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Saturday, 26 May 2012 17:08

Filipino Atheists Becoming More Active

Written by  Marquez Comelab
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The Global Atheist Convention was held in Melbourne last month. I'm glad to see that the Convention has grown a lot bigger since the last one in 2010. During the three-day event, I met one of the organisers of the Philippine Atheist and Agnostics Society ( PATAS), Marissa Torres Langseth. She is based in New York and she was organising an Atheist conference in Manila the week after. She told me the conference was going to be the very first Atheist Convention in South East Asia.

It is great to know that there is such an atheist movement in the Philippines, where I was born, where people's explanation for every aspect of their lives is dominated by religious thinking. A country where people would gather by the thousands to touch a statue representing Jesus Christ to thank it for their newborn baby or the job they have just secured. This is a country where, annually, many people think there is nothing absurd about having themselves or others literally crucified to a cross on Good Friday to re-enact the suffering of Jesus as they believed it happened.

After talking to Marissa, I felt comfort knowing there are others like me: other Filipinos who grew up with the same culture and religious background. They, like I am, are now coming to terms with the incredulity of the beliefs we were brought up with. This realisation, or enlightenment shall we say, is enough to motivate them to do something about it: be it posting a blog, participating in forums, or organising a Convention.

I tell this story to you to let you know that if you are a Filipino atheist, wherever you are in the world, you are not alone. Many others are asking the same questions as you are. Many are beginning to see that religion's answers to life's questions are no longer enough.

We, at Reasonism.Org, will begin putting together a list of Filipino atheist organisations on this website (as well as other atheists groups of course). Please send in details of your organisation in your local area and we will include it. By creating communities (online of offline) where freethinkers have a great time with like-minded people, we will provide for each other sanctuaries. We no longer need churches to feel we belong.

Last modified on Sunday, 24 June 2012 16:47

1 comment

  • Comment Link Naresh Sunday, 29 September 2013 06:19 posted by Naresh

    > Would we be replacing one tolaritatian system with another?I don't think this fear is grounded.With secular education every parent is free to educate their own children in whatever religion they choose or, none at all. This education can happen at home or at weekends (Sunday school etc).However, once standard, compulsory education contains religious indoctrination parents cannot remove' this indoctrination from the child after school. (Sunday de-programming school?).So, Secular Schooling removes the tolaritatian system and replaces it with choice.


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