Renting Town Hall
To Religious Groups
Gary M. Oppenheimer

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Gary M. Oppenheimer"
Subject: Re: NJ branch
Date: Thursday, March 02, 2000 6:57 PM

We are not an organization. This is an individual effort.

You are fortunate in that New Jersey hosts American Atheists, the largest organization of its kind in the United States.

If you describe the situation, I may be able to give you some ideas.

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From: Positive Atheism
Sent: Friday, March 03, 2000 7:17 AM
To: GARY M OPPENHEIMER
Subject: Re: NJ branch

As long as they charge the same fee to Satanists and atheists and the Klan as they do to the Christians, I have no problem with it. Also, you're not going to be able to stop them because this has been well-tested in court: they have the right to do this, and most separationist organizations agree with this right.

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From: "Positive Atheism" <editor@positiveatheism.org>
To: "Gary M. Oppenheimer"
Subject: Re: NJ branch
Date: Friday, March 03, 2000 6:53 AM

When the schools in Utah pushed for a religious club, everybody agreed that the schools shouldn't discriminate. Then, when the gays and lesbians wanted to form a club, the schools banned all non-curriculum clubs -- including the Bible club they worked so hard to have allowed. Go figure.

In San Diego, when the atheists rented the public park under the (illegal) Mount Soledad Cross on Easter Sunday (preempting the traditional Easter Sunrise Service), the Christians had a conniption fit. Go figure. The park bureau said first come, first served and let them rent it because they were first with the money. Read the speech given at this event.

The best position, I think, is to allow all to have equal access public facilities.

With equal access, we are neither promoting religion nor are we seen as discriminating against the religious. As long as the Klan (for example) is allowed to meet there too, I have no problem with anybody meeting there. The moment we do the un-American thing and begin to refuse groups on the basis of their philosoophical outlook, we might as well never rent the facilities to anyone.

Cliff Walker
"Positive Atheism" Magazine

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