The 50th Anniversary American Atheist Convention was held from the 28th – 31st of March right here in Austin, TX! I haven’t had that much fun in a very long time. And that was all while mostly sitting at the Atheist Community of Austin table. It has been very fortunate that two of the latest big gatherings of freethinkers have been in Austin. I probably would not, or rather could not, have gone to either if that was not the case.
Here is me at the ACA table! Thanks to Russell Glasser for the photos.
I have been very negligent in writing about my experience at the event. The convention hours were long and started much earlier than my usual schedule. Each day was fun but exhausting. So I didn’t write about it during. Afterwards, I spent the next few days getting the ACA’s online Zazzle store up and running. And then some more things happened. I will not write very much, just some impressions, and a few details. Russell Glasser did a very fine series of posts over at Freethought Blogs http://freethoughtblogs.com/axp
There was apparently a round table discussion on Thursday between some of the speakers and local clergy. I didn’t get many details about it but heard it was enjoyable. My convention began very early on Friday. I met Russell Glasser who helped set up the table on the second story of the Hyatt hotel located just south of the river. The Hyatt staff were great all weekend and the facilities were good as well. We quickly began to sell items (along with my book) and speak with a wide range of folks. I found talking with all the intelligent, excited, and friendly convention goers to be the most enjoyable part of the whole experience. I exchanged dozens of business cards and made some new friends. It was also very cool to meet many of my online friends for the first time. Such conventions help strengthen bonds, generate new connections, and put hundreds of human faces on a deeply important movement.
It was very touching seeing fan boys and girls meeting their favorite blogger, vlogger, or author! Here we saw celebrities gathering a crowd because they actual do something, something very very important. I was able to pass along my book to the likes of Seth Andrews, David Silverman, Jamila Bey, Greta Christina, Aron Ra, Jerry DeWitt, and a host of others. By the end of the day on Sunday my voice was sore, my brain full of new ideas, and my heart swelled with pride. We ended the day where we do most Sundays after taping “The Atheist Experience” at Threadgills resteraunt just a block from the hotel.
Cast of “The Atheist Experience” enjoying a moment in the spotlight!
During all three days I was joined at the ACA table by nearly the entire casts of “The Atheist Experience” and “Godless Bitches” and other local members. It was great getting to know many of them better and witnessing the dedication and devotion of the great community we have in Austin. We really do have one of the most active and fun atheist groups in the U.S. I’m very lucky!
Saturday was as fun as Friday and we sold even more products. The last two days also several dozen Austinites attracted to AA13 convention asking what the ACA does, where we meet, etc. I was surprised that there were so many first-timers wanting to get involved. Our stack of info brochures ran out quickly and if even half of the individuals interested show up at our events in the next few months than we are in for some big gatherings. I guess that is the benefit of hosting a national convention!
Russell engaging with a speaker.
I didn’t get to see any of the events in the main ballroom. That’s fine. It was better to give the other ACA members more opportunities to do so. One event I regret seeing was Jerry DeWitt’s Sunday morning “sermon!” Jerry is a former preacher and I could hear him and his rambunctious crowd through the heavy doors. I really got everyone whipped up in a funny and reason thumping way!
The “Godless Bitches” pose with a fan and their new t-shirts.
For alot of great pics follow this link