Membership Interview: Nancy Sneed

1. Are you an atheist, freethinker, or non-believer? Explain.

I am an atheist.

2. What led you to stop believing in and accepting religious claims about supernatural deities?

I always struggled to believe. I was raised in the Church of Christ, but as a child I viewed the Bible stories as just pretend, not real.

3. What led you to become a part of the freethought community and what has been your experience as member of the community?

After being single for a few years and not being part of a church, I wanted to be part of a community. I considered other options such as very liberal churches that don’t require belief, but nothing offered what I was looking for. Then one day I saw a billboard in Sacramento that said, “Good Without God? Millions are.” That was it! I realized there were local organizations of nonbelievers like me!

Nancy, with her soldier son in Hawaii.

It took awhile, but in 2011 when I stumbled on to Sacramento Freethinkers and Nonbelievers Meetup group, I attended my first meeting of atheists. It was a monthly lecture, this one by a neuroscientist talking about research regarding Out of Body experiences and the brain. I was very impressed, and became excited and started reading everything I could find, and going to meetings as often as I could.

My experience as a member of the freethought community has been more positive than any of my previous community experiences. I have made many friends and enjoyed making acquaintances in so many activities such as at Freethought Day, Darwin Day, Sunday Assembly [Editor’ Note: See Our Partners page], and many other gatherings.

I even met with my brother from Philadelphia in Washington, D.C. in 2016 for the Reason Rally. On Thursday and Friday, through the efforts of Secular Coalition for America, we walked through the House and Senate offices advocating for sex education based on science, and asking Congress not to fund abstinence-only sex education. On Saturday we sat on the Capitol Mall and listened to speakers and musicians all day long, then attended an after-party at a hotel. That was a great experience.

5. What led you to becoming a board member of the Reason Center?

I am a Board member because I was asked to serve, and I felt I could contribute to the success of the center by joining the Board.

6. What are your personal goals for the Reason Center?

My personal goals for Reason Center are to help the best way I can in achieving the center’s goals. The goal has always been to provide a place for the community to gather, to call home. It has been a collective effort by quite a few hardworking, dedicated individuals from the beginning. I am only beginning to be involved with the Board, and am only now realizing how big the responsibilities are for maintaining the center and planning for its expansion. Ultimately, I would like us to have a center where people of all walks of life and all ages have access and activities that meet their needs for community.

7. What else do you do with your time?

I enjoy travelling and looking for interesting buildings. I am a modernist architecture fan, and am going back to school part time this fall to learn architectural history. I volunteer once a month for Sunday Assembly Sacramento and enjoy spending some time with my two sons. Oh, yes, I still work too. I am a sign language interpreter and I often attend workshops and professional meetings. Yeah, I’m pretty busy most of the time.

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