On Thursday, November 15th, the Sam Houston Atheist Alliance presented Dan Barker, an atheist speaker, in the LSC. To advertise this event, we made posters to put up around campus and passed them out to the student body.
As atheists, we are well aware that our message will not be received well in the “Bible Belt,” but we were disgusted by the lack of respect coming from a professor and staff member of the LSC. Travis, one of our members, announced the event in front of a few classes. A professor of philosophy, a Christian, who believed Travis had the right to promote this event, aided him. This professor convinced another professor of philosophy who occupied the classroom the following hour, to let Travis speak in front of his class on the day Mr. Barker was to arrive. Travis spoke and left posters for the students of this class. On November 16th, the day after Dan Barker spoke, a student approached Travis after his class, and asked him for a poster. She informed him that this professor threw away all of our posters before the students were allowed to view them.
The same day, our organization received an e-mail from a student who witnessed a staff member in the LSC tear down one of our posters and threw it away on November 15th. We are absolutely disgusted at the lack of respect for our freedom of speech at SHSU.
As atheists, we are reminded daily that we are immoral simply because we do not believe in a god or gods. We are the most distrusted minority in the United States. This is why our organization exists “to fight the ignorance of those who do not understand us,” the people who find out we are atheists and seem surprised that we do not have two heads and breathe fire. We have as much of a right to occupy space on this campus as a theist does. In closing, we, the members of the Sam Houston Atheist Alliance, would like to thank these cantankerous SHSU staff and faculty members, who we find care more about their own opinions than our rights, for strengthening our resolve.
Sincerely, an oppressed Atheist