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Former Fundamentalist Group


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Hi All.


I am the co-organizer of a meetup group called Former Fundamentalists. We are located in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul Area. Our group is about a year old and currently has about 70 online members. As some of you know leaving fundamentalist religion can be an extrodinarily difficult and often times lonely process. Our group seeks to provide a social network to help people going through this type of trial. At this point we are looking grow some and a little extra cash would be nice. But I have various concerns with doing this. Primarily wondering if there is some sort of larger organization - such as a "secular student alliance" that I could join. This would probably allow me to collect money tax free without having to start my own 501c3. Also though, has any one had any experience doing this?


Thanks, Ruby Leigh

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Hi Ruby Leigh,


Welcome to the forums! Did you know that the "R" is my name also stands for "Ruby"?


Anyway, I see you've had a number of visitors and got some popularity points, but no responses in the thread. Maybe you got pms. I wouldn't know that. If you haven't heard from anybody, and are still looking for another group to join up with, I suggest going online and searching for a group in your area.


In my city there are a number of atheist/freethinker/agnostic/humanist groups across the human age span. Some of these groups are students at the universities, but there are also groups of older adults that include retired people and seniors. I'm in one of the latter groups. In the past, we have also had students in our group.


It sounds like you're in a fairly large urban center, too, so I wouldn't be surprised if there were a group of American Atheists (this is the official name of a large group in the United States), or some other similar group, around there somewhere. Possibly, if you are open to joining in with older people, one of these groups would be happy to join up with you.


Or possibly American Atheists would allow you to have your own student group under their auspices. You can check their website at the link above. The American Humanist Association is another possibility. Look up their Local Groups.


For readers not in the US, to find a local atheist group you might want to consult the website of International Humanist and Ethical Union.


Edited to add:


On their front page they say:


the world union
of more than 100 Humanist, rationalist, laïque, ethical culture, atheist and freethought organisations in over 40 countries. Our mission is to represent and support the worldwide Humanist movement. Our aim is a Humanist world in which human rights are respected and everyone can live a life of dignity.


I've been part of Humanist Canada though for the most part I focus on the local group in my province. I don't know what the Humanist Association is called in other countries, or in which other countries (besides the US) it exists. Hence my suggestion to check their website. My point is, there are major organizations out there to support non-religious value systems and life philosophies.

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Thanks R.S. Martin... My Ruby Pseudonym is actually something I picked up in my christian days and just kept because I like it. Anyway, your response was certainly helpful and I will be checking out the humanist group website to see if there are any good fits there.


Just to clarify, I already have the group started, and members attending via meetup's website. Several people regularly attend, but there are growing costs involved. Some members of the group are already willing to donate money, but I was hoping to make this tax deductible and therefore I need the group to be 501c3 compliant. As there is quite a bit involved with starting a I thought a shortcut might be to join a larger umbrella organization.


Also, the group, is a "Former Fundamentalist" group and while I personally am an Ex-Christian (along with most people in the group) we want to be warm to those who might still be attending a more liberal "christian" church. I'm afraid associating with an atheist organization could be a potential turn-off for some within our reach. Also, there is a very prominent atheist group here in town for those who are interested.


Also, thanks for all the views! and any and all input is appreciated.

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