Atheists Gather to Discuss Blurring of Line Between Church and State

May 23, 2005

Source: The New York Times

On May 23, 2005 The New York Times reported, "to the uninformed, the gathering here may have seemed like a church revival, full of zeal and fervor. But worshipping God was most decidedly not part of the agenda. The attendees of the 'All Atheists Weekend' came together to discuss what they call the rise of fundamentalism in the U.S. and the blurring of lines between church and state. Attendees also took time to view documentaries that question the historical accuracy of the Bible -- and to hear lectures about the dangers of religious icons on public property and problems with President Bush's so-called 'faith-based initiative,' which seeks to give religious groups equal footing in seeking federal grants to provide social services. Organizers said they expected more than 250 people to take part in the weekend event, which featured a lecture by Ellen Johnson, the president of American Atheists. The religious right's increasing involvement in U.S. politics has triggered an angry backlash among the godless, say Bay Area atheist groups, five of which organized the event."