Hello everyone, three things today, the results of our annual member meeting, Sam Singleton, and tonight's event: Why I am not a Muslim.
Firstly, Sunday evening was originally intended to be an evening for food, fun, and a little business. However, considering our tradition of tackling current events as they happen, it was our obligation to host a Humanist forum on gun violence and a reasonable response to the tragedy. There was a lot to talk about. We discussed what had happened as the news was reporting it, we discussed mass murder and violence in context, we discussed the inclusion of God into the dialogue, the issues surrounding mental health availability and accessibility, we discussed current gun laws from "conceal and carry" to the common law definition of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and finally gun control. We cited newspaper articles and showed clips of Rachel Maddow, Michael Moore, and Mike Huckabee.
Though at times it got heated, it was a wonderful, and healing experience. Following the discussion we held our biannual board of directors election. Congratulations to our[masked] board.
President: Jason Frye
Vice Presidents (2): Jennifer Brauer and Mike Lewis
Secretary: Chris Bieser
Treasurer: Mickey Maynard
Board At Large:
This weekend we have some great programming. We of course will be holding the first apocalyptic Coffee & Conversation, We will be talking about the "end of the world" and its failed prophesies, and as always the latest news. We also will be holding our annual HumanLight event, this year the main entertainment will be Brother Sam Singleton's Atheist Revival. Tickets for Brother Sam at $10 in advance, $15 at the door. You can purchase advance tickets on our meetup site or at samsingleton.com
. Brother Sam blew us away when he was here last, and we can't wait to see him again. One quick thing, we have been mentioning it frequently, but for those who haven't heard- when you come to the Joyce Beers Center for this (or any of our third Sunday meetings), please park in the underground parking area (beneath Ralph's and Trader Joe's) in order to not be limited to two hours.
And finally, tonight we will be covering ibn Warraq's "Why I am Not a Muslim." Warraq answers the call established by Bertrand Russell (in the book that we covered two weeks ago) "Why I am not a Christian." Warraq examines sources, provides a surra-scriptural exegesis with brilliant precision, the character of Mohammed, and why the West has such a Polly Anna-ish rose tinted view of this authoritative and intolerant belief system. Two weeks ago we dove through Russell's essays examining Christianity and its social effects. Russell presented why he wasn't a Christian stating that to be so one would have to believe in immortality, the existence of the Abrahamic god, and the divinity of Christ. Russell went so far as to say that Jesus wouldn't even qualify anywhere near being the most ethical man ever living in consideration that no truly ethical being would promote eternal torture.
Warraq delves deep into Islam to examine its borrowed origins (Zoroastrian, Judaic, Samaritan Christian, and Arab Animist); the delusional love affair of the west with Islam as a neo-noble savage critique of the failings of Christianity, the problem with sources (the political nature of the legitimization through forgeries of hadiths by those who took over the Umma after the death of Ali), the inconsistent nature and narrative of the Qur'an, the totalitarian nature of Islam, the incompatibility of Islam with democracy and human rights, the historical role of non-muslim subjects in Islamic domains, heresy in the history of Islam, the influence of the Greeks on the Muslims, women in Islam, Islamic taboo, Warraq's final assessment of Mohammed, and then a concluding chapter on Islam and the West.
As always, we go chapter-by-chapter through the books in our book club so that everyone can enjoy the conversation even if they had not read the work. Also, we welcome disagreements. This is not the "orthodoxy" book club, but the freethought book club.We love well-reasoned and thought out dissent. We will be covering this book tonight at 7 at the T-Deli (1469 University Ave).
Have a great day, hope to see you tonight
and stay dry and safe.