Monday, September 17, 2007

Updated: The Thomas Paine Project

I just finished a moment ago making a donation to the Secular Coalition for America. I also shared with them an idea I have had for several weeks.

As you all know, you can't visit a motel or hotel in America without finding a copy of the Bible in one of the drawers. Increasingly, the Book of Mormon can be found alongside the Bible.

Well, for those of us who are freethinkers and skeptics, don't you think it is about time people had an alternative? I was thinking that Thomas Paine's "The Age of Reason" would make a fine introduction to people who are not familiar with criticism of the Bible. Paine's polemic is readable, intelligently argued, and just as important, is not too long.

I e-mailed the Secular Coalition and suggested that with the Atheist Convention being held the weekend after next in Arlington, Virginia, that it would be a perfect opportunity to distribute copies of "The Age of Reason" to convention attendees and asking them to leave the copies in their hotel rooms to be discovered and read by others. I then added that copies of the book could be given to people who made donations of $100 or more, again, for leaving in motel and hotel rooms across America.

It should not cost all that much either. My Barnes & Noble Library of Essential Reading edition of "The Age of Reason" cost only $6.95. The Secular Coalition or some other freethought organization could probably get it for even less than that by purchasing copies of the book in bulk.

Update: I received a reply from Lori Lipman Brown. She told me that my idea falls outside of the scope of what their staff focuses on (lobbying and promoting nontheistic viewpoints in the media), but that she would forward my idea on to some of the other secular groups they interact with.


tina said...

That's a good idea, any response yet?

Poodles said...

I think it's a great idea too, so sad they don't agree.

Tommy said...

Hi Poodles.

I don't think it is an issue her not agreeing. They probably have a very small staff focused on a narrow purpose.

I will see what else I can do to kick start the idea.

Stardust said...

"The Age of Reason" is an excellent choice, Tommy. Like you said, it is well-written, easy to understand, and makes many, many excellent points (counterpoints to the absurdity in the Bible that so many god believers take literally.)

Well, at least she passed it on. I hope that she really did and didn't just blow you off.

The past several times my husband and I have stayed in motels (and we do often visiting our daughter out east), we take the Babble and shove it to the farthest corner of the bottom drawer of the dresser that probably few people ever use. I would love to chuck it in an outdoor garbage can, but since it is property of the hotel, I just "hide" it. I know some people who have put stickers on the cover like "Book of Lies" or "Book of many contradictions" but I am not a vandal either.

Spanish Inquisitor said...

That's not vandalism. That's correcting a truth in advertising omission.