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The Good News Club with Katherine Stewart (Presented by SSA at NCSU)


In January 2013, Secular Student Alliance at North Carolina State University was able to host Katherine Stewart thanks to the Speakers Bureau from the national SSA. This article summarizes the experiences of that event for the group.

On 22 Jan. 2013, Katherine Stewart, investigative journalist for publications including Reuters, Religion Dispatches, and The New York Times, spoke to the Secular Student Alliance at North Carolina State University about her work detailed in her recently-published book, The Good News Club: The Religious Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children. Ms. Stewart discussed recent trends and deceptive tactics used by the religious right to infiltrate the public education system to target children, especially elementary school students, for religious proselytizing. She detailed specific legislation that has allowed organizations like the Child Evangelism Fellowship to operate religious programs inside of public schools and gave examples of curriculum taught to children by such programs that not only clearly violate the separation of church and state, but teach harmful messages of obedience, sin, shame, and punishment.

An "Old Timer's" Perspective on Secular Student Activism

Doak Campbell Football Stadium, ca. 1953
The Doak Campbell football stadium as it appeared when Otvos' philosophy club invaded a Billy Graham rally in 1958.

We ask our supporters to let us know if they were involved in a secular student group when they were on campus.  Ormond Otvos, an alumnus of Florida State University and self-identified "old-timer," tells this story about his experiences in the late 1950's!

You ask what I was doing about secularism way back when?

Well, a group of us who met at FSU in 1958 during the course exemption tests as freshmen decided to start a philosophy club.  For many of us, it was our first experience in a secular environment, and we wanted to meet and talk with others similarly inclined, but out of the harried atmosphere of the cafeteria food plan structure.

So we got together and petitioned the administration to form our philosophy club, but their response was that there were too many clubs already. There were clear indications that it was the "philosophy" part, not the "club" part that was bothering them, so we all joined the Stamp Club, and changed its nature to discuss philosophy. The end run worked.

This Week: Speakers Bureau Advance Funding, Lobby Day 2013, Jobs


Speakers Bureau Advance Funding

If you've ever hosted a Speakers Bureau event, you know the SSA will help pay for it. In the past, it's all been on a reimbursement basis. We are now giving away Speakers Bureau funding before events happen!

This will help groups who don't have large bank accounts already to bring speakers to their campus. There are some guidelines your group must reach to qualify, so take a look and see if this will help your group get a speaker this semester!

Lobby Day 2013

Interested in getting your group more active at a more national level? The Secular Coalition for America is hosting another Lobby Day in our nation's capital in order to help get secularists a chance to talk to their representatives in Congress. Lobby Day will be on April 25th, 2013, in conjunction with the SCA's Secular Summit.

The day includes training on how to lobby effectively, information on current topics that affect secularists, lunch, and an appointment with your state representative's office. If you register before February 15th, you can get the early bird rate of $50.

If your group wants to take a road trip to do this, you can apply for a grant from us to offset costs.

Jobs and Opportunities

Are you interested in becoming the next Texas Regional Campus Organizer?  Want an awesome summer internship?  Or would you rather be a part of the first Humanist service corps? There are tons of opportunities available in the secular movement right now!
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Secular Student Alliance Seeks Summer Interns - Graphic Design, Resource Development, Communications

SSA 2013 Interns Ellen and Dave
SSA's 2012 interns Ellen Lundgren and Dave Muscato
at the SSA 2012 Annual Conference

Secular Student Alliance seeks three full-time summer interns: one graphic design intern, one writing/resource development intern, and one communications intern.

Internship Details
These internships are paid positions, each ten weeks long, based in our office in Columbus, OH.  The design internship must start no later than May 20.  The writing/resource development and communications internship dates are flexible between mid May and early September.  The internships are 40 hrs/week at $8/hr and will take place during normal business hours except where otherwise noted.  Interns are responsible for arranging their own housing while completing the internship.  

We can be flexible in terms of time and compensation to meet academic requirements if the internship is to be performed for academic credit.  On a case-by-case basis, some work may be able to be done via telecommuting.


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