SCENE: The monthly meeting of the Madison Atheists Evangelization Society at the I-12 Marriot Courtyard’s Badger Room, a rambunctious group sitting at a table, long side to the audience, like at a celebrity roast. The food has been eaten and cleared away. The CHAIRMAN sits in the middle, the SECRETARY is to his right, the TREASURER to his left. Others fill in.
PLAYERS: CHAIRMAN, SECRETARY, TREASURER, nine other male members, numbered from stage left to right (M1-M9, actors should use their own first names), and LATE GUY (oldest actor) who shows up near the end. The character “ALL” is where the cast should ad lib in the spirit indicated.
ALL: murmuring and general pre-meeting chatter; words not loud enough to be distinguished by audience.
SECRETARY: It’s time.
CHAIRMAN: Uh huh. Okay, everybody. Let’s settle in. Before we get started—
M2: —The opening prayer!
ALL: laughter; “God” bless us; calls saying how smart, clever M2 is.
CHAIRMAN: Which “god” should we pray to?
ALL: Thor, Zeus, Gaia, Obama, etc.; laughter; calls saying how smart, clever each other are.
CHAIRMAN: [To calm the group] Okay, let’s try to behave rationally.
M7: I think, therefore I disbelieve!
ALL: laughter; calls saying how smart, clever M7 is.
CHAIRMAN: I want to introduce one of our new members. M-9 [indicates M9, who waves] who used to be part of the Boston group. M9 is working on his Masters in…what was it?
M9: Science eduction.
ALL: applause; hi M9; science rules!; calls saying how smart, clever M9 is.
M1: That’s what’s needed! More science!
ALL: here-heres; calls saying how smart, clever M1 & M9 are.
SECRETARY: We should get going.
CHAIRMAN: Yeah, you’re right. But we can’t praise science too much.
M3: Religious people deny science! They’re deniers!
ALL: religious people are idiots, foolish, irrational; calls saying how smart, clever M3 is.
M6: Religion is nothing but organized child abuse!
ALL: religious people are idiots, irrational, foolish; calls saying how smart, clever M6 is.
M8: [Standing] It sickens me that in this supposedly free country, people are able to teach their children lies and myths as if they were reality.
ALL: calls saying how smart, brave M8 is.
M4: It’s because living by a myth is more comforting than surrendering to reality. They hate reality.
ALL: claps; calls saying how smart, brave M4 is.
M5: They don’t understand how beautiful science and reality are!
ALL: calls saying how smart, clever M5 is.
M2: [Quietly, after a lull] Cancer’s maybe not so pretty.
M7: [Angrily] That’s not the point! It’s that religious people don’t believe evolution created cancer. They’re so ignorant they don’t even know that evolution makes them religious!
ALL: God gene!; sage nods; murmurs of agreement, calls saying how intelligent M7 is.
SECRETARY: [To CHAIRMAN] Maybe we can get started?
CHAIRMAN: Yeah. But he’s right. I can’t believe how willfully stupid religious people are.
ALL: they’re fools, morons, etc.; calls saying how smart CHAIRMAN is.
CHAIRMAN: Sadly true. But let’s do something. TREASURER, how much money do we have in the fund?
M1: [Standing, interrupting] Flying spaghetti monster!
ALL: general uproar, hooting, hollering, joy; calls saying how smart, witty, clever M1 is.
TREASURER: [Who stood during merriment, speaking over crowd; holds paper] We’re actually in the hole. People haven’t been keeping up their promised donations. Somebody’s gotta pay for this meal. I’m not getting stuck again—
M3: [Standing] —We should believe in ourselves, not God!
M6: I believe! I can see you!
ALL: laughter; calls saying how smart, clever M3 and M6 are.
M4: We should really be talking about how intolerant religious people are.
M8: Yeah, they’re always telling us what to do! Religious views don’t belong in a tolerant society.
M5: They oughta be stopped. Like in Canada. We should have a law passed that nobody is allowed to foist their views on other people who don’t want them! Especially children!
ALL: applause; religious people are dopes, etc.; calls saying how smart, clever M4, M5 and M8 are.[LATE GUY enters stage right, quietly vies for CHAIRMAN’s attention.]
CHAIRMAN: Ah, LATE GUY! You finally made it. We worried you joined a cult!
ALL: hilarity; all religions are cults, etc.; calls saying how smart, clever CHAIRMAN is.
LATE GUY: [Over laughter, trying unsuccessfully to whisper] Uh, yeah, sorry. Um, I was actually never coming. My mom found out about the group and she made me quit. I only showed up because I promised M8 a ride home.
ALL: giggles, some suppressed, some open; M8’s mom not as smart, clever as us, etc.
CHAIRMAN: Oh, that’s right. Your mom still goes to church. Don’t worry. Here. Give her these pamphlets [collects from SECRETARY] which will prove to her how irrationally stupid her faith is. She’ll come around.
ALL: lighter giggles; whispers how all religions irrationally stupid, etc.
LATE GUY: [Trying to disappear] Oh. The hotel guy asked me to tell you you’re time’s up. They need the room for the Madison Young Activists Yoga Alliance. [Author’s note: may be shortened to ‘YaYa.’]
CHAIRMAN: Okay, everybody. That’s it. Next month we build on this meeting’s success and really show why atheism’s an intellectually superior belief system.
ALL: happy applause; calls saying how smart, brave CHAIRMAN and everybody is.
SECRETARY: [Standing] Just a reminder that next month’s meeting is joint with the Unitarian Universalists. They’re giving us a talk on ‘Seeking the Spiritual Path to Atheism.’
CHAIRMAN: Should be good. They told me they got some smart people there.
ALL: people stand to go; self-satisfied jocularity; high fives, chest bumps, etc.