RET News April 2017 CE

Rationalists of East Tennessee Newsletter

April 2017



Annual Public Speaker Event

April 30       Sunday        2:00 p.m.

Pellissippi State Community College, Goins Administration Building, Auditorium

"Why Young People Are Leaving Religion"

We are thrilled to welcome Hemant Mehta, also known as the friendly atheist, as our public speaker this year. Mehtaan author, blogger, and atheist activist who gained fame for "selling his soul" on eBaywill discuss young people and religion. Religious demographics in the U.S. are changing faster than ever before, even though atheists have a long way to go and still face considerable obstacles. He will discuss why these changes are happening and what it means for the future.

Get Directions


RET First Sunday Meeting

April 2       Sunday        10:30 a.m.12:30 p.m.

Pellissippi State Community College, Goins Administration Building, Cafeteria Annex

"Humanism at Home: How Does One Apply Humanism to Social Issues in Your Community?"

Evan Clark and Seráh Blain, who are working through a Foundation Beyond Belief project that's currently traveling the U.S., are the speakers. This will be a very special event! Don't miss it!

Get Directions


RET Skeptic Book Club

April 9        Sunday         2:004:00 p.m.                         

Location:    Books-A-Million at 8513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End   by Atul Gawande

Modern medicine has transformed the dangers of childbirth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the face of death, what it can do often runs counter to what it should do. Through eye-opening research and gripping stories of his own patients and family, Atul Gawande reveals the suffering this has produced. He examines the profession's limitations and failures as life draws to a close. And he shows how the ultimate goal is not good death, but a good life—until the very end.


RET Third Sunday Meeting

April 16      Sunday        10:30 a.m.12:30 p.m.

Pellissippi State Community College, Goins Administration Building, Cafeteria Annex

"Now Maybe You Want a Telescope"

RET member Forrest Lee Erickson will present this talk on sky watching. He says don't rush to buy a scope. Look through scopes of others first. Buy magazines, buy binoculars 10x50 (or 10x80 binoculars) and a tripod. Then buy a 10-inch Dobsonian, then buy a Canon or Nikon DSLR (full frame is best) and fast lenses from wide angle to telephoto. Then buy a 5-inch (or more) apocromatic refactor on a VIXEN mount, then buy property in a dark location in Arizona with an observatory, or build one. Budget travel to the southern hemisphere to see the southern Milky Way and to see more solar eclipses and both poles to see the aurora.

Get Directions         


RET Reflections Meeting                    

April 23     Sunday          2:00 p.m.

At Steve and Carol Tokay's        8905 Garrison Drive, Knoxville 37931-2416   (865-691-6816)

Discussion and potluck. Bring a dish or something to drink.       
The topic is recycling. Do we recycle? Could we do more? Is it more important now that the current administration is trying to get rid of the Environmental Protection Agency?


RET Adopt-a-Highway

April 1         Saturday          1:00–3:30 p.m.

Burger King, Lovell Road Exit off Pellissippi Parkway

It's spring trash pickup time on Pellissippi Parkway. Meet at the Burger King parking lot at 1:00 p.m. Wear sturdy shoes and gloves, and bring a "picker-upper" if you have one. Rain date is April 8. All volunteers must watch the safety video before helping on the roadway.


Pot-luck Dinner with Hemant Mehta

April 29         Saturday          7:00–10:00 p.m.

Marsha Doyle's home, 7908 Queenborough Lane, Knoxville 37931

Come and enjoy time with our April 30 speaker Hemant Mehta and your RET friends. Bring a dish or something to drink.


Call for Volunteer

Coffee Service for April

We need a volunteer to take the coffee service home after the first-Sunday meeting on April 2 and return it to the April 16 meeting. The service will have all the materials pre-stocked and will include directions on preparing the coffee. If the volunteer brings the materials back to the speaker event on April 30, Aleta Ledendecker will resume bringing it to the first and third Sundays.


RET Skeptics Book Club  - Books List
(If you use these links to buy from Amazon, RET receives a rebate.)

Conferences and Rallies

Rally Bus to March for Science                 Washington, D.C.             Saturday, April 22                            

A Rally bus has been tentatively scheduled for transportation to the event. If there are enough paid passengers, the bus will depart Knoxville late Friday night and arrive back in Knoxville early Monday morning. Those interested in a reservation should go to:

There will also be a local event, March for Science - Knoxville.                                                            

ReAsonCon                                          Hickory, N.C.                    Friday-Saturday, April 21-22                         
Crowne Plaza Hickory, 385 Lenoir Rhyne Blvd SE, Hickory, N.C. 28602

American Humanist Association 76th Annual Conference        Charleston, S.C.      June 8-11, 2017     
Embassy Suites by Hilton Charleston Airport in Charleston, South Carolina

Ongoing Activities                              

Atheist Society of Knoxville                                            Meets Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m.                               

ASK meet-up location: Flats and Taps, 7403 Kingston Pike Knoxville, TN 37919
Conversation, food, and drink.


East Tennessee Freedom from Religion Foundation Chapter

April 19, Wednesday, 7:00 p.m.

Meets on the 3rd Wednesdays of each month                       Earth Fare, Turkey Creek


RET/ASK Freethought Forum TV

Tuesdays      5:00–6:00 p.m. 

Knoxville: Comcast Channel 12     Charter Channel 6    Free streaming on

Note change: Due to Knoxville Beer Board meeting changes, there will be no FFTV on varying Tuesdays once a month.

Freethought Forum TV is looking for people to be on the show. Contact Larry Rhodes or Lee Erickson if you are interested.  Right after the show, a co-host of the program holds The Atheist Society of Knoxville Meet-up. (See above ASK information for location.) Volunteer hosts and suggestions for topics would be welcome for all of these programs. 


Sunday Assembly Knoxville                Live Better, Help Often, Wonder More

April 23                  Topic: Birth

Location: The International, 940 Blackstock Ave., Knoxville, TN                       Time: 10:30 a.m.

For other activities go to Sunday Assembly's website and click on “Calendar.”

Other Sunday Assembly sites:  Facebook, Meetup, Email


 (Please contact us if you have any relevant news about RET members that they agree to share.)


Notable Quote

Excerpt from Freedom from Religion Foundation website:

“It's an incredible con job, when you think of it, to believe something now in exchange for life after death. Even corporations, with all their reward systems, don't try to make it posthumous.” —Gloria Steinem, The Feminist Connection, November 1980  

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Edited by Donna Watson and Sharron King:
Opinions expressed are those of authors and/or editors.