The MySpace debacle ironically appears to be breathing new life into the formation of online atheist communities. At OzAtheist, Bruce plugged a new Adelaide-based atheist MySpace group. And (thanks to Protium for the hat-tip and the invite) I’d like plug a new Perth-based Atheists Meet-Up group.
Although I’m from Perth myself, the fact that I am based in Japan for the next year-and-a-half probably rules me out as a member, but if it is still operating when I get back home, I may consider attending. I say may, because I work in the education industry, and as you know, a large proportion of schools in Australia are in the independent sector. Which means they are allowed to discriminate against atheists. Wait . . . let me rephrase that. They’re partially taxpayer-funded, which means they are allowed to discriminate against me because of my atheism even though they benefit from my tax contributions. In any case, the reality of the situation is that, in a so-called liberal democracy, I have to keep mum about my lack of religious beliefs if I want to secure employment in many schools in the independent sector–even though my specialty, English teaching, has nothing to do with religion (at least, nothing to do with religious indoctrination). And the need to keep mum, unfortunately, may preclude me from joining communities such as the Perth Atheists Meet-Up.
But it won’t stop me from plugging it here, in the hope that other Perth-based readers may be encouraged to join.