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Atheist Leaders and Texas Pastors Will Meet for Roundtable Discussion

Cranford, NJ— American Atheists President David Silverman and Vice President Kathleen Johnson will join with noted British philosopher and atheist A.C. Grayling to meet with Austin-area pastors for a non-confrontational exchange of ideas.

The three atheist leaders are in Austin for the American Atheists 50th Anniversary National Convention this weekend. David Silverman said, “We will all have the opportunity to express our points of view. I am truly looking forward to this dialogue.”

Representing the religious point of view will be Austin-area pastors Gaylon Clark of Greater Mount Zion; Will Davis, Jr. of Austin Christian Fellowship; Tim Hawks of Hill Country Bible Church; Rob Harrell of First Evangelical Free Church; and Randy Phillips of LifeAustin.

The roundtable, which will be held on Wednesday March 27th at 8:15 PM at the Hyatt Regency in Austin, is free and open to the press and the public.

“David and I agreed that this would not be structured as a debate so much as an opportunity for each party to better understand the other’s point of view,” said Ryan Rush, Senior Pastor of Bannockburn Baptist Church and moderator of the discussion. “The victory for both is gaining greater perspective of the other.”

Pastors in Austin face difficult challenges familiar to pastors nationwide: the secularizing of Americans. According to an October 2012 Pew Forum report, fully 20% of Americans now self-identify as having no religion. In the past five years alone, this has increased from 15%. For Americans under age 30, a full one-third state do not identify with any religion. The roundtable will provide a much-needed opportunity for pastors to better understand the perspective of nonbelievers.

American Atheists’ 50th Anniversary Celebration and National Convention takes place this weekend at the Hyatt Regency in Austin and includes such speakers as former Congressman Pete Stark, Twisted Sister lead guitarist Jay Jay French, authors A.C. Grayling and Katherine Stewart, popular debater Matt Dillahunty, former pastors-turned-atheists Teresa MacBain and Jerry DeWitt, and American Atheists President David Silverman. The convention also features a costume dinner, free concerts, a comedy show, an art show and silent auction, more than 25 national and local vendors and exhibitors, and childcare options for attending families.

AMERICAN ATHEISTS is a national 501(c)(3) organization that defends civil rights for atheists, freethinkers, and other nonbelievers; works for the total separation of religion and government; and addresses issues of First Amendment public policy.

American Atheists, Inc.
P.O. Box 158
Cranford, NJ 07016
Tel: (908) 276-7300
Fax: (908) 276-7402