Earth Day 2003
Earth Day in Balboa Park (Sunday, April 27, 2003)
By Thomas Crawford
The Atheist Coalitionís second presence at Earth Day was, as last year, quite enjoyable thanks to the cast of characters that make each of our community outreach efforts fun and worthwhile. Foremost among those who donated their time to spend either a part or even most of the day included Heather, Kate, Cayenne, Andy, and myself (see photos above). The people that approached the booth did so for a variety of reasons: curiosity, to offer support, or to debate some minor or major religious/philosophical issue. Most of the social interactions with the fair goers at this and similar events is spent discussing atheism with those who seem truly curious and debating (usually not heatedly) with religious folk who just donít see how someone could not believe in their god.
There were a host of Christian fanatics (redundant terms?) who made their way through the park with their big signs advising all sinners, drunks, and atheists that they are doomed to hell. When they made their way around to the AC booth, they stopped in front blocking the sidewalk and then a good part of the street asking us confrontational questions. As it was obvious they were attempting to draw us into a spectacle of loud confrontation, those of us at the booth simply decided to ignore them until they gave up and moved on. What was most stirring to me during this episode and during various other moments were the several people who reported to believe in a god, yet they expressed their support for us. During the episode with the aggressive Christians, there were at several who walk directly through the crowd to approach our booth to examine our literature, ask questions, and offer their support.
Other events in which the AC is planning to do some community outreach include marching in the Gay Pride parade on July 26th (one of our signs read "The Boy Scouts hate us too!") and setting up a booth at Cityfest in Hillcrest on August 10th. There may be others that will be announced on this site, in the AC newsletter, and during the meetings. We hope to see some new faces members there. The more the merrier!