormon, the Tanakh, and two Bhagavad Gitas. While we did get a lot of glares or confused looks from people passing by, we also got a ton of smiles. It was great to have people come up and thank us for having the event (since Purdue almost always has people passing out Bibles or preaching). A lot of theists (mostly Christian) came up to ask what we were doing. Once we explained that we were trying to promote critical thinking of what you read (and that we weren't burning the books), many of them supported our message. On our second day we were actually set up next to a Baptist group handing out free popcorn, but they were the nicest of all.

SSA eMpirical No. 28 - Making Headlines!

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