RET News April 2019 CE

Rationalists of East Tennessee Newsletter

April 2019


Save the Date:  Sunday, May 19, 2019

RET Annual Public Meeting 

Andrew L. Seidel

Attorney for Freedom from Religion Foundation

Author of  The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism in Un-American

Pellissippi State Community College, Hardin Valley Campus

Time to be announced


First Sunday Meeting

April 7         Sunday          10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.                         

Pellissippi State Community College, Goins Administration Building, Cafeteria Annex

The Green New Deal Resolution

The Green New Deal is a proposed stimulus program that aims to address climate change and economic inequality.  There will be time to discuss individual aspects of the resolution.

Come early for coffee and conversation.

Get Directions


Nonviolent/Compassionate Communication

April 10          Wednesday          5:30 p.m.

"The Birdhouse Community Center" 800 North 4th Avenue, Knoxville TN 37917

Charter RET member Melissa Brenneman has organized a collaborative study of nonviolent communication (also called compassionate communication).  Meetings will be on the second Wednesday of each month at 5:30 pm.  Interested RET members should contact Melissa at Recommended books: Nonviolent Communication (by Marshall Rosenberg) and Nonviolent Communication Companion Workbook (by Lucy Leu).  For more information about nonviolent communication, see


Freethought Forum TV

April 10          Wednesday          6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

FFTV, presented in conjunction with the Atheist Society of Knoxville, is broadcast each Wednesday,
6:30–7:30 p.m. The program is always more lively and interesting if people call in (865-215-2288) with questions and comments. 

The program can be seen live on the internet at In the Knoxville area it can be viewed on the following channels - Xfinity (Comcast), Channel 12: WOW! (Knology), Channel 6: Charter, Channel 193: AT&T U-verse, Channel 99



April 13        Saturday        1:004:00 p.m.

Meet at Burger King on Lovell Road at Pellissippi Parkway

Wear sturdy shoes and gloves and bring a "picker-upper" if you have one.  All volunteers must watch the Tennessee Department of Transportation's Adopt a Highway training video before working the roadway.

Skeptic Book Club

April 14        Sunday        2:004:00 p.m.                         

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

Letters from the Earth by Mark Twain

Letters from the Earth consists of a series of commentaries in essay and short story form. Many of these pieces express Twain's discomfort with and disdain for Christianity, both as a theological position and a lifestyle.  This is available as a free book online.


Third Sunday Meeting

April 21         Sunday          10:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Pellissippi State Community College, Goins Administration Building, Cafeteria Annex

Member Dale Newman will present his research on miracles in the Bible.


    April 28          Sunday          1:00–3:30 p.m. 

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

    Civil conversations – there is much talk these days about having civil conversations, but little real progress.  What is a civil conversation?  We often invoke parliamentary rules like Robert’s rule of order, but these rules often favor those who understand them, can manipulate them to their advantage, and have training in rhetorical skills.  Others who are less verbal and skilled in rhetoric feel shutout, ignored, and marginalized.   What is a good model for a civil conversation that includes a bit of emotion, some verbal stumbling, and minimizes political manipulation?  Does great literature or theater offer a better model?  Should we allow a story format in addition to the linear facts statements?  How should we handle anger and frustration release?  Waving our finger and demanding self control often escalates rather than deescalates the situation.  Can you think of a model that keeps a semblance of order, yet allows people to vent out their frustration in a controlled and beneficial manner?

    Please bring a dish or snacks for the usual pot luck, and Bob will provide some drinks and paper dinnerware. If you have strong legs, please park at the bottom of the driveway so others have less of a climb.



    A volunteer is needed for bringing coffee service to our May 5 meeting.  Contact Aleta Ledendecker for details.



    RET is now on, an online social networking site that allows people to find others who share common interests. Join in:



    American Atheists National Convention, April 19-21, Cincinnati, Ohio                        

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

    East Tennessee Chapter, Freedom from Religion Foundation, 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, 944 Blackstock Avenue, Knoxville 37921. Sunday Assembly sites: Facebook, Meetup, Email.


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    Edited by Sharron King:
    Opinions expressed are those of authors and/or editors and are not necessarily the opinions of RET.