Spartanburg Herald Journal on Rise of Secular Students

Check it out! Here’s a pretty decent-sized article about the rise of secular students out of a Spartanburg, SC based newspaper.

Not only am I quoted (always a good move), but the article mentions numerous secular student clubs in the area. Upstate Freethinkers at USC-Upstate, Secular Student Alliance of Clemson, and the Secular Student Alliance at Presbyterian College all get shout-outs in the article, and it looks to me like the exposure is already having some positive influence.

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Here’s a few spiffy quotes from the article:

“Most college groups are becoming nationally affiliated with the SSA and even starting because of the SSA,” said Maggie Blair, a Clemson University graduate who now lives in Greenville. “If not for them, I never would have started the Clemson group. They send you supplies and all kinds of other support.”

That’s frankly some crazy good stuff to hear.

When college is in session, Makenzy Sample frequently attends the Upstate Freethinkers Club at USC Upstate.


“I used to be afraid of what people would think of me if I told them I was an atheist,” she said. “It wasn’t until I discovered the Freethinkers Club at USC Upstate that I realized I wasn’t alone and I didn’t have to hide my beliefs.”

More things I love to hear. That’s the sort of quote that keeps people like me going on a Monday morning.

That and coffee, anyway.
Google image result for “Monday morning”

On to some of the religious quotes:

He [local Baptist minister] said one thing the church can do is train teenagers to know and defend the truth.

“It’s time for student ministries to stop playing so many games and getting lost in smoke and mirrors, and to start preparing their students for the minefield that academia has laid for them,” he said.

“The minefield that academia has laid for them”…does he mean education? The only things higher education can inherently mangle and tear limb from limb are ignorance, poor arguments, and the use of cliched metaphors.

“I do not agree that youth are less religious. The forms in which they live out their convictions have changed, that’s all,” he said. “It’s the same way with retail shopping: young people don’t shop at the big downtown department stores that their parents liked. But no serious person would claim that young people don’t engage in retail shopping.”

Unless, of course, the statistics show that youth are across the board shopping less or are generally dissatisfied with their shopping experience. And I don’t think that home growing your food and making your own clothes is quite the same thing as retail shopping, do you? Sure a “personal spirituality” carries its own issues with it, but I’m not sold on it qualifying as a religion per se. Just like making your own clothes isn’t shopping, I see personal spiritualities as pretty solidly in the “none” category in regards to religion.

Many thanks to Dustin Wyatt of the Spartanburg Herald-Journal for the fantastic article.

That’s all I have for today! Keep it real, heathens!

About Gordon Maples

Writer of the Misan[trope]y Movie Blog and the (Plot)opsy Podcast. A bad movie expert, if there ever was such a thing. Movie nerd, professional organizer, and political progressive.
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