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Potluck begins at 1:00 pm at Schera & Ted's (call 865.690.8742 for directions). In recognition of Halloween, we'll be discussing death. Ignoring death leaves us with a false sense of life’s permanence and perhaps encourages us to lose ourselves in the minutiae of daily life. Obsessive rumination on death, on the other hand, can lead us away from life. Honestly coming to terms with one’s death involves reflection on its deep significance, and thinking about the larger values that give life its meaning. In the end, it may be useful to think about death only to the point that it frees us to live fully immersed in the life we have yet to live. Let's share some of our thoughts on death: • experiences we may have had, • ideas with which we’ve toyed, or • concepts about which we wonder. And give a brief summary in the five minutes or so we’ll have to share our reflections. Bring a box, bag, or dish and join us.
Oct. 26, 2014, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Halloween Lunch cancelled
This Halloween event has been cancelled.
Oct. 31, 2014, 11 AM
Secular Invocations
An examination of Secular Invocations We will be discussing the Recent Galloway v. Town of Greece, NY, SCOTUS ruling. Following that there will be an examination of secular invocations, plus examples including an Invocation of July 15, 2014 at the Town Board of Greece by Dan Courtney.
Nov. 02, 2014, 10:30
Skeptic Book Club
“The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap ” by Matt Taibbi - Sunday, November 9, 2:00 pm at Barnes and Noble Booksellers on Kingston Pike. Over the last two decades, America has been falling deeper and deeper into a statistical mystery: Poverty goes up. Crime goes down. The prison population doubles. Fraud by the rich wipes out 40 percent of the world’s wealth. The rich get massively richer. No one goes to jail. In search of a solution, journalist Matt Taibbi discovered the Divide, the seam in American life where our two most troubling trends—growing wealth inequality and mass incarceration—come together, driven by a dramatic shift in American citizenship: Our basic rights are now determined by our wealth or poverty. The Divide is what allows massively destructive fraud by the hyperwealthy to go unpunished, while turning poverty itself into a crime—but it’s impossible to see until you look at these two alarming trends side by side. In The Divide, Matt Taibbi takes readers on a galvanizing journey through both sides of our new system of justice—the fun-house-mirror worlds of the untouchably wealthy and the criminalized poor. He uncovers the startling looting that preceded the financial collapse; a wild conspiracy of billionaire hedge fund managers to destroy a company through dirty tricks; and the story of a whistle blower who gets in the way of the largest banks in America, only to find herself in the crosshairs. On the other side of the Divide, Taibbi takes us to the front lines of the immigrant dragnet; into the newly punitive welfare system which treats its beneficiaries as thieves; and deep inside the stop-and-frisk world, where standing in front of your own home has become an arrestable offense. As he narrates these incredible stories, he draws out and analyzes their common source: a perverse new standard of justice, based on a radical, disturbing new vision of civil rights. Through astonishing—and enraging—accounts of the high-stakes capers of the wealthy and nightmare stories of regular people caught in the Divide’s punishing logic, Taibbi lays bare one of the greatest challenges we face in contemporary American life: surviving a system that devours the lives of the poor, turns a blind eye to the destructive crimes of the wealthy, and implicates us all. (Amazon Review)
Nov. 09, 2014, 2:00-4:00 pm
The Demography of Unbelief
Special public lecture. Tom Flynn of the Center for Inquiry and editor of "Free Inquiry" magazine will discuss the "Demography of Unbelief" - A lavishly-illustrated PowerPoint presentation tracing what pollsters know -- and what they get wrong -- about the record growth in the numbers of Americans claiming no religious affiliation from the 1980s to today.Goins Auditorium, Pellissippi State Community College, 2:00 pm.
Nov. 15, 2014, 2:00 pm
Third Sunday Roundtable
There will be no third Sunday Roundtable this month, owing to the special public meeting on Saturday, November 15.
Nov. 16, 2014, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm
NOTE THAT REFLECTIONS WILL BE ON THE FIFTH SUNDAY THIS MONTH – MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR NOVEMBER 30TH, 2014 ! The American Humanist Association has recently launched a new campaign to “detach God from our Government”, and it is described in their latest issue of the Humanist Magazine. They claim that challenging mandatory recitation of “so help me God” in the Air Force oath (and probably the other branches of the military also?) plus the “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance are worthy fights. They remind us that the “Religious Right” uses such God references as “evidence” of America being a “Christian nation”. And it also gives them a false authority to try to take away real rights, such as marriage equality, reproductive choice for women, and proper public school science education that teaches evolution, not creationism. Many of us may not care about or give much attention to these issues, but as long as there are millions of American nonbelievers, like us, how can we be comfortable with the description of the US as a “nation under God”? The AHA urges us to learn more about their “DontSayThePledge” campaign and their potential “lawsuit against the Air Force” to restore the right for recruits to omit “so help me god” from their oath. [holding down control and clicking these underlined links should take you to the AHA’s site for more information.] Their final statement on these issues: “Until “under God” is removed and the original Pledge is restored to “one nation indivisible”, the American Humanist Association’s newest campaign encourages students and adults to take a stand – by sitting down. Our RET question for Nov. 30th discussion is to air how strongly we feel about these issues and explore other options we may see.
Nov. 30, 2014, 1:00 PM
American Freethought We will finish the Council for Secular Humanism video about American Freethought. This part will include: The rise of Catholicism, Challenges to Sunday laws, Haymarket tragedy, McKinley, the barring the Truth Seeker publication, Palmer raids, Emma Goldman, Scopes trial, DeMille (Godless Girl), Mencken, radio evangelism (including plagiarism of Ingersoll), and the decline of freethought between the World Wars.
Dec. 07, 2014, 10:30 AM
Skeptic Book Club
There will be no meeting of the Book Club in December
Dec. 14, 2014

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