By nature, I’m not much of a jointer. The reason is because I’m generally disappointed in organizations that want to represent my rights to Congress or a court. It’s not because they don’t try, it’s that they tend to go beyond what they claim is their mission. It doesn’t matter whether it’s some secular or atheist organization, or just some group that claims they’re going to do right by me for only $40 per year. I usually discover that the initial investment is only the beginning of a never ending email and regular mail barrage of needing more money for one thing or another. It’s usually political and honestly, that’s where I end the relationship.
It’s fine for these to be political and some are upfront. I used to be a member of the NRA, clearly a political lobbying organization, but the constant requests for extra donations, had me end that after two years. I should know better, but I don’t seem to learn over time. There are others that come across as there to help you navigate your later years in life. They have all kinds of deals for insurance, cell phones, even vacation packages for members, but as I found out from some friends, it was a very political organization and memberships and other donations mainly went to help one of the two major political parties.
I don’t want to hide out though, and so, yes, I look carefully before I become a member of any group, especially those that claim to be charitable because, as I found with one large one, they were very charitable – to themselves. That’s a rarity, I believe, but there are scam artists out there as we all know.
I guess I prefer local groups. There are a couple near by that are atheist and humanist in nature and they cost nothing to become a part of. Of course these are more social that anything, but that’s okay because atheists, especially, need a place to hang out with one another. It’s nice to be able to form personal relationships with real people – not just someone you know online. So, I’ve made a effort recently, to attend as often as possible. If there are meetups around where you live of atheists and/or humanists, check them out. Even a conservative, like me, is welcome among other atheists.