One of a kind?
Not for much longer!
The Thomas Paine Coffeehouse
by Cliff Walker with David Noelle
For years, the Center for Rational thought has billed itself as the only Atheist Community Center in the U.S. I just heard that the Atheists, Humanists, and Freethinkers in San Diego plan to open the Thomas Paine Coffeehouse. Perhaps not a center, per se, but a place where freethinkers and the like can gather nonetheless.
A defunct group called the Freethinkers' Society was reincarnated into a joint project between local Humanist groups. The new officers include leaders from the Humanist Fellowship of San Diego, the San Diego Association of Secular Humanists, and the Humanist Association of San Diego. This joint organization was granted a significantly sized loan from one of its more affluent members. The James Hervey Johnson Trust offered matching funds on this amount, and on whatever other donations come in. They secured a lease on a large building near Park Place and El Cajon Boulevard, which had been a coffeehouse and art gallery.
The goal is to transform this into a place where the public can gather to learn about freethought issues. They will reopen the coffee house, institute a small bookstore specializing in atheist, freethought, and humanist publications, allow the previous lease-holder to continue to sell artwork there, and open the space to all groups with related interests who need a place to gather.