Approximately 23 people attended the Monday, August 6, 2012 LFS Meeting held at 6pm at Isaac’s Restaurant on Manheim Pike, Lancaster, PA.
Scott Rhoades began with a group overview, and an introduction to each present board member, (Claire Larson – Secretary; Dan Mercer – Charity Coordinator; and Samantha Murphy – Fundraising Coordinator).
Applications and a donation box were made available at the front of the room.
Claire Larson reported on Pub Nights- scheduled generally for the third Saturday of each month. The next Pub Night will be held Saturday, August 25th at 6pm at Loxley’s Restaurant on Centerville Road, Lancaster, PA.
Dan Mercer updated the group regarding charitable efforts. Dan discussed that our intention is to generally avoid association with faith-based charities. He has had contact with the local Habitat for Humanity office about providing assistance approx twice yearly at building sites or at the Greenfield Pike Restore. Events will be scheduled through the LFS MeetUp Site.
Samantha Murphy solicited names/email addresses of parties interested in LFS fundraising efforts.
Claire Larson will make the LFS Membership application available through the web site.
Four attendees submitted membership applications with payment.
PA State Humanist/Atheist Conference
Scott discussed the upcoming PA State Humanist/Atheist Conference – to be held the weekend of 9/28. Scott is coordinating this effort alongside Briand Fields, (President of PAN). The conference will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Harrisburg. The hotel will provide a group rate to those wishing to stay overnight, and valet parking is available across the street.
PAN will subsidize – through charitable donation- 50 student attendees at $10/person, (open to all PA student groups).
Conference speakers will include:
Dan Barker - Co-President of FFRF, (and former minister)
David Silverman – President of American Atheists
Herb Silverman – Humanist, publcations in mathmatics – involved int he South Carolina Supreme Court case which struck-down religious test requirements
Jamila Bey – Child of Southern Baptist convert to Catholicism and Muslim parents; NPR writer/producer of segments relevant to logic, reason, science- particularly with regard to women & African Americans
Justin Vacula – NEPA Freethought Society – recently challenged bus ads in Scranton
Eliza Kozinsky – Secular Coalition of America
SP Morgan – sign language interpreter at Reason Rally – advocate for persons with disabilities
Sharon Hill – Center for Inquiry – geologist/blogger on the intersection of science and public understanding
Theresa McBain – Public Relations Director – American Atheists, also-affiliated with Recovering from Religion. Publically came-out as an Atheist while a practicing clergy member. Subject of network TV newscasts.
(Amanda?) Knife – Legal Counsel in Iowa legislature; AA HR Manager
AJ Johnson – works in membership, etc. for AA
George Hrab – from Pennsylvania – geologic podcast, musician/drummer, outspoken Atheist - which informs his songwriting, (including his song about grief, “Brain, Body, Both”. Attended TAM (The Amazing Meeting)
Darrel Ray – will conduct workshops on group organization – also published on sex and religion
Interested parties may purchase tickets at AtheistPA.org for $50, or $30 for a day pass.
Event revenue beyond what is needed ot cover expenses incurred will be used to pay for a 2013 conference. The Coalition of Reason may provide some funding and a billboard. (Claire mentioned the, “Don’t believe in God? Join the club” billboard posted recently in Omaha for promotion of their local conference.)
David Lutz discussed that $100 VIP tickets are being offered- preferred seating and other privileges will be extended.
Scott reiterated benefits of membership- including the ability to vote, run for office, and to serve on committeed. Volunteer help in any capacity was colicited. All members are welcome to attend Board Meetings.
Scott discussed that Paul has written a letter to Prudhomme’s restaurant regarding John Wolff’s consultation with the FFRF, (who referred him to the PA Human Relations Commission). Scott Rhoades has edited the letter, (to stress that our intent is not to affect business but to increase awareness of Christian entitlement. The sense of being an outsider is very real- something many in our group have dealt with for years. Group members discussed that the community reaction to this case has shown that there was a reason to explore it further). John Wolff discussed that he has signed an agreement through this organization, (for acceptance of an FFRF bulletin for the proffered church bulletin discount), and this agreement has been passed to Prudhomme’s for their signature in return. Group members reviewed the 8/6 edition of the Lebanon Daily News including a front page article regarding the Prudhomme’s case, also that there was mention of the case in the 8/6 edition of Lancaster Online. A copy of a Cavalry Church bulletin sent to John was passed-around, (the bulletin- sent anonymously- included vulgarity and a version of a swastika).
The other case of recent interest to the FFRF, (for similar reason) – Chick-fil-A.
Group members discussed discrimination versus potential discrimination, and what is legally discriminating, (such as offering goods/services based on religious creed).
Group members who notice similar issue to John’s case were urged to bring them up with the group before taking action. FFRF correspondance is known to use litigious/direct verbiage, possible ot interpret negatively.
Group members discussed other current issues including the Olympic gold metal gymnast who thanked god for her performance, the Chick-fil-A backlash, and reiterated the Year of the Bible resolution.