"The need for critical thinking skills and a humanistic outlook in our world is great. This is no less true in the Black community than in others." African Americans for Humanism
The next monthly meeting of African Americans for Humanism DC is scheduled for June 1, 2013 from 1:00 - 3:00 PM in the Latrobe Room at the Hill Center 921 Pennsylvania Ave SE (entrance on 9th St-elevator access available). The Hill Center is located about 1.5 blocks from the Eastern Market Metro Station. All AAH meetings are free and open to the public. This meeting’s discussion will center on a special article by Sharon Hill from the Skeptical Inquirer on-line site entitled “Burning the Mean and Disparaging Skeptic Straw Man”. Ms Hill discusses her experiences with paranormal believers which I found not too different from the reactions of religious believers to skeptics and skepticism. Many of these people propose behavior modification for skeptics but is this necessary? Her article can be found at http://www.csicop.org/specialarticles/show/burning_the_mean_and_disparaging_skeptic_straw_man/
You may recall that the April 2013 AAH-DC meeting was not be held because of a special symposium sponsored by the Center for Inquiry scheduled for that day, (April 27th). The subject of the symposium was “Why Tolerate Religion?” and it ran from 10AM till 5PM at the Wooly Mammoth Theater 641 “D” D” Street, NW, Washington DC 20004. I attended the symposium and thoroughly enjoyed hearing the various speakers points of view. The toleration of religion actually referred to the deference that religious practices and belief have in law and society as opposed to conscientiously held but non religiously based, secular principles and beliefs. .One example discussed was the decision of a court to allowed a young man of the Sikh religion to wear a ceremonial dagger in school despite an official policy of zero tolerance for weapons in the schools. Other topics of discussion included the justifications for religious exemptions from generally applicable laws, and the such as the Affordable Health Care Law and employment discrimination. I’m sorry more of you could not attend.
So don’t forget that from May 17-19, 2013 the Center for Inquiry is sponsoring “Women in Secularism2”, a 3 day conference at the Washington Marriott Hotel at Metro Center. Women in Secularism is especially noteworthy because all the speakers are secular women activists, bloggers scientists and authors as speakers. For more information about the conference and to register go to http://www.womeninsecularism.orgor call[masked]-4869.
Also one of our members, “Z” informed me of the following noteworthy free event taking place at the “Newseum on May 23rd.”
Special Event: "Queer, Atheist and Interfaith Activist: A Dialogue with the Improbable Chris Stedman: Guest: Chris Stedman Date: Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 7:00 PM Location: Knight Conference Center. Charles Haynes, director of the Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum, interviews Stedman about his efforts to promote understand, religious liberty, compassion and pluralism in our crowded and often hostile public square. For more information and to RSVP please go to http://www.newseum.org/programs/2013/0523-fac/chris-stedman.html”
Mandisa L. Thomas, President of Black Nonbelievers Inc. and Ayanna Watson are hosting the Blackout Secular Rally this summer in New York City (July 27th). It is an event that will celebrate the growing diversity in the freethought community. For more information about the Rally - including speakers, vendor info and general donations, please visit http://blackoutsecularrally.blogspot.com/.
Sikivu Hutchinson whose book, “Moral Combat: Gender Politics, and the Values War” many of you read, recently released a new book entitled “Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels“. This is how she describes it “Over the past several years, the Right has spun the fantasy of colorblind, post-racial, post-feminist American exceptionalism. This Orwellian narrative anchors the most blistering conservative assault on secularism, civil rights, and public education in the post-Vietnam War era. It is no accident that this assault has occurred in an era in which whites have over twenty times the wealth of African Americans. For many communities of color, victimized by a rabidly Religious Right, neo-liberal agenda, the American dream has never been more of a nightmare than it is now. Godless Americana is a radical humanist analysis of this climate. It provides a vision of secular social justice that challenges Eurocentric traditions of race, gender, and class-neutral secularism. For a small but growing number of non-believers of color, humanism and secularism are inextricably linked to the broader struggle against white supremacy, patriarchy, heterosexism, capitalism, economic injustice, and global imperialism. Godless Americana critiques these titanic rifts and the role white Christian nationalism plays in the demonization of urban communities of color.” Godless Americana is available at AMAZON and CREATESPACE 15% DISCOUNT CODE: CCMDPVBD
I look forward to seeing you on June 1st.