The Newsletter of the Humanists of Fort Worth May 2001; Volume 3, No. 2

A chapter of the American Humanist Association and The Alliance of Secular Humanist Societies

Our next meeting . . .

Will be 7 pm Wednesday, May 9, at Westside Unitarian Universalist Church, 6901 McCart Ave. Our speaker will be Laura Blessing, and her topic will be "Sex in the Stacks: Internet Pornography in Libraries." See below for more details.


Giving you the business

Although we didn't have a speaker last month, the meeting was a busy one, as we discussed a lot of business related to the organization. Here's a summary of what we decided:

- Location: By a majority vote, we decided to continue meeting at Westside UU until further notice. Note that members who have an idea for alternate meeting locations are welcome to make a suggestion.

-- By-laws: A significant revision of the by-laws had been prepared by member Wallace Harrison. Some minor revisions were suggested, and agreed upon. We will vote to formally adopt the new by-laws at the May meeting.


-- Fun and games: It was agreed that we would look for more social opportunities with like-minded groups (this does not include the Southern Baptist Bible Study Club). We will also be looking for more social outings, such as dinners, movies, and so forth. If you have a suggestion, send it our way -- and be sure to check the listings below for a new opportunity.


Give and take

Along with all that business, we also took time to review the "Humanist Manifesto 2001." After discussing the document at length, we agreed (in typical Humanist fashion) that not many of us agreed with everything in it. Even so, it was a lively and fun conversation, and much more interesting than your average network television show.


Last Call (for mail)

In last month's newsletter, we said we were considering sending the newsletter by e-mail only, and dropping the mailed version. At this point, only one person has said they want to continue the newsletter by mail. But we want to check one more time. So:

n       If you want to continue getting a mailed copy, please send me an e-mail to that effect.

n       If you want to get a mailed copy, but cannot send me an e-mail, please leave a message at my home number (listed below).


A string around your finger

Just a reminder that annual membership dues are, well, due now. The cost is $20. You can pay at the meeting, or mail a check made out to Humanists of Fort Worth. Send it to Bruce Berggren, 10100 Stoneleigh Dr., Benbrook TX 76126.


"Sex and the City Librarian"

In general, librarians supported by the American Library Association, have a natural resistance to anything resembling censorship, preferring to have individuals make their own choices about what they should or should not read. In the past, libraries have lobbied to make taxpayer funding available for a wide variety of opinions and ideas -- including some material that may be considered obscene.

This "no restrictions" approach has already drawn controversy, as some people say it is in contradiction with existing laws. And now the Internet poses an entirely new challenge. Further complicating matters, many librarians
and users feel that the recently passed Child Internet Protection Act is also in contradiction with these policies.


Where do we draw the line? What happens when freedom of speech, public decency and new technology collide? This will be our speaker's topic, and giving this talk will be none other than our own Humanist member, Laura Blessing. As a librarian and the human resources manager for UTA Libraries, she is all-too-familiar with the complications of this issue, and we look forward to a fascinating talk and discussion.

If you want to know more about this topic, you can visit the American Librarians Association website information on Children's Internet Protection Act,


(Partial) Cure for the Summertime Blues

Speaking of more social opportunities, Metroplex Atheists will be holding their "Infidels Bash Summer 2001" on Saturday, June 16 at Dick Hogan's party barn in Weatherford. For more details, check out their website,

How to reach your elected officials:

Jeff Rodriguez, Chairperson: 817-338-4559 work; 817-732-4235 home.

mailto:Jeff@appifw.orgMike Haney, Vice Chair:

Bruce Berggren, Secretary-Treasurer.


Just for fun (special Mother's Day edition)

One Saturday morning, a man got up early to enjoy a quiet morning and a cup of coffee. While he was relaxing, he heard a car pull up outside, and a car door open. He went to the window and looked out, and there was a taxi cab. He opened the front door, and there was his mother, standing on the front porch with a suitcase.

"Sonny," she said, "Can your dear old mother stay here for a few days?"

The man smiled. "Of course you can, Mom," he said.

And then he shut the door.