|Sent on:||Wednesday, November 23, 2011 8:45 AM|
Greetings and Happy Holidays fellow Freethinkers!
I just wanted to say how thankful I am. Not to some imaginary celestial dictator, but to all of you who have worked so hard to help grow our organization and make a positive impact for reason, science and justice. It's always inspiring to see new members express how thankful they are that our group exists and that they aren't alone.
It's been a great year so far! Our UnitedCor bus ad campaign was a big success, with tons of press coverage from the lawsuit filing, the court victory, the bus ads going up, and we finished up our four week run with NO vandalism. We were the cover story in the Aug 31 Arkansas Times with very positive coverage! We exposed church/state violations with the Called to Teach program, and we're working with the ACLU on another church/state violation issue. And our Winter Solstice display is going up up on the state capitol lawn next week for the third consecutive year!
Several of us just returned from a fantastic weekend in Springfield, MO for Skepticon IV, where we heard some great talks and mixed & mingled with several big names in the atheist/skeptic/freethought movement (see photos). It was very educational and inspiring. Several of us are already making plans for the big Reason Rally in D.C. this March!
Check our Calendar for more fun and exciting upcoming events!
I'm looking forward to a prosperous future for our group, thanks to you! Below is an inspirational reading from Robert Ingersol, appropriate for the season.
Arkansas Society of Freethinkers
A HUMANIST THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION
by Robert Green Ingersoll (1833 – 1899)
When I became convinced that the universe is natural--that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom.
The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts and bars and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf or a slave. There was for me no master in all the world--not even infinite space.
I was free--free to think, to express my thoughts--free to live my own ideal--free to live for myself and those I loved--free to use all my faculties, all my senses, free to spread imagination’s wings--free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope--free to judge and determine for myself--free to reject all ignorant and cruel creeds, all the “inspired” books that savages have produced, and all the barbarous legends of the past--free from popes and priests, free from all the “called” and “set apart”--free from sanctified mistakes and “holy” lies--free from the winged monsters of the night--free from devils, ghosts and gods.
For the first time I was free. There were no prohibited places in all the realms of thought--no air, no space, where fancy could not spread her painted wings--no claims for my limbs--no lashes for my back--no fires for my flesh--no following another’s steps--no need to bow, or cringe, or crawl, or utter lying words. I was free. I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously, faced all worlds.
And then my heart was filled with gratitude, with thankfulness, and went out in love to all the heroes, the thinkers, who gave their lives for the liberty of hand and brain--for the freedom of labor and thought--to those who fell on the fierce fields of war, to those who died in dungeons bound with chains--to those who proudly mounted scaffold’s stairs--to those by fire consumed--to all the wise, the good, the brave of every land, whose thoughts and deeds have given freedom to the sons [and daughters] of men [and women]. And then I vowed to grasp the torch that they have held, and hold it high, that light may conquer darkness still.