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Roundtable: McClain vs. Brunswick

Join us for a special roundtable with guest speakers Sean and his father, Robert McClain!

For those not familiar with our roundtables, we start at 7:00, but this is our time to eat, mingle and socialize. Our speakers are introduced and begin their talks about 8:30. We save time for Q&A, we close Panera at 10pm, then head down the road about 3/4 of a mile to Applebee's for food, drinks and socializing with or without the speakers (sometimes they can make it, sometimes they can't). But it's a good time to get to know other members.

Here's some backstory on what we'll hear about this evening:

About Sean:

"Sean Keller McClain is an eighteen year old graduate of Brunswick High school and an incoming student at allegheny college. For the past few years, Sean has endured abuse, discrimination, and been maltreated by students and teachers alike because of his atheism. Tonight, he will be speaking about his experiences, his (thwarted) attempts to start up a Secular Students of Brunswick club, and the role and help of his father throughout all of these years."

About his father, Rob:

"Born in the last wave of the boomers, experienced in all the functions of dysfunction, this atheist survived parental alcoholism, step-sibling attempted murder, back of the bus child molestation, crippling childhood disease, eight years of parochial school, 22 years of marriage and finally a struggle with mental illness to bring his talents to the fight against fundamentalist religion in all forms through spirited civic involvement and writing that is described as insightful, caustic, pointedly hostile but painstakingly researched."

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  • Suzy W.

    Thank you Sean and Robert for sharing your experiences!! You both expressed your thoughts well! Sounds like you both are much needed voices in Brunswick, Ohio!

    August 18, 2014

  • Dale

    Fascinating. They were good speakers. I hope Sean can come back to talk to us after he becomes famous - if he doesn't charge a large fee for his time.

    August 18, 2014

  • Chuck W.

    Thank you Marni and Mark for putting on a wonderful event last night. I am looking forward to future events where we can continue to share ideas. Thank you Sean and Rob for sharing your powerful and insightful stories. It is encouraging that we now have the means to find others that share similar experiences and be able to support the exploration of thought. I wanted to share with everyone a radio program that I happen to catch the beginning right before our meeting.
    http://www.radiolab.org/story/60-words/
    I think this story gives another example and helps better explain my side topic I mentioned about the power of language and its impact.

    Rob, you may not want to watch the documentary "Revisionaries", it might make your head explode.

    2 · August 16, 2014

    • Suzy W.

      I am going to watch it tonight....

      1 · August 17, 2014

    • Suzy W.

      I watched the "Revisionaries"­ last night on NetFlix....it made my headache! I do recommend everyone watch it to see how these people in our school boards can be thinking....almost unbelieveable. :(

      August 18, 2014

  • Robert M.

    I would like to apologize to the person in the audience that corrected me on the Uganda anti-gay bill. He was right, the Ugandan court invalidated the law on 8/1 pending further review. It was invalidated because of the way in which it was passed without a quorum.

    In the meantime, six LGBT people in rural Uganda have died, five by stoning and one burned alive after stoning didn't finish the job. A seventh died a few days later from head injuries in an unrelated incident.

    1 · August 18, 2014

  • Robert M.

    It was our pleasure to be a part of this wonderful meeting, and I look forward to hearing other speakers through NOFS and Freethinkers.

    3 · August 16, 2014

  • Tim C.

    Ditto! Very interesting. I have been aware of the power/influence that the St. Ambrose people exert, but did not realize the extent. Not surprising, however. Both McClains mentioned that there was no overt physical violence against them (other than the non-faith based bullying Sean recieved), but we need to always be aware that this is because the laws of our SECULAR (means "not religious"! lol) nation prohibit them from doing what religions in power have always done!

    2 · August 16, 2014

  • Sam S.

    I wish the best to Sean on his journey to fill the shoes of Carl Sagan and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He certainly has the right personality and drive to do it.
    I loved Roberts message to confront but be right when you do it. Do your research.
    Also, so happy to meet Ruth, Beth, Gary and Chuck. More Freethinkers, how awesome.
    And with the discussion at Applebee's afterwards I have enough information to ponder over for weeks.

    2 · August 16, 2014

  • Mark T.

    Both McClains tremendous! Very good turnout, and it was a pleasure to meet Anastacia, Beth J, Gary and Chuck.

    2 · August 16, 2014

  • Maude

    Unfortunately, I am running sooooo late today, think I will have to miss this.

    August 15, 2014

  • Suzy W.

    Looking forward to hearing their story first hand. Kind of wish we could go back in time and have been there in support of Sean during his high school years.

    1 · August 15, 2014

  • Pat

    Too far for me too. I thought it was in Brunswick but just noticed it is in Rocky River. I unrsvp'd. Maybe next time. good luck to the father and son.

    August 14, 2014

  • Marni H.

    The start time has been changed to 7pm!

    2 · August 11, 2014

  • Dale

    Sounds fascinating. I feel bad for them. I'm surprised to hear that discrimination to THAT extent goes on around here. I hope I'll be able to go.

    1 · August 5, 2014

  • Ruth Anastacia A.

    I live close by to this Panera Bread location; so, I can make this meeting. I'm appalled by what seems to amount to a theocracy in Brunswick and how Sean and Robert have been hurt here. My heart goes out to them!

    1 · July 31, 2014

  • Tim C.

    Hmm. Hate to sound dumb, but who are they? Re;lated to John McClain (hero of DIE HARD!)? lol

    1 · July 25, 2014

    • Marni H.

      Haha, no, they are part of our atheist community. They live in Brunswick, and have had to endure much in this ultra religious city. They will discuss their experiences. Rob McClain found out about our group through the billboard campaign, and we found out about him through the Plain Dealer religion writer, Tom Feran.

      2 · July 26, 2014

    • Robert M.

      No. That was McLain. No relation.

      3 · July 29, 2014

  • Debbi

    This group has amazing event ideas! I am looking forward to hearing Roberts and Seans stories.

    2 · July 26, 2014

  • Debbi

    Marni/Mark, could you tell us what the topic is?

    July 25, 2014

    • Mark T.

      Debbi, the trials and tribulations of two lonely secular/atheistic voices amidst a sea of surprisingly hostile American Christiandom. We're awaiting word from Sean & Robert as to how they'd like the Meetup details to be worded.

      1 · July 25, 2014

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