Approximately 19 people met Tuesday, September 4th at 6pm at Isaac’s Restaurant.
Introduction – Scott Rhoades
Scott Rhoades offered name badge clips to members for $1, (proceeds to be added to the group’s treasury).
Scott mentioned that September 2012 marks the one year anniversary (to the month) of Lancaster Freethought Society’s first meeting. Four persons attended that meeting. The group quickly outgrew the Panera Bread meeting location and 106 persons are now included through the MeetUp site.
Scott noted that Isaac’s Restaurant has been very accommodating to the group, providing a dedicated server for our meetings.
Scott reminded group members to sign-in.
PA State Atheist/Humanist Conference – 9/28-30, 2012
Scott discussed the upcoming conference, and LFS’s role as as co-sponsor. Day passes will be available.
Saturday, 9/29 – 7-12 registration
9-9:30 am Introduction (with MCs Carl Silverman, Brian Fields, and Scott Rhoades)
9:30 am – Eliza Kozinsky (Secular Coalition for America)
Theresa McBain (PR Director, American Atheists, director of clergy project started by Darrel Ray); former, “Atheist in the Pulpit”, was involved in a chatroom to help persons in the ministry, “come-out”.
S.P. Morgan – sign language interpreter who will give a talk regarding disabled persons in the movement.
12:30-2 LUNCH provided at cost at the hotel (or free?)
2-2:45 Herb Silverman (AHA); author: “Candidate with a Prayer”, also founded the Secular Coalition of America, invovled in the South Carolina Supreme Court’s decision against a religious test requirement.
Michael Newdow – ER physician/Attorney
A.J. Johnson - Membership, management and fundraising for AA
Dan Barker – Co-President FFRF, pianist
5-7 DINNER (provided at cost)
Sam Singleton – Atheist evangelist (gives performances in preacher garb)
8:30-10 break-out session
8:30-9 Capitol tour/outing (also offered 9-9:45)
Speakers, (usually 30 min speach, 15 min Q&A):
10:30 Sharon Hill (geologist, skeptic, blogger)
Jamila Bey – Journalist for NPR in Washington, D.C.; writer, featuredd on MSNBC with Chris Hays (crossover with rachel Maddow)
1:30-2:15 Amanda Knife – Lawyer for AA
2:15-3 – Dan Barker – KEYNOTE
FOLLOWED BY – TBA
- Schedules are subject to change. At least one panel discussion will be included in the itinerary.
Justin Vacula – Atheist Examiner, Scranton, PA (campaign to put the word, “Atheist” on a bus)
4:30-5 – Nicole Corvan – CDS Pittsburgh, runs Steel City Skeptics
5-6 George Hrab – Geologic Podcast; Philadelphia Funk Authority; participant in The Amazing Meeting with James Randi (Pittsburgh)
Information regarding the conference may be found at Atheistpa.org.
25 VIP tickets SOLD-OUT quickly
Two free tickets are available – contest entries should be submitted ASAP.
The first 50 students to register will receive their tickets at $10 each, thanks to an anonymous donor.
Scott discussed that this conference is being organized inside a 3-month window.
Parking will be available across this street (parking garage), or at the Crowne Plaza. A block rate is available for our group, ($105/night – for a limited number of rooms).
BOARD MEMBER REPORTS
Paul announced new membership.
Paul will add virus protection to the LFS web site
Claire discussed her capacity keeping meeting minutes and organizing pub nights. Claire mentioned her upcoming planned MeetUp, (PawPaw Excursion – 9/22), and her recent meeting with Lincoln Atheists, (Lincoln, Nebraska). Claire is also helping administer the conference ticket contest.
LFS will volunteer as an organization at the Habitat for Humanity Restore (a recycled home goods store) on Saturday, 9/8. Two shifts will be offered on the Meet-Up site, (9:30-1 and 1-4). Participants will sort items, move stock, etc., and will be required to sign a liability waiver. Dan will limit RSVPs on the web site to approx. 2-3 in the morning, 2-3 in the afternoon.
Dan will continue to pursue volunteer opportunities with Adopt-A-Highway.
Scott led a, “Yahweh or Dr. Doom” exercise inspired by the Washington State Ask-an-Atheist podcast. Group members voted on whether a given quote had it’s basis in the Bible or Marvel Comics. All references were made in the third person; all names were changed to, “Steve”; and all references to geography/time were redacted.
Scott also recommended the, “Lots of Tiny Robots” blog.
Dan Mercer led a group discussion regarding a Huffington Post article by Carl Gibberson. Referenced were Pope Benedict XVIand dialogue regarding science and faith, (“Are they compatible?”) Cited were Father Thomas Trafnel; referenced were society, culture and the human being, the spiritual and the scientific. St. Thomas Aquinas was cited as responsible for initiating a central insight that God created evolution. Persons in the, Third World” who accept magic may look at God or gods as a precurser.
Also discussed were Stephen J. Gould/overlapping magisteria/”god of the gaps” and the science done by Vatican astronomers, (Catholic doctrine has, “tightened” between the time of Pope John Paul’s installation of an on-site astronomer and Pope Benedict, though the Catholic Church has long accepted evolution). There are approximately 35,000 Christian sects in the United states- among whom there are surely disagreements regarding allegory versus reality. Over time, religion has molded to secular society moreso than the other way around. Therefore- are morals subjective, (changing according to society), or objective, (never changing)?