The Cowtown Humanist
The Official E-Mail Publication of the Humanists of Fort Worth; E-mail:
A chapter of the American Humanist Association,
and allied with the Council for Secular Humanism
December 2002; Volume 4, No. 9
E-Mailed Thursday November 28, 2002

       We hope that you and yours are preparing for a bountiful and enjoyable few days of eating, celebrating, eating, feeling thankful, and eating. We hope you continue to enjoy the pleasures of the holiday season.

       The speaker for our November 13 meeting was Paul Boller, Professor Emeritus of History at TCU. Prof. Boller talked initially about the "Faith of Our Fathers," how the true political and spiritual beliefs of our nation's founders -- and their prior experience with state-supported religion -- impelled them to ensure a separation of church and state. He quickly moved to explain the origin of Christian fundamentalism, and point out how Fundamentalists today are dominating public policy. He traced Fundamentalism's phenomenal growth, and illuminated its threat to reshape our government and our Constitution.
       The diminutive, learned, and feisty Mr. Boller, punctuated his presentation with witty quotes and anecdotal recollections. With the assistance of our members' numerous questions and knowledgeable remarks, he (and the audience) regaled recent administrations -- particularly those of Reagan and Bush-the-Elder -- as advancing the Fundamentalist agenda. And that was before discussing the agenda of Bush-the-Dubya and his Fundamentalist advisors and appointees.
       Mr. Boller's knowledge was appreciated as much as his humor. It was a good night for the 27 folks who participated in the HOFW meeting.

       The December meeting will give way to a rare social event, a "getting-to-know-you" Solstice party. It will be held on our regular meeting night, the 2nd Wednesday of the month, December 11, 2002.
       The association will furnish roast turkey and spiral-cut ham. Dolores Ruhs will bring some pumpkin bread, and do the coordinating. Others are requested to bring a covered dish (or other container) of food, but are requested to let Dolores know what it is (so she can keep us from having 20 dishes of beans, and no corn bread).
       We hope that YOU will join us.
       Contact Dolores (our treasurer) at the address, phone, or e-mail address shown in the "Officers" section, below.

“What is Humanism Anyway?”

       Several articles in the fall issue of Free Inquiry, which is published by the Council for Secular Humanism, shed some light on one aspect of this question: the difference between Secular Humanism and Religious Humanism. This in turn relates to the question of what is a “religion”.
       In the view of these authors, the use of the word "religious" implies a belief in the supernatural, which of course, they reject. The Council for Secular Humanism draws a clear distinction in this regard between itself and the American Humanist Association.
       I am sure we have Humanists of Fort Worth members in both the religious and the secular camps, which might make for an interesting discussion topic at a future meeting.
       The religious versus secular humanism issue is also particularly relevant at this time because both of the national Humanist organizations have made proposals for a closer association with our local group.
       I believe we should try to reach a decision on whether or not to accept either of these offers by the end of our fiscal year in March. -- Mike Haney

Mike Haney, 924 Roaring Springs Rd., Fort Worth 76114; Ph. 817-737-7047;
       Vice Chair and Newsletter Editor: Wallace Harrison, 4163 Sarita Dr., Fort Worth 76109;
       Secretary: Reed Bilz, 6316 Walburn Ct., Fort Worth 76133; 817-292-7974,
       Treasurer: Dolores Ruhs, 1036 Hilltop Pass, Benbrook 76126-3848; 817-249-1829,
       Immed. Past Chair: Shane Taylor, 3922 Rawlins, #113, Dallas 75219; 214-526-8258;
       Past President and Programs Director: Jeff Rodriguez, 4901 Bryce Ave., #5, Fort Worth TX 76102; 817-732-4235;
       Past President and Webmaster: Russell Elleven, 6120 Comfort Dr., Fort Worth TX 76132; 817-370-2171;

Bulletin Board

       Mark your calendar: The Humanists of Fort Worth will hold it's "annual" holiday party Wednesday, December 11, 2002 at the Westside Unitarian Universalist Church at 6901 McCart Ave., Suite 125, Fort Worth. The festivities will begin at 6:30 PM.

       On two consecutive weekends at two different locations in Fort Worth in December, a variety of organizations will offer the 11th Annual Alternative Holiday Bazaar for what they bill as "socially responsible holiday shopping."
       What's available at the numerous booths include arts & crafts, books (including cook books), calendars, housewares, games, toys, jewelry, and clothing from Central America. Food will be provided by the Fort Worth Vegetarian Society.
       Participating will be such sponsoring organizations/causes as: Buddhist Global Bazaar, Catholic Charities Work of Human Hands, Fort Worth Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Green Party, Peace Action, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, and Unity Church.
       Other Vendors include: Amnesty International, Colores del Pueblo, Habitat for Humanity, Heifer Project, Peace Farm, and Sierra Club.
       It will be held Saturday and Sunday, December 7-8, at the Unity Church of Fort Worth, 5051 Trail Lake Dr. (76133).
       The following weekend (Dec. 14-15) it will be at the First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church at 1959 Sandy Lane (76112).
       The Saturday times at both locations will be 10 AM-5 PM. (They will also be open from 6:30-8:30 PM on Dec. 14, in conjunction with Jefferson Freedom Cafe.) The Sunday hours are noon 'til 3 PM.

(The following information was provided by Shelly Hattan)
       Metroplex Atheists will be holding its 5th annual holiday "Infidels' Bash" party on Sunday, December 15th at Dick Hogan's infamous "party barn" in Weatherford. We welcome atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, humanists, wiccans, Unitarians, Quakers, candle-lighting new-age nuts, or anyone else who's ever been considered part of the Great Satanic Conspiracy.
       The address is: 101 Woodland Trail, Weatherford, TX 76082
       If you need a map or point-to-point directions, enter the above address into If you get really lost, Dick's cell-phone number is (817) 825-0213.
       We'll meet around noon and disband whenever we get done. The plans for the courthouse sign are up in the air, because the courthouse is under construction. We've already got at least one permit, so we'll play it by ear.
       Children are welcome, but be aware that alcohol and irreverence will be plentiful.
       BYOB. If you're interested in bringing chips or munchies, contact to see what we need.
       We are also having a gift exchange. We ask that the gift stay under $10 and is wrapped and unlabeled.