Minutes from the Lancaster Freethought Society’s meeting of April 2, 2012, 6pm - Isaac’s Restaurant on Manheim Pike, Lancaster, PA
Scott Rhoades introduced LFS Board Members Claire Larson, Dan Mercer, Lisa Mercer, and Rick Stevens. Approximately 25 persons were in attendance, (including PAN President Brian Fields).
A donation box was placed near the main entrance. Suggested donation is the amount given to the dining room server. Funds collected will be used to subsidize 501C3 filing and other expenditures.
ASK AN ATHEIST
The, “Ask an Atheist” booth will be held outside Central Market on Saturday, April 14. Attendees were advised to bring a chair or be prepared to stand, also to maintain calm demeanors and consider the public perception of atheists. The purpose of the booth is to introduce the non-theistic community to the public and dispel myths/misconceptions regarding atheists. The booth will be located near the parking lot. This event has been posted at MeetUp.com. All are invited to attend- attendees will not be required to answer every question posed.
Scott, Brian and others discussed that those interested in participating at the, “Ask an Atheist” group prepare by formulating answers to questions such as, “Where do you get your morality,” “How did you become an atheist”, as well as their thoughts on current, “hot-button” issues. Patrick Magruder mentioned helpful cell phone apps, such as: Atheist Debater, Skeptics Dictionary, The Skeptic’s Annotated Bible, and the Counter-Creationist Handbook.
LFS intends to pursue charitable work, (in addition to church-state separation activism). Dan Mercer reported on the following potential activities:
1) Adopt a Highway
Trash pick-ups will be required twice yearly. The DOT will provide safety vests, and a lighted escort vehicle. Gloves are recommended. A sign will be posted indicating that LFS’s association with maintenance of a portion of a road for a two year window.
2) Lancaster Habitat for Humanity
Group opportunities include the need for three volunteers at a time to run the organization’s Restore outlet off Greenfield Road, hanging drywall at a Fairview Avenue site, (Wednesdays through Saturdays, 8-4).
3) Clare House
Housing five women and their children, Clare House has a need for babysitting on Wednesday evenings, also landscaping help, fundraiser hosting, and meal prep/service on Wednesday evenings.
4) Hospice of Lancaster County
The Hospice requests home-cooked meals for residents.
Dan will post a poll on the MeetUp site regarding these and other opportunities for volunteer activism.
House Resolution 535: Year of the Bible
Scott discussed the recent passage of Rep. Saccone’s (non-controversial) H.R. #535 declaring 2012 the, “Year of the Bible” in Pennsylvania. The Freedom from Religion Foundation has opened a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in response to the unconstitutional aspects of this resolution. LFS Pres. Scott Rhoades will serve as a plaintiff in this lawsuit. The 13-page document was distributed for group review.
Brian Fields discussed that- resultant of objections made- a motion was introduced for further review of the legislation, (but said motion has since stalled).
REASON RALLY – 3/24/2012
Several group members attended the Reason Rally held Saturday, March 24th in Washington, D.C. Estimated overall attendance was 25,000 persons. Group members discussed speakers who presented at the rally, (including Richard Dawkins, Sean Faircloth, TaslimanNasreen, etal.) Group members discussed that the Reason Rally was initiated by a coalition of every major freethought group.