(Photo: Ryan Somma)
Two nationwide atheist organizations have opted to form a partnership in the hopes of expanding outreach to more diverse communities.
The National Atheist Party, a political organization based in Florence, Ky., announced Tuesday that it would partner with the Atlanta, Georgia-based Black Nonbelievers, Inc. Troy Boyle, president of the National Atheist Party, said in a statement released Tuesday that the partnership was made in the hopes of increasing the scope of outreach.
"The National Atheist Party is proud to announce our partnership with Black Nonbelievers. We are very excited and pleased to expand our outreach into diverse communities, and this partnership is a welcome step in that direction," said Boyle.
Boyle, who also serves as a blogger with Black Nonbelievers, told The Christian Post about the background on the decision to form an official partnership. "I think that networking and cross posting and being involved in as many groups as possible is always beneficial for any organization. Soon after I began posting and commenting in Black Nonbelievers Facebook page, several of their members joined the National Atheist Party," said Boyle.
"Our Treasurer, Bernie 'Flash' Kellish, approached those members in December and suggested the partnership, as a way of bringing our organizations closer together and pooling resources."
Boyle also told CP that he believed that "secularism and diversity are the greatest strengths of this nation."
"Secularism guarantees religious freedom and diversity allows a synergy of perspective. I think that theism AND atheism both benefit from secularism," said Boyle. "By partnering with Black Nonbelievers, the NAP can hopefully share in that diversity of experience."
According to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life in 2007, African Americans "are markedly more religious on a variety of measures than the U.S. population as a whole."
The statistics from the survey noted that African-Americans were more likely to be religiously affiliated than the general population (87 percent vs. 83 percent) and that African-Americans were far more likely to consider religion to be "very important in their life" (79 percent vs. 56 percent) than the general population.
Also, according to a 2004 University of California, Berkeley Survey Documentation and Analysis report, only 9 percent of blacks surveyed said they never attend a religious service. By contrast, 53 percent of those surveyed reported attending religious services either once a month, a couple times a month, nearly every week, or every week. Sixteen percent reported attending more than once a week.