Candidate Statement: Eliza Sutton, Member at Large

I’m new to Seattle Atheists and to atheist activism, and I have enough on my plate, but I will gladly be your back-up candidate for Member at Large, in case there aren’t enough other candidates. Say, if one of the others gets raptured by mistake or something.

Dawkins says children are born atheists. In my case, it stuck. I wouldn’t say “under God” during the Pledge of Allegiance starting in 3rd grade. But I learned early on that atheism should be kept quiet, to avoid those horrified over-reactions and unwarranted assumptions about my morality & my soul. Uncalled for, but unfortunately still widespread. I now work in health care. People tend to assume that I must be Christian, and I don’t feel I can “come out” at work. I’m interested in helping put a more visible and positive face on atheism, as long as I don’t have to be out front, alone, when it happens.

I have Board experience for 3 years in a coop preschool. Unusual for an atheist, I actually joined a church 2 years ago.  (Don’t worry – it’s not catching.) It’s a UU church, where I’d guess about half the members are atheists & where social action projects are always underway.

I have some ideas to float, but I don’t have to be on the Board to share them. For example: The almighty Google says the last essay about atheism in the Seattle Times was written by someone from the Discovery Institute. We could write & submit an essay, perhaps urging “democracy not theocracy”, or perhaps simply explaining atheism & debunking misconceptions. Those who agree to be named could sign it, & the number given of those who endorse it but wish to remain anonymous. Second, if OK in tax law, Seattle Atheists could be a middleman for charitable donations.  We could identify some charities which publish names of donor groups in their reports  Atheists who are so inclined would donate to Seattle Atheists, then a specified percentage of those donations would be given by S.A. to the identified charities. Donors get the tax deduction, the people served by the charities benefit, and Seattle Atheists gets the “credit.” (It’s almost like giving anonymously & asking that you be listed as “atheist” in their records.)

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