v "The Cowtown Humanist" v

The Newsletter of the Humanists of Ft. Worth

A Member of the American Humanist Association &

Alliance of Secular Humanist Societies


Volume 2, No. 03 webalias.com/humanism June 2000


June 14th



Our June 14th meeting will feature Kenneth and Lois Robison. They will be sharing how the death penalty has affected their lives. Their son was recently put to death by lethal injection.


After the presentation there will be an opportunity to sign a death penalty moratorium. Signatures will be sent to the governor’s office, state senators, and others.


Last Month’s Meeting


Last month’s meeting featured John Bailey from Greenwood Memorial. Mr. Bailey’s talk, "A Response to the Ungodly Cost of Funerals", was heard by 17 people.


The presentation focused on historical developments of the funeral industry viewed through the Greenwood Memorial organization. We thank John Bailey for sharing his knowledge and time with us.


Adopt a Street!!

The organization has decided to participate in Texas’ Adopt A Street program. We are working at getting a stretch of street on Granbury Road close to Hulen Street. Jeff Rodriguez should have additional information for us at the meeting on the 14th.



As you know the new board have elected to collect voluntary dues for our organization. The dues structure is only $20 per year. Our treasurer has now opened a bank account for us. See his report in this newsletter.


Part of our newfound wealth will be used to pay Chapter Assembly dues to the American Humanist Association ($50).


Treasurer’s Report


Humanists of Fort Worth Income Statement

Report date: May 20, 2000



Dues received: 100.00

Total Revenues $100.00


None: 0.00

Total Expenses: $ 0.00

Net Income $100.00

Beginning Balance 4/21/00 $120.00

Plus, Net Income $100.00

Ending Balance 5/20/00 $220.00

Comments: (5) individual dues @ $20.


Signed, Bruce Berggren, Secretary/Treasurer


Why is The Cowtown Humanist So Short This Month?


As you read this the chair of the Humanists of Ft. Worth, Russell Elleven, is attending the joint conference of the American Humanist Association and the American Ethical Union. Expect a report at the meeting on the 14th.






Howard Thompson, former editor of The Texas Atheist, has started a grassroots movement to have a freethought voice in Texas politics. The message below is from Howard. Please contact him if you are able to help at the state democratic convention.


Thanks very much for your offer of help. Any time you have to devote will be greatly appreciated. We're expecting to have fun talking to people and watching a major state political convention.


Here's what we have planned. Please tell me what you are willing to help out with, and the times.


Friday June 9th. 4:30 PM Freethinker-Atheist-Humanist caucus meeting [This hour meeting is our main event. I hope you can make it.]



Friday, June 9: 10AM - 5PM

Saturday, June 10: 9AM - 3PM


[Friday is registration day, the most important day for handing out flyers. If you can do an hour or two or three, not consecutively, it would be a big help. What we do is stand in main walkways of the Fort Worth convention center with a "Respect Our Constitution" sign handing out ROC flyers and the caucus announcement. I have pretty good luck getting people to take stuff saying things like, "Respect Our Constitution, keep religion and government separate." The slogan that turns most heads and gets people reaching for flyers is, "Just say no to Pat Robertson".]



Friday, June 9: 10AM - 5PM

Saturday, June 10: 9AM - 3PM


[We've paid $350 for a ROC booth where we can hand out flyers, talk to people, and get them to sign our contact list with name, address, phone & e-mail. The booth will be located in a room with booths for other organizations and candidates. I plan to alternate between handing out flyers and sitting at the booth when my feet start hurting. All the information you'll need to talk about will be contained in one of our two flyers. The main thing is we're there in support of Constitutional separation of religion from government and equal civil liberties for non-theists. Most of the other details were in the "ROC Introduction" can be received my e-mailing me.]


Please send me your current address and phone number so I can quickly contact you before the convention with any last minute information. Getting into the convention should be as simple as parking, walking in whichever entrance they'll be using as a main entrance, and asking the registration people for a guest badge. There should be maps of the convention layout which show where the booths will be so you can find us.


If you can give me the approximate days and times you can help out, it will help me roughly plan out what who can be doing what when. I don't expect everyone to just help us out. There will be other caucuses and activities to see. If you've ever had an interest in politics, seeing something like this and getting to watch meetings is fascinating.


Thanks again for your offer of help. I hope to see you at the convention.


Enjoy reality,

Howard Thompson


Respect Our Constitution




Our Meetings!


WHO: Humanists of Ft. Worth

WHAT: Monthly Meeting

WHERE: First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church

WHEN: Second Wednesday of Each Month - 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.



Humanists of Ft. Worth have two wonderful possibilities. First, we can sponsor a SMART Recovery Group. SMART Recovery benefits non-theists in abstaining from alcohol through a rational basis. It would be wonderful to have one of our members coordinate this program! For more information please contact Russell Elleven (see contact info under "Rites of Passage"). There is a great deal of information and support available for this project.

From the Rationalist International Bulletin # 40 (14 May 2000).




Before taking the official charge of the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin revealed a secret. He has been wearing a crucifix even when he was serving as a high ranking officer of the KGB, the so-called "instrument to curb religious influence" in the "atheist Soviet Union". Long years of service under Soviet government did obviously not harm his religiosity. Some years back, when he visited the Holy Land he put on his mother's crucifix to get it blessed there, and never removed it since.


Did the former Soviet Union fight religion? Yes, and no. But the 'no' was more important for the opportunist Soviet leaders at least from 1954. Unlike what is generally perceived, in the former Soviet Union, churches were supported by the state, the government paid the priests and even Bible printing was financed by the state. To silence the western critics, for several decades Soviet authorities tried to prove that religious freedom was guaranteed best in the Soviet Union.

(Source: The Church in Poland, Inter Press Publishers, Warsaw, p.227)


How do I get to the meeting?


First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church is located at 1959 Sandy Lane between Meadowbrook drive and Brentwood Stair Road. Anyone needing assistance to the meeting should contact Russell.


American Humanist Association


Humanists of Ft. Worth are encouraged to join the American Humanist Association. A special introductory membership rate of $25 is now available. The Humanist magazine and Free Mind newsletter are benefits of membership.



7 Harwood Drive

P.O. Box 1188

Amherst, NY 14226-7188

(800) 743-6646


PLEASE let your voice

be heard

Think about sharing your ideas about humanism with the readers of The Cowtown Humanist. No doubt we all have opinions we’d like to let others know about…do it in your newsletter


The Humor File

When you do a good deed, get a receipt, in case heaven is like the IRS.


Humanists of Ft. Worth Officers



Russell Elleven


Jeff Rodriguez


Bruce Berggren


Joel Bailey



Time: 6:30 pm

Dates: 2nd Sunday of each month

Location: Westside UU Church

Leader: Dick Trice (446-3840)

This group follows the Great Books format of advance reading of a selection and discussion at the meeting. Discussion is varied and lively. Participants include Cowtown Humanist members and others from the community. Newcomer’s are welcome to "sit in" before making the commitment to purchase materials.



Russell Elleven is certified as a Humanist minister by the Humanist Society of Friends. He can officiate weddings, commitment ceremonies, naming ceremonies, and other life celebrating events. He is also available during periods of grief and to officiate memorial services.

817.370.2171 – hm

817.257.7870 – wk