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CFI Skeptics of Eugene Message Board › Political Activism for CFI Eugene?

Political Activism for CFI Eugene?

Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 157
Lowell told me some people are interested in CFI Eugene getting more active politically. I would like that very much. A couple of issues -- religion nonsense out of science, religion out of schools, marriage equality/same sex marriage and tax reform for religious institutions are some of my interests. Please let me know what are your interests and in a few months maybe we can work with other local groups on some of these issues.

Some responses I received so far:

Judi Hoaglin:
Marc and I are also active politically and have been interested in addressing the very issues you mentioned. The Center for Inquiry, Michigan, has a wonderful billboard stating “You don’t need god to hope, to care to love, to live. Beautifully presented, lovely graphics. I would love to see one like it in Eugene. Do you think anyone else would be interested in pursuing such an endeavor?

Laurie Smart:
I'm interested in accurate statements of science facts and principles in pubic policy, politics, and in the schools. Along with increased critical thinking training for everybody.
Lee J.
user 13404892
Eugene, OR
Post #: 20
I'm also interested in being more active for change. I think the concern (as it was expressed at the most recent open topic night) was that activism might become the main subject at open topic night. This is definitely not the case. A separate event would be scheduled specifically to discuss activism.

We should also contact SylviaB in Portland. Money from CFI memberships in Eugene is available for Eugene projects. The Portland branch of CFI has also funded billboards for the living without religion campaign, and I think these would be great for Eugene. (Apparently, they also created a lot of new interest in CFI.)

Here's a news article about the Portland campaign.
Sal P.
Wasilla, AK
Post #: 1
I agree with all the points raised by Ruth, Judi, Laurie and Lee. Since there's another election on the horizon, I brought this this issue up at last Friday's meeting to see if it would appeal to others in the group. One approach would have this group critically evaluate local and national candidates' platforms on issues where data (scientific, social studies, etc) is available. For example, we could publish a table itemizing candidates for US House of Representatives positions on key issues such as global warming, evolution, capitol punishment, etc, along with the conclusions from scientific or social studies on these issues. In other words, the group would act like a watchdog, pointing out inaccuracies, or just plain BS. We shouldn't endorse any of the candidates since that's not what CFI is about.
A former member
Post #: 126
Sal, you are correct. As a 501c3, CFI is able to comment on issues, but cannot endorse any particular candidate. We can get political, but we just have to tread carefully. Many of the issues on the national level can be found at: http://centerforinqui...­

If there is a local issue we want to get involved with, it's best to run it by the lawyers @ headquarters first -- in addition to making sure we don't jeopardize the organization's tax status, they might even have some really useful information with past precedent to help us along the way.

One thing we would like to do is to get to know our congressman representatives better by forming a personal relationship in each district where we have members. This way, they know which face to turn to when they may have questions regarding separation of church and state, science, and education issues. And they will recognize us as a constituency which is actively watching what they do.

One thing to note about the "You Don't Need God" billboards is that CFI-Portland did not purchase those. They were a gift from the CFI headquarters. They chose strategic cities across the nation to display those billboards.
Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 158
Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 177
Declaring Internet Freedom for All

Friday 06 July 2012

Truthout Staff Editorial | Declaring Internet Freedom for All

Earlier this year, a massive Internet blackout strike and millions of signatures on online petitions put pressure on Congress and defeated the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), two bills that would have allowed the government and big media conglomerates to censor the web in the name of protecting copyrighted material.

Now, the coalition of activists and groups that led the fight against SOPA and PIPA have issued a Declaration of Internet Freedom, and after only a few days of online circulation, more than 100 groups and more than 33,000 individuals have signed on in support. Truthout has decided to join them.

There will be more SOPA-like threats to web freedom in the future. From Amnesty International to Mozilla and Cheezburger Inc., web entrepreneurs, developers and activists agree that the fight to protect the Internet from censorship, surveillance and discrimination is only beginning.

As witnessed during the Arab Spring and the rise of the Occupy movement, the Internet gives grassroots social movements the ability to quickly organize big groups of people, share information, build solidarity and hold those in power accountable.

Allowing big business and the government to censor and regulate the web would also stifle innovation and give media conglomerates a competitive edge against entrepreneurs and start-ups.

SOPA, for example, would have granted big media conglomerates the power to ask the government to investigate and even shut down innovating web start-ups if users used the platforms to post or share copyrighted content. The Declaration of Internet Freedom demands that leaders do not punish innovators for their users' actions.

The Declaration of Internet Freedom also aims at protecting privacy, freedom of expression online, affordable access to the web and an open network "where everyone is free to connect, communicate, write, read, watch, speak, listen, learn, create and innovate." At Truthout, we believe freedom of speech online and everywhere else is a basic and vital human right.

We must be proactive about protecting our freedoms online. Free Press, one of the groups promoting the declaration, hopes it will spark a "global discussion" about protecting the Internet in the future. The online discussion has already begun on sites like Cheezburger and Reddit.

You can read and sign the Declaration of Internet Freedom here.

Join us.

. . .
Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 189
October 24 at 6:50 pm

We the People Eugene Fighting Corporate Rule Town Hall on Citizens United @ First United Methodist Church 1376 Olive St.

Vote YES on 20-198, but what does "yes" mean?

This November, Eugene voters will be asked the following advisory question (measure 20-198) on corporate/union constitutional rights and campaign spending:

"Shall Congress send to States constitutional amendment reversing negative impact of the Citizens United case and limit independent campaign spending?" What should the constitutional amendment contain? What should it not contain?

How do we:
~Eliminate the excessive influence of moneyed interests that now govern our politics?
~Restore proper priorities and common sense to our domestic and foreign policies?
~Strongly protect our cherished first amendment rights?

Yes on 20-198 means that we want Congress to seriously discuss with citizens what an amendment should contain so that we can begin to restore our democracy. The ideal amendment has likely not yet been crafted, because not enough people have discussed the issue with each other. Yes on 20-198 will be a small step to enhance this effort.

We have contributed seven arguments in favor of measure 20-198 to the Eugene Voters' Pamphlet to help prepare voters for the discussion of what an amendment should look like - please check them out!

To help inform this discussion and provide an example of the effect we hope to have in passing an amendment, here is a law that was on the books in Wisconsin until 1953:

"No corporation doing business in this state shall pay or contribute, or offer, consent or agree to pay or contribute, directly or indirectly, any money, property, free service of its officers or employees or thing of value to any political party, organization, committee or individual for any political purpose whatsoever, or for the purpose of influencing legislation of any kind, or to promote or defeat the candidacy of any person for nomination, appointment or election to any political office."

For more background info, please visit us at!


Town Hall Schedule
6:30 Doors open
6:50 Film: The Story of Citizens United
7:00 Introduction and description of the agenda
7:15 Small groups meet on "what do we want, and not want, in a constitutional amendment"
7:35 Description of some proposed amendments, some viewpoints on the previous question
8:15 Small groups meet again for further discussion on the same question
8:45 Small groups report back
9:00 Program ends
Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 190
We the People Eugene - Fighting Corporate Rule

Town Hall on Citizens United
@ First United Methodist Church
1376 Olive St.

October 24 at 6:50 pm

A Friendly reminder - Don't forget!

Join us this Wednesday as We The People of Eugene gather for an info session and discussion around what exactly a constitutional amendment to reverse the 2010 Citizen's United decision would look like.

This November, Eugene voters will be asked the following advisory question (measure 20-198) on corporate/union constitutional rights and campaign spending:

"Shall Congress send to States constitutional amendment reversing negative impact of the Citizens United case and limit independent campaign spending?"

We know we need to call for this amendment to prevent corporate/private money from defining our elections - vote YES on 20-198 this fall.

Help us take the next step as we piece together amendment language we feel most appropriately suits the needs of the human citizens of our nation, rather than those of corporations.

What should the constitutional amendment contain?

What should it not contain?

Join the conversation this Wednesday
Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 191
Mormon feminists came up with a term for Romney's calculated lack of memory: "Romnesia."

Mitt Romney's Pregnancy Problem

A pregnant woman in her late 30s—Carrel Hilton Sheldon—was informed by her doctor that she had a life-threatening blood clot lodged in her pelvic region.

In treating the clot, Sheldon was administered an overdose of the blood thinner Heparin, an overdose that not only resulted in significant internal bleeding, but also extensive damage to her kidneys, to the point where she was on the verge of needing a transplant. Her life was clearly in peril.

Sheldon's doctor advised her that the overdose of Heparin might have also harmed her 8-week-old fetus and, given the possible fatal repercussions to her, he recommended that she abort her pregnancy.
Sheldon, a mother of four at the time (a fifth child had died as an infant), was then a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), outside of Boston. The LDS leader in Massachusetts at that time, called the "stake president," was a Harvard-trained physician, Dr. Gordon Williams, and he counseled Sheldon to follow her doctor's advice to terminate the pregnancy and protect her own life, so that she could continue caring for her four living children.

"Of course, you should have the abortion," she recalled him saying.

According to an account later written anonymously by Sheldon for the LDS women's journal, Exponent II, it was after receiving this counsel from her Williams supporting the potentially life-saving procedure that she experienced an uninvited visit in her hospital from her Mormon bishop at the time, 36-year-old Mitt Romney, who adamantly opposed the abortion.

"He regaled me with stories of his sister and her retarded child and what a blessing the child had been to the family," Sheldon wrote of the incident. "He told me that 'as your bishop, my concern is with the child.'"

There was no empathy forthcoming from Romney, according to Sheldon, no warmth or sympathy. Moreover, Sheldon contends, Romney cast doubt on her story about the stake president's approval. He simply didn't believe her. He threatened to call him and track him down. He didn't seem to care a lick about her personal well-being.

Sheldon's 90-year-old father, Phil Hilton remembered the incident quite vividly.

"I have never been so upset about anything in my life," he told Scott. "[Romney] is an authoritative type fellow who thinks he is in charge of the world."
Hilton was so offended by Romney's single-mindedness and absolute lack of sensitivity to his daughter's health that he ordered the young bishop out of his home. Hilton told Scott that he was fully prepared to "throw [Romney] off the porch if he paused for even a second." Romney kept moving.

When he was confronted about the incident by reporters from the Boston Globe in 1994—little more than a decade afterward—Romney claimed no memory of the incident.

"I don't have any memory of what she is referring to," Romney would later declare, "although I certainly can't say it could not have been me." It became the patterned Romney response to other conflicted moments in his life (the bullying of a classmate in prep school was a similar incident). Mormon feminists came up with a term for Romney's calculated lack of memory: "Romnesia."

Ruth M.
Nice, FR
Post #: 192
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