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

October 2001 Volume 3, No. 7

Next Meeting

This month's meeting will be 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 10, at the Westside UU Church, 6901 McCart. The guest speaker will be Rosemary Bell of the Women's Haven. See below for more details.

Last month

In August, we stopped the presses (or at least, one member of the press) by inviting Star-Telegram columnist Jack Z. Smith to speak to the group. He gave a wonderful talk, combining behind-the-scenes information with plenty of anecdotes, and most of us came away with a good bit of insight into how the newspaper works -- and how it sometimes fails.

No bones

If you attended the last meeting, you know that we had an outing planned for later in the month, to visit the Creationist Museum near Glenrose. Well, we officers talked it over the other day, and decided that doggone it, we just KNOW those Creationist guys have to be right -- so why even bother to check it out?

Okay, that's not quite the truth, but one thing is correct: The outing to the museum has been cancelled. Several members who were interested in going had conflicts that day, and so we just thought it would be better to postpone the trip. Rest assured that we will pursue this plan later in the year . . . assuming of course that we are not interrupted by the apocalypse.

Keep the changes

As you may recall, after last month's meeting, we held a special "meeting-after-the-meeting" to talk about the future direction of the group. We had a very productive talk, with lots of good ideas put forward. Here are some things we decided:

1. We will strive to have more social outings, including meals, movies and so forth . . . maybe we'll build a Creationist museum of our own or something.

2. We will look for ways to do more charitable acts and good works. (If this idea appeals to you, be sure to read the important announcement below.)

3. We will be expanding the range of speaker topics. In the future, you can look to hear from people from many backgrounds; scientists and social workers, business people and philosophers . . . anything that is current or relevant to Humanist issues will be fair game.

4. Guest speakers will receive a formal thank-you note, personally signed by a high-ranking dignitary official from our executive committee (guess who).

5. We will look for ways to expand our membership. This includes making a brochure to hand out to individuals. We will also make some flyers that can be posted where we may be able to recruit new members -- places like community centers, local colleges and evangelical churches. And, very very soon in this newsletter, we will be counting on you, the members, to help us identify new prospects . . . be watching for it.

Help us identify new prospects

At Humanists of Fort Worth, we're always looking for new members . . . but we need your help to find them. Do you know someone who might enjoy seeing our newsletter? Just let us know, and we will add that person to our mailing list (electronic or conventional) and send them a few future copies. Send your suggestion to either Bruce or myself, and we'll take it from there. There is no cost or commitment -- and of course, no salesman will call.

From the trenches

How far we have come; it wasn't that long ago that spousal abuse was considered a private matter, and it was considered "impossible" for a man to rape his wife. Even so, we still have a long way to go: Domestic abuse remains a very serious issue. Rosemary Bell is a licensed social worker and Victims Service Program Manager of the Women's Haven, which provides shelter for battered women. Rosemary will be talking to us about some of the issues she faces in her own work, and the larger picture of spousal abuse -- laws and enforcement, progress and setbacks. This promises to be an important and informative talk, and we hope you will want to be there.

Humanists Helping Out

As mentioned earlier, several members have expressed an interested in having the organization do more "good works." Well, here is a great opportunity: The Women's Haven has provided us with a "wish list" of things they need for the women and children at the shelter. Take a look:

Ambesol teething ointment Antibiotic ointment aspirin

Benadryl Construction paper cough medicine

diaper wipes Tylenol plastic plates, forks, cups, bowls, etc.

Facial tissue powder laundry soap Toilet paper

paper napkins paper towels

Pedialyte Pepto-Bismol

As you can see, there's nothing too elaborate there. But these supplies would be very helpful at the shelter. We are asking all members to bring at least one of these items to the meeting (if you want to bring more than one, that's even better). We will collect all of the goods, and donate them to the Women's Haven on behalf of the Humanists of Fort Worth.

This is our chance to make a meaningful contribution with little expense or effort . . . we hope everyone will pitch in. Thanks in advance for your support!

Next month:

Westside UU Minister Lillie Henley will be speaking on the tradition of Humanism within the Unitarian Universalist church.

Just for fun

By pure chance, it happened that Mother Teresa, Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell all died on the same day So they all went to heaven, where they were taken before God, who was seated at his mighty throne (hey, just go with it, okay?). The Lord told the three of them to come forward and identify themselves.

Mother Teresa came forward first. She said her name, knelt down, and gave homage to the Lord. "Child, I know you well," said God, "and I am pleased to see you. Come join me at my right-hand side."

Then Billy Graham stepped forward. He also said his name, and knelt before the Lord. "Child, I know you well, too" said God, "and I am pleased to see you. Come join me at my left-hand side."

Then Jerry Falwell stepped forward. He stood silent for a moment, staring angrily at God. The Lord frowned and leaned forward for a better look. "And who are you, child?" he asked.

"First of all," Falwell said, "Get out of my chair."

How to reach us

Jeff Rodriguez, Chairman


Mike Haney, Vice Chairman

Bruce Berggren, Treasurer

Is there a member of the clergy in the house?

As a matter of fact, yes. Here's a reminder that our own Russell Elleven is an ordained Humanist Minister. He can perform wedding ceremonies for a variety of services, Humanist or otherwise. If you're interested, you can contact him at 817-370-2171, or e-mail him at