My Interfaith Club


It’s now August and the summer is almost over. Soon it will be time to head back to school, and into my busy schedule of volunteering and planning and attending events. I’m looking forward to it, but I’m also a bit nervous. On one hand, I get to meet many new and interesting people and learn many new things. On the other, I have to deal with being stressed from classes, lacking enough time in the day, and people not putting in their fair share of the work. Oh, and there’s the anxiety disorder to deal with.

I’m partially anxious about the people. I’m an open atheist and, well, it is an interfaith club. I risk getting harassed on both sides: by atheists and theists. So far most people think the idea of an interfaith club that is run by an atheist is novel. But I have been told that I corrupt theistic spaces by a fellow student. And many theists and atheists are against interfaith. I’m interested to see what will happen, but it’s impossible to not also be nervous.

However, the club is looking to be quite active so far. We will be doing biweekly meetings and we will be doing some volunteer work and joining certain religious groups for certain events. So far, we have been discussing trips to the Unitarian church and the Secular church. He have also been invited to a Muslim prayer. One where the men and women aren’t segregated from one another. With any luck, we’ll even get to participate in a heathen event. Those four events will likely fill our fall semester, but we are looking for similar events for our winter semester. We are also unsure of who we should volunteer with. We may set up some booths for certain causes, or we may just find places looking for volunteers. I will be busy planning and pulling off events, but it should be a lot of fun.

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6 responses to “My Interfaith Club

  • Chris Highland

    This sounds very positive and necessary in our polarizing times. Interfaith work can be difficult and challenging, but also very rewarding and constructive. I hope you will keep writing about your experiences and let us know what works and what doesn’t work so well. Good be with you.

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  • charles

    Most good things, to be accomplished, require risk. College is about so much more than taking classes… Organizing and leading this group will stretch you and prepare you for the future, whether it goes well or not, but here’s hoping it goes great.

    Sorry about the anxiety disorder, but so glad there are so many more resources today to help than there were in the past. You didn’t mention anyone ever doing this, but if anyone ever dares to blame atheism for your anxiety disorder, just laugh in their face. You would not believe how many Christians have anxiety disorder, or any of a number of other issues. And they have the added burden of feeling guilty about it, that if they just trusted God more, they wouldn’t be anxious.

    Looking forward to hearing how it goes!

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    • hessianwithteeth

      I was diagnosed when I was 13, so the anxiety disorder is under a good deal of control :). Mine is fairly mild too. But I’ll keep it in mind because people do say dumb things about mental disorders from time to time.
      This will be my second year leading groups, and my fourth in a leadership role, so I’ve got the extracurricular part of university down ;). So far it’s been great, but it is definitely a lot of work.

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  • siriusbizinus

    Hosting a dialogue of people of different faiths seems like it requires an Atheist to run it, at least if the moderation is to be impartial. It also affords you a unique opportunity to show people of faith that maybe their belief system doesn’t have a monopoly on truth. Being able to discuss any idea that is closely held is a necessary component of a secular society, and by doing this I think you’re helping believers accept Atheism in a more positive way.

    As to your detractors, you can use them to remain honest to yourself. Promoting reasoned thought and understanding isn’t inherently unhealthy. Although you will not be actively dispelling myths about faith, knowledge of other myths can help people question their own myths. If you stray too far, your detractors will be sure to let you know, and you can right your own course.

    Best wishes to you in the coming year!

    Like

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