Saturday, February 21, 2015

Secularists of Ohio Unite!

The only thing secularists in Ohio have to lose is their isolation...

I'm writing this from the particularly conservative/christian suburbs that surround Cincinnati. It can be a lonely place for someone who doesn't fit into the area's ideological mold.

There are plenty of good secular groups in Ohio, yet there is still a general sense among those who are not actively engaged of there being a lack of community. That's something Camp Quest Ohio--for which I am a board member--plans to attempt to rectify.

Camp Quest is a wonderful thing for the area's secular families. It's a place where--two weeks out of every year--secular children can come together in community and complete acceptance and learn, laugh, play, and grow. The problem is that this is only two weeks out of every year.

What we are looking to do is to expand this sense of community and acceptance to a year round experience by creating meet ups, outings, and other cultural experiences that will bond our secular families and create a more cohesive community structure.

We are starting in earnest with a volunteer opportunity to serve a meal at the Drop Inn Center in Over the Rhine on May 9th, precipitated by a tour of Over the Rhine and a speech by a local homeless advocate.

Because there are things we can learn from our religious brothers and sisters too: Dietrich Bonhoeffer taught that a robust Christianity would blend into its social surroundings and participate in the most pressing issues facing a community, and that it would do so under the auspices of a common humanity, rather than under a particular religious banner. Who better to adopt this approach than a bunch of humanists? Not only do we have to build and strengthen our own community, we need to fuse with the wider community as a whole and have our impact felt.

We will do more activities like this. We will stage fun, bonding events for local Camp Quest families as well as more socially conscious activities like reaching out to local non profit organizations and seeing where we might plug some holes in a worthy yet flawed system. Your ideas are welcome, and you are certainly welcome as well. Contact me at spencertroxell@gmail.com if you'd like to participate in the May 9 event, and if you'd like to brainstorm some more activities. All we have in this world is each other, and it would be a shame for those connections to go untapped.


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