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 Sep 

Kansas City, MO

Missouri

GODLESS GOVERNMENT NOW!

 
 
PRESS RELEASE

KANSAS CITY REGIONAL ATHEIST MEETING TO PROMOTE RATIONAL VALUES IN GOVERNMENT

The use of science, reason and critical thinking as foundations for public policy are increasingly under attack in our nation. One by one, states are passing laws compromising the teaching of evolution in schools. The Texas GOP platform explicitly opposes “the teaching of higher order thinking skills…critical thinking skills and similar programs that…have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs.” In Kansas, religious fundamentalists are poised to seize control of the state legislature, while in Missouri, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate—who, astonishingly, sits on the House Committee on Science, Education and Technology —has thrown the spotlight on his party’s extremist views on abortion by stating that rape rarely results in pregnancy because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

For those who believe separation of church and state is a fundamental part of our national ethos and who seek to promote rational values in government and at home, the stakes this election season could not be higher. That’s why the Kansas City Atheist Coalition and the national American Atheists organization are presenting the “Patriot & Atheist: Kansas City Regional Atheist Meeting” Oct. 5 to 7 at the Sheraton Overland Park hotel and convention center, where nationally known speakers will present workshops and talks on raising the voice of rationality this election season and beyond.

“The secularism movement has been growing rapidly in the Kansas City area, which drew the attention of national atheism and humanism groups long before Todd Akin’s comment showed the nation just how extreme and irrational a major political figure can be,” said Sarah Hargreaves, president of the Kansas City Atheist Coalition. “Our convention is intended to unite people who are concerned that religious fundamentalism in government will seriously harm public education, science policy, women’s rights, gay rights and America’s standing in the world.”

Among the speakers coming to Kansas City for the event are American Atheists President David Silverman, science educator and author Shawn Otto and investigative journalist Katherine Stewart, author of “The Good News Club: The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children.” One speaker of particular local interest will be Nate Phelps, son of infamous Westboro Baptist Church patriarch Fred Phelps. Nate, who fled the church and his family the day he turned 18, now travels throughout North America promoting gay rights and speaking out against religion-based child abuse.

The convention’s speaker presentations and workshops will address topics including secular lobbying, critical thinking in relation to political ads, atheist philanthropy and community service, women’s rights, science education, and how the religious right is infiltrating America’s public schools.

Promotional efforts on behalf of the “Patriot & Atheist: Kansas City Regional Atheist Meeting” begin in earnest this week and will include a billboard campaign in the Kansas City area.

At the convention itself, table space will be available for organizations and vendors interested in reaching out to the secular community. Interested groups and individuals should contact Kimberly Dobbs at accounting@kcatheists.org.

To purchase tickets, which are available at various price points and include special student rates, go to the conference registration page at http://atheists.org/kc. A complete list of speakers, workshops and other convention events is also on the registration page.

The Kansas City Atheist Coalition is a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization. Our mission is to advance atheism through activism, philanthropy, education and the cultivation of a positive secular community.

[September 6, 2012]

 Kansas City, MO 

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