From protesting abortion clinics to protesting hate preachers

Left: Ayden at 11, witnessing on the street. Right: Ayden at 19, leading his SSA chapter

Ayden Paulson grew up as a Baptist in a very religious household.  From the ages of 9 to 12 his Dad took him and his brothers to “street witness,” or proselytize, with him. Ayden would be taken to protest abortion clinics every Saturday and believed he was spreading God’s message. But the more he went out and listened to people’s questions the more he began to question his faith. He started to look for answers to the questions people asked him but to no avail, he found no answers that could hold up his faith.

Fast forward 8 years and Ayden is now a secular student leader at Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky. Eight years ago he was protesting abortion clinics every Saturday and today he’s handing out signs and bingo sheets to protest the hate preacher on campus. His experience as an atheist started off, according to him, very anti-theist. However, the more he grew up, the more humanist he became and his disdain for religion grew into a love for humanity, religious and non-religious alike. Ayden’s journey from street preacher to secular student leader has been a wild ride.

Since coming to college and joining SSA Ayden has been able to find a community where he can talk about his beliefs safely. “Joining SSA has been amazing,” he said. “I can now find ways to better help humanity and continue fighting for secular values. I’m so happy I made the change”.

Join SSA in supporting students like Ayden as they develop into the next generation of secular leadership in America!

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