Network Update: Grass roots activism for the holidays

We’re coming out of the holidays and Christmas displays inspired local efforts to organize at several installations.  Travis AFB now has a thriving community led by Dan Rawlings. Chaplains are holding a grudge; denying access to support but MAAF is continuing to provide assistance where chaplains will not. Dan also joins Ray Bradley at Ft Bragg, Ryan Jean at Ft Meade, and Thomas Permuy at MCAS Miramar in preparing paperwork for official recognition from their installation leadership. MAAF has developed a formal process for local group and lay leadership and invites others to apply. This process requires commitment and isn’t easy, but for those who are dedicated, it can be very fulfilling.

SD-MAAF in a chaplain-sponsored meeting at MCAS Miramar

Outreach to chaplains has made a great leap forward. The picture above is for SD-MAAF, at a recent meeting at the base chapel’s fellowship hall at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. Led by Thomas Permuy and San Diego Coalition of Reason leader Debbie Allen, chaplains have opened their doors to help us form our community. It wasn’t so hard after all… Hopefully this precedent of humanist meetings with chaplain facilitation has happened only at the Academies and MacDill AFB.  Hopefully this will soon become the norm.

There are great local events coming up and MAAF is encouraging all local groups, affiliates or otherwise, to get the word out and plan trips for the Reason Rally, March 24th in DC, and Rock Beyond Belief, March 31st at Ft Bragg.

Local Affiliate updates:

  • [CA] San Diego Area –  – SD-MAAF:  The first official, on-base meeting at MCAS Miramar was held January 13th with base chaplains attending. The next meeting is Jan 30th with Jason Torpy in attendance to celebrate the positive outreach.
  • [CA] Travis AFB –   – Travis MASH: Dan Rawlings and American Atheists posted a Flying Spaghetti Monster display alongside the official post Christian display to show their holiday spirit.
  • [FL] MacDill AFB –  – MacDill Atheists & Secular Humanists:  MacDill Atheists & Secular Humanists celebrated one year in operation with a Bowling party. Their next meeting is Feb 10th for a social hour and then Feb 21st for study and growth at the post chapel.
  • [HI] Hawaii –  – MASH Hawaii:  Celebrating both HumanLight and the New Year, MASH Hawaii has a strong community. Young naturalist education on tide pools is Jan 22nd, and there is a Darwin Day celebration in planning.
  • [KS] Ft Riley –  – MAAF Ft Riley:  Newly-established; local meetings to be published.
  • [KY] Ft Campbell –  – MASH Ft Campbell:  Seven members met for brunch at a local area. More meetings to follow.
  • [NC] Ft Bragg –  –MASH Ft Bragg: Fred Edwords of the United Coalition of Reason spoke Jan 14th and the group is participating in the Army Family Fun Run Jan 28th. MASH Ft Bragg will also be host to Rock Beyond Belief, March 31st.
  • [TX] Ft Hood –  – CENTEX – MAAF: Two meetings have been held in January already and the big Austin Half Marathon visit is scheduled for Feb 19th.
  • [Germany] Kaiserslautern –  – Kaiserslautern Military Community MAAF:  Held their monthly meeting on Jan 12th.
  • [UK] RAF Lakenheath –  – RAF Lakenheath Atheists & Freethinkers: Newly established; currently coordinating with several UK Armed Forces local groups to establish regular meetings
  • Always check the MAAF Calendar for speaking engagements and events of interest.

MAAF has also updated the MAAF Network page with an interactive map and additional information on how to connect. Formal affiliates, related groups, lay leaders, and local points of contact are listed. If you haven’t already, take a moment to contact your local military atheist/humanist community.

click here to view the network and additional information

Interested in starting a local group or making your group official? Check out information about local group setupmeeting ideas, and affiliate development, and then Contact MAAF.

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