We are the atheists next door. We are the people who work everyday jobs – firefighters, teachers, electricians, programmers, and more. We are mothers, husbands, siblings and friends. We are the one in six Americans that do not claim a religion. We don’t believe in gods or devils, heaven or hell. We are normal, ethical people who rely on reason and logic to guide us, not faith and superstition.
What we do is define ourselves by example. For too long, non-believers have been negatively defined by the religious as amoral, unethical, selfish and undesirable. This is not even close to true. So, it is our goal to define ourselves by our actions. FLASH’s goal is to be involved in the community, public education, civil rights, human rights and separation of State and church issues. So far we have accomplished this by adopting a highway, holding an annual Darwin Day celebration, completed the William L Moore freedom walk, participated in the American Cancer Society’s “relay for life”, provide teaching adjuncts for science teachers in local public schools just to name a few.
Atheists of Broward County, Fl. started on February 15, 2003, when five meet-up members decided to meet for the “first free-thought social”. A second meetup was held at Ye Olde Falcon Pub, and the addition of a few more freethinkers made the weekly meetings official. Eventually, we decided that complaining about the unfair stigmas placed on non-believers by the church was not going to change anything and a few of us decided to become “active”. The group successfully incorporated as a non-profit, educational group, became an affiliate group of American Atheists and received 501(c)(3) status in May 2008. In 2009, FLASH was awarded American Atheist’s Affiliate of the year award and also became an associate member of the Humanists of Florida. What began as a handful of non-believers has grown to over 600 members.
In order to meet the needs of the growing Florida free-thought community, in July 2008, FLASH started 3 new communities in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami/Dade counties. Members submitted suggestions for a new name for the group that would be more inclusive. Voting commenced in August, and on August 18th it became official: Atheists of Broward County would now be known as FLorida Atheists and Secular Humanists: FLASH!
Bob Senatore, Chet Klug, Group Organizers: Davie Meetup
Peter, Group Organizer: North Miami Meetup
Chet Klug, Group Organizer: Deerfield Beach Meetup
Mitch, Group Organizer: Palm Beach North Meetup