RET News June 2017 CE

Rationalists of East Tennessee Newsletter

June 2017


RET First Sunday Meeting

June 4             Sunday              10:30 a.m.12:30 p.m.

Pellissippi State Community College, Goins Administration Building, Cafeteria Annex

"Bayesian Analysis for Estimating Probabilities"

Professor Stephen Collins-Elliott of the University of Tennessee will present a talk on applications of Bayesian analysis for estimating probabilities.

Get Directions


RET Skeptic Book Club

June 11          Sunday              2:004:00 p.m.                         

Books-A-Million at 8513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville

All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation by Rebecca Traister (352 pages).

A nuanced investigation into the sexual, economic, and emotional lives of women in America, this “singularly triumphant work” (Los Angeles Times) by Rebecca Traister, “the most brilliant voice on feminism in the country” (Anne Lamott), is “sure to be vigorously discussed” (Booklist, starred review). Today, only twenty percent of Americans are wed by age twenty-nine, compared with nearly sixty percent in 1960. The Population Reference Bureau calls it a “dramatic reversal.” All the Single Ladies is a remarkable portrait of contemporary American life and how we got here, through the lens of the single American woman. Covering class, race, sexual orientation, and filled with vivid anecdotes from fascinating contemporary and historical figures, All the Single Ladies is destined to be a classic work of social history and journalism. Exhaustively researched, brilliantly balanced, and told with Traister’s signature wit and insight, this book should be shelved alongside Gail Collins’s When Everything Changed.


Special Event!

Knoxville Pride Festival

June 17           Saturday              Parade 11:00; Festival 12:00–8:00 p.m.

Mary Costa Plaza and Coliseum Lawn, 500 Howard Baker Junior Ave., Knoxville 37915

Knox Pride Festival 2017 is an LGBTQ+ celebration with music, entertainment, and speakers focused on promoting equality and inclusion of all people.

RET is sharing a festival table with other local organizations (Atheist Society of Knoxville, Freedom from Religion Foundation East Tennessee Chapter, and Sunday Assembly). Tables must be ready by 10:00 a.m. We need donations of cases of water and a couple of volunteers to help.

You are also invited to walk in the parade! Those participating should line up with our group no later than 10:30 a.m. behind Barley’s in the Old City. The one-mile route is up Jackson Avenue to Gay Street and down Church Avenue to Howard Baker Junior Avenue. It was great fun last year. Come join us!


RET Third Sunday Meeting

June 18           Sunday              10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Pellissippi State Community College, Goins Administration Building, Cafeteria Annex

“Leaving the Faith to Focus on the Family” 

The Cullimore family of Chibi Kodama music fame will share experiences of transitioning from life in a cult to life of a “none.” Moving from the limitations of faith to free thought and exploration can feel like walking naked in a big city. How do you talk to the little ones? How do you we learn to be okay with saying, “I don't know the answer to that”? Join the Cullimore family for a discussion on nonbelief and family life. You’ll even get to hear from the kids! And with luck they will share some of their music!


RET Board Meeting

June 24            Saturday             4:00 p.m

Carl and Aleta Ledendecker’s home

[RET members are also welcome to attend Board Meetings.]


Special Event!

Solstice Party

June 24            Saturday             5:00 p.m.–dark thirty

Carl and Aleta Ledendecker’s home

The Solstice Party is a covered dish event with BYOB. There is a pool, badminton, and bocce, along with interesting and enlightening conversation with other freethinkers. It is kid friendly, but children using the pool must be supervised. The Ledendeckers live off Alcoa Highway near the Pellissippi Parkway exchange. Phone 865-724-5273 or email to RSVP or get directions.


RET Reflections Meeting Cancelled

There will be no Reflections Meeting. If anyone would like to volunteer to host future get-togethers or if you have suggestions for other events such as socials/dinners, please respond to or contact a member of the RET board.

RET Skeptics Book ClubBooks List

[If you use this link to buy from Amazon, RET receives a rebate.] 

    Rationalists of East Tennessee Website

    Information about the workings of RET is available online to members. Minutes of Board of Directors meetings are at There is also a forum for member postings at

    News of Members

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


    Conferences and Festivals

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

    Clarence Darrow Celebration Dinner, Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 13, 2017

    On Thursday, July 13, the Freedom from Religion Foundation is hosting a dinner party to celebrate the dedication of the Clarence Darrow statue on the following day. The dinner is in Chattanooga, and the statue is being erected outside the Rhea County Courthouse, where the Scopes trial took place. For more information:

    Scopes Festival, Dayton, Tennessee, July 14, 2017

    On Friday, July 14, at 7:30 p.m., the first of several reenactments of the Scopes trial will be presented at the Rhea County Courthouse. The play with music features dialogue from the trial transcript and historic accounts of events leading up to the trial. For tickets, go to: When purchasing tickets, you may want to ask to sit with the RET group.


    Ongoing Activities                              

    Atheist Society of Knoxville, Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m.

    Flats and Taps, 7403 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919. Conversation, food, and drink.

    East Tennessee Freedom from Religion Foundation Chapter, June 21, Wednesday, 6:30 p.m.

    Third Wednesday of each month, Earth Fare, Turkey Creek, Knoxville.

    RET/ASK Freethought Forum TV, Tuesdays, 5:00–6:00 p.m.

    Knoxville: Comcast Channel 12, Charter Channel 6, free streaming on ctvknox.orgNote change: Because of 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 (865-805-2437) if you are interested. Immediately after the show, a co-host of the program holds the Atheist Society of Knoxville meet-up at Flats and Taps, 7403 Kingston Pike, Knoxville 37919. Volunteer hosts and suggestions for topics would be welcome for all of these programs. FFTV is also looking for people to help operate the video camera and edit video. Contact Lee Erickson ( 

    Sunday Assembly Knoxville (Live Better, Help Often, Wonder More). The Solstice Party replaces the regular meeting in June.

    The International, 940 Blackstock Avenue, Knoxville 37921. For activities, go to the Sunday Assembly website and click on “Events Calendar.” Other Sunday Assembly sites: Facebook, Meetup, Email.



    “Believing there’s no God means I can’t really be forgiven except by kindness and faulty memories. That’s good; it makes me want to be more thoughtful. I have to try to treat people right the first time around.”
    Penn Jillette

    Copyright © 2017 {Rationalists of East Tennessee, Inc.}. All rights reserved. Please request use of any material at contact below.
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    Edited by Donna Watson and Sharron King:
    Opinions expressed are those of authors and/or editors.