JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The word atheist has always had a negative connotation, "we kind of wanted to take that word and the problem it represents for us and meet the challenge of changing its meaning head on," says John Langston , the President of the Atheist Community of Jonesboro.
The Atheist Community of Jonesboro was started last January. The group's primary goal is to provide a social and community service outlet for secular individuals. Now, the group is wanting to expand even further, and start a student chapter at Arkansas State University. Langston says, "We were contacted by the secular student alliance in response to news story that ran in our local university's newspaper, the herald, and they saw that we wanted to start up this group and we can help you out with that."
The Atheist group has already started posting fliers to find out if the interest way there, but a number of them have been torn down. There will always be people who want to criticize the way we choose to live and the choices that we make." Says Langston
Lonnie Williams, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at ASU, say, "the signs could have been posted in an area where signs had to be pre-approved or they could have been torn down for the views that they expressed."
Williams say the university has a non-discriminatory policy. He says they are just as welcome as any other student organization, "If they have interest and people of like mind as other students on campus, we are trying to create an environment where everyone strives. Generally you strive and are retaining if there are things on campus that interests you." says Williams.