The Reason Rally: Are you coming with us???

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Are you ready? Are you ready for the largest freethinking gathering in the nation? Are you ready to demand our rights as atheists, agnostics, secularists and humanists? To tell Washington that we are NOT second class citizens and we WILL join together as one and say NO MORE! NO MORE STOMPING ON OUR SECULAR CONSTITUTION!!! We are here, we are many and we demand change.

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Fun at the Atheist Alliance of America meeting by Jerry Coyne

I was in the suburbs a fair amount of time during the AAA convention, being a “handler” for Jeff Tayler and Inna Shevchenko, so I didn’t take a ton of pictures of the meeting itself. Fortunately, Mark Gura did, and posted a lot of them on his Facebook page’s AAA album). I’ll put his photos first, and mine toward the bottom.

Our master of ceremonies for the two days was none other than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, played by Harry Shaughnessy. He had some kind of mechanized skateboard and glided around like a divine being.

Herb Silverman, who debated Dave Silverman in a “Silverman vs. Silverman Smackdown”, the topic being “Can you call yourself a Jewish atheist?” Herb said yes, Dave no. Although people seemed to think that Dave got the upper hand, I’m not going to stop calling myself a secular atheistic Jew.

The strident atheist Jeff Tayler of The Atlantic (and author ofSunday Secular Sermons on Salon), and his colleague and friend Inna Shevchenko, head of the activist organization FEMEN (Jeff wrote about Inna and FEMEN in his book Topless Jihadis: Inside FEMEN: The World’s Most Provocative Atheist Group. They’ve both had fascinating lives and both gave great talks. Inna got a standing ovation at two of the three talks she gave in the area.

Link: https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/fun-at-the-atheist-alliance-of-america-meeting/

Are YOU coming to the Reason Rally????

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Who’s coming to the Reason Rally in D.C. in June??? WE ARE!!!! Please join us at the largest meeting of secular people in the world on the National Mall on June 4th, 2016. We’re all joining together to celebrate, listen to some amazing speakers and meet many new friends. The Rally is free and if you need hotel accommodations or a ride with a local Rally Bus, please visit http://reasonrally.org. Visit us at our table in the Merchant’s Tent and peruse a variety of items including books written by our 2016 recipient of the Richard Dawkins Award, Dr. Lawrence Krauss and former pastor Steven Uhl! Sign up soon for the Rally Bus because seating is limited!!!

 

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Darwin Day: Skokie, Illinois 2016

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I was lucky enough to visit a Darwin Day event on Saturday, February 13, 2016 at the Ethical and Humanist Society in Skokie, Illinois. My “date” for the evening was my board member, Steven Kierewicz. I was very happy to meet Tom Cara, the Chicago Chapter leader for the Freedom From Religion Foundation and Bill Zingrone, the Illinois Chapter leader for the Secular Coalition of America. Boy, did we have a great time! There was a huge crowd in the auditorium where Bill gave a short lecture on the life of Charles Darwin and afterwords showed the movie “Creation” which tells the story of Darwin, the death of his daughter, Annie, his relationship with his very devout wife, Emma and his writing of “On the Origin of Species.” It was a very poignant movie and showed a side of Charles Darwin most have never heard of. After the movie, we had a very enjoyable dinner, chatting, and seeing familiar faces (I’m calling you out, Frank Anderson!!!) from Atlanta among my friends at Black Non-Believers.

Charles Darwin came to a very hard and heart-wrenching conclusion that his Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection was a firm fact in the scientific community. He came to this conclusion at middle age but began his adventure at the age of 22 with his voyage on the HMS Beagle captained by James FitzRoy. After his five year journey, he didn’t only bring a bit of evidence back. No, he brought trunks full and along with his friends from the Royal Society, Joseph Hooker, Thomas Huxley and Charles Lyell, they examined fossils of the Giant Sloth of Patagonia and a capybara the size of a rhinoceros! The famous ornithologist of the time, John Gould, pointed out to Darwin that many of the specimens of bird he brought back with him were not different kinds of birds, but different types of finches, adapted to the different islands of the Galapagos where they came from. That was the first, real, solid evidence that Darwin knew would be the cause of the most difficult time in his life; keeping peace in his home with his devoutly Christian wife whom he adored, or showing the world that he could prove that the story in Genesis was unsupported and man had evolved from animal. It took him 20 years but after a letter from Alfred Russell Wallace, who came to the same evolutionary opinions and the pushing of his esteemed friends, Darwin published “On the Origin of Species” in November of 1859.

That book, along with “Decent of Man”, did not make Darwin very many friends during his time, but now, after the discovery of genetics and DNA, his theory is as true as Newton’s Theory of Gravity and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Although, many in the United States would disagree, to me he is a hero and a man born way before his time. MP

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