Press Release: American Atheists Tackles Bible Belt for 2015 Convention

Satanic Temple Leader and Ex-Muslim Activists Will Speak in Memphis

Cranford, NJOn Tuesday, American Atheists announced the opening of online registration and early bird pricing for its 2015 National Convention to be held in Memphis, Tennessee, at the Peabody Hotel, April 2-5. The group also announced two new speakers: Bangladeshi atheist blogger Asif Mohiuddin and Lucien Greaves of The Satanic Temple. The keynote speaker, announced in late July, will be the ex-Muslim and women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

“Two ex-Muslims and a Satanist walk into an atheist convention,” said American Atheists President David Silverman. “It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it’s coming true next Easter weekend in the South—an area of the country where atheists are under great pressure to conform to religious traditions that don’t apply to them. We expect more than 1,000 atheists to gather to be part of a celebration of rational thought.”

The group plans to reveal 20 more speakers in the coming weeks, and the convention will also feature a “Cards Against Humanity” charity tournament, a costume party and dinner, an art show, a comedy show, a bookstore, a game room, a trivia party with free food, “Dinner with the Stars,” a movie screening, panel discussions, workshops, and an exhibitor and vendor room.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born ex-Muslim atheist and victim of ritual female genital mutilation, escaped an arranged marriage and later became a member of Parliament in the Netherlands. Today she is a U.S. citizen, a Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and an outspoken activist against religious abuses, particularly those of Islam. On Monday, September 15, Hirsi Ali spoke at Yale University, where she faced criticism from the Yale Muslim Students Association (MSA) and other student organizations because of her criticism of Islam.

Asif Mohiuddin, a 30-year-old activist, is from Bangladesh, which is home to about one-tenth of the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims. He is one of the most widely read Bengali-language atheist bloggers worldwide and in 2013, he was attacked and stabbed by three men for his activism. He was later arrested for insulting Islam online, a crime in Bangladesh. Following his arrest, riots broke out in the capital city of Dhaka, with Muslim extremists calling for his execution and a restoration of the country’s blasphemy laws as a capital crime, threatening to use “suicide squads” if their demands were not met. In the U.S., American Atheists organized rallies in New York City at the Consulate General of Bangladesh and the UN calling for his immediate release. Mohiuddin is currently free on bail and living in Germany, but the charges against him are still pending, and he speaks out against religion at great personal risk.

Lucien Greaves, co-founder and spokesperson of The Satanic Temple, will speak about non-theistic Satanism, separation of church and state, and the Temple’s widely publicized recent push to place a crowdfunded 7-foot cast bronze statue of the goat-headed idol Baphomet at the Oklahoma Capitol. The statue, if approved, will sit alongside a monument of the Ten Commandments placed there in November 2012.

Attendees may register for the convention at early bird pricing at https://atheists.org/convention2015/register

American Atheists is soliciting sponsors for various events at its 2015 convention. To learn about sponsorship or to exhibit or table as a vendor, register at https://atheists.org/convention2015/exhibitors

For a schedule of the convention, subject to change, visit http://atheists.org/convention2015/schedule

AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that defends civil rights for atheists, freethinkers, and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of religion and government; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy. American Atheists was founded in 1963 by Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

For More Information Contact:

Dave Muscato, Public Relations Director 908-276-7300 x7, [email protected]

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  • Atheists Are Haters

    So American Atheists is okay with someone who worships Satan, but not God?

    But then again, AA is more about attacking Christians, with a few Muslims and Jews thrown in, than in true secularism. Why not drop the charade and change the name to ‘American Anti-Christians’?

    • k

      please understand that it is a sarcastic religion, and what the fuck are you doing on this site anyway?

      • Scary ideas

        Exercising my right to free speech — are you threatened by people who disagree with you? I thought that’s what atheism was all about ….

        • lynn

          We all know you are here to push your faith in your “god” but who cares.. its just a fantasy. What we are really concerned with is religion trying to force its way into laws of the land like they did in the 1950’s. The violence toward people (not objects/idols) to force them to take up a religion when it becomes the standard in that area. The right for people to say ” no I’m not going to pretend I’m a christian” (read any other religion here too) because your faith is so weak it can’t take someone saying they don’t believe it. I laugh when I see so called Christians getting mad about muslims and wanting to use them as target practice. So peaceful and reliant on their god. JOKE. The constitution of our land allows all religions (not any one) and IT ALLOWS no belief too. There are people who think making kids say prayers in school is ok. It’s not unless they go to a private religious school. there are people threatening anyone who speaks out against religious practices and beliefs that are harmful to others – often children. you think I’m talking about muslims but main stream christians do the same kinds of things.

      • lynn

        Satanists are folks in rebellion against the insanity of their Christian upbringing. It would be better if they didn’t bother with any religion at all and inviting them might get them to open their eyes to reject the fuel Christians use to prove to themselves there is some boogie man out to get them that isn’t a human. lol
        Some churches actually push the role of “sin eaters” onto vulnerable people. Same for Exorcisms. They push mentally ill into role that fulfill the role of prove that evil exists while ignoring the “evil” they are doing by pushing that person into the role.

    • lynn

      I’m not . I think Satanists are just the other side of Christian dogma. people who try to shock others into religious BS. Another part of the fantasy. Show me a Satanist i’ll show you a Christian in sheeps clothing. (They do what the laity
      wants to prove that their evil exists.)

      • lynn

        My intent is to keep religions of all kinds out of the government laws and schools. If you go pray in your own house a church function or even at a table at a restaurant I don’t care. But if you or your children try to harass or insist me or my offspring be a part of your fantasy or threaten me or anyone else for not being part of the fantasy. I will speak up and be prepared to defend my rights and the rights of others not to have to follow your fantasies.

        • Pootis Spencer

          Did you just reply to your own comment?

  • Secular Satanist? Wow …

    Lucien Greaves? The “secular” Satanist who holds gravesite rituals to turn people into homosexuals in the afterlife?

    http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/the-founder-of-the-satanic-temple-weighs-in-on-fred-phelpss-impending-death

    EXCELLENT example of the kind of rational, “secular” thinkers that American Atheists chooses to promote their message …..

  • Pootis Spencer

    ALL HAILALL HAIL STALIN! THE DESTROYER OF RELIGION! HE HAS KILLDED 1 MILLION OF THOSE RILIGION FAGS! ALL HAILL STALLIN!!!!11!!

    • Philip Rivers

      Hail God, the all mighty, who allowed Stalin to murder millions. Where was your god when he was so desperately needed?

      • Free will

        Atheists love to talk about how religion “brainwashes” and “controls” people, but then seem disappointed that God gives people (including Stalin) free will and allows them to choose evil over good.

        (Maybe it would be worth pointing out that Stalin and all other Communist leaders/regimes are atheists)

        • Pootis Spencer

          I wasn’t even here for a ‘discussion’. I was here to troll members of ‘new atheism’. And even if I was trying to start a discussion, Phillip would of failed of being defensive or offensive. The fact that (In a nutshell) He said “GOD’S NOT REAL BECUASE OF X” and not defend himself or at least bring up Christian terrorists means either A: He ran out of ideas to actually defend himself. Or B: He is doing the New-atheist ( Aka Neck-Beards and ‘5 Year olds who hate the fact that mommy and daddy makes them go to church’) battle cry (Butthurt) of “GODZ NOT REAL!!!!!11!!”.
          P.S
          It seems atheists do have a god, because their god has seem to have bless them to what they probably will think is the glorious nectar of the afterlife, A.K.A Doritios flavored mountain dew. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/08/doritos-mountain-dew_n_6126102.html the link so you can all scream.

      • Pootis Spencer

        UR THAT SAME CHRIST FAG!!!11!!! KILL UR SELF AN MABY DARRRRWIN WILL FORGIVE U!!!11!!!

  • ig @atheists_of_earth_united

    I don’t understand why a satanist will be a speaker at this event….could you not get the equally absurd fsm? I am a strong-willed atheist and to not believe in imaginary gods should include not believing in their imaginary enemies. It gives onlookers bad misinterpretations of atheism. (As does the flying spaghetti monster)

    • k

      it’s a sarcastic religious act, like believing in a flying spaghetti monster, but i do agree that it gives us a bad name in the case of those who don’t get that it’s sarcastic

  • kburd

    why let these trolls comment?

    • Sorry to bother you with facts

      Yes, let’s not encourage people to present viewpoints we don’t agree with : we know what’s true and everyone else is wrong!!!

      Sound familiar?

  • utterrudder

    i’ve read some of the dumbest comments here i have ever read .
    Christians , Please do a little research and learn want atheism is.
    before you make a bigger fool of yourself . clearly some of you don’t have a friggin clue.

  • James Phillip Schmitt

    ah’m scurred uv debbils!

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