Making a Difference (Or: Becoming an Activist For Your Cause) by Stuart Bechman
If you ever felt strongly about a cause and wondered ‘How can I help?’ then this article is for you. Stuart Bechman lists a number of ways in which you can make a contribution and provide some impact for your cause.
Church-State Separation and Secularist Organizations
Atheist organization started by Madalyn Murray O’Hair. Today it fights for the complete separation of church and state, as well as for the rights of atheists in America.
A favorite target of the religious right, the ACLU defends civil liberties on many fronts including church/state separation, personal privacy, and legal protection through due process. Every US state and Puerto Rico has an ACLU affiliate, whose purpose is to handle requests for legal assistance, lobby state legislatures, and host public forums.
A national watchdog organization (with local chapters across the United States) dedicated to preserving religious liberty. It is open to theists and nontheists of all kinds, and is headed by a minister with the United Church of Christ (Reverend Barry Lynn) who can be seen often in the national media and news stories centering on church/state separation issues.
Democratic association of various individual atheists and atheist organizations.
FFRF defends the rights of nontheists in courtrooms, sponsors annual national conventions, and publishes the popular “Freethought Today” newspaper.
Interfaith Alliance is an alliance of leaders of various religions, worldviews, and beliefs that includes Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, agnostics, atheists, and so on. It works to promote religious freedom for everyone regardless of religious beliefs, as well as civic participation and civility.
PFAW, a progressive group that supports secular values in government, is a political action committee working to battle groups like the Christian Coalition. Click the “Religious Freedom” link for action alerts and information.
A coalition of nontheistic organizations which lobbies Congress to protect the rights of freethinking Americans, with state chapters devoted to on-the-ground activism at the state level.
The Freethought Society of Greater Philadelphia’s Anti-Discrimination Support Network (ADSN) collects narratives highlighting instances of discrimination against nonbelievers in employment and other practices.
Secular Student Organizations
An extension of the Center for Inquiry that has established a network of college (and some high school) campus freethought organizations.
SSA provides resources for secular high school and college student organizations, including leadership training, guest speakers, literature, etc.
A comprehensive list (with links) of secularist student organizations around the world.
A movement endorsed by several prominent nontheists to adopt a new term (“Brights”) with an accompanying philosophy to describe secularists, freethinkers, atheists, naturalists, etc. with the intent of putting forth a positive and less stigmatized perception of nonbelievers.
AHA aims to promote humanism in the united States by working with or establishing like-minded organizations. AHA issues political action alerts and makes its magazine (The Humanist) available online.
CSH is a large organization that offers support for secular humanists through activities such as magazine publishing, conducting secular ceremonies (weddings, funerals, etc.), educational courses, and summer camps for children that teach critical thinking skills and secular ethical values.
IHS is a think tank that offers news, opinions, information, and humor relating to humanism. It works to spread public awareness and acceptance of humanist principles.
Evolution/Creationism in the Science Classroom
NCSE has an extensive website with current news and resources on defending the teaching of evolution against creationist pseudoscience advocates. NCSE prepared the famous “Project Steve” list.
Miscellaneous Secular Activist Resources
A social networking site designed to assist local atheists joining together for dinner, conversation, activism, and camaraderie. See also the Separation of Church and State meetup.
Browse these links to find more nonbelief and atheist-oriented organizations.