Are Relatively Benign
My name is Jim Grossmann.
I'm an atheist, but feel put off by the wounded anger and hostility that some of my fellow atheists exude whenever I suggest that some churches and religions are relatively harmless and benign.
One such angry person suggested that I visit your site. To my surprise, I was very impressed by the lucidity, erudition, and even-tempered assessment of religion that I found here.
Naturally, I was also keen on your support for church-state separation and the fair treatment of atheists.
I'm not rich, and have little time to give to activism, but I'm interested in making small, regular financial contributions to your organization. I will also remember your thoughts and recommendations when I write my law-makers.
With all this in mind, how do I go about supporting your efforts? Where would I send my money, and what would your organization buy with it?
From: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Jim Grossmann"
Subject: Re: WebMaster:_Positive_Atheism_Index
Date: October 23, 2001 4:25 AM
One such angry person suggested that I visit your site. To my surprise, I was VERY impressed by the lucidity, erudition, and even-tempered assessment of religion that I found here.
I am a strong supporter of the notion that the god-question is one of the silliest reasons for anybody to get into a fight. However, I keenly recognize that some expressions of religion are outright dangerous.
Although most atheist groups don't know this yet, gratuitous and indiscriminate criticism of religion is passé. I still take a few shots here and there, but you'll almost always see the method to my madness. (It's always there, you just may or may not see it!) I have come a long way since I developed the "Haphazard Guide to Goofy Religions." which I recently renamed to the "Goofy Guide to Haphazard Religions" simply because part of me still gets a kick out of the questions that it raises in the top panel.
We get our support only through subscription donations to the print edition. These are $24 per year in the U.S. Several people have sent more, and I either extend their expiration or credit someone else's account (we send to several prisoners and send out about 40 percent freebies on any given month, though only about twelve of the freebies are permanent: my Mother, my Sister, you know!).
Also, while we still have a few left, we are still offering a lifetime sub which includes the whole banana: all the back-issues of PAM plus all the back-issues of PAM's predecessor (which was edited by me but owned by an atheist group). I am currently working on my 74th consecutive monthly edition of an atheist magazine. Those who get the Lifetime know what a deal it is and usually toss a few more pennies our way off and on over time.
We take PayPal, which costs us a few pennies but more than makes up for it in convenience (at times I've had to pop $18.00 for a cab to the PO Box and the bank, so PayPal "costs" one or two cab rides per year). Visit our Subscription Page to find out more.
But you wouldn't realize how important it is to help us do some of the work around here. Even grabbing quotes out of magazines (do you subscribe to Free Inquiry or some other Freethought or Separationist magazine?) makes a clear difference in separating PAM from the crowds. We also have a Proofreading group for the print edition which also sometimes helps with other projects.
Most of all, though, the kind words such as what you have sent make a big difference in how I feel about even doing this sometimes. For example, today (October 22), someone sent an article about how the atheist groups just aren't objecting to the blatant religiosity following the Day of Atrocity. For a moment I felt like giving up. I wrote to my closest associates at the other separationist organizations and asked them to explain to me why we should even continue the fight! Then I got two letters like yours reminding me that fighting is all we really have left and continuing the fight is the only right thing to do.
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
people with no reason to believe
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