Humanists of North Alabama News! 2019-09-10
“It is OK if you don’t fit in, history only remembers the exceptional.” ― Pradeepa Pandiyan
The Humanists of North Alabama are looking for new leadership! We need three people to form a non-profit group (Articles of Incorporation) and develop Bylaws.
The non-fiction reader’s book discussion is cancelled.
Sunday, September 15:
We have two options this month:
1)Monthly Discussion meeting (2:30-4:00 pm)– Meeting this month is the Huntsville Public Library on Monroe Street in Huntsville, in the Foundation Board room on the second floor. We begin with introductions and announcements, reading, then discussion This meeting is for serious discussion – what humanist idea is on your mind? What topic do you want scheduled for future meetings?
2) Tullahoma UU Church Service (10:00 – 12:00) Several regular members are attending to hear Doug Traversa on the topic: “Free Thought and Honest Disagreement – Gadfly Papers Controversy”. The location is 3536 New Manchester Hwy, Tullahoma, TN 37388. Their website is http://www.tullahomauu.org/index.html.
“We would all like to believe that we came from nowhere but ourselves, every gesture is our own. But then we find we belong to the history and fate of a long line of beings that also may have wished to be free.” ― Patti Smith, Devotion
Monday, September 23: 6:00-7:30pm:
Philosophy Café. Open and relaxed discussion on philosophical topics continues on the fourth Monday of each month. We are meeting at KEEGAN’S OF HUNTSVILLE, 200 West Side Square, Suite 60, Huntsville, AL 35801. An assortment of salads, sandwiches, Irish inspired fare, and beverages are available for purchase (and to lubricate discussion). http://www.keeganshuntsville.com/ New faces are always welcome. (PS – Happy Hour ends at 6 – you might want to arrive a few minutes early.) (Hoping Sam’s and Greg’s will be open in their new location soon!)
“The human being who does not wish to belong to the mass must merely cease being comfortable with himself; let him follow his conscience which shouts at him: ‘Be yourself! What you are at present doing, opining, and desiring, that is not really you.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
The Humanists of North Alabama discussion group as a closed FaceBook group to talk about Humanism in Alabama. Let us know if you’d like an invite.
Our events can be found
· on our Meetup group:
· on our FaceBook page:
· on our web page:
If you received this email from a friend and want to be added to the distribution list, send an email to us at our new organization email list: email@example.com.
Suggestions for events, meeting venues, topics are always welcome!
Humanists of North Alabama is an official Chapter of the American Humanist Association. Membership in the AHA is strongly encouraged!
“What we fear doing most is usually what we most need to do.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
First Virtual AHA conference, June 7-9, 2019
The first virtual AHA Conference will come to us from 5 universities nationwide over three days. Please see the FAQ at the link. We’ll schedule group viewings locally in Huntsville and will be looking for home hosts with nice big computer screens.
American Atheist Gathering Successful
This is a letter one of our members received. It reports on the Easter weekend gathering. I’ve stripped it down to text only for cleaner presentation. Trav H.
Dear Larry —
At our national convention last weekend, not only did we celebrate everyday atheism, together we raised the profile of atheism in Cincinnati and across the country.
On Friday morning, Kentucky State Director Johnny Pike kicked off the festivities with a stunning announcement: Cincinnati’s mayor had declared April 19-21 American Atheists Weekend in the city to officially welcome us!
A few hours later, keynote speaker Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that made marriage equality the law of the land, told the heart-wrenching story of how religious dogma in the law prevented him from marrying his husband until just days before his death.
And, in another step toward normalizing atheism, Jim came out for the second time: “I’m gay. I’m an atheist. I’m tired of the closet.”
We also heard from Fraidy Reiss, the founder of Unchained At Last, a group that fights against forced and child marriage here in the United States; Gayle Jordan, who ran for state senate in Tennessee and was repeatedly attacked for her atheism; and long-time board member of American Atheists Frank Zindler, who spoke about the death of his wife Ann after the Bush Administration caved to Catholic groups to ban stem cell research that could have saved her life.
In her day, Madalyn Murray O’Hair faced outright hostility from the press.
But now, journalists are starting to report fairly, even favorably about us, as they relay our message of equality.
“850 nonbelievers from every state and even other countries […] say they are fighting for rights and equality, just without the God part,” reported CBS-affiliate WKRC at our Friday Equality Rally, which saw local and national groups take to Cincinnati’s famous Fountain Square and stand up to religious bigotry.
NBC-affiliate WLWT published quoted our President Nick Fish, saying, “For decades, religious extremists have fought tooth and nail against progress.”
As atheists promoting equality, not only are we pointing out the hypocrisy of the Religious Right and holding true to our values, we are reinforcing our image as defenders of freedom by standing firmly on the right side of history.
If you want to stand with us in the fight to normalize atheism, become a sustaining member by making a monthly gift to support our work.
Tom Van Denburgh
Raising the Profile of Atheists
“There is so much stigma associated with being an atheist,” acknowledged Nick Fish, our President, on the main stage. That’s why our work to put a face on atheism is all the more important.
Engaging Elected Officials on Atheist Issues
Reach out to your elected officials in person or on social media! Make your atheist voice heard with our AtheistsEngage elected official finder and sample tweets!
Building Grassroots Atheism
Atheist groups need to learn from the civil rights movement about the importance of building at the community and national levels, explained Debbie Goddard, our Vice President for Programs. Join a local group near you!
Ending FGM in the United States
Alarmingly, the majority of U.S. states still allow female genital mutilation, our law clerk Adriana Buenaventura-Martinez explained. And that’s why we’ve submitted testimony to support female genital mutilation bans!
NanoCon is tomorrow, March 23
and is free when you enter the code AA or SA in the registration. See https://nashvillenones.com/
The initial newsletter of Indivisible District 5 of North Alabama.
Kudos to the Madison County Democrats, who have invited Rep. Brooks to a town hall on Saturday, April 8, 2-4 pm at the main library auditorium!
The room has been reserved, deposits have been paid, the invitation has been submitted, and the invitation graphic is in process.
There WILL be a town hall, with or without Mo.
To Begin the World Over Again — May 14, 21, 28.
Civil forfeiture is dead or weakened
Civil forfeiture is dead, says the US Supreme Court, but it will continue to writhe and bite in Alabama. That’s my guess.
Curtailing civil forfeiture is a focus of Alabama Arise which has the support of Humanists of North Alabama through our representative Stan Brockway,who proposed a focus on that issue to Arise last fall.
A new batch of podcasts collected by Klaus
(Posted by Travis at the request of Klaus Heimberg)
Best Podcasts sorted by subject (as of 6/16/18)
Note: links are for introductions to the episodes, and for playing the episode on your computer. To download episodes to your phone, go to your usual podcast source
“Ring of Fire” Johnny Cash
This American Life Episode 247 (Sept 17, 3003), Act III.
“Hallelujah”, the Leonard Cohen song (Revisionist History)
“Amazing Grace”, the hymn – (Studio 360, American Icons 1)
Shakespeare retold – Thriller writer Jo Nesbo’s McBeth reviewed by a Shakespeare scholar; The Perfect Nanny, Leila Slimani gives the author’s perspective
Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Leaves of Grass (Studio 360, icons 2 & 3)
Black Cake – Emily Dickenson
Kitchen Sisters #62
International political economy
China’s strategy in the world market
Planet Money #837 “The Belt, the Road, and the Money”
Russia’s fake news strategy
Planet money #790 “Rough Translation in Ukraine”
The US Government sugar subsidy
Planet money #454 “The Lollipop War”
Planet Money #833 “Worst. Tariffs. Ever.”
Terrorism and Social Media
Fresh Air Wed. June 6, 2018 “How a former FBI agent used Twitter to fight Terrorism”
In-depth reporting on terrorism; transformation of a Canadian teenager into a terrorist, etc.
Podcast series “Caliphate” https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/podcasts/caliphate-isis-rukmini-callimachi.html
US Politics (Civics 102)
Planet Money Episode #845 “REDMAP”
Tax preparation nightmare
Planet Money Episode 760 “Tax Hero”
The social security number
Planet Money #830 “XXX-XX-XXXX”
Identity politics – a losing strategy (for democrats)
Mark Lilla on New Yorker radio hour
Anti-terrorism war powers Radiolab „60 Words”
Foul shots underhanded (Revisionist History) – The Big Man Can’t Shoot
Development of basketball (99% invisible)
Development of football (Radiolab)
Baseball: The Shift: Redesigning the Baseball’s Defense
Bad Medicine Part 1: The Story of 98.6 (August 16, 2017)
Bad Medicine Part 2: Drug Trials and Tribulations (August 23, 2017)
Bad Medicine Part 3: Death by Diagnosis (August 30, 2017)
Most Kitchen Sisters Present episodes
Amazing personal stories (memoirs)
Every episode of How I Built This
God Save Texas author interview, Fresh Air April 16, Lawrence Wright
Dividing Texas into 5 states!
Revisionist History, season 3, Episode 1 Divide and Conquer
A Texas Character: Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines
Neil McGregor, Germany: Memories of a Nation, the history of Germany in 100 objects
Our fallible memories: Raconteuring: truth becomes fiction becomes truth
Revisionist History: A polite word for a liar (season 3 episode 3)
Revisionist History: Free Brian Williams (season 3 episode 4)
Steven Austad on Darwin
Fundamental Principles of Modern Humanism – Amsterdam Declaration – 2002
Amsterdam Declaration 2002 is a statement of the fundamental principles of modern Humanism passed unanimously by the General Assembly of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) at the 50th anniversary World Humanist Congress in 2002.
If you are not familiar with the outlines of humanism, please check out the other humanist manifestos. You can start in Wikipedia.