• Home
  • Donate
  • Contact
  • Log In

Forgoing Faith


This article was originally featured in The Daily of the University of Washington on June 5th, 2008 and is reprinted with permission.

Article by Samantha Park

Photo by Cliff Despeaux.

The SSU screens and discusses the 2006 documentary film Jesus Camp during a meeting.

Senior biology major Alicia Godersky grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, in a secular family. Neither she nor her sister ever had any sort of beliefs forced upon them. Instead, they were both expected to figure things out on their own.

Now, Godersky considers herself an atheist. She said her family is atheist as well, even though they consider themselves agnostic.

So, what does that mean?

"Atheism is a rejection of faith as a means of finding truth," Godersky said.

Merriam-webster.com defines religion as "the service and worship of God or the supernatural" and "a cause, principle or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith." Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism and the many different faiths that fall under the umbrella of Christianity would fit under this definition - along with many others. But would atheism and agnosticism fall under the category of "religion?"

Some would say that yes, they are religions, but most people who are atheist or agnostic would be hard-pressed to support that argument.

In short, atheists are sure to a certain degree that there is no god, whereas agnostics are unsure or unwilling (or both) to declare whether or not there is one.

However, Godersky said that both groups reject organized religion for similar reasons.

Best Awards 2008 Winners

Each year at our annual conference the SSA gives 'Best Awards' to our outstanding affiliate groups for the following achievements:
Best Service Project, Best Media Appearance, Best New Affiliate, Best Website, and Best Overall Affiliate.

The award comes with a cash prize of $300, and $500 for the winner of Best Overall Affiliate.

SSA eMpirical No. 29 - Busy As Usual

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

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.


Subscribe to Secular Student Alliance RSS
Facebook! Twitter! YouTube!
Powered by Drupal