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
"AN AWARD WINNING NEWSLETTER"
Volume 1, No. 8 webalias.com/humanism December 1999
Mark Spaeth and Dave Oringderff are driving all the way from San Antonio to talk to us about Religious Freedom in the United States Army. Come and help these folks feel welcomed at our meeting!
You may have heard the hullabaloo that made the news when political conservatives Bob Barr of Georgia and our very own George W. Bush found out that the United States Army allowed Wiccan services to be held at Ft. Hood. Come and hear how only the "right" religions are allowed to operate.
Mark Spaeth (a.k.a. Silver Drake Fey) is an Air Force Captain, clinical psychologist and Wiccan minister. Dave
Oringderff is a retired Army Major, former intelligence officer, and currently a police constable and clinical psychologist. If at all possible, Come one come all!!!
Last Month’s Meeting
Our December meeting was well attended. We had 15 people come and listen to Dr. Andrew Fort from the Religion Department of TCU. Dr. Fort spoke to us about Buddhism, Confucianism, non-theist government, and humanist psychology.
He was well received by our group and will surely visit us again with future topics.
WHO: Humanists of Ft. Worth
WHAT: Monthly Meeting
WHERE: First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church
WHEN: December 1st
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.
We also have the opportunity to host a local Humanist Television show on one of the area cable access channels. Again, if you are interested, please contact Russell. TOGETHER we can let the Humanist voice be heard more clearly!
THE CAMPUS CORNER
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 the new website: http://www.campusfreethought.org/or by sending e-mail to the editor, Austin Dacey, at Fiaustin@aol.com
TEN COMMANDMENTS CONTROVERSY HAS SIMPLE SOLUTION
Assuming we really want to destroy American democracy by declaring that the Ten Commandments are really secular, and that the rules contained therein regarding which god to believe in, and how to worship this god, and when to go to church, and so on, are not religious, then we should take care that we use the right translation of the Bible when posting these non religious principles, for those who want them posted in public tend not to read Hebrew, and those who do read Hebrew tend to understand all too well how religious doctrines can be called something else when employed to harm others.
The problem is that the translated version of the Ten Commandments most frequently quoted for commandment posting is from the 1611 King James Version of the Bible. For over 300 years, many have declared this translation the only true and accurate rendering of the Word of God. It was this Bible that was carried to our shores by our Puritan forefathers. Yet other fundamentalists have recently condemned it, and denounced it as unfit for Christians to read. This is because they have finally discovered that King James I of England, who authorized the translation, was a homosexual--a fact historians have known for all those years the King James Bible had been the inerrant word of God.
Another problem, of course, is that the Roman Catholic Church uses a different Ten Commandments, and a different translation, than do those Protestants condemned as heretics.
How can this possibly be resolved to satisfy everyone? Maybe we should just keep church and state separate and keep our democracy. Maybe we should make public display of our American Bill of Rights. There are ten of them after all, and they were written in English.
Unless, of course, we don't really believe in them.
Edwin Kagin, Union, KY
Humanists of Ft. Worth Officers
FROM THE TEXAS ATHEIST
Edited by: Howard Thompson
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PAT ROBERTSON'S "UPRISING" AGAINST THE SUPREME COURT
Pat Robertson urged an "uprising" against the Supreme Court in his 11/8/99 broadcast of the "700 Club." The U.S. Supreme Court is the highest Constitutional authority for the judicial branch of our civil government.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I want to say this very clearly," Robertson told his audience. "If the people of the United States of America - all across America, in their churches and in their civic groups and in their legislatures - decide that they're not going to allow the Supreme Court to dominate their lives in the fashion that it has in this nation, the Supreme Court does not have the power to change that. They are not going to be able to overturn the will of a hundred million American people. And I think the time has come that we throw off the shackles of this dictatorship that's been imposed upon us."
Robertson later called for the "uprising." The most popular TV evangelist, the leader of the Christian Coalition which controls the Republican Party, is urging Christians to overthrow our Constitutional government. No comments were available from the six Republican presidential candidates who spoke at the Christian Coalition's "Road To Victory" conference in September.
Robertson's call for revolt may signal religious right confidence. The clergy may now feel powerful enough to openly attack our founder's Constitution. Religious groups that control over 10% of radio and TV stations have for decades been brain-washing Christians with myths. Tens of millions now believe that the U.S. was founded as a "Christian" nation, that church-state separation is a recent liberal perversion of our founder's Christian piety, and that making Christianity part of government is a moral duty that restores our founder's intent.
News reports indicate a growing number of public officials are violating their oath of office to uphold the Constitution. More and more officials are using government to force religion on the citizenry. They know about Supreme Court rulings that mandate separating religion from government, yet they willfully reject the Constitution. At this time, there is little direct opposition to the religious right juggernaut. ["700 Club" quotes from People for the American Way, 11/8/99 http://www.pfaw.org/news/]
GREAT BOOKS GROUP
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.
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.
LET YOUR VOICE
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
Give me some of that old-time Religion...HAIL ZEUS!
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
RITES OF PASSAGE
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