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Atheist group wants recognition in Christian school

Non-believing students from Texas Christian University are trying to join the list of religious groups on campus


Alex Kane
February 27, 2013 8:43PM (UTC)
This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

AlterNet

A group of students who attend the Texas Christian University have created an atheist organization, and they now want official recognition from their school. TheChristian News Network reports that the group is called the “Freethinking Frogs,” a reference to the school mascot.

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The group was formed by 32-year-old transfer student Alexis Lohse. She told the Christian news outlet that the organization is for people who are agnostic and secular. She also told The Fort News Weekly that she wanted to form a group to support students who thought outside the Christian box.

University officials say that they have received the application for official recognition, and that a decision will be made soon.

Lohse’s group has about 30 members.

“I saw that there wasn’t any support system for students who don’t have a particular faith,” said Lohse. “And that’s in stark contrast to the vast number of religiously affiliated organizations available to students. So I thought it might be a good group to set up.”

The school already hosts 20 groups on campus, including Jewish, Muslim and Catholic clubs.

“The mission of the Freethinking Frogs is to organize, unite, educate, and serve students and student communities that promote the ideals of scientific and critical inquiry, democracy, secularism, and human-based ethics,” the club’s Facebook page states. “We envision a future in which nontheistic students are respected voices in public discourse and vital partners in the secular movement’s charge against irrationality and dogma.”

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Atheist and non-believing students at other schools have run into trouble when they tried to organize. In November 2011, the Religion News Service reportedthat the University of Dayton, a Roman Catholic school, rejected an application for a group called the Society of Freethinkers. That means the club is unable to meet on campus, tap college funds or use campus media.

“The Dayton students are not alone. The Secular Student Alliance, a national organization of nontheistic students with 320 campus chapters, reports at least two other religious universities — Notre Dame and Baylor — have rejected clubs for atheist, agnostic, humanist and other nontheistic students,” the Religion News Service noted.


Alex Kane

Alex Kane is a staff reporter at Mondoweiss and the World editor at AlterNet. His work has also appeared in The Daily Beast, the Electronic Intifada, Extra! and Common Dreams. Follow him on Twitter @alexbkane.

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