2014 Leadership Conference Reflection: Kristen Murdaugh
August 13, 2014
“Ohana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten” - unless you declare yourself an atheist in rural South Carolina where Ku Klux Klan rallies are regularly scheduled and every death in the community is god’s necessity for another angel.
Needless to say, my family had no clue about what I was headed to in Amherst, New York, and honestly, I didn’t either. My friends at Furman University were mostly open to what I believed, especially those in my secular organization. But all in all, I had never experienced the comfort of having a true “secular family,” until my first day at the Center for Inquiry Conference 2014. The atmosphere was a safe haven; any opinion or belief was respected, even if it was not shared. The student attendees along with the branch leaders brainstormed at incredible rates of productivity. If there was ever meant to be a dull moment in the conference, a speaker filled it with insight and inspiration. Not only did I walk away with the confidence and motivation to improve my college’s secular organization exponentially, but I walked away with the confidence to once and for all not be afraid to truly be myself - atheist and all.
About the Author: Kristen MurdaughKristen Murdaugh, proud advocate of coffee, is a student at Furman University where she is pursuing a triple major in Vocal Performance, Music Theory, and German Studies. She is a quasi-open existential atheist and humanist, and serves as Director of Public Relations in her campus secular organization, Society of Free Inquiry (SoFI).
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