Atheist Group Gets Major Funding at the University of Wisconsin
Religion TodayReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2012 Nov 27
An atheist group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison seems on track to receive nearly $70,000 in student fees for staffing and programming next year, in what is believed to be the first major funding of any atheist student group at a state university, the Journal Sentinel reports. The group -- Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics, or AHA -- said it would provide support services for students struggling with doubts about their faith and offer a safe place to discuss religious issues without fear of recrimination. The allocation marks the first time that an atheist group has qualified for funding beyond the small, event-specific grants most student-run organizations receive, and it appears to be the largest ever awarded to any campus group of its kind in the country, the Columbus-based Secular Student Alliance stated. "It's pretty common for groups to have budgets of a few hundred dollars," said Alliance spokesman Jesse Galef. "This is something on a different magnitude entirely." According to Dr. Albert Mohler of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary: "The decision to fund an atheist student group at the University of Wisconsin follows the appointment of atheist chaplains at several major universities, including Harvard University. Taken together, this is another sign of the increasingly secularized character of the nation's leading academic institutions."