How Can I Help?
I follow Positive Atheism, but I'll admit somewhat passively. Like everyone else, I've got a whole bunch of other things in my life, and wonder if I have the time to add more.
I am in the Colorado Springs area, and would like to consider contributing more. Like other atheists, I get really cranky at our leaders and the people who follow them in matters of religion. (Note Colorado's recent adoption of posting the so-called national motto in schools.)
So my question to you is this: How can I help? What is the best way to get involved?
I look forward to hearing from you.
From: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Steve Fife"
Subject: Re: Positive Atheism
Date: Monday, July 17, 2000 7:29 PM
Believe it or not, the website and e-list are here specifically to support the print edition. I may change my priorities in September (my five-year anniversary at doing this), but will not decide until then. At that time, I may put together a book of my material and some of the Letters section discussions. Thus far, this has been my personal hobby, and I have (until recently) been able to support it financially.
You can help either by contributing material, helping format material, or subscribing to the print edition of the magazine.
The easiest way to contribute to the discussion is to post your two-cents' worth in our Forum or by writing letters to get posted in our Letters section.
We also enjoy hearing compelling new questions and often send these out to our list for responses to be posted in the Forum section. We can use original material, but like to have permission to freely use it in the print edition.
I just completed phase two of the Letters section facelift. We could use some work formatting old news articles into HTML for the Atheism And Awareness (general news), the Politics Of Religion (political news), and our Coverage Of The Inevitable Apocalypso (weird news) sections. I have hundreds of articles saved up over the past two years, and these would need to be gone through to pick which ones are appropriate, run by me, and then formatted into HTML. I use a text editor (WordPerfect 9, fully automated) for this formatting. This section is not nearly as popular or important as the Letters section, though.
I am also trying to work on the FAQ section, intending next to put together a discussion on "What Is Atheism?"
I also have access to hundreds of quotations, and could use some formatting work in the Big List Of Quotations section. This section is also very popular.
Finally, we offer a print edition of the magazine, and I have edited and printed a monthly magazine for almost five full years now. In the United States, we ask $24 per year, and are currently making the PDF file available to overseas readers. Sometimes a few subscriptions in a given month make the difference between this being printed and mailed on time and it being late. I used to have quite a bit of money available to absorb the costs (this thing has never paid for itself) but lately have had beaucoup medical and other expenses that have tightened my personal budget. I have paid for a year with the Internet server and own almost 1000 postage stamps, but the printing (DocuTech 135) and the machine folding are still quite expensive; if I wish to retain my high standard of quality, I must be able to afford these methods.
Don't forget to support the other groups that are working very hard to intervene against the onslaught of religious intrusion. Americans United For Separation Of Church And State works tirelessly to ensure that we have freedom of and from religion. The Freedom From Religion Foundation works toward privacy as opposed to public and publicly-sponsored ritual. American Atheists has taken a big turn for the better since the demise of its founder Madalyn Murray-O'Hair, and is busy advocating for separation and atheist dignity; they seem to have abandoned (for the most part) the caustic style of atheistic activism that Madalyn popularized, and Positive Atheism supports any move away from this caustic style. The American Civil Liberties Union fights for all civil liberties, including those of atheists; they are probably our greatest ally in the separationist struggle. Most of these bodies have places on their websites where you can send letters, e-mail and faxes to your representatives.
One more thing: as we approached our 400th Letters file, I announced that I would give a one-year free subscription to the one who sent the letter that gets file number 9600 (we count backwards from 9999 so the most recent file sorts at the top of the list). Guess what? You are letter file number 9600! If you send me your name and address, I'll put you on for a year. If you subscribe, that gets tacked onto the free subscription so that one year becomes two.
Anybody else who wants to check out the print magazine may send us their name and address and we send out about four sample issues. Our hope is that if you like it, and will support this venture financially.
"Positive Atheism" Magazine
Material by Cliff Walker (including unsigned editorial commentary) is copyright ©1995-2006 by Cliff Walker. Each submission is copyrighted by its writer, who retains control of the work except that by submitting it to Positive Atheism, permission has been granted to use the material or an edited version: (1) on the Positive Atheism web site; (2) in Positive Atheism Magazine; (3) in subsequent works controlled by Cliff Walker or Positive Atheism Magazine (including published or posted compilations). Excerpts not exceeding 500 words are allowed provided the proper copyright notice is affixed. Other use requires permission; Positive Atheism will work to protect the rights of all who submit their writings to us.