Atheist to speak tomorrow despite denied honorarium

Dan Barker is scheduled to speak tomorrow in the Kansas Union despite Student Senate’s decision not to fund the event.

Barker is a former preacher and an atheist who works for the Freedom from Religion Foundation, an educational group working for the separation of church and state, said Andrew Stangl, Wichita sophomore and president of the Society of Open-Minded Atheists and Agnostics (SOMA).

Senate denied funding to the speech because SOMA it said that the group was a religious organization, and therefore subject to rules about proselytization, said Paul Mirecki, professor and chairman of religious studies and faculty adviser for SOMA.

Stangl said the group sought an honorarium for Barker’s speech totalling $1,500, but when Student Senate elected not to fund the speech, Barker waived the honorarium, instead seeking only $300 to reimburse his travel costs.

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