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RDFRS US with Phoenix Atheist Meetup Group 4-Feb-2012

If you are reading this you may be one of many who have gone to a Richard Dawkins’ lecture and after waited patiently in line for him to sign your book and perhaps have a bit of a chat with him. So imagine now that you are out on a Saturday morning with your local atheist group having coffee and you find you are sitting with a woman who works for the Richard Dawkins Foundation and she has brought you gifts. Wow, your morning coffee group just got a whole lot better. Now imagine that as your thoughtful conversations ebb and flow you look out to the parking lot to see a group of people walking your way, but this is no ordinary group it includes Elisabeth Cornwell, Sean Faircloth and Richard Dawkins himself! This was not imaginary for some lucky folks from the Phoenix Atheist Meetup Group in Arizona. This is exactly what happened. About a dozen of us spent our morning chatting with some of the biggest names in our non-theistic community. We got to talk RDF America with Dr. Cornwell, strategy and politics with Sean Faircloth and Science and Education with Richard Dawkins. We enjoyed mochas, sunshine and bright conversations. People left with RDF swag, photos and autographs but most importantly we left inspired to create change and with a renewed sense of belonging to our growing community of non-believers.

It was a meetup our PAMG members will not soon forget. I know my 5th grade daughter (Year 6 in England) felt very privileged to meet Dr. Dawkins as she very much enjoyed his Royal Institution Christmas Lecture Climbing Mount Improbable and is excited to read The Magic of Reality. One member who arrived late walked up and thought to herself, ‘Isn’t it strange that now even the atheist group members look like Richard Dawkins?’ As she got closer I watched her jaw drop and steps slow when she realized that in fact in was Richard Dawkins! She is a local teacher so she enjoyed talking education with him and I can safely say she left that coffee excited and reinvigorated. She was planning her next Atheist Meetup and working out her calendar to make sure she could attend the weekend’s events. As the current organizer of this group of over 1200 people I went home beaming and crying to my husband and other kids about how generous it was of all of these people to stop by and say “Hello.” I think it is vital that we do not accidently put people in ivory towers. I want to be a group member first then if worthy, a leader. On February 4th 2012 I and about 16 others had coffee and tea with some fellow atheists, four just happened to be Suzy, Elisabeth, Sean and Richard!

Comments from a few of the others there
“The meeting was fantastic!!” “When Richard Dawkins shows up 5 stars isn't enough. Besides that it was the usual great east side coffee and tea.” “What a great way to spend a couple hours on a Saturday morning!” “It was especially good because Richard Dawkins was there. And so was Sean Faircloth & Dr. Elisabeth Cornwell...”

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