v "The Cowtown Humanist" v

The Newsletter of the Humanists of Ft. Worth

A Member of the American Humanist Association


Volume 1, No. 5 webalias.com/humanism August 1999


Sept. 1st Meeting!!!

"Heather Has Two Censors"

Come join us in support of three individuals who are fighting against censorship in Wichita Falls. Dan Lewandowski, Linda Hughes, and John Horany, esq. will travel to Ft. Worth to speak to us about the court battle being waged to keep Heather Has Two Mommies in the children's section of their public library.

They will update us as to where the case stands and assist us in understanding the lengths the religious right will pursue in order to stigmatize gay men and lesbian women. Please do not miss this opportunity to join these special guests September 1st for food, conversation, and fun.


Last Month’s Meeting

Our featured speaker last month was Ole Anthony, the president of the Trinity Foundation. Ole was very interesting and could speak about any televangelist known to our group. The size of our group was small (about 10) but the conversation was great, the pizza was good (THANKS AGAIN JOEL!!), and we were invited for a tour and lunch at the Trinity Foundation.


Our Meetings!


WHO: Humanists of Ft. Worth

WHAT: Monthly Meeting

WHERE: First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church

WHEN: September 1st 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.



New Members!!

We welcomed to newcomers to our group. Gayle Walker and Allison Kane joined us for the first time. Welcome!

Ft. Worth Humanist

of the Month

Bruce Berggren


Each month we will attempt to help you get to know one of the organization members. This month we meet Bruce Berggren.


Bruce moved to Ft. Worth from Kansas, where he grew up and went to work as a Stress Analysis Engineer. There he met his wife Jeanette; they left the flatlands for GD (now Lockheed) and have lived in Fort Worth for the last 11 years.


He has a daughter (7) and son (4), who like to ride bikes, play hacky-sack, and launch model rockets. When not designing rockets, Bruce is catching up on

reading for book studies at North Texas Church of Freethough and Westside UU church (which they joined this year).


Bruce has been a humanist as long has he can remember. He is strongly concerned about church/state separation issues.




Dr. Ron Flowers, a noted expert on Church/State issues, has agreed to speak to the Humanists of Ft. Worth. To accommodate Dr. Flowers hectic schedule, our regularly schedule meeting in October will be postponed one week (October 16th). PLEASE tell anyone who might be interested!


A new feature to the Cowtown Humanist with be written by an member of the Campus Freethought Alliance. While the articles will not always be about the university humanist movement, they will be written from a college student’s point of view. More information about the organization can be found at www.secularhumanism.org/cfa or by sending e-mail to the editor, Chris Mooney at chris.mooney@yale.edu.



By Jessica Kitchner

MCKEE, Ky. - On Wednesday, students returned to school to find the Ten Commandments displayed on classroom walls. An eastern Kentucky school board decided to post the Ten Commandments in every classroom at five high schools in Jackson County. Board members felt the Commandments would prevent violence that has invaded the nation's schools, and would strengthen the moral values of the students.


Jackson County's school district attorney, Timothy Crawford, believes that the plaques are allowed by law since they were paid for and posted by local volunteers and were not sponsored by the district.


"I think it is refreshing that our leaders are seeing the obvious connection between the nation's moral decline and its school violence," Tom Claibourne, member of Adams County For The Ten Commandments Committee, said.


But others disagree. "To me, morality should not be taught, but found," says Marc Loi, a member of the Young Freethinkers Alliance. "We can teach kids all we want about morals, and God, but it certainly isn't going to stop them from killing."


Jeff Vessels, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, said that the ACLU considers the move to post the Commandments unconstitutional, but would not act unless they got a complaint.


"The ACLU is certainly very concerned about school violence," says Vessels, "but saying posting the Ten Commandments solves it is incredibly simplistic."


There appears to be no opposition from the community about the plaques, and students said little about them.


Humanists of Ft. Worth Officers



Russell Elleven


Dennis Burke


Jeff Rodriguez

Why Join a

Humanist Group?

After all, without dogma there is no need to gather. Right? Well, not quite. By joining a Humanist group, you become part of a group of people who share a basic outlook and you

help support Humanism as an alternative to traditional religions.


You can meet people in a place where you will not be pressured to believe in supernaturalism, but are free to investigate and draw conclusions on what you find valuable and true in this world. A rational and Humanist-oriented society certainly won't magically appear. It needs to be explained, supported and lived

as the good life it is.


If we don't make a stand for who we are, the vocal Religious Right will marginalize the voices of millions of freethinkers and Humanists. We must become involved.


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.



Our mailing list has grown to almost 50 people while our attendance is around only 10-12 folks each meeting. In an attempt to save both money and paper I ask the following:




Edited by: Howard Thompson

Subscribe at gofreemind@aol.com




The U.S. House passed a Religious Liberties Protection Act (RLPA) on July 16 by a vote of 306 to 118. Texas representatives voted 26 for and 3 against. Representatives against the RLPA were former Libertarian presidential candidate Ron Paul, R-Surfside; Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Dallas; and Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin.


The RLPA was opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which had initially supported the law. The RLPA is similar to the Religious Freedom law signed by Gov. Bush on June 10. Both laws could be used to subordinate some civil rights to "religious expression."


Legislative support for Trojan horse religious freedom laws threatens to further diminish non-theist rights in comparison with religious privileges.


Conservative Christians are clever in drafting religious laws that also protect religious intolerance and discrimination. Legislators support such laws because they are presented as ways of protecting relatively harmless religious activities. Legislators also fear the wrath of evangelicals if they oppose even bad legislation that threatens civil rights and the equality of non-theists.


Just FYI

If you have access to the internet, take a look at our homepage. Professional it ain’t…but we continue to receive sporadic inquiries. Hopefully, some of our friends from cyberspace will join us at our meetings. The page has the following long address: webalias.com/humanism. You can also reach us via e-mail at r.elleven@tcu.edu

I look forward to meeting you and, together, watching the Humanists of Ft. Worth grow!!!




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 no about…do it in your newsletter


American Humanist Association

Humanists of Ft. Worth are encouraged to join the American Humanist Association. An 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



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

817.370.2171 – hm

817.257.7870 - wk