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The DC Atheist Meetup is a project of DC Region Atheists. We are an educational and philosophical group serving Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia that fosters and advances the growth of non-religious communities by providing both a social setting and forums to discuss intellectual topics pertinent to their concerns and by working with other like-minded groups. We educate and encourage critical thinking through rational and respectful dialog between our members and others.
DC Region Atheists is a chapter of the Washington Area Secular Humanists. WASH is a non-profit 501c3 organization with all contributions being tax deductible. Contributions are very much encouraged and can be made here: join.
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- Secular Zoom CommunityLink visible for attendees
I think I will declare the theme of our next meeting to be The Secular End Times. The virtue of atheism rests in a respect for the methods of science to derive a reasonably accurate shared understanding of reality. The ability our culture to share that understanding is being systematically shredded, even within the secular community.
As the forces of theocratic madness seeks to acquire all power, it is good to laugh at the insanity. It is even better when we know that millions have enjoyed sharing that laughter. Steven Colbert was inspired to skewer Biblical insanity because of Mike Johnson, our new Speaker of the House. That segment starts five minutes into this video.
The Israel/Hamas conflict is a severe problem in more ways than I care to list. Obviously there are a great many End Times claims now raise by fundamentalist Christians. The most important implication for our country is that many who voted for Biden last time around might be less likely to vote for him because of this. I am not dismissing the obscene increases in hate and hate crimes against both Jews and Muslims. It is just that I am predicting that this nonsense will substantially increase the chances of theocratic forces to end democracy as we know it. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver did a show on this madness. He repeatedly stated that it was a comedy show and there was some laughter from the audience, but, but, but … Feel free to not watch it, but we will have to at least touch on this topic with our next meeting. For the record, in so far as I favor a one side in this conflict, I favor Israel. It remains a democracy even if the power of the judiciary is being gutted. There remains a large secular minority in Israel that values human rights and peaceful coexistence. But no one should be happy with killing, destruction and misery created in the name of Israel.
Trump quote, “We pledge to you that we will root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country that lie and steal and cheat on elections. They’ll do anything, whether legally or illegally, to destroy America and to destroy the American dream.” Numerous reports exist on his plans to invoke the Insurrection Act, use the Justice Department to go after his enemies, roundup of undocumented immigrants, building detention camps for them, ending birthright citizenship, gutting the existing Federal bureaucracy, replacing them with extreme Trump loyalists, recognize only two genders as defined at birth, outlawing transgender affirming care for minors, ending renewable energy initiatives, mandating the death penalty for drug dealers, etc. … There seems to be some confusion about what is included in “the American dream.” I don’t think it should include electing a lawless, authoritarian, anti-science, tyrant as the leader of the free world.
Ayaan Hirshi Ali has announced that she has abandoned her atheism and became a Christian. This madness is echoed by an absurd number of current or prior secular leaders joining her anti-woke theory mongering.
Ohio voters passed a pro-choice amendment to the state constitution. Republicans are now talking about legally defining abortion so narrowly that this change will have no legally binding value. The blizzard of other anti-democratic efforts is exponentially expanding as the right wing determines that they cannot get voters to support the suppression of women’s rights, even in red states. The war over the vocabulary we use for our share social constructs is becoming a central feature of a new cold Civil War.
The extreme climate change can be seen in a chart of monthly averages for all years from 1950 to the present. The implications will be stressful for most of humanity and the wider ecosystem. The period from November 2022 to the end of October 2023 was the hottest 12 months, with an average temperature of 1.32 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, according to an analysis of international data, published by the nonprofit research group Climate Central.
The secular values of scientific realism, ecosystem sustainability, and democracy itself are all under extreme attack. The simple assumption of a stable shared vocabulary is under attack. We can maintain our sanity by connecting with other who remain sane in The Secular End Times of our current experience.
The link for our meeting is posted now. I will likely send the full zoom info in the 24 hours before our meeting as a reminder to those who RSVP.