Thursday, December 22, 2011

Update: A Charity Victory

Earlier this month, 
AHA put out the call to internet atheists everywhere, asking for donations for our Second Harvest Foodbank Fund Drive.  The response was immediate and overwhelming.  Thanks to support from Hemant and the fine folks over at Friendly Atheist (and additionally two moderately successful Reddit posts) we were able to raise an astounding $1010 within 12 hours alone.  This works out to a fundraising rate of roughly $750,000 per year. Unfortunately... this was the kind of trend that can only be sustained for so long.  Nevertheless, by the end of November AHA collected dozens of donations, ranging from $5 to $100, for a total of about $1500 in online contributions.  At our weekly meetings leading up to Thanksgiving, AHA members themselves gladly coughed up several hundred dollars in cash.
That us led to a Grand Total of… $2,000 raised!

The biggest check I’ve ever written
As you may recall, this fundraiser also was a bit of a friendly competition between AHA and two religious student organizations on the UW-Madison campus.  You might be wondering what the outcome of that little contest was.  Well, the results are in, and they speak for themselves!

I’m extremely proud of this AHA victory, but will keep the gloating to a minimum.  Our friends at The Crossing and the Muslim Student Association are awesome people too.  Together, we were able to raise $2,250 for the Second Harvest Food Bank: that’s 6,750 meals!  Forget about who raised more – everyone wins when atheists, Christians, and Muslims put aside our differences and work together towards a common goal of helping those who are in need.  

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

AHA vs. Badger Catholic

Apologies to all the Madisonian non-believers for the belated post, but it is here at last: the blog update regarding the now-infamous AHA-Badger Catholic debate. On that fateful day (December 7th) at 7 in the evening, AHA officers Chris Calvey, Mike Ramuta, Laura Burns, and Quinn Heck courageously battled (had an intelligent discussion with) four Badger Catholic representatives concerning stem cell research, abortion, contraception, and gay marriage, respectively. The debate was featured in The Daily Cardinal as well as the Badger Herald; if you wish to read the articles, they can be found here (Daily Cardinal) and here (Badger Herald). In addition, if, by some cruel twist of fate, you could not make the event, consider yourself blessed. The AHA officers, being very forward-thinking individuals, recorded the entire debate and put it on the AHA YouTube channel for your eternal viewing pleasure.

The AHA asked all of those who attended the debate to rate their opinions on each of the four topics on a scale from 1 to 5, 1 being “completely disagree with,” 5 being “completely agree with,” both before and after the debate. The scores received were then recorded by our wonderful treasurer Chris. Though most of the 103 scorecards collected did not reveal any change in opinion, there were some points awarded to both sides. Badger Catholic garnered 20 points in its direction, while the AHA acquired 28. Let us allow the numbers to speak for themselves. However, all in all, both sides did an excellent job. The AHA would like to thank Badger Catholic for participating in this event with us; it was not only educational, but a lot of fun. We plan on hosting many more such debates in the future.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

In Memoriam: Christopher Hitchens, 1949–2011

‎"In some ways I feel sorry for racists and for religious fanatics, because they so much miss the point of being human, and deserve a sort of pity. But then I harden my heart, and decide to hate them all the more, because of the misery they inflict and because of the contemptible excuses they advance for doing so."

-Christopher Hitchens
Letters to a Young Contrarian

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

AHA Emails #10: 2011 Wrap Up

Hey Madison Atheists!
We've almost made it to the end of the semester!
Take a break from studying for finals and come to our weekly meeting on... well, everything

What: A discussion on our debate with Badger Catholic, youtube videos, The War on Christmas, and whatever else we feel like
When: Tomorrow, Wednesday, 7 P.M. 
Where: 155 Van Hise
Why: We might bring cookies and it'll be fun!
Wow: That does sound fun!

A big thanks to everyone who came to our debate last Wednesday!
It was a great event and we cannot wait to do another.
If you couldn't see the debate in person, go ahead and watch it on our fancy new youtube page:

An equally big thanks to all who helped donate to our fundraiser for Second Harvest Foodbank
It was ridiculously successful and with your help, we've raised $2000!
Donation are closed for now, but you can start saving up now for our next fundraiser in the upcoming year!

Monday, December 5, 2011

AHA Weekly Update

Hey Madison Atheists!
Something something something Rose Bowl! Sports!
Well, AHA has had an exciting week too! Read on to find out!

There will be no usual meeting this week... because we're having a debate with Badger Catholic instead!!!
Join AHA and Badger Catholic in a provocative debate on Abortion, Stem Cell Research, Contraception, & Gay Marriage
Its on Wednesday, December 7th at 7pm in Union South's Varsity Hall
There will be a Q&A section as well, so you can ask your own hard hitting questions!
Officer Quinn is covering Gay Marriage, I will be covering Abortion, Treasurer Chris has Stem Cell Research, and Officer Laura has Contraception
Come to cheer us on, stay for Chris' breakdance victory moves!
RSVP and tell your friends on the facebook event page

Thanks to everyone that came over to Dan Barker's Speech On Church-State Separation last Wednesday!
It was a great success and we're so proud to have great speakers come to Madison to talk to our group!
Stay tuned for more info on our next big speaker...
Couldn't make the event? Watch it on our brand new Youtube Channel!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Importance of Church-State Separation

Last night, AHA was proud to present the co-president of the Freedom From Religion FoundationDan Barker.  Dan gave a rousing talk on our country's proud secular history, and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment in particular - which Jefferson famously described as "building a wall of separation between Church and State."  Today, groups like the FFRF and Americans United are on the front lines of a never-ending struggle to protect this most vital constitutional principle.

If you weren't able to attend the event... you're in luck!  AHA is thrilled to finally debut our very own YouTube Channel.  We'll be recording and uploading all future AHA events to the channel - so be sure to Subscribe!  And while you're at it: Favorite, Like, Share, Upvote, Tweet, and any other social media buzzverbs I may be forgetting.  Check it out: