North Texas Daily

Group offers alternative to religious majority

Group offers alternative to religious majority

February 13
08:50 2013

Trent Johnson / Senior Staff Writer

Under the list of registered UNT student organizations, 28 out of 29 groups listed under the “Religious/Spiritual” category have ties to Christianity, Islam or Judaism.

The one that doesn’t is called Atheist Agnostics And others, or A-Cubed. This organization focuses on conversations geared toward secular worldviews attempting to bring together a different community of people.

A-Cubed meets every Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Language Building, room 318.

“It’s for people labeled unaffiliated, non-religious or just not a part of the big monotheistic religions,” said Tanya Nanongkhai, pre-biology junior and A-Cubed officer. “It’s just a place for us to connect with like-minded individuals.”

The group was created in 2006, A-Cubed president and philosophy junior Kristofer Hanes said.

At first the group carried the title of Freethought Alliance but changed it last spring. The alliance was formerly associated with the Student Secular Alliance, which is now a separate entity from A-Cubed.

Reasons for changing the name hinged on the beliefs of the group and the majority of members not knowing what the title meant.

“No one in the group identified as a freethinker,” Hanes said. “Just about everyone identified as an atheist. Not every non-religious person knows what ‘freethought’ is. The word atheist is much more recognizable.

During its meetings, A-Cubed covers numerous life aspects such as sex, death and the roles of atheists in society. Hanes said while Christians have a path or guide to these topics, atheists don’t, so providing opportunities for conversations serves as the main goal.

“The discussions are intended for us to contribute our own personal insights,” Hanes said. “Talking about these different issues together gives us ideas and we hopefully learn something.”

Making people feel welcome is also another main idea of the group, Nanongkhai said. Because of the diversity of the campus, A-Cubed strives to be as open-minded as possible during its meetings and hopes to give the non-religious a place to gather.

A-Cubed currently has no stance on religious groups around campus but strives to be known as the “friendly atheists,” Nanogkhai said.

Sean Garza, interdisciplinary studies junior and Fellowship of Christian University Students member, said the different groups provide options for students as they try to find themselves on a big campus.

“I love the diversity,” Garza said. “Life is about doing what you believe and finding your identity. No one should hold you back from that.”

Currently the organization has about 20 people at each meeting, though the number fluctuates depending on the week’s topic, Hanes said.

“One of the benefits when being in a religion is the community aspect,” Hanes said. “If you’re not part of a religion, you don’t really get that. So we try to be that community for the non-religious.”

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