Thursday, June 13, 2013

Apostacon Offers Free Admission to Grace University Student Suspended For Lesbian Relationship

You may already be aware of the shameful behavior of the administrators of Omaha school Grace University[1].  Especially if you're on Reddit[2].  If you're not familiar with it, a Christian school found out one of their students was gay and kicked her out.  They're apparently even refusing to even transfer her credits until she pays $6,300 owed because she had her scholarship taken from her.  She's since married, and her wife has started a petition to have the debt forgiven[3].

Today, Omaha Atheists posted that Apostacon has offered her free admission[4].  Apostacon had sent out the following:
Thursday, June 15th, 2013 — Secular conference “Apostacon”, formerly known as the Midwest Freethought Conference, is offering free admission for their September 20th – 22nd event as a gift to Danielle Powell, the former Grace University student who was kicked out before finishing her bachelor’s degree after it was discovered she was involved a lesbian relationship.
“We take pride in welcoming everyone to Apostacon, regardless of anything as arbitrary as their sexual orientation.” says William Newman, spokesman for Apostacon. “While it may not make up for the financial and educational difficulties she now faces as a result of Grace University’s ridiculous behavior, we hope to show her that there is a large population of the Midwest who welcomes the LGBTQ community with open arms. This conference will be fun while also educational, focusing on secular activism issues like separation of church and state, as well as social justice causes and more. The Flying Spaghetti Monster theme and logo embraces our sense of humor while reminding us to utilize science and reason in our daily lives.”
 “As a member of the LGBTQ community, I am saddened by the news that Grace University would exclude any student based on the antiquated laws of an ancient religion, rather than embrace diversity and promote equality,” says Meagan, Treasurer of Apostacon.
 “It’s clear that Grace University is falling short of its name,” said David Silverman, President of American Atheists and Apostacon headliner. “This is a textbook example of religiously motivated bigotry. I hope that Grace changes its policy to reflect compassion and acceptance, rather than discrimination and intolerance. It’s pathetic.”
Apostacon 2013 is hosting quite a few speakers supportive of the LBTQ community. Nathan Phelps, son of Fred Phelps from Westboro Baptist Church, is a board member of the organization Recovering From Religion. Mr. Phelps speaks regularly in support of LGBTQ causes and against his father’s “God Hates Fags” placards. AJ Johnson, founder of Be Secular, identifies as bisexual and speaks on the topic “God Really Does Hate Fags.” Also speaking will be Dr. Darrel Ray, author of books entitled “The God Virus” as well as his most recent, “Sex and God,” where he promotes broad and healthy sexuality outside of religious beliefs.
 ###
 If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Apostacon spokesman William Newman, please contact Apostacon at info@apostacon.org or call (402) 522-6463, or visit the website at www.apostacon.org.
The Christians in this story rejected Powell for being comfortable with who she is instead of repressing her identity to conform to their narrow view of what they say sexuality is  Now they want her to pay a debt she shouldn't owe because she only owes it because of their bigotry.

The atheists in this story would welcome her with open arms, no matter her sexuality.  Even if she shows up to the conference wearing a cross and proclaiming herself to be a devout Christian.  As evidence, our conference last year had two Christians on stage.  One of them, Fred Heeren, is someone I've spoken to since and is someone who has my respect.  He also opened ReasonFest[5], gets positive reviews from atheists[6], and goes with them to speak to governors[7].

There's a reason I'm so happy that I'm atheist instead of a fundamentalist of any religion.  A great number of people in my life do not conform to the narrow minded views of places like Grace University and too many other religionists.  If I were like them, I'd be forced to shut of a lot great people out of my life.  While Heeren, my new dialogue partner[8], and my parents[9] prove it's not an either/or situation, I'd still much rather be good without god(s) than a bigot with a god.

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1.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/12/danielle-powell-grace-university_n_3428514.html
2.  http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/1g8iy3/christian_university_expels_student_for_being_gay/
3.  https://www.change.org/petitions/grace-university-don-t-force-my-wife-to-pay-back-college-scholarships-because-she-s-gay
4.  http://www.omahaatheists.org/2013/06/14/apostacon-offers-free-admission-to-grace-university-student-suspended-for-lesbian-relationship/
5.  http://youtu.be/i8z5MWsbFAY
6.  http://jrh3k5.blogspot.com/2012/03/show-me-god-stellar-book-review.html
7.  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2013/05/atheists-including-my-fiancee-go-smile-to-smile-with-sam-brownback/
8.  http://aparticularblogbyaparticularatheist.blogspot.com/search/label/Discerning%20With%20A%20Christian
9.  http://aparticularblogbyaparticularatheist.blogspot.com/2013/04/an-open-letter-to-some-atheists.html

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