RET News November 2018 CE

Rationalists of East Tennessee Newsletter

November 2018


First Sunday Meeting

November 4         Sunday          10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Pellissippi State Community College, Goins Administration Building, Cafeteria Annex

"Open Topic Day" -- Roundtable Discussion

Topics will be placed in a bag to be selected at random. Each topic will be discussed for 15-20 minutes before moving to the next topic. 

Get Directions       


Skeptic Book Club

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

Books-A-Million, 8513 Kingston Pike, Knoxville 37919

Political Tribes : Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations 
by Amy Chua 

The bestselling author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, Yale Law School Professor Amy Chua offers a bold new prescription for reversing our foreign policy failures and overcoming our destructive political tribalism at home.  Humans are tribal. We need to belong to groups. In many parts of the world, the group identities that matter most - the ones that people will kill and die for - are ethnic, religious, sectarian, or clan-based. But because America tends to see the world in terms of nation-states engaged in great ideological battles - Capitalism vs. Communism, Democracy vs. Authoritarianism, the "Free World" vs. the "Axis of Evil" - we are often spectacularly blind to the power of tribal politics. Time and again this blindness has undermined American foreign policy.


Third Sunday Meeting

November 18           Sunday           10:30 a.m. -- 12:30 p.m

Pellissippi State Community College, Goins Administration Building, Cafeteria Annex

Fascism, Socialism, Communism, Capitalism, etc. 

What are they? How are they defined to inform or misinform? Definitions with an agenda?

Various videos and discussion.



November 25          Sunday           1:00–3:30 p.m.

Discussion and Pot Luck                 Hosted by Bob Morris, 140 Greystone Drive, Oak Ridge 37830

To be determined.


Andrew (Andy) Shor: long-time, active RET member

Andrew (Andy) Benjamin Shor of Oak Ridge died October 17, 2018 after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 64. 

Andy was born December 7, 1953 to Arthur and Roberta Shor in Chicago, Ill. and moved to Oak Ridge when he was four years old. He attended Cedar Hill Elementary School, Jefferson Junior High and Oak Ridge High School. 

Andy was a person of many unique talents. He became a licensed amateur radio operator at age 8 and was the amateur chess champion of the state of Tennessee at age 15. Andy was a National Merit Finalist and attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he graduated with a degree in electrical engineering and computer science. 

As an adult, Andy operated his own business, repairing and selling computers and other scientific and electronic equipment. Andy loved to hike, walk with his dogs, play chess and discuss politics. He was a passionate member of the Oak Ridge Chess Club and a member of the Rationalists of East Tennessee since the inception of that group. 

Andy is survived by his brother, Joel Thomas Shor, his sister in law, Susan Grodinsky Shor, his nephew, Alexander David Shor, his niece, Emily Roberta Shor and his cousins, Becky Wagner, Les Wagner and Ginger Jones. His special friends included Melissa Allen and Craig Kirslis. A memorial for Andy will be planned for a later date. 



  • A free app is available for your smart phone to help you stay in touch with the Rationalists of East Tennessee.  It is called "Wild Apricot for Members," and is available in the App Store (for Apple devices) or Google Play (for Android devices).  Upon using it for the first time, you are asked to enter the userid and password that you use to log into the web page.  The app provides a convenient way to look at the schedule of events and to contact other members.
  • Freethought Forum programs are being archived online by Community TV of Knoxville,  Most of the 2018 episodes are available there for viewing.  (Thanks to Nathan Martin for this information.)


Help Needed:  Please contact us at

Willing to serve on the board? Please help keep RET active and relevant.

All RET members who would like to strengthen the RET organization (and strengthen their own leadership abilities) are encouraged to consider becoming a member of the Board of Directors. 

Any member can be elected to the board. Further, our bylaws provide for four officers: President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary.  An Officer shall be at least 18 years old and shall have been a member for at least one year.


Support RET Through AmazonSmile

If you shop on, you can generate a contribution for the Rationalists of East Tennessee with your purchase, at no cost to you.  On your first visit to AmazonSmile,, you need to select a charitable organization (Rationalists of East Tennessee) to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at will result in a donation for RET.  To learn more about AmazonSmile, click here.


RET Skeptic Book ClubBooks List

RET Meetup 

Rationalists of East Tennessee is now on Meetup.coman online social networking site that allows people to find others who share common interests. Join in: 


Other Area Secular Activities                              

Atheist Society of Knoxville, Tuesdays, 5:30 p.m., Barley's Taproom & Pizzeria, 200 East Jackson Avenue, Knoxville, TN, 37915. Conversation, food, and drink. 

East Tennessee Chapter, Freedom from Religion Foundation, Wednesday, 5:30 p.m. Third Wednesday of alternate months, Earth Fare, Turkey Creek, Knoxville.

Sunday Assembly Knoxville (Live Better, Help Often, Wonder More)
The Concourse at the International, 940 Blackstock Avenue, Knoxville 37921.  Sunday Assembly sites: Facebook, Meetup, Email.

Copyright © 2018 {Rationalists of East Tennessee, Inc.}. All rights reserved. Please request use of any material at contact below.
Contact email:
Edited by Donna Watson and Sharron King:
Opinions expressed are those of authors and/or editors and are not necessarily the opinions of RET.