Shilling for The Last Presentation

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Normally I am hesitant to shill for anyone or anything on this blog, but I was contacted by group trying to improve the perception of non-believers in the minds of the public, and they need money.

The group is The Colorado Coalition of Reason

They are raising money to fund the distribution of a 38 minute video for social science classes in the public schools across the country. The video opens young minds to the importance of logic, reason, and science, and introduces students to the nonbeliever’s point of view. The name of the video is “The Last Presentation” and is the result of comparing notes by various speakers to compile a presentation that can be shown during discussions of diversity and comparative religion. It would address the problem of trying to find a presenter with the knowledge and experience to speak to young people in school and would present a single version of the information.

The fundraising is due to close on 9/15/2006 but they need more funding. Currently the jar stands at $7,035 and their goal is $25,000.

Marvin Straus. the video’s producer and director had this to say:

Some nonbelievers, including myself, have made similar presentations to high school classes. When other speakers and I shared notes, we identified common themes. Generally, students at these social science presentations:

1) Were very interested in the opinions of nonbelievers.
2) Wanted to know more about the subject.
3) Were supportive of the speakers and his or her views.
4) Asked identical questions at different schools.

A few students did display deep-seated negative feelings such as “all atheists are communists” or “since nonbelievers have no religious background to guide them, they are probably immoral and unethical.”

After the presentations, many students said they had a more positive view of nonbelievers.

The problem: It is difficult to obtain an invitation to speak to a social science class. Teachers seldom invite nonbelievers, sometimes because they do not think of it. Attempting to contact each school or school board to ask for the opportunity to address high school students would be inefficient and time consuming.

The solution: Send TLP directly to the 16,000 public, high-school teachers. By doing so, with your help, we can

– open young minds to the secular world of logic, reason, and compassion,
– encourage the separation of church and state, and
– encourage the teaching of evolution instead of Intelligent Design.

These students are future voters and potential supporters of Jefferson’s wall. They will become citizens who hopefully will protect the rights of minorities, including nonbelievers. After watching the video, we hope the audience will think of nonbelievers as friends, not possible enemies.

For more information or to donate visit the video’s website at:

http://www.cocore.org/last_presentation.php


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