- CFINO Darwin Day Program: "Darwin and The Other Half of Evolution"
Brecksville Branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library
Join us for Center for Inquiry Northeast Ohio's February Cleveland chapter meeting, which will be its annual Darwin Day event! (This year, it's on Darwin Day proper). The meeting will feature a presentation by philosopher and author Vern Westfall, titled "Darwin and the Other Half of Evolution". Vern describes the general theme of his talk as: "The wonder of life is not in its many shapes and forms, it is in what all these many forms share." Vern Westfall is a philosopher, author, pilot, and a designer of fine homes. He holds a bachelors degree from Miami University and attended the Air Force Academy. He has flown many aircraft including jet tankers and supersonic spy planes. He has taught at the college level in Korea, has been through numerous survival schools and has been stationed in and traveled extensively in Asia and Europe. Now, semi retired, he enjoys designing new homes for select clients, writing, staying current with new discoveries, and delving into the concepts that shape our current social and scientific perspectives. Vern's books include a novel, "Darwin's Paw: Life Is a Matter of Perspective" (2012), and the autobiographical "The Philosophical Pilot: Three Fathers, Three Wives, Nine Lives" (2013). As usual, light refreshments will be served... along with Darwin Day cake! Hope to see you there! :)
- Testy Topics #2: The Israel/Palestine Conflict
Garfield Heights Branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library
Join us for the 2nd in the series of our "Testy Topics" Roundtable discussions! The Israel/Palestine conflict has certainly been a testy topic in recent years, especially on social media forums. The online "airwaves" abound with opinions on this subject, many of which (unfortunately) seem to be dubiously reasoned and researched. In addition, some of our major news outlets have been accused of omitting certain aspects of the conflict to give the "coverage" a particular slant. Interestingly, this is a topic that brews conflicting opinions on the political Left AND the political Right... and even among we secular (and generally liberal) folks in the West. So how do we make sense of the conflict? What are its surface and underlying causes? What would be the most reasonable way to help resolve the conflict? Or, can it ever be resolved at all? We'll examine those questions and more in our open-floor discussion. Some materials will be provided to intellectually chew on, and attendees are welcome to bring up their own materials as well. See you there! :)
- Gals and Guys Gastronomic Gala
Gals and Guys come on out to "think freely" while eating good food, catching up with friends and meeting new ones! This is a monthly Meetup, held primarily on the last Thursday of each month, but the day might change some months like this month it is the 5th Thursday!. RSVP by: Tuesday, January 29 at 7pm I will be getting there at about 6:45 pm, so feel free to come early too if you like. Reservation will be under "Suzy" and "Cleveland Freethinkers." Hope to see you there! Suzy Wernet
- CFINO: "Why Secular Humanism Ought to Be More Abrasive"
Richmond Heights Branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, which is perhaps the most trusted source for concise definitions, defines “secular humanism” by first referring to one of its definitions for “humanism”: “Humanism, sense 3: a doctrine, attitude, or way of life centered on human interests or values; especially: a philosophy that usually rejects supernaturalism and stresses an individual's dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason”. This seems well enough. But the entry for “secular humanism” also includes the following: “Especially: humanistic philosophy viewed as a nontheistic religion antagonistic to traditional religion”. And therein lies one of its problems, along with one of its shortcomings. With its “core principles” and its accent on "goodness", secular humanism does indeed have a “religious” appearance to some; in addition, many who adhere to the philosophy of secular humanism seem to go out of their way to AVOID being “antagonistic” towards religion (or at least SOME religion). Join us for on Wednesday, January 9 at 7pm at Richmond Heights Library (5235 Wilson Mills Rd) for an exploration of those ideas and much more. VP of programming Mark Tiborsky will present “Why Secular Humanism Ought to Be More Abrasive”. In his presentation, Mark will attempt to show how applied secular humanism falls short when addressing real world problems – and, he will attempt to show why secular humanists ought to fully address what they stand AGAINST in order to reinforce what they stand FOR. *Note: This will be sort of a hybrid presentation/interactive discussion – input from attendees is welcome throughout the meeting. As usual, light refreshments will be served... see you there! :)
- Winter Solstice Holiday Party!
Come join our family-friendly holiday party for Humanists, Freethinkers and their loved ones! It is free of charge unless you'd like to donate and/or participate in the raffle. Please use our potluck sign up so you know what is needed and what everyone else is bringing: This is optional and helpful, Thanks. https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B0F4DACAA2AABFD0-humanlight Here is a general schedule outline: Raffle- entire evening 6:30-8:30 meal 8:30-9:30 Live music by Mark and Gordon, and others, invocations by Miguel and Sam 9:30-10:30 White elephant gift exchange, pinata, pin the heart on the Humanist, Board games 10:30 Raffle drawing 11 Conclude There is no alcohol permitted in the space. The white elephant gift exchange is optional- those who bring gifts can participate. The approximate dollar amount is $10. Try to get something generic that most people like. If someone doesn't like their gift, they can exchange with someone else. Message below if you are interested in carpooling!
- Testy Topics #1: Guns, Gun Control and Gun Crime
Richmond Heights Branch of Cuyahoga County Public Library
At long last, the Cleveland Freethinkers Roundtables return with our new "Testy Topics" series! It really can't be denied that America has a big problem with gun violence, especially in and around its big cities. What, if anything, can be done to help to alleviate this problem... that amounts to more than just sloganeering and posturing? How important is the 2nd Amendment? What percentage of gun owners would support sensible gun control measures? And how, if at all, would sensible gun control measures help to stem the tide of gun violence where it occurs most - in our urban areas? We'll be exploring these questions and more in our open floor (but as organized as possible) Roundtable discussion. Some graphics will be provided as information to intellectually "chew" on. *Note* - the Roundtable itself begins at 2pm Richmond Heights Library. However, some of us may want to gather at 1pm at Taj Indian Palace (right across Wilson Mills Rd. from the library) for their weekend buffet. Whether or not we do that depends on the interest indicated below in the comments. See you there! :) P.S. - Next up in our "Testy Topics" series - "The Israel/Palestine Conflict"! :)
- Gals and Guys Gastronomic Gala
Gals and Guys come on out to "think freely" while eating good food, catching up with friends and meeting new ones! This is a monthly Meetup, held primarily on the last Thursday of each month, but the day might change some months. RSVP by: Tuesday, December 18th at 7pm. This is a really small place, however, their food is delicious! Please note that they have a dark red sign "India Garden Restaurant & Bar" that you can see from the street, but the building is small and set back from the street. There is a small parking lot in front, and street parking. I will be getting there at about 6:45pm, so feel free to come early too if you like. Reservation will be under " Suzy, Cleveland Freethinkers." See you there! Suzy Wernet
- American Atheists- The Time is Now
Come learn how we can turn our values into action as humanists and atheists. Jim Helton presents the following: What is an atheist issue? American Atheists redefines what is an atheists issue. We will challenge the status quo. In doing so we will lay out a plan to fight for equality and the true separation of religion and government. If you are not happy with the way things are then the time is now to make a change. Bio: Jim G. Helton NATIONAL FIELD ORGANIZER Jim G. Helton is the National Field Organizer for American Atheists. After attending the 2012 Reason Rally, he co-founded the Tri-State Freethinkers and was appointed American Atheists’ Kentucky State Director. Under his leadership, Tri-State Freethinkers adopted the highway in front of the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter and led a protest that received international attention. He played a key role in eliminating Gideon’s bible distributions in public schools and removing abstinence-only sex education. Mr. Helton’s activism at the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter landed him appearances in the 2017 documentary film Bill Nye: Science Guy and the forthcoming documentary We Believe in Dinosaurs. He has been quoted in countless news outlets, including The New York Times, Miami Herald, and Washington Post. He is a fixture in local media and has given interviews for international television specials in France, Switzerland, and elsewhere. As National Field Organizer, Mr. Helton works with affiliates, local partners, and state directors to challenge religious privilege and fight to protect church/state separation at the local level by building coalitions around specific issue campaigns, including medically accurate sex education, LGBT non-discrimination ordinances, and religious exemptions. Light refreshments will be served.
- CFINO Secular Solstice Social
Join us for Center for Inquiry Northeast Ohio's Cleveland chapter meeting for December, which will be its annual Solstice Social! This year will be different than in prior years - the CFINO Solstice Social was formerly for paying CFI members only (CFINO bought all the food and drink, as a gift to them). This time around anyone in the NE Ohio secular community is welcome to attend and enjoy! This event will be sort of a hybrid thing - CFI NE Ohio will be providing a number of food items, but it will be a potluck as well. So please feel free to bring a food or drink (non-alcoholic) to share. There will be brief CFI Northeast Ohio business at the beginning, as it will be voting in its new voluteer board for 2019. But after that, it'll be all food, fun and stimulating conversation with fellow freethinkers! See you there! :)
- Group Pic at FFRF's Bill of Rights Holiday Display
Join us for some group photos at our local FFRF chapter's holiday display on Cleveland Public Square! For the 2nd year in a row, the Northern Ohio Freethought Society is placing a holiday display on the Square which honors both the National Bill of Rights Day (December 15) and the Winter Solstice. While the display isn't nearly as large as the big holiday creche that sits nearby, it is symbolic of something much more realistic and immediate - the cherished Constitutional protections guaranteed to all citizens by the Bill of Rights. The display will actually be put up a week earlier, on Dec. 1. It will be situated very close to the Public Square amphitheater (and very near to the creche). Please feel free to join in for a group photo (or 2 or 3)! Some of us may wish to go for a bite to eat or a coffee afterwards. Hope to see you there! :)