8th Annual Local to Global Justice Teach-In

February 28, 2009
8:30 amto6:00 pm
March 1, 2009
8:30 amto6:00 pm

Since 2001, Local to Global Justice has held annual community education events at ASU, and this year we will be participating.

By “community education” I mean that it is not a series of lectures all given by professors and professionals, it is an event where we can all learn from each other. There will be presentations by many people of different backgrounds, both the highly educated and laypeople, on many different subjects.

The theme for the teach-in this year is “Reclaim the Commons!” This includes everything from natural resources and spaces to “intellectual property” and creative expression.

Better Than Faith will have a table at the event, and we should be there all day Saturday and Sunday. We will be happy to talk to people about anything, so come out and see us!

Brother Jed – February 2009

February 18, 2009
February 19, 2009
February 20, 2009

Brother Jed, the infamous preacher who travels to college campuses all over the country to yell at the horrible sinners, is returning to ASU.

Last year when Jed visited, he was the catalyst that helped form the current core of both the Mill Avenue Resistance and the Secular Free Thought Society of ASU. The Resistance was already going on, and we went to challenge Jed as part of it, but Jed swelled our ranks considerably. He is one of the best recruiting tools we could ask for!

So if you’re interested in opposing fundamentalist preachers or you want to meet people who are, this is a great chance to do it. If you can’t make it this time though, he will be back in March so keep an eye on the event list!

I can’t give exact times that he will be there, but I believe it will be something along the lines of 9 AM to 5 PM. Somewhere in the middle of the day would be the safest bet if you just wanted to stop by for a little while. I hope to see you there and meet a lot of new people like we did last year!

Third First Friday – February 2009

February 6, 2009
6:30 pm

With events like this, you never know what’s going to happen. Last month we were surprised to find a new and obnoxiously loud preacher visiting here from New York, and he was soon joined by two others who all stayed for nearly a month and claimed that they would be back again.

This month I don’t expect anything like that, but then I didn’t expect it last time either. All we can do is keep showing up and continuing to do our best with whatever comes our way. At least this month things are starting to get warmer, so it should be nicer to be out there.

You can generally find us at 3rd St and Roosevelt, and if you don’t have a way to get there, you might be interested to know that the new Light Rail goes by just a few streets away at Central and Roosevelt, so between that and the buses just about anyone who wants to get there can!

Mill Avenue Resistance – February 2009

February 7, 2009
8:00 pm
February 14, 2009
8:00 pm
February 21, 2009
8:00 pm
February 28, 2009
8:00 pm

Last month was a crazy one. We had a preacher here from New York with his teenage son, one from South Africa, an American preacher who lives in Scotland, and even the infamous Westboro Baptist Church from Kansas, all here to tell us how horrible and worthless we are and how we need their god to save us (which he may or may not decide to do, even if we want it).

Last Saturday though, it was back down to the local preachers again, and they went back to what they had been doing recently, which is apparently trying to bore us to death. At some point they did start preaching, but once we came down to where they were it was short lived. At least we managed to get some conversation out of them off the mic, which is rare with most of them, and that provided some interesting insights into their thinking.

We also ran into a Muslim who pretended to be a Catholic, but when he didn’t know about transubstantiation (the idea that the bread and wine actually turn into the body and blood of Jesus in your mouth), his cover was blown and he eventually admitted he was a Muslim. Fortunately he was talking to a SFTS member who used to be a Muslim and is well versed in their religion. We some other interesting conversations, and we are looking for ways to make sure that we have even more of them in the future.

I’m not sure yet exactly what this month will be like, but even if it is slow we’re doing something important, and I believe that we are still having an overall positive effect, so I hope we continue to get good turnouts on our side.

Westboro Baptist Church Counter-Protests

January 30, 2009
January 31, 2009
8:00 amto9:00 am

Tomorrow and Saturday morning the bigots from the Westboro Baptist Church will be out to inform us all that “God hates fags”, and even that “God hates you”. If you do believe in a god, these people probably don’t represent your views, so whether you’re religious or not, if you live in the Phoenix area you may want to come down and show them that we don’t accept their message of hate.

You should be aware that the last time these people scheduled a protest here, they didn’t even show up, but this is a much more full schedule so they are most likely going to be here. You can find a list of their scheduled events on their site, but make sure you check it again before you go out because they have changed it recently and they could change it again.

If you still aren’t sure why we’re opposing them, here is a quote from their site about one of the events tomorrow:

Greenwood Memor Lawn Serenity Chapel 2300 W. Van Buren Funeral of Army Staff Sgt. Roberto Anrade — Look what the Lord our God has done! He is pouring His wrath out on this nation, focusing on your military. So here we were, already planning to be in your area to warn you to put away your idols and your grevious sins against God. Then, our God killed one of your own at such as time as to allow us to be there, near the funeral, to connect the dots directly in front of your face: because you will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, He has killed another of your rebels in uniform! Thank God for dead soldiers. God is your enemy. America is doomed.

Second First Friday – January 2009

January 2, 2009
6:00 pm

This will be our second month at the First Friday art walk in downtown Phoenix. The first one was a little disorganized because most of us hadn’t been there before or hadn’t been there in a long time, but it turned out pretty well anyway.

It was nice to see Anonymous out there sticking it to Scientology, and we are happy to do what we can to support them, but since they already Scientology fairly well covered, our main focus continues to be on the Evangelical Christian street preachers, and maybe the obnoxious “Christian Rock” band that apparently plans to return.

Still, that’s at least three different groups who need some attention, so anyone who joins us should not be short on things to do.

Mill Avenue Resistance – January 2009

January 3, 2009
8:00 pm
January 10, 2009
8:00 pm
January 17, 2009
8:00 pm
January 24, 2009
8:00 pm
January 31, 2009
8:00 pm

Just as we were reexamining and improving our methods when 2008 began, we will usher in 2009 the same way. Overall this has been a successful year for us, but some of us are beginning to look for better methods to not only maintain our strengths, but also to find and eliminate our weaknesses so that we can be more effective in meeting any goals we set for ourselves.

One of the best ways to identify our weaknesses is to get feedback from new people who aren’t already used to being out there with us. New people can provide insights into things that we are unlikely to see on our own. So even if you don’t think that you want to participate, but you still want to help, you can do it by giving us some constructive criticism.

We also plan to go out and oppose the Westboro Baptist Bigot Church when they’re here in late January, so keep an eye out for the event and details to be posted.

I know it’s cold out, but this is still an important time for us to maintain our presence on Mill and to start making some positive changes before the flood of students comes back for the spring semester, so if you’ve been coming out then please continue, and if you haven’t then it’s a good time to start!

Mill Avenue Resistance – December 2008

December 6, 2008
8:00 pm
December 13, 2008
8:00 pm
December 20, 2008
8:00 pm
December 27, 2008
8:00 pm

The Mill Avenue Resistance is still going strong, but lately the preaching on Mill has been even more pathetic than usual. The last two weeks in November, Al (who is usually reliable for a laugh) refused to haul his god and pony show out for ridicule, but late last Saturday night there was a spark of hope for the preachers in Al’s surrogate Brant, until he opened his mouth.

If you thought you had heard nonsense from a street preacher before, you should really talk to this guy. He did have the same basic street preaching template that the others had to work from, but he seemed to have little or no knowledge of anything outside of that. It was pathetic.

So preachers, if you’re listening, step up your game and bring on someone who can at least give a half-assed attempt at defending your (admittedly indefensible) fairy tale god, or take a cue from the rest of your dwindling crew and just pack it in.

As for those on our side, while our opposition has been in sorry shape lately, we can’t afford to go down the same path. So far we still have good turnouts, but no matter how lame they get we must hold up our end, even in the frozen winter Hell that awaits us for the next couple of months. We’ll see what we can do about getting hot chocolate or coffee or somethin’ to ease the pain.

Thank you for coming out so consistently, and please bear with us while the preachers work out their personnel issues.

ASU SFTS: December 2008 Meetings

December 6, 2008
7:00 pmto9:00 pm
December 12, 2008
6:00 pmto8:00 pm

Since most of the SFTS members who regularly attend meetings will be at the First Friday event on the 5th, the meeting has been rescheduled for Saturday evening before the Mill Avenue Resistance event.

Other meeting times this month may also be subject to change, but the 12th and 19th meetings will most likely go on as planned. Any changes to the schedule will be reflected here, as well as in the Events list and calendar.

We would also like to hear from members who are unable to make it to our meetings on Friday nights. If you have alternative times to suggest, please let us know and if enough people are happy with that schedule then we may switch times or start auxiliary meetings to help get more people involved and more activities started for you to be involved in.

First Foray into First Friday

December 5, 2008
6:30 pm

Recently a friend of one of our members became the first to pull out his spot light and turn on the Atheist Signal. Much like Batman, we can be called to defend science and sanity anywhere in the Phoenix area, and perhaps beyond. We have yet to see the limits of the Signal tested.

Anyway, our new friend runs an art gallery in downtown Phoenix, and he has a problem that is right up our alley. On the first Friday of every month, during the First Friday art walk events (which are important not only to visitors but to the businesses involved), he has a regular crew of unwanted guests in the form of loud preachers yelling into his gallery from the street.

Even worse there are reportedly other groups of preachers in the area for these events as well, so we may be forced to split up our time or people to cover them all, but if we seem to be making a positive impact then we will continue to attend First Friday events indefinitely.

If you haven’t come out to Mill Avenue with us, maybe because it’s too far away from you, please consider this as an alternative place to make a difference. We would love to see some new faces out there to support us and the truth!

If you plan to come out you can just look for a group of unhappy preachers with an extra speaker near them, or you can use the forum or contact form to get in touch with us ahead of time and we’ll make more solid plans.