Rationalists of East Tennessee Newsletter

    October 2019


    First Sunday Meeting

    October  6    Sunday        10:30 - 12:30

    Pellissippi State Community College, Goins Building, Cafeteria Annex

    Rob Clark of Senior Health Specialists will speak on "Navigating Insurance Options."

    The enrollment period for Medicare opens on October 15. Rob will give an overview of Medicare including the pros and cons of Medicare Advantage plans, how to choose the appropriate prescription drug plan, and new changes for 2020 Medicare supplement options. 

    Although this is of particular interest to those who are already retired, learning more about what to look for in insurance plans will be of benefit for all ages.



    October  12    Saturday        1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

    Wear sturdy shoes and gloves and bring a "picker-upper" if you have one. Bug spray is a good idea. Meet at the Burger King at the Lovell Road exit off Pellissippi Parkway. All volunteers must watch this video before working the roadway.


    This event will also celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Adopt-A-Highway Program. The first 10 participants to arrive will receive an Adopt-A-Highway t-shirt.

    The RET Skeptic Book Club

    October 13        Sunday         2:00 – 4:00 pm                         

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

    The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis

    What are the consequences if the people given control over our government have no idea how it works?

    "The election happened," remembers Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, then deputy secretary of the Department of Energy. "And then there was radio silence." Across all departments, similar stories were playing out: Trump appointees were few and far between; those that did show up were shockingly uninformed about the functions of their new workplace. Some even threw away the briefing books that had been prepared for them.

    Please bring your own chair if possible.


    RET Third Sunday Meeting

    October 20     Sunday            10:30 - 12:30

    Pellissippi State Community College, Goins Building Cafeteria Annex

    This will be a "Bring your own topic" meeting.  Topics will be chosen at random with 15-20 minutes spent on each topic, depending on time.


    • Current events
    • Issues that are important to you
    • Sharing of personal events

    RET Reflections Meeting

    October 27    Sunday     1:00 -3:30 p.m.        

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

    Pets – Why do we spend so much time and energy on our pets and how do they impact our lives?  What are some great stories you have about your pets or those of your friends and relatives?  Are our pets true companions or just social parasites?

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

    RET/ASK Freethought Forum TV

    October 2, 9, 16, 23, 30        Wednesdays          6:30 - 7:30 p.m.

    FFTV, presented by the Rationalists of East Tennessee and the Atheist Society of Knoxville, is broadcast each Wednesday, 6:30–7:30 p.m. on Knoxville's Community TV. Calls during the broadcast make it much more lively and interesting. Call in (865-215-2288) with comments or questions.

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


    Homer Clifton Wilkins: May 28,1923 -- September 2, 2019

    Born in rural west-central Kentucky, #6 in a family of 15 children, Homer began his education at age 10. Eight years later, he won a scholarship to Harvard, from which he graduated with honors three years later, with a major in physics. A Master’s Degree in physics at Harvard came a few years later, and, still later, a PhD in physics at Washington University in St. Louis.

    After a 26-year career in physics, Homer "went back to school" and changed careers to the field of mental health, via a Master’s Degree in clinical social work at the University of North Carolina. For 12 years he ran a mental-health center in Knoxville.

    In 1996 Homer  had a third "career" as an "itinerant UU minister, self-appointed," traveling all over the country.

    Homer gave presentations at RET meetings several times.  In June of 2016 he and Phil King spoke to RET on the subject of "Denial of Death."

    A memorial service for Homer will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 3, at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universal Church.


    Andrew Seidel, speaker at RET's public meeting in May this year, debated the subject of "Influence of Christianity on America's Founders."

    Mark David Hall, politics professor at George Fox University and author of “Did America Have a Christian Founding?,” and Andrew Seidel, constitutional attorney and author of “The Founding Myth,” discussed their respective books and debated whether America’s Founders were influenced by their religious beliefs. 

    It was held at the University of Kentucky on September 11, 2019.

    It can be viewed online on the C-Span website.


    Save the date: Saturday, December 21, Winter Solstice Party at the King's!


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    Contact email: info@rationalists.org
    Edited by Sharron King: newsletter@rationalists.org.
    Opinions expressed are those of authors and/or editors and are not necessarily the opinions of RET.