My information on this point comes mainly from Bill, who has been around the organized atheist/agnostic/humanist movement for many years and knows people in all the major groups.<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2"> Really? Care to name names and maybe create a dead pool. Hmm, 10 to 20 years that must mean these men you speak of are in their mid 50's to mid sixties.</font>
Cat Jesus, I suspect you don't understand where I'm coming from on this issue. Please see my post to eagles, above.
One of the things that has helped the evangelical churches to grow is that they make a point of being friendly to newcomers. One of the reasons why our side has not been able to fight back as hard as it otherwise could is that groups on our side -- at least in large cities -- tend to be cliquish and NOT friendly to newcomers. This has been one of my longstanding beefs with, for example, various feminist and gay groups (i.e. other enemies of the Religious Right) here in New York. And it seems to be somewhat of a problem here too.
Here, it's not a problem for me personally. I feel pretty accepted around here, probably because I've gone out of my way to provide information, e.g. in the Church-State Separation forum. Yet I do notice the lack of a generally welcoming attitude towards a lot of other people by a lot of people here. (You're not the only one, by any means.)
I'm NOT saying we should love-bomb people the way the hardcore Christians and other cultists do. But I do think a little consideration for other people's feelings would go a long way.
I'm sorry if this comes across to you as offensively "school-marmish." PLEASE try to think about the issues involved, rather than taking it personally.
[This message has been edited by Kate Long (edited April 01, 2001).]