Steve Alhquist will speak on “Supercharging Your Political Effectiveness”. Local freethought groups sometimes struggle to gain traction when they strive to have an impact on public policy issues. Too often our concerns are dismissed by politicians and the media because of our perceived minority status. When we do get media attention, it’s too often because of who we are and not what we’re saying. Over the last four years, the Humanists of Rhode Island (HRI) have been boldly experimenting with changing all that. By joining politically active coalitions, taking strong positions on issues that are not directly related to issues of freethought and secularity, and reaching out to Interfaith and political allies, HRI has had a real impact on Rhode Island politics. Steve Ahlquist, the President of HRI, talks about the strategies employed and the successes earned, offering ideas that freethought leaders and activists may find useful.
Steve Ahlquist is a writer, artist and filmmaker. Currently he works as a reporter for Rhode Island Future, a progressive news blog. He is the co-founder and current president of the Humanists of Rhode Island, the greatest group of people in the world.
No pot luck this month, but you can bring a few snacks.
Seth Andrews, a former Christian broadcaster, now hosts one of the most popular online atheist communities in the world, and his weekly radio podcast is downloaded more than 1.5 million times every month. Seth has written the book, “Deconverted: a Journey from Religion to Reason,” which chronicles his own journey out of Christianity, and he speaks around the country about his former faith and the rise of reason here in the United States! His presentation, titled “Confessions of a Bible Belt Atheist,” mixes humor and heart as it examines belief over knowledge, how the church kills curiosity, and how much more satisfying it is to have a personal relationship with reality.
This month we are honored to have as our guest speaker Pete Soderman, former Wilmington resident and early member of HFCF, serving our group in many capacities including Vice President. Pete and his wife Gethyn, retired to central Mexico in 2010, after living in Wilmington since 1992. While here he incorporated his computer background and knowledge into his own computer consulting business. Pete will discuss the many varied aspects of life living South of the Border.
Following our talk we will have a raffle, everyone is encouraged to bring an item to donate. There must be something sitting in your house that needs a new home.
Reminder: We will have a little social time prior to Pete’s talk. Plus instead of our usual pot luck, we are asking for light snacks, finger foods, and, or dessert.
Our April meeting will feature Jamie Pond, presently a faculty member at UNCW and HFCF board member. She will be graduating from the University of Kentucky, December 2014 with a Ph.D. in Sociology (specializing in Gender, Education and Religion). Jamie has taught freshman English, Business writing, Introduction to Women’s Studies, Social Inequalities, and Introduction to Sociology. Tonight’s’ discussion will be part of her dissertation. Over the last three years Jamie has been interviewing men and women in the south, attended over twenty meetings, conferences, lectures and public talks on Atheism, Freethinking and Humanism. Then decided to focus primarily on women’s experiences because women represent 40% of those who do not affiliate with religion(NONES) whereas women make up the majority of congregations of organized religion. Plus, being an Atheist in the south could potentially be problematic and stigmatizing. Join us for this interesting talk. This month’s format will vary slightly: our speaker will begin the meeting, followed by Q/A, then a brief business meeting, and social time. Our Potluck, tonight will consist of light snacks, finger foods, and dessert. Soft drinks provided. BYOB. Plan accordingly.
“Street Epistemology” or “A Manual for Creating Atheists” with Dr. Peter Boghossian. In this provocative talk, Dr. Boghossian will detail tools to help people talk to others about faith and superstition and the benefits of reason. There will also be an extended Q&A. People of faith are encouraged to attend and ask questions. Bio: Dr. Peter Boghossian is a full-time faculty member in the philosophy department at Portland State University. He has an extensive publication record across multiple domains of thought. Dr. Boghossian is a national speaker for the Secular Student Alliance and CFI, and an international speaker for the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. His recent book, “A Manual for Creating Atheists” is receiving a lot of publicity.
After the talk and dialogue all are encouraged to bring a dish and stay for a potluck and interchange.
DON’T MISS THIS ONE! Roger Brewin performs his one man show on Charles Darwin. Roger has done these historical characterizations since 1982, when he began portraying Clarence Darrow. Along with over 200 performances as Darrow, he has also appeared as Charles Dickens, Frederick Douglas and Octave Chanute (including a walk-on at the 100 year anniversary of the Wright Brother’s Flight.). Tonight he offers a look into the private and family musings of Charles Darwin – not an easy man to impersonate, Brewin says, because he spoke so little in public, and wished to avoid not only professional and family conflict but also many ordinary social encounters. Much of this monologue is based on Darwin’s writings – to translate that into what he might have said aloud, requires imagination on the part of the presenter, and forbearance on the part of the audience. This will be a fantastic treat for us all.
Roger Brewin is a retired Unitarian Universalist minister, having served a campus ministry and nine congregations over 38 years. He served on the Executive Board and the Guidelines (Professional Ethics) Committee of the UU Ministers Association, For the past twelve years he has edited the Journal of Religious Humanism for HUUmanists. He curates a humanist traveling art show related to immigration reform, and promotes awareness of banned books. Brewin lives in Chicago with his wife of 44 years, Katherine, an attorney.
This is our big pot luck of the year, so bring “appropriate” food such as “Primordial Soup” or Pterodactyl Wings” ;>) It will be a blast as we celebrate Charles Darwin’s birthday. Invite others.
The topic this month is “Humanist Celebration: Weddings, Memorials and Beyond…”
Our guest speaker is Han Hills, past President of the Humanists and Freethinkers of Cape Fear.
Han has been practicing Humanist celebrations since 2006 and is certified by the Humanist Society.
He also presents several podcasts on Atheist topics.
What is a Humanist ceremony, and without religion why do we need them in the community?
In this session Han Hills will lay out the background to this phenomenon and explain what a “Humanist Minister” does. He will talk about the benefits and challenges of a Humanist ceremony and why we need them.
Across Europe the number of Humanist weddings and other community celebrations have rocketed in the past few years. This year the number of Humanist weddings appeared to outstrip the number of ceremonies held by the Church of Scotland, the county’s largest religious body. Here in the U.S. the trend is already starting to follow suit.
Remain with us after the meeting for a pot-luck buffet dinner, and a raffle. Bring a covered dish and an item to donate for the raffle. Soft drinks provided, BYOB All proceeds help benefit our chapter.