janeiro 6, 2011 § Deixe um comentário



HARRISBURG — Traditionally, Sunday morning at the annual Pennsylvania Farm Show
has been an opportunity for Christians to worship in a nondenominational
service prior to the day’s competitions and exhibitions.

But this year, for the first time, Farm Show exhibitors, vendors, and visitors
will have a true choice. PA Nonbelievers, Central Pennsylvania’s leading
organization of atheists, agnostics, and humanists will offer an alternative,
atheist/humanist service.

The one-hour service begins at 10:00 a.m., January 9, in the Pennsylvania Room,
on the second level near the Large Arena of the Farm Show Complex in

“Atheist farmers are extremely hard to find,” said Carl Silverman, capital area
director of the atheist group.

“They are deeply ‘in the closet’ due to the religious social pressure of rural
areas with few other atheists and a plethora of Christian churches and social
groups. Some of these atheists are married to believers and maintain a low
profile to keep peace in the family.”

“We didn’t have any farm or agricultural people involved with our group, so we
reached out to other atheist groups nationwide. An Iowa group found two
traditional farmers in their membership. Both refused to help us in any manner,
due to fear of being ‘outed’ in their communities. But we have heard from folks
in Wisconsin, Connecticut, New York, Virginia, and Michigan, and we have
interviewed some of them and will present those interviews during the service.
This includes an organic farmer, a hydroponics specialist, a backyard chicken
and turkey farmer–who is also a small-town cop, an environmental educator who
grows his own veggies, and maybe even a traditional Wisconsin dairy farmer.”

Silverman said the Farm Show, operated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,
cooperated fully with his group’s request for equal access to the event, as
required under Constitutional law. However, because the room reserved is one of
the smaller venues at the Complex, the service is not entitled to the same
level of internal publicity as the Christian service being held concurrently in
the banquet hall.

“We’ll have to work a little harder by visiting each of the vendors and
exhibitors prior to our service, asking if they are atheists or other brand of
nonbeliever, and if they are, inviting them to attend our service. Maybe someday
our level of attendance will justify the banquet hall.”

“In rural America, atheists feel very isolated, and only since the rise of the
internet have they felt some camaraderie with their urban and suburban
counterparts. We want them to know that we haven’t forgotten them, and we want
to encourage them to network with other nonbelievers, and, hopefully, come out
of their closet, at least gradually. The more who ‘come out,’ the easier it will
be for others.”

In the past, PA Nonbelievers has sponsored rallies at the state capitol, an
atheist/humanist service on the Pride of the Susquehanna riverboat, and hosted
the first atheist/humanist baccalaureate service for graduating seniors at a
public high school (Camp Hill). The group holds regular meetings in Lemoyne,
Annville, York, Chambersburg, Lancaster, and Reading.

PA Nonbelievers is affiliated with American Atheists and the Council for Secular
Humanism. Further information is available at [i]\

[Os ateístas vão aproveitar uma exposição de fazendeiros para colocar uma
alternativa aos atendimentos religiosos. O objetivo é tentar fazer ateus & cia
de zonas rurais (bem provincianas) “saírem do armário”.]


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