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 1, No. 7 webalias.com/humanism October 1999


November 3rd


Dr. Don Jackson from the American Civil Liberties Union will be joining us on the first Wednesday of November. He will be talking to us about, "Student’s Rights in Public Schools."


Dr. Jackson is a professor of Political Science at Texas Christian University, a cooperating attorney for the ACLU and serves on the ACLU’s Board of Directors for both Ft. Worth and Texas. He holds two academic degrees from SMU (B.A. & J.D.) and two degrees from Wisconsin (M.A. & Ph.D.)


We are extremely fortunate to have Dr. Jackson speak to our group. We should reward his time with a large crowd!! You can learn more about the ACLU at: www.aclu.org


Last Month’s Meeting

"Dr. Flowers Brings ‘Em In!"

Our October meeting was the highest attended yet. We had 28 people come and listen to Dr. Ron Flowers from Americans United for Separation of Church and State’s North Texas Chapter educate us a bit more about constitutional issues, historical matters, and landmark court cases. Refreshments were, once again, provided by Joel Bailey (Thanks Joel!). Our social time went on into the evening. Please consider coming to our November meeting. Our group is indeed getting stronger!

Our Meetings!


WHO: Humanists of Ft. Worth

WHAT: Monthly Meeting

WHERE: First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church

WHEN: Nov.3rd 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.





New Folks!!

The October meeting brought many new faces to our group. The following new folks were first-time attendees and/or signed-up to receive the Cowtown Humanist: Jim Cather, Thea Meinders, Russell Patterson, Laura Blessing, Matt Wilkins, Linda Rubin, Mingon Vogel, Jerry Rossing, Brenda Baldwon, Jeff Hassell, Lois Lettini, Robert Gray, Louanne Price, Toni Armstrong, and Johanna Aldrich. Dennis Alexander of the Council for Secular Humanism also now receives the newsletter. Many of these people will receive our "Award Winning" newsletter via e-mail. Welcome!



This feature to the Cowtown Humanist was written by a 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, Austin Dacey, at Fiaustin@aol.com




Paul Kurtz, professor emeritus of philosophy at SUNY Buffalo, founder of the International Academy of Humanism and the Council for Secular Humanism--the umbrella organization of the Campus Freethought Alliance--has drafted a third Humanist Manifesto, known as the Humanist Manifesto 2000 because of its philosophical shift toward an all-encompassing, planetary outlook, which will be released in the next issue of Free Inquiry magazine.


The manifesto, already endorsed by over one hundred distinguished humanists from around the world, challenges the world to "preserve human rights and enhance human freedom and dignity, but also...our commitment to humanity as a whole." It calls on human society to use science and technology as positive tools for solving such social problems as overpopulation, starvation, and environmental destruction within the next century.


States Kurtz, "As we enter the new millennium we should not worry about Armageddon, but rather should untap the tremendous potentialities for human progress in the next century and beyond."


According to Chris Kirchhoff, Harvard University junior and Political Affairs Director of the CFA, "This is a platform the Campus Freethought Alliance can use to remind religious critics that humanists everywhere aspire to have heaven on earth, right here, right now. The Humanist Manifesto is a noble call for a secular Garden of Eden in the only world we know."


August E. Brunsman IV, Ohio State University senior and Internet Resources Director of the CFA, adds, "I think the HM2K itself serves as a powerful reminder that compassion isn't just about one's heart, but one's mind as well. Simply wishing to help other people is not enough, we must also be willing to gain a better understanding of ourselves and our world so that we can help as much as possible. We must also be willing to admit when a path we thought was helpful really isn't, or at least can't be demonstrated to be so."


Some within the humanist community have worried that they must agree with this document if they belong to a CSH-affiliated organization, including the CFA.


According to Matt Cherry, executive director of the CSH, this is not the case. "This is not a Council for Secular Humanism document; it is a humanist document. Only individuals who wish to endorse this manifesto should do so."


The list of individuals endorsing the Humanist Manifesto 2000 includes science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, anthropologist Richard Leakey, and biologist Richard Dawkins. For copies of the Manifesto, contact Ranjit Sandhu at (716) 636-7571 ext. 201. For more information, go to http://www.secularhumanism.org


Humanists of Ft. Worth Officers



Russell Elleven


Dennis Burke


Jeff Rodriguez



Edited by: Howard Thompson

Subscribe at gofreemind@aol.com




North of Dallas, Celina high school football fans prayed before a football game with a Christian school. The apparently coordinated prayer by fans, football players, cheerleaders, and band members violates the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ban on school football prayers because football is not properly solemn enough for God.


Rev. John Mark Arrington, pastor at Lighthouse Full Gospel Church in Garland distributed 250 T-shirts with the slogan, "Celina Bobcats Pray Before They Play." Arrington want students to obey "God's law," which justifies the growing rebellion of evangelicals against the U.S. Constitution.


In Stephenville, students brought their own sound system to football games and delivered a religious message using the equipment. There was no report that school officials took any action to prevent it.


In Midland, student-led prayers at football games still happen. School officials said the prayers would continue until someone filed a lawsuit to make them stop.




If your mailing label is red on this edition of the Cowtown Humanist you will no longer be receiving the latest information about this group. Of course, if you call (817.370.2171) or e-mail (r.elleven@tcu.edu) me you will continue to receive the newsletter. A couple of new developments:



Hopefully these ideas can cut down on our paper consumption and financial expenditure for stamps.



You’ve seen the list of upcoming speakers for the Ft. Worth Humanists. I hope you will let me know if you have ideas or if you know of someone who would be willing to share information pertinent to our group.


We should also begin to think about:


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.




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

The Humor File

On an atheist's tombstone: Here lies an atheist; all dressed up and no place to go.


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