Frequently Asked Questions

Are my membership dues and donations considered tax deductible?
Yes, any dues or donations given to Atheists United are tax deductible as we are a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Money paid for merchandise or services are not tax deductible.

How does AU define “atheism?”
AU does not endorse any specific definition of the word “atheism,” however its generally accepted that the broadest interpretation, from Greek, a-theos-ism – literally interpreted as “without-god-belief,” – includes the widest range of our members, from people who consider themselves strong or weak atheists, agnostics, Humanists, freethinkers, secularists, rationalists, Brights and the myriad of other self-styled labels non-believers call themselves and even those who belong to non-theistic religions such as Buddhism or Unitarianism.

There are no AU affiliates near me. How can I start one?
AU encourages those who are interested in organizing a group of atheists to work with our Membership Director to create a vibrant local chapter. We can share plans for organizing an affiliate, provide for the tools offered on MeetUp.com to meet others in your area who may be interested in your group and the tools for connecting those attendees to AU as well as offset some of the costs involved in organizing an affiliate. Please contact our membership director for more information.

How does my independent atheist group become an AU affiliate?
If your atheist group is interested in becoming an AU affiliate, currently it involves agreeing on some basic operating principles and affirming that your group shares common goals with AU and is interested in servicing the community of atheists in your area. We strongly encourage organizers of AU affiliates to become paid members of our organization. Please contact our membership director for more information.

Does AU engage in attempts to “de-convert” religious people or proselytize against religion?
AU policy does not promote attempts to de-convert religious people and it is the widely held view of many atheists that it’s often fruitless to try to “reason” people out of their religiously-held beliefs. It’s far more desirable to promote the virtues of secularism, rationality, Humanistic ethics and tolerance as positive values applicable to all people rather than to attempt to diminish the beliefs of religious people. There are far greater returns in that endeavor and most have found that belittling those of religious faith only serves to breed resentment, which is counterproductive to advancing the acceptance of atheism.

Does AU endorse political candidates?
As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, AU is not allowed by law to endorse any specific political candidate and are strictly non-partisan; however, we do champion issues related to humanist causes and the separation of government from religion and consider civic engagement an important part of every atheist’s duty to affecting change in our world. AU encourages members to vote for leaders whose stances on issues most closely align with humanistic values, justice, tolerance and secularism. For specific issues and to see how our representatives measure up, we would defer to the congressional scorecard kept by the Secular Coalition for America.

Can I get my newsletter subscription sent via e-mail instead of by US Mail?
Yes, please contact us requesting that your newsletter be sent by e-mail.