Wednesday, December 20, 2006

HAT Minutes for 12.16.06 meeting

The December HAT meeting was held this year at the Bradleys’ house. It was our annual observance of HumanLight. There were about 20 people present.

We began the afternoon by reading the first act of the play Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge. After the first act we paused for our meal. We had a great meal of chicken and rice with sweet potatoes and several desserts, including some delicious chocolate cake balls covered in semi-sweet chocolate made by Julia.

In the business part of the gathering while we were still seated at the dining table, we elected our officers for 2007. They are Randy Bradley, president; Marilyn Clarke, vice-president; Dan Nerren, secretary/treasurer, and Brian Hill, program director. Randy presented Dan Nerren a gift from the chapter as a token of appreciation for his years of service to the Humanist chapter in Tulsa. On the outside of the box is a quotation from Albert Einstein: “Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own heart.” Inside the box is this inscription: “Presented with gratitude and affection by the members of the Humanist Association of Tulsa. Winter Solstice – 2006”

Following the meal we read the second act of the play. Then the Secular Singers sang some seasonal songs, including “Human Light,” which is what the whole event was about. Some of those present joined in with the singing.

Julia said that she had communicated with someone at the Eastern Oklahoma Food Bank about HAT volunteering there. We will work at the food bank on the third Saturday of the month. In January that will be the 20th. Expect to be contacted to see if you can volunteers for this community service project.

Monday, December 11, 2006

9/11 Conspiracy Theory Questions Answered

One of my favorite quotations is by philosopher George Santayana, and it goes something like this: “Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer.” When it comes to 9/11 conspiracies, I find that many people have jettisoned their skepticism and swallowed a conspiracy theory, hook, line, and sinker.

If you have bought into the idea that the events of 9/11 were perpetrated by our own government as a pretext for other actions, I beg you to read pages 30 through 44 of the current issue of Skeptic magazine (Vol. 12, No. 4). The various claims of the 9/11 Truth Movement are examined, some of which are shown to be untruthful. Many of the unanswered questions about the events of that day are addressed (e.g., Why did WTC building number 7 collapse if it was not struck by a plane?, If the temperature from the fires did not get high enough to melt steel, why did the buildings collapse?, Are the squibs shown in film of the damaged towers evidence of demolition charges?, Did the collapse of the towers look exactly like a controlled demolition?, Did WTC leaseholder Larry Silverstein actually confess to destroying WTC 7?

Toward the end of the first article, author Phil Molé poses this question: Why do so many intelligent and promising people find these theories so compelling. Molé then offers possible answers.

The magazine may be purchased at Border’s and Barnes & Noble, among other shops, for $5.95.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

News from this weekend

Secular Singers

The Secular Singers met at Randy’s for a practice session Saturday evening in preparation for a musical presentation at our annual HumanLight celebration on December 16 this year. We practiced our songs and refined the program as we went through the material. We are hoping we have a good showing at this year’s observance.

Randy and Dawn Bradley will be preparing a meal of chicken and rice. Everyone is welcome to bring a side dish or dessert, if they are so inclined. Following the meal we have two entertainment events planned. We have about 15 songs of the season we have been rehearsing, but there may not be time enough for all songs. For a couple of the songs (“Jingle Bells” and “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer”), you will be invited to sing along with us.

Humanist Study Group

The Humanist Study Group met briefly before those present jumped ship to see a “9/11 conspiracy” film being shown elsewhere in the library. I knew that the meeting was a lost cause when two of our friends came into the room only to announce they were leaving to go to another room to watch the conspiracy film. So Glenn (our discussion leader) postponed the discussion until next month and most of us went to the room showing the conspiracy film. The postponement will give us time to read the book Flow, if we wish, which is the subject of the article for discussion.

Someone from the group showing the film said it was 50-minutes long, but when the film ran past an hour I asked how long the film was and was told two hours. Since I had seen previously two other films arguing for a 9/11 conspiracy and had spent an hour and 15 minutes watching this film, I decided to leave. The films I have seen on this subject, including the one today, do not strike me as an objective examination of events. Rather they seem to me to be aimed at emotionally exciting the viewer. They appeal to emotion rather than intellect. If the films should happen to contain some accurate explanation of events, I am too skeptical of their claims since their credibility has been lost with me. I am no fan of Bush and company, but when these films devolve into a vehicle to verbally attack the Bush administration, I have to question their motive and objectivity. What are they really after? According to the film I viewed today, our government, or its allies, is behind a whole host of calamities including the London bombings, the Madrid bombings, and the bombing of the Murrah building in OKC.

AHA Survey

I received by e-mail today a survey from two members of the AHA Chapter Assembly regarding our chapter and our activities. I responded and forwarded the survey with my responses to the Board. If anyone else would like to read the survey and my responses, please let me know and I will forward the same to you.

If anyone would like to comment on anything I have written, just click on the comment option feature of this blog.

Friday, December 01, 2006

December Activities Calendar

December 2006
Activities of Interest to Freethinkers

Sat., Dec. 2, 7:00pm
Movie Night at the Bradleys, 6705 E. 54th St. Feature presentation to be chosen that night.

Sat., Dec. 9, 5pm to 7pm
Secular Singers at the Bradleys. All are welcome. Rehearsal for our annual HumanLight celebration. See The revised program has been posted on the HAT blog.

Sun., Dec. 10, 1:00pm
Humanist Study Group at Hardesty Library, on 93rd near Memorial. Topic: Humanism and the science of happiness. Read the article at

Wed., Dec. 13, 11:20am
ALGAE (A Little Group of Atheists Eating), luncheon at White River Fish Market, 1708 N. Sheridan.

Sat., Dec. 16, 1:00pm
HAT Monthly Membership Meeting at the Bradleys. Business: Election of officers for 2007 and participation in Food Bank volunteer program. Program: Musical entertainment by The Secular Singers and the reading of a humorous play selected by Marilyn Clarke. This event will double as our December F&F.

Sun., Dec. 17, 2pm
Tulsa Atheist Rendezvous/Tulsa Atheist Meetup We will meet at Border’s Bookstore on 21st St. near BA Expy on the second floor near the computer books. Additional details will be posted later at and

Questions? Call Dan at 798-3629

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Revised song list for HumanLight celebration

1. HumanLight
2. O Tannenbaum
3. Home for the Holidays
4. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
5. Mr. Santa
6. No ‘L’
7. Sleigh Ride
8. The Good King
9. Jingle Bells (duet)
10. Frosty the Snowman
11. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
12. The First Nowell (duet)
13. I Saw Three Ships (duet)
14. Silent Night (duet)
15. We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Monday, November 27, 2006

Nine Attend November F&F

The November Food & Fellowship was held on Saturday, the 25th, at TeKei’s on Utica. Those present were Glenn, Gail, Dawn, Randy, Ron, Marilyn, Barbara, Jan, and Dan. That’s nine people – a pretty good showing.

Randy told us about a marathon race he had participated in. The course was 26 miles long, and Randy completed it. What a feat!

Barbara told us about the great view she had of fireworks from her apartment high atop the University Tower – that’s the cylindrical building on the east bank of the Arkansas River near downtown.

Other topics of conversation included Chinese food, the Prairie Home Companion movie and Robert Altman, assassinations, Edna St. Vincent Millay, whales, and tiling floors.

In December, there will be a combined HAT meeting and Food & Fellowship gathering. This will take place at the Bradleys (6705 E. 54th) on Saturday, December 16, beginning at 2 PM. The Bradleys will be providing the food. The occasion will be our annual HumanLight celebration.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Minutes for meeting on 11.19.06

At the HAT meeting today nominations were received for officers for 2007. The officers for 2006 were all agreeable to having their names placed in nomination to serve for another year. Thus we will have Randy Bradley as president, Marilyn Clarke as vice-president, Dan Nerren as secretary and treasurer, and Brian Hill as program director.

Attendance was down today with just nine people present. At today’s meeting were Marilyn, Julia, Mary, Polly, Brian, Ron, Sam, and a first time visitor, Vernon. Randy participated in a marathon run today and did not attend, but Marilyn, our vice-president, took over in Randy’s absence. Randy and I had earlier talked about getting a video recorded describing HAT and uploading it to Vernon, our visitor, said he had some experience in making videos. I think he will assist us in making a video and getting it on You Tube.

Today’s program was presented by Brian Hill. He gave a book review of Piety and Politics by Barry Lynn. He gave us an informative overview of the book -- an excellent presentation, as usual.

Next month HAT will meet at the home of Randy and Dawn Bradley for our annual HumanLight celebration. The Bradleys will provide a light meal. The Secular Singers will provide musical entertainment. This meeting will be on Saturday, December 16, starting at 2:00 PM. There will be no Food & Fellowship gathering in December.

Julia is looking into the possibility of HAT members volunteering for work at a food bank as a community service project.

In January, our program will be the reading of a play. The play for this Readers’ Theater presentation will be selected by Marilyn Clarke. We don’t know at this time how many “actors” will be needed, but if this activity is of interest to anyone reading this, please contact me.


The ALGAE meeting last Wednesday saw seven old friends coming together for a meal: Dave, Dana, Larry, Julia, Sharon, Patricia, and Dan. It’s always interesting to hear what Dave has been reading. Presently, it is the recently published The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine. This book reveals the mysteries of how the brains of women function. Other topics we talked about included a Nova program about a small group of people who walked using their arms and legs like a dog or cat, South Park TV program, geocaching, science magazines, family reactions upon learning about one’s atheism, and campaign finance reform.

On Saturday a group of five HAT folk drove to Oklahoma City to see an exhibit of Egyptian artifacts at the OKC Museum of Art. Also at the museum we saw many Chuhuly glass works, and we watched a video titled “The Way Things Go.” We then walked to Bricktown, not far away. We then returned to our cars and drove to see a sculpture commemorating the westward expansion of the U.S. We were going to eat at the nearby Bass Pro Shop but discovered there was no restaurant in the building. We drove to a Chinese restaurant a few miles away and ate there.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Weekend events

HAT folk had two opportunities to get together this weekend. The Secular Singers gathered at Randy’s to practice some music for our annual HumanLight Celebration which is scheduled for Saturday, December 16, starting at 2 pm. We have one more rehearsal scheduled before then. It will be on Saturday, Dec. 9, probably starting at 2 pm if that does not conflict with anyone’s schedule.

What a stimulating and wide-ranging discussion we had today at the Humanist Study Group meeting at Hardesty Library. In addition to myself, the others there were Randy, Glenn, Dave, Ron, Audrey, Marilyn, Mary, Richard, Sam, Russ, Polly, Larry, and Don. An attendance of 14 is pretty good for our small group. The subject of discussion was an article by Steve Paulson, “The Flying Spaghetti Monster.” No one believes there is a flying spaghetti monster, just as in Bertrand Russell’s day no one believed there was a silver teapot orbiting Mars. Yet neither of these concepts and be proven not to exist.

Randy asked that each of us put in writing our own personal philosophy. He would like for us at some future meeting(s) to read our statement to the group.

I had to miss the first ten minutes of the meeting. I have been attending Church of the Restoration on Sunday mornings, and that often puts me late getting to 1pm meetings. If any of you would like to add your recollections of the discussion, please use the comment option.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

HumanLight 2006 Planning

Nothing is set in stone, but this is more or less the way I envision the program shaping up. We have a set of 15 songs. (If this seems too long, we will cut some.) The program is mostly vocal music with a few instrumental selections. Numbers 10, 11, and 12 will be sing-along.

1. HumanLight
2. O Tannenbaum
3. Home for the Holidays
4. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
5. Mr. Santa
6. No ‘L’
7. Sleigh Ride
8. The Good King
9. No Masters and No Gods For Me
10. Jingle Bells
11. Frosty the Snowman
12. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
13. I Saw Three Ships
14. Silent Night
15. We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Sunday, November 05, 2006

November Calendar

November 2006
Activities of Interest to Freethinkers

Sat., Nov. 4, 7:00pm
Movie Night at the Bradleys, 6705 E. 54th St. Two piano duets (from the movies) by Gail & Dan. Feature presentation to be chosen that night.

Sat., Nov. 11, 5pm to 7pm
Secular Singers at the Bradleys. All are welcome. We will focus on getting ready for our annual HumanLight ( celebration coming in December to be held once again at the Bradleys. The program will soon be posted on the HAT blog.

Sun., Nov. 12, 1:00pm
Humanist Study Group at Hardesty Library, on 93rd near Memorial. Topic: Richard Dawkins and the Flying Spaghetti Monster. See

Wed., Nov. 15, 11:20am
ALGAE (A Little Group of Atheists Eating), luncheon at White River Fish Market, 1708 N. Sheridan.

Sun., Nov. 19, 1:00pm
HAT Monthly Membership Meeting at Hardesty Regional Library. Business: Nominations for officers for 2007. Program: Brian Hill will review Barry Lynn’s new book Piety and Politics: The Right-Wing Assault on Religious Freedom.

Sat., Nov. 25, 11:30am
Food and Fellowship at TeKei’s Asian Restaurant at 1616 S. Utica.

Sun., Nov. 26, 2pm
Tulsa Atheist Rendezvous/Tulsa Atheist Meetup We will meet at Border’s Bookstore on 21st St. near BA Expy on the second floor near the computer books. Additional details will be posted later at and

Field Trip to OKC Plans are being made to caravan to OKC to view an exhibit at the Oklahoma City Art Museum, possibly on Nov. 18. Details to follow.

Questions? Call Dan at 798-3629

Movie Night at the Bradley Abode

I feel so fortunate to know Randy and Dawn Bradley. They open their house to us the first Saturday evening each month for the HAT Movie Night.

In addition to the Bradleys last Saturday, there were Sharon, Gail, Dan, Jan, Marilyn, Sam, and Audrey present. After a few moments of light repartee and jocular banter, Gail and Dan sat down at the piano and knocked out a couple of tunes: “The John Dunbar Theme” and “Moon River.”

We next retired to the Bradley Media Center for the evening’s DVD entertainment. First we watched a five-minute segment from Buena Vista Social Club – a duet sung by Ibrahim Ferrer and Omara Portuondo. Next we watched two 30-minute episodes of Penn and Teller’s Bullshit! TV series. The episodes we watched were titled “Signs from Heaven: The Virgin Mary or Grilled Cheese Sandwich” and “Conspiracy Theories.” We talked about watching “Circumcision: Snip and Chuck” but decided instead to watch A Prairie Home Companion. Many of you are familiar with Garrison Keillor’s radio show by the same name. It’s a delightful show filled with music, storytelling, and cornball humor. The radio show serves as the setting for the movie.

In addition to the popcorn and soft drinks provided by the Bradleys, Gail brought homemade bread pudding and Audrey brought cheese and crackers. I feasted upon these treats as if I had not eaten all day. It’s good to be alive and great when you can be among friends.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Our geocaching outing

We had a great time geocaching today. The weather could not have been better. We found three of the four caches we searched for. I suspect the cache we could not find was missing since the difficulty rating was 1 star (out of five stars) and we had seven people looking for it.

The first two caches we searched for were fairly easy to find. We spent a lot of time looking for the third cache due to an error I made entering the coordinates into my GPS receiver. I was one digit off and that error put us about a mile from where we should have been. It also caused us to waste about an hour; thus we searched for only four caches today.

Afterwards, we all enjoyed food at Mazzio’s Pizza near the Bradleys.

Taking part in today’s geocaching adventure were Randy, Dawn, Dan, Jan, Sam, Gail, and Audrey.

I love this sport. Anytime any of you would like to go caching again, just let me know and I will plan another outing.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Talk at the ALGAE luncheon

There were seven of us at the ALGAE luncheon today: Julia T., Sharon B., Patricia B. (Sharon’s daughter), Jan N., Diana B., Larry H. and myself.

Sharon has been kayaking. She owns two kayaks – a single seat kayak and a two-seater. Sharon had recently been to a weekend event billed as “Becoming an Outdoors Woman” at Ft. Gibson Lake which taught a variety of outdoors skills including rappelling, kayaking, geocaching, orienteering, and basketmaking. She went with HAT member Gail S. and both of these “outdoor women” had a great time. I heard a rumor that some of those at the event had smuggled in some wine. For shame, for shame. I hope that these two HAT ladies will be able to join us as we go on a HAT geocaching adventure in Tulsa on Sunday, October 29.

We talked a little about movies we had seen recently. I mentioned Man of the Year starring Robin Williams, which I had recently seen. I recommend it. Larry and Diana had recently seen The Little Prince – a theatrical production staged in Tulsa. Julia suggested that HAT get involved in a community service project of some kind. She is going to look into the possibilities and let us know what she finds out.

By the way, the movie we will see this coming Sunday at the Tulsa Atheist Rendezvous will be The Illusionist. More on this will be sent out by e-mail tomorrow.

I learned from Larry that there is a difference between driving under the influence and driving while impaired. Larry is going to send me more info by e-mail. I figure we need to know this since at times the wine flows freely at events we attend.

Larry mentioned two websites of interest: and

Other topics of discussion included sex offenders and their difficulty in finding a place to live, and traditional households now being in a minority position.

It was good to see everyone there. There were a few others I was hoping to see, but they weren’t there. Maybe next time.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

HAT Minutes 10.15.06

At the HAT meeting today we had 14 people. Not a bad turnout for a rainy day. We had one visitor, and he was from Hong Kong. That’s quite a way from home. He is in Tulsa because he has a job as an instructor at a local college.

The door prize – a one-year subscription to Audubon magazine – was won by Richard Maule. Anyone interested in sponsoring a door prize for the next meeting should let me know.

Randy read a short poem. I have forgotten the title and author. I should have taken notes. Then I read some short quotations by Emily Dickinson. Next I read two of her poems: “I Heard a Fly Buzz When I Died” and “Because I Could Not Stop for Death.” I concluded by reading a poem by former U. S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins, “Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes.”

Randy mentioned that we (at least five or us, that is) gathered at his house on October 7 for the monthly Movie Night. We watched a musical documentary A Vision Shared. Randy invited everyone to attend the next Movie Night on November 4. A likely candidate for the feature presentation is Buena Vista Social Club, but the selection has not been firmly decided. Since we usually consume wine at these gatherings, I suggested that we obtain a portable breathalyzer to insure no one leaves (if driving) with a blood alcohol level in excess of .80. I did not put this in the form of a motion, and no action was taken on it. But it is something we should consider.

Randy suggested that at our next meeting we all bring a joke or two to read or tell. I assume this is in addition to a presentation of some type which Brian will prepare. And for our December meeting, we will meet at Randy’s on Saturday, December 16, for our annual Human Light celebration and concert by the Secular Singers (Randy, Bea, Gail, and Dan). There will be no third Sunday meeting at Hardesty Library. The Bradleys will provide the entrée and fixings. Those attending are welcome to bring a dessert, if they so choose.

The program was a lecture on DVD presented by Edward Larsen. The title of Larsen’s lecture was “Scientific Creationism.” Discussion followed. Two of our members in attendance are retired teachers of biology. They shared their personal experiences in teaching the sometimes controversial subject in their classrooms.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

October 2006 Activities

Activities of Interest to Freethinkers

Sun., Oct. 1, 5pm to 7pm
Secular Singers at the Bradleys. All are welcome. We will focus on getting ready for our annual Human Light celebration coming in December to be held once again at the Bradleys.

Sat., Oct. 7, 7pm
Movie Night at the Bradleys, 6705 E. 54th St. Feature presentation: A Vision Shared: A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. This documentary includes more than a dozen songs performed by Bruce Springsteen, Arlo Guthrie, Bono, Little Richard, Sweet Honey in the Rock and others. 72 minutes.

Sun., Oct. 8, 2pm
Humanist Study Group at Hardesty Library, on 93rd near Memorial. Topic: “The Evolutionary Psychology of Religion” by Steven Pinker from The Humanist magazine, Sept./Oct. 2006. Article to be provided by e-mail.

Sun., Oct. 15, 1pm
HAT Monthly Membership Meeting at Hardesty Regional Library. Program: “Scientific Creationism” lecture (DVD) by Edward J. Larsen from “The Theory of Evolution: A History of Controversy,” produced by The Great Courses.

Wed., Oct. 18, 11:20am
ALGAE (A Little Group of Atheists Eating), luncheon at White River Fish Market, 1708 N. Sheridan.

Sun., Oct. 22, 2pm
Tulsa Atheist Rendezvous/Tulsa Atheist Meetup Plans are to see a movie at about 2pm then eat afterwards and talk about the movie. Times and locations will be announced later. To be kept informed of what’s happening, go to or

Sat., Oct. 28, 11:30am
Food & Fellowship at Thai-Siam, 6380 E. 31st.

Sun., Oct. 29, 2pm
Geocaching adventures with Randy and Dan. Learn about geocaching at We will start at Randy’s, go caching, and eat pizza afterwards.

Questions? Call Dan at 798-3629

Sunday, September 17, 2006

HAT Minutes, 9.17.06

There were 17 people at today's HAT meetingRandy read three poems by e.e.cummings, and I read three poems by three different poets, including the freethought poet Philip Appleman. I also read a letter HAT received from Millie Vance, who now lives near Spokane, Washington. I reported that we now have $1,139.47 in our treasury and our membership stands at 24.

We decided to change the venue for the Food & Fellowship on Saturday, September 23, to the Mexicali Border Cafe restaurant at 14 W. Brady. Following the F&F gathering many of us will go to the Grand Opening of the Tulsa Peace House just west of downtown Tulsa. Take 3rd Street and go west until it becomes Charles Page Blvd. The Peace House is at the intersection with Phoenix.

A discussion began about the 9-11-01 attack on the Pentagon. Some people are of the persuasion that the plane on which Barbara Olson was traveling did not crash into the Pentagon. The destruction according to this conjecture was caused by a cruise missle. After the meeting was over some in our group went to Randy's house to view a film, Loose Change, which is about this subject.

Brian gave an excellent presentation on the book The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad written by Fareed Zakaria. Following the presentation there was discussion concerning current politics and the war in Iraq.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Evolution Song: Suggested revisions from Dr. Hill


I am really surprised at the tenacity with which Evolution is contrasted with ID in various writings, songs, etc. ID is a philosophical speculation. It is not a scientific theory. There is no conflict between the ID and Evolution, a scientific theory. For example: one can speculate that the evolutionary process, easily visible to scientists, may reasonably be considered the process an Intelligence has Designed to cause biological mutation.

If one has a problem with the scientific theory in Genesis (it meets all the criteria for classification as a scientific theory; the "Creator" is simply the First Cause of the "Creation"), one should forget it. That theory became untenable centuries ago and was discarded by scientists--including many who are believers in a god [theists] and most professional scholars associated with the study of the Bible.

Earlier theories of evolutionary process have been discarded and the theory at present is constantly being modified. Look at Stephen Jay Gould's treatises on the subject and his own theory of evolution which accounts for more facts than earlier theories of evolution. He expected and hoped for future theories to cover yet-discovered facts. If one has a problem with the Bible as an authority, one should forget it. Very few well-educated clergy (admittedly a minority among clergy) gave up that idea long ago. But if one must attack, attack the authority of the Bible--not I. D. and Creationism; he/she should cut the tree off at its roots and avoid clinging to the illogical contrasting of ID and Evolution. And, by the way, please don't--if one does--think of atheists and agnostics as among the only enlightened "free thinkers" in human society. That's a step along the road of ignorance which leads to self-righteousness. Remember, too, that ridicule often boomerangs.

Below is my suggestion of changes to make the verse less naive and vulnerable to boomerangs:

Evolution Song
(sung to the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic)

My bones proclaim a story of incomplete design.
My back still hurts, my sinus clogs, my teeth just won't align.
If I had drawn the blueprint, I would certainly resign,
A creationist am I. [not a "Creationist"; the verse--talking about 'blueprints' suggests design hence leads to the label 'creationist']

Evo- evo- evo- lution,
The theory seeks solutions.
How come the changes in life forms?
The search will still go on.

I appreciate your mailings, Dan, and your service to our Humanist group. Sorry about your back problems. Hope you're soon relieved of them.

Cordially, H

Note from Dan:

For those who missed seeing the original lyrics, here they are:

My bones proclaim a story of incompetent design.
My back still hurts, my sinus clogs,
my teeth just won’t align.
If I had drawn the blueprint,
I would certainly resign,
Incompetent design.

Evo- evo- evo- lution,
Design is but a mere illusion.
Darwin sparked our revolution.
Science shall prevail.

To hear a group of (unidentified) faculty and students sing the song with gusto (if not a lot of harmony) go to and type into the search box "incompetent design."

Thursday, September 07, 2006

From the HAT Post Office box

I went by the HAT P.O. box today (first time in a week) and picked up the mail. We had a newsletter from the Rationalist Society of St. Louis and a newsletter from the Humanist Association of Salem, Oregon. We also had a letter from Millie Vance. Those of you who have been long-time members will remember Millie. Before moving to Washington state a few years ago, she had been for several years a member and loyal supporter of HAT. Her letter is addressed to "Fellow Humanists," and I will read it at our September general meeting (Sept. 17). She also sent a check and a photo of herself taken on her 69th birthday.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Some comments from Harold Hill


I appreciate Brian Hill's having called our attention to the useful article and your seeing to it that all of us where thereby given an opportunity to see it.

I do wish, however, that it be clearly understood that many of the so-called "religious beliefs" are actually closely related to primitive science (magic) and do not by any means express the concepts of the educated constituency of our culture who are related to religious organizations and traditions. Many of the latter are at the forefront of theological, philosophical, scientific, social and cultural advances.

Humanists, I suggest, should take another look at the apparently common assumption that they are the only ones who are rational, logical, and intellectually honest and enlightened.

As a member of the Tulsa Humanists, I support the organizations efforts. And I care enough about the group to hope that it will get on with the business or learning in depth about what goes on in the intellectual world of theists instead of tending simply to point to the antics of the least intellectual.

On the one occasion when I was asked to speak to the group, several of those there were visitors who were, in fact, theists. Two were clergypersons.

The Humanists present were very cordial. I appreciated that. However, their questions and personal conversations with me betrayed that they had acquired little knowledge about the real world of theistic intellectuals and about serious philosophic thought.

I am frustrated that my Sunday schedule prevents my attending the society's discussions. My absence, be it understood, is due only to schedule barriers; never to lack of interest and support.

Fraternally, Harold E. Hill

"The evil that is in the world always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence, if they lack understanding. On the whole men are more good than bad; that, however, isn't the real point. But they are more or less ignorant, and it is this that we call vice or virtue; the most incorrigible vice being that of an ignorance which fancies it knows everything and therefore claims for itself the right to kill. There can be no true goodness, nor true love, without the utmost clear-sightedness."--Camus

Monday, August 28, 2006

Report on freethought events this past weekend

I was fortunate enough to be able to get away for a while and attend the Food and Fellowship gathering of the Humanist Assn. of Tulsa on Saturday. We met at TeKei’s, and there were twelve of us there. Attending were Larry, Julia, Polly, Randy, Elaine, Audrey, Dave, Ron, Dawn, Marilyn, Howard, and myself.

The Salmon salad I had was excellent, but even more enjoyable was being in the presence of my friends and hearing what they have been up to. We began by talking about letters which appeared in the Tulsa World that morning. Larry was the author of one of the letters, and he remarked that a small portion (in my opinion the best part) of his letter had been excised by the newspaper. I hope that Randy will be able to post the full unexpurgated text on the HAT web site.

In another letter in the same issue of the newspaper, one writer made reference to a previous letter written by Polly Mark. Polly had objected to the newspaper giving the religious affiliation of political candidates. The writer said she wanted to know the religious affiliation of candidates, presuming that if she knew what religion a candidate adhered to she would know enough about the political views of the candidate to vote either for or against the candidate.

Larry said that the drought up in Kansas was getting so bad that the Catholics were looking into converting wine into water.

Randy and Dawn talked about their climb up Pike’s Peak earlier in the month. What was it? Nine miles of walking uphill? I think of that as quite an accomplishment, especially since neither Randy nor Dawn are exactly spring chickens? Congratulation to you two on this feat of physical prowess. I am in awe of you both.

Julia told us about hunting fossils in the Dakota Badlands while deftly handling her food with chop sticks. She is pretty skillful at it. I should take up eating with chop sticks; I’m sure I would lose weight. We all learned a new word from Julia: fossiliferous. Had to look that one up in my Webster’s to see if I were spelling it correctly. I’ve found there’s a lot my spell checker doesn’t know. Fossiliferous soil is soil that contains fossils. As Will Rogers might have said, That’s a two-dollar word for a 25-cent concept. I will have to see if I can work the word into the conversation at the next meeting.

Another topic we talked about is the difference between a news article’s headline and content. Sometimes a headline seems to suggest one thing, but then when you read the article the content contradicts the headline.

Julia recommended the film V is for Vendetta. She owns a copy on DVD and has offered to bring it to Movie Night sometime. Randy said that Netflix was a good deal. It gets around the problem of going to the movie rental store and finding that the movie you want is not available.

Other conversation topics included the misreporting of the number of deaths in the Iraq War, how voting can be manipulated by voting machines, and whether people who will be supposedly “raptured” will make the journey with or without their clothes. Can’t you just visualize a church congregation floating away in the buff?

We also remarked about the fine décor in the restrooms with piped in, not music, but lessons on the Chinese language.

At the end of our meal the waitress brought us fortune cookies. One read “Skepticism is the first step toward truth.” We found that very appropriate for our group.

I am sure there were many other things we talked about, but I was seated at the north end of the table. What Audrey, Elaine, and Ron, who were seated at the south end of the table talked about, I cannot say.

Sunday morning I attended the service at All Souls Unitarian Church where the guest speaker was Bishop Carlton Pearson, formerly or Higher Dimensions Church in Tulsa, now minister of New Dimensions Church. In case you missed what happened to Pearson over the last several months, he has undergone a theological shift. He no longer believes that God operated a cosmic concentration camp where He tortures for all eternity those who beliefs are religiously incorrect. He has become a Universalist and believes all people are “saved” whether they know it or not.

The idea did not sit well with most congregants at Higher Dimensions, donations dried up, mortgage payments could not be met, and the church was lost. I guess some people are just not happy unless they can be told that a certain number of their fellow human beings are going to be tortured for being wrong about their religion. But all did not abandon Pearson. A small following stuck with him, and they meet in the sanctuary at Trinity Episcopal in downtown Tulsa on Sunday afternoons.

I thoroughly enjoyed the service. Pearson’s sermon was the best I’ve ever heard. Of course, being an atheist I’m not in the habit of taking in a lot of sermons. The place was packed. Thirty to fifty people were standing in the outside aisles.

The service began with UU minister Marvin Lavanhar telling a story to the children who gathered at the front. His story was about a frog who lived in a well. He had lived there all his life, and the well was all he knew. One day another frog falls into the well. The new frog tells the other one about the ocean, but the well frog cannot fathom the idea of a larger world outside of his well and tosses the ocean frog out of the well.

The symbolism was obvious. Pearson was a frog who had discovered a larger world – a world of a new dimension. His church and denomination had tossed him out.

Following the frog story, the New Dimensions Chorale sang. There were just twelve people in the choir, but they sounded like 40. They sang with strong, powerful voices. Their singing reminded me of the group Sweet Honey in the Rock. At the end of their first song the room erupted in applause as everyone jumped to their feet to give the singers a standing ovation.

The pianist was quite good as he sprinkled in jazz riffs in the selections the choir sang. I would love to hear this choir perform again.

Pearson’s sermon was titled “Get the Hell Out of my Bible.” I tried to take notes but found it difficult to listen and write at the same time. I hope the talk will be made available in transcript or on audiotape.

He spoke of dual loyalties to Jehovah and to Satan. There is the inspired word of God and the expired word of God. He said there is a little bit of Hitler in all of us. He spoke of moral dysfunctionalism and of deacon possessed churches.

As he wound down, his pianist came in on cue and Pearson broke into song. Pearson is also known for his singing, having made several vocal albums. The song was “I Can See Clearly Now.” He sang a verse and then asked the congregation to join him in singing the verse again.

It took quite a while for the sanctuary to empty since many people stood in line to shake Pearson’s hand.

I must say I felt somewhat abandoned in the afternoon at the Atheist Meetup at Border’s on 21st St. You never can predict how many people will come out to support this event. As it turned out, there was just Ron, Elaine, and myself. We talked a bit about various freethought organizations and their publications.

I read two selections. The first was the poem “Sarah” by Philip Appleman. In this poem we have Sarah, wife of Abraham, recounting some of the history of her times. She tells of Abraham’s courage in bargaining with God in an attempt to save Sodom and Gemorrah from destruction. Starting with an agreement to spare the cities if 50 righteous people can be found in them, God eventually agrees to spare the cities if only 10 righteous people can be found. If it seems that God is too easily persuaded to spare the cities, it is because he has no intention of keeping his word. Yes, God lied to Abraham, and it’s there in the Old Testament as well as in Appleman’s poem.

The poem ends with these words:

But whenever I think of Sodom…Well,
what had those people done that was so bad,
anyway—some dice and booze,
some frisky girls, willing boys,
a little fooling around—I know
it’s not exactly orthodox, but
to kill them all? To peel
the cooked flesh off those one-year olds,
just learning their first words?
All I can say is,
God must have a weird set of values,
and if there’s a Judgment Day,
as some folks think,
He’s going to have a lot to answer for.

I also read an essay by James Haught titled “Why Would God Drown Children?” Haught asked why some 80,000 children lost their lives as a result of the tsunami which struck Asia the day after Christmas in 2004. He quotes John Scarp as saying, “Natural disasters like this reveal the ultimate weakness of nearly all religions…. The desperate attempts of religion to justify them as part of God’s plan simply reveal the delusional nature of religious belief.”

I appeal to you, my fellow freethinkers, to support freethought activities, to keep freethought alive, with your attendance at freethought events.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Quote from Sharon Nichols

"Tyranny of the majority is the most insidious tyranny of all--and leads to the worst oppression. The only innoculation against this tyranny is to follow Thomas Paine's injuncture so that no minority group, however much detested by the majority, will ever fall victim to the tyranny of the majority. Protecting the Constitutional rights of all citizens is our greatest duty as citizens, for it is all that separates us from despots and dictatorships." Sharon Nichols

Monday, August 21, 2006

Minutes of HAT meeting, 8.20.06

There were 17 people at the HAT meeting yesterday. It was good to see so many attending on that hot Sunday afternoon.

In the business part of the meeting we approved spending $100 for an honorarium for Sharon Nichols to come to Tulsa and speak to our membership about her experiences regarding her lawsuit to force the removal of a Ten Commandments marker from the lawn of the Haskell County courthouse in Stigler. I don’t yet know whether Sharon will be interested in accepting this offer. I e-mailed her yesterday but don’t yet have a reply.

This month’s Food & Fellowship will be at Te’Kei’s at 1616 S. Utica on Saturday, August 26, starting at 11:30 am.

We gained a new member yesterday: Bob Freeman. Welcome to Bob. We now have 24 dues-paying members.

We will soon be losing one of our members: Harold Dundee, who will be moving to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Harold is retired from Tulane University where he taught biology for 30 years. Harold came to Tulsa last year about the time hurricane Katrina devastated a large part of New Orleans. In Baton Rouge he will have the opportunity to stay active in his professional life.

The program was presented by Marilyn Clarke. Her presentation was based upon an article from The Journal of Psychohistory. She related much of the article to current events, especially to the behavior of the Bush administration.

Somehow we got off to talking about the growth of the Christ legend and the history of the Bible. “A fun story,” commented Glenn Visher. Glenn spoke of the Greek influence upon the Apostle Paul.

Other topics of discussion which sprung from Marilyn’s talk were child abuse, parenting, abortion, and God as a parent figure.

As always, feel free to add comments of your own about the meeting using the comments feature of this blog.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Larry Forrest on the war in Iraq

The writer of this piece, Larry Forrest, is currently living in Norman but has plans to move back to Tulsa.

I am so goddamned tired of this nanny-state bullshit! It's not enough that naughty words be bleeped, but the speaker's mouth has to be blurred so as to keep lipreaders from being corrupted. Worse, our foul-mouthed, hypocritical Prude-in-Chief signed legislation in June that increases the fine to $325,000 for each instance of broadcast indecency.

What insane culture we live in. The whole damn country has a conniption fit over the quickie revelation of one female breast during a Super Bowl halftime show, but we fall for the neocon job that landed us in Iraq, and we allow that illegal, immoral, and irresponsible war to continue. That, my friends, is the real obscenity.

Of course we all know that Dubya cusses a blue streak, and that if he were fined for every expletive he fails to delete he'd be in hock to the FCC for millions of dollars. Yet that son of Bush can sign legislation that effectively chills broadcasters from using his favorite cuss words. Hey, I'm all for little children not being exposed to vulgar language, but that's why parents and channel changers exist. If the former can master operation of the latter, then their children will be spared a life of crime resulting from hearing such shitty words as spurt forth from the mouth of our Pastor-in-Chief. Look, it's just not the responsibility of Uncle Sam to censor every program so that it will [be] acceptable to the most prudish of prudes.

Rather than censor documentaries about war, or the daily coverage of the gory carnage in the Middle East, I think we should show it in all its realistic horror. Show the bloody corpses, show the decapitated heads, show the wounded in hospitals--let's hear their screams of agony (the universal language), let's hear our troops cursing the enemy, the weather, and--yea verily--even our leaders in Washington, DC.

I'm not sure if this is true or not, but I read that somewhere in Iraq a teenage girl was murdered, decapitated, and the head of a dog sown on her neck. If this is so, a photo should be taken and shown on every goddamn media outlet: it should be on the front page of The New York Times; it should be on billboards all across the country; it should be on milk cartons. The caption would read: "This is your fucking war, America! This is what your tax dollars are buying. This is what happens when you go to war with barbarian religious fanatics who are happy to die for their barbarian God and happier still to murder for Him. This is what happens when you don't pay attention to what the hell is going on around you. This is what happens when you allow yourselves to be seduced by all the flag-waving, jingoistic bullshit your "Christian" leaders flummoxed you with. Wake up, you dumbshit assholes, before it's too late!"

Whew! I really went off on a rant there, didn't I? But it's hard not to be blind with anger when you consider the blatant stupidity being practiced right before our unbelieving eyes. As Bob Dole put it during the 1996 presidential race: "Where's the outrage?" Relatively speaking, there was very little then to be outraged about. Now, however, there's a flaming shitload.

Wait a minute: what am I upset about? Maybe the FCC is right. Maybe, in fact, it doesn't go far enough. Concerning the WWII documentary: sure, let's mute the sound and pixilate the mouths of those who swear. But more than that, we shouldn't allow people to see that most common outcome of war: dead bodies. Instead, let's superimpose cute little teddy bears and ducks and bunny wabbits and TeleTubbies on all those ugly corpses. We certainly don't want people to get the impression that war is hell, particularly when it's being fought for a noble cause, like the war in Iraq. Yes, I can see so much better now.

Thank you for inserting the brain probe into the back of my skull, you kind and patriotic FBI agents.

I love Big Brother.



Sunday, July 16, 2006

HAT Minutes 7.16.06

There were 16 people in attendance at today's HAT meeting at Hardesty Library. Attending were Stan, Larry Hi, Randy, Polly, Brian, Gail, Ron, Jean, Harold, Mary, Russ, Elaine, Marilyn, Audrey, Don and myself. We gained two new members today: Ron McDaniel and Elaine Liddell. Welcome to you both.

Due to the annoyance of the music at Border's on 81st St., those who attended the Humanist Study Group meeting on July 9 at Border's decided to change the venue for the next several HSG meetings to Hardesty Library. Polly took the initiative of reserving a meeting room at Hardesty for the HSG. I can't recall if the meeting time is the same or not, but I will check with Polly and get the word out about the change.

[Polly says the new meeting time is 1pm.]

There is also a change in venue for the Food & Fellowship gathering this Saturday, July 22. Originally set for Furr's Cafeteria, the F&F venue will now be a Chinese restaurant on 71st St. I think the name of the restaurant is Hong Kong, but I will have to check with Polly, who is reserving a meeting room there for us, to get the correct name and address.

[Polly says, Hong Kong on Memorial at 73rd.]

Following the F&F, Stan is hosting a showing of a film produced by the ACLU. The showing will be at the Tulsa Central Library. More details will be sent to members as they become available. As of now, Stan is still trying to obtain a copy of the video. He has ordered a copy, but it has not arrived yet.

I read a short piece at the meeting by William Falk, editor of The Week, a newsmagazine. The jist of the piece is that there have always been crackpots predicting the end of the world, but now some of today's crackpots have access to weapons which could kill hundreds of thousands of people. I also read a satirical piece by George Carlin from his book When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?

Randy will not be able to host Movie Night on Saturday, August 5. We are looking for a volunteer to host that Movie Night. Anyone willing to host it should contact either Randy or Dan.

The program was presented by Harold Dundee. It was a chapter by chapter overview of the book The Naked Mind by Shelton Gottlieb. It was quite an interesting presentation, made even moreso thanks to Harold's personal acquaintance with the author.

As always, feel free to emend these minutes by adding your own commentary using the comments option. I try to be complete, but I usually forget to include something that was talked about.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Freethought Events for July 2006

July 2006 Activities of Interest to Freethinkers

Sat., July 1, 7pm
Movie Night at the Bradleys, 6705 E. 54th St.

Sat., July 8, 10am
Secular Singers at the Bradleys. All are welcome. If you play an instrument (lightweight and portable), bring it.

Sun., July 9, 2pm
Humanist Study Group at Border’s, 81st & Yale. Topic: American Theocracy by Kevin Phillips. Discussion leader: Dan Nerren. Read chapters 5, 6, and 7.

Sun., July 16, 1pm
HAT Monthly Membership Meeting at Hardesty Regional Library. Speaker: Harold Dundee on The Naked Mind by Sheldon F. Gottlieb.

Wed., July 19, 11:23am
ALGAE (A Little Group of Atheists Eating), luncheon at White River Fish Market, 1708 N. Sheridan.

Sat., July 22, 11:30am
Food & Fellowship at Furr’s Cafeteria in The Farm shopping center.

Sun., July 23, 2pm
Tulsa Atheist Rendezvous/Tulsa Atheist Meetup Meet at Border’s Bookstore on 21st St., second floor. (Go to to sign up for meetups.)

Questions? Call Dan at 798-3629

Monday, June 19, 2006

About the Nonviolent Communication Training Course

I am hoping that sometime later on this year HAT and TPF can present this course at the Tulsa Peace House. The course is recorded on nine audio CDs. Here is a little about each disc:

The purpose of NVC
Compassionate giving
A radical transformation of language
Refraining from criticism making demands

Four friends: anger, depression, guilt, and shame
Becoming literate in a “language of life”
From self-judgment to self-forgivness

Evaluation without blame
How to make clear requests
How to choose the right strategies for getting your needs met

The dynamics of empathy
Connecting in the now
How to respond with NVC when you are judged

The difficulties of expressing the need for love
How to use NVC to declare your intimate needs
Communicating about sexuality
Vulnerable self-expression

Authority, fear, and respect
Influence vs. control
The person behind the title
How labels affect behavior
Standing up to authority

How empathy supports healing
Mediating “impossible” conflicts
Reconciliation and harmony through NVC

How to make powerful requests
The protective use of force
Restorative justice in action
Beyond punishment and reward

Creating the conditions for compassionate giving
Gratitude you can trust
Recognizing opportunities to give and receive sincere gratitude

Sunday, June 18, 2006

HAT Minutes 6.18.06

The June HAT meeting was held at Randy and Dawn Bradley’s house. Charcoal hamburgers were served to the ten people in attendance: Brian, Harold, Bea, Phil, Gail, Marilyn, Polly, Dawn, Randy, and myself. Phil was a first-time guest at our meeting. Phil mentioned, among other things, the excellent freethought programming available at

We ate in the backyard underneath the shade trees. The Bradleys’ son, Patrick, assisted in serving the food. Following the hamburgers, we ate watermelon and brownies.

A lot of the conversation dealt with this question: Are we too focused upon our atheism? Are we turning people off because we talk about atheism? Most present expressed this idea: the role HAT serves is to bring together like-minded people, which gives us the opportunity to give and receive love from each other. No one objected to this idea. I read newsletters and web sites from other freethought groups. You can pick up from these sources what other groups find important to them. For some it is combating the Religious Right; others focus upon philosophy. The focus of our group seems to be on loving and supporting one another.

Gail mentioned that she likes the oral reading of freethought writings. I concur; the oral reading of freethought writings is probably the best way of keeping them alive.

Harold mentioned that he would be moving to Baton Rouge, although I don’t recall if he said when this would happen.

I informed the group that Susan Singh of the Tulsa Peace Fellowship has offered to loan us the Nonviolent Communication Training Course. I am hoping we can work in conjunction with the Tulsa Peace Fellowship and offer the course (one day per week for nine weeks) to HAT and TPF members. I will cooperate with Susan to see if we can set up the course at the new Tulsa Peace House.

I forgot to mention at the meeting, although I may have mentioned it in an e-mail, that supporter Larry Forrest (presently in Norman) has given us a DVD which we will view at an upcoming Movie Night. The DVD is “A Vision Shared: A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly.” It runs 72 minutes – about the ideal time for a Movie Night presentation. Larry intends to move back to Tulsa soon. Larry, an excellent wordsmith, was an integral part of HAT when he lived in Tulsa in the 1990s. He moved to Norman to become caregiver for HAT member Patti Reames who was stricken with MS. Patti died last December.

As always, if I failed to mention something I should have, feel free to add your own comment in the comment section.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

HAT News

Last Saturday, Bea, Randy, and I met at Randy’s house for the monthly Secular Singers get-together. Randy baked cinnamon rolls, and the three of us selected twelve songs for a “standard” presentation. The songs chosen will be worked up and serve as a core repertoire. Randy will send a list of these songs to all members of Secular Singers by e-mail. Meanwhile, I will make a list of all songs the group has performed in the past. This also will be distributed by e-mail to those on the Secular Singers e-mail list. If you are not already on the Secular Singers e-mail list and would like to be added, please let me know.

Then last Sunday, six HAT members took part in the monthly Humanist Study Group which met at Border’s Bookstore on Yale. Attending were Richard, Randy, Larry Hi, Marilyn, Mary, and myself. The focus of the discussion was chapter four of American Theocracy by Kevin Phillips. We were a small, but intimate, group. The camaraderie was palpable. Perhaps that explains why we stayed so long – a full two and a half hours. The group wishes to continue with this book at the next HSG in July. We will talk about chapters five, six, and seven. The group also called upon me to again lead the discussion.

I will try once again to prepare a list of discussion questions. I will send out the questions by e-mail. (Due to a lack of time, last Sunday’s questions were distributed on paper at the time of the discussion.) Two of us at the meeting had recently read Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism by Michelle Goldberg. We recommend this book for a future HSG.

In other news, the HAT Board decided to purchase “The Nonviolent Communication Training Course” by Marshall Rosenberg. The course comes on nine one-hour audio CDs. We hope to offer this course to all interested persons at the new Tulsa Peace House in partnership with Tulsa Peace Fellowship.

We also talked about some movies we would like to view at our monthly Movie Night. Three that were recommended were An Inconvenient Truth, A Prairie Home Companion, and Neil Young: Heart of Gold.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Minutes of HAT meeting, 5.21.06

Attending the HAT meeting today at Hardesty Library were Brian, Harold, Dana, Marilyn, Randy, Mary, Paula, Don, and myself. There are now 19 dues-paying members in HAT. The HAT treasury stands at $1,186.76.

I received an e-mail from the Colorado Coalition of Reason (COCORE) seeking support for the distribution of a DVD the group has produced. It is my understanding that all money donated toward this project will be applied to mailing the DVD to high schools. I inquired of them if we could select high schools to receive the DVD. They responded by e-mailing me a list of all public schools in Oklahoma and inviting me to designate which schools we would like to have receive the DVD.

Someone asked: If we pay the postage to have a DVD mailed to a school, what are the chances the DVD will actually be shown to students at that school? That’s a good question. I guess we will never know. However, COCORE is willing to pay for the production of the DVDs. I would like to see us spend a little toward the distribution of the DVDs.

The DVD runs 38 minutes and will be shown at the June HAT meeting.

The outline of the DVD from its storage case is as follows:

1. Definitions of basic terms about nonbelievers.
2. Are there different kinds of atheists.
3. The secular humanist’s view of space.
4. Don’t freethinkers fear hell?
5. Doesn’t ID prove that God exists.
6. Where do you think we came from?
7. Isn’t America a Christian nation?
8. Do nonbelievers believe in good and evil?
9. Isn’t atheism a religion?
10. Comments about school harassment.
11. An end-of-life view from a freethinker.

The June HAT meeting will be held at Randy’s house and will be combined with a celebration of the Summer Solstice. The date of that meeting will be Sunday, June 18 – a few days before the actual solstice.

Also discussed was a request made earlier by Polly that we talk about atheism versus agnosticism. Each person who would like to speak to this subject will be given time to do so at a future meeting. We talked about doing it in June, but I don’t think any firm decision was reached on when it would be. Brian also had a proposal to address certain other questions.

After the Summer Solstice Celebration/cookout at the Bradley’s and the COCORE DVD viewing, there will not be much time remaining for any other activity, I would guess.

Among other ideas discussed was the preparation of press releases by the board on an ad hoc basis to be distributed to local media outlets whenever some issue that is of interest to our group is in the news.

Following the business meeting Brian Hill gave a descriptive talk on the book You’re Wearing That? by Deborah Tannen.

I have most likely overlooked something about today’s meeting. If you were at the meeting, let me invite you to add your own observations by appending a comment to this posting.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Little Group of Atheists Eating

Question: What HAT member hopped a freight train back in 1934 in order to be able to go to Chicago and see the World’s Fair? Answer: It was Howard Kelley. This was the first of many freight train rides Howard took back in the days of his youth. Howard entertained us with stories of riding the rails at today’s ALGAE luncheon.

In addition to Howard there was Larry, Dana, Julia, Mary, Gail, Jan, and myself. It was good to see so many friends once again. Other topics of discussion included the book The DaVinci Code, the book Who’s Who in Hell, church camps and homesickness, the Girl Scout camp murders, authors and geographical places associated with them, the treatment of books, Civil War markers and monuments, and The Hobo’s Hornbook.

If you missed the gathering today, you will have an opportunity to be with your humanist friends this Sunday, 1:00 PM, at Hardesty Library.

See you there.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

May Activities for Freethinkers

Sat., May 6, 7pm Movie Night at the Bradleys, 6705 E. 54th St.

Sat., May 13, 10am Secular Singers at the Bradleys. All are welcome.

Sun., May 14, 2pm Humanist Study Group at Border’s, 81st & Yale. Topic: Leo Strauss. Discussion to be led by Randy Bradley. Read material to be distributed by e-mail.

Wed., May 17, 11:30am ALGAE (A Little Group of Atheists Eating), luncheon at White River Fish Market, 1708 N. Sheridan.

Sun., May 21, 1pm HAT Monthly Membership Meeting at Hardesty Regional Library. Program: Brian Hill will speak on the book You’re Wearing That? by Deborah Tanner.

Sat., May 27, 11:30am Food & Fellowship at Panera Bread, 5601 E. 41st St.

Sun., May 28, 2pm Tulsa Atheist Rendezvous/Tulsa Atheist Meetup Meet at Panera Bread, 5601 E. 41st St., near Southroads. (Go to to sign up for meetups.) Randy Bradley will be leading this rendezvous/meetup.

Questions? Call Dan at 798-3629

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Info from Harold

Harold Dundee sent the following information.

The AARP Bulletin v.47, no. 4 (just arrived) carries an article about a
Florida pharmacist who says most prescription drugs are completely safe to use long after the stated expiration date. He says manufacturers set dates short so that they can make more sales. He has gotten the Florida
Legislature to tell the Florida Board of Pharmacy that it could no longer
require phamacists to use discard-after dates on prescription labels as it
had done since 1993.

The US Food and Drug Administration has determined that many drugs remain effective, often for many years after the stated expiration date. FDA does, however, warn against drugs stored in steamy bathrooms or hot cars. [I am aware of the recommendation that drugs be stored at temperatures below 76 degrees F. Accordingly, when I travel I keep my medications in a small styrofoan box with a bottle of ice in it so that the drugs will stay cool--HD]

I learned from my second wife who was a pharmacist that with aspirin, you can tell when it has aged beyond reliability. Sniff the bottle of aspirin. If it smells of acetic acid (vinegar smell) then it has lost much of it

Later Harold added this:

The recommendation is to keep drugs under 86 degrees F., not 76 as I
stated. Of course the cooler, usually the better.

One response that I had said, "When I have an expired medication I call
the pharmacist and he/she tells me if it can be used or not. I had some
things that were 10 years old and still good, just had to use a double dose because they weakened with time.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Music, videos, and wine

HAT held its first monthly Movie Night at the Bradleys last Saturday, April 1. About a dozen of us were there. We began with a piano duet. Gail and I played a Sonatina by Czerny.

Among the principles listed in The Affirmations of Humanism is this one: "We are engaged by the arts no less than by the sciences." Quite often in the past, we in HAT have neglected the arts, prefering instead to focus on the sciences. I would like to bring some emphasis to the arts within HAT. Performing piano duets is just one way of doing this. Another way of putting this principle into action is through the oral recitation of poetry. After hearing Mary McAnally's message Sunday at Church of the Restoration, I am inspired to bring more oral poetry readings to HAT events.

Following the piano duet, we listened to a portion of an audio program produced by The Center for Inquiry in Amherst, New York. We heard Daniel Dennett being interviewed by D. J. Grothe. The interview focused on Dennett's most recent book Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. We briefly talked about some of the points addressed in the interview. The book is to be discussed more thoroughly at this Sunday's Humanist Study Group.

Next we moved to the Bradley's media center where we viewed two episodes from the Penn & Teller Showtime series "Bullshit." One episode focused on the question of the accuracy of the Bible; the other looked at the creationist movement. Oft times the best way to deal with bullshit is just to laugh at it.

Being flexible and open to change, we substituted the Dennett interview and the Penn & Teller programs for the movie we had planned to show. But the movie is still available for showing at a later date.

Friday, March 31, 2006

April Activities for Freethinkers

April 2006
Activities of Interest to Freethinkers

Sat., Apr. 1, 7pm
Movie Night at the Bradleys, 6705 E. 54th St. Featured film is Heart of the Beholder. The American Dream that became a holy nightmare. Prior to the running of the movie, the duo of Gail Storey and Dan Nerren will entertain at the piano.

Sun., Apr. 9, 2pm
Humanist Study Group at Border’s, 81st & Yale. Topic: Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon by Daniel C. Dennett. See discussion questions distributed by e-mail.

Sun., Apr. 16, 1pm
HAT Monthly Membership Meeting at the Bradleys, 6705 E. 54th St. Due to the Hardesty Library being closed because of Easter, we have had to change the venue for this meeting.

Wed., Apr. 19, 11:30am
ALGAE (A Little Group of Atheists Eating) luncheon at White River Fish Market, 1708 N. Sheridan.

Sat., Apr. 22, 11:30am
Food & Fellowship at Tekei’s, 1616 S. Utica.

Sun., Apr. 23, 2pm
Tulsa Atheist Rendezvous See closer to the date of meeting for venue and agenda.

Secular Singers will not meet in April.

Questions? Call Dan at 798-3629

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Humor from Harold

Harold Dundee sent in the following:

Of this poem I consider that we secular humanists are taking a stand, but it is a stand contrary to that inferred in the poem. When I was a youngster one saying was that if you kept claiming that the moon was made of greenish cheese, people would eventually come to believe that it was true. If we keep offering our views and are tenacious about them we will eventually get believers to wake up. We will leave huge footprints, footprints of rationality.


One night I had a wondrous dream,
One set of footprints there was seen,
The footprints of my precious Lord,
But mine were not along the seaboard.
But then some stranger prints appeared...
And I asked the Lord,"What have we here?
"Those prints are large and round and neat,
But Lord,they are too big for feet."
"My child," He said in sober tones,"
For miles I carried you alone.
I challenged you to walk in faith,
But you refused and made me wait."
"You disobeyed, you would not grow,
The walk of faith you would not know...
So I got tired,I got fed up,
And there I dropped you on your butt."
"Because in life there comes a time
When one must fight, and one must climb,
When one must rise, and take a stand,
Or leave their butt prints in the sand."
--Author Unknown

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Good Crowd at Today's Food & Fellowship

The March Food & Fellowship was held today at The Royal Dragon restaurant. The Food & Fellowship gatherings have proven to be HAT's most popular event. There were 14 people at today's F&F. Present were Mary, Polly, Dawn, Randy, Sharon, Brian, Audrey, Jan, Marilyn, Howard, Barbara, Dan, Larry, and Harold.

Today's gathering was the last HAT event for this month, but if you like gathering with freethinkers please consider coming to the Tulsa Atheist Rendezvous tomorrow (3/26/06) at 2pm at Barnes & Noble on 41st (cafe area). It is my desire to give life to freethought writings by having them read aloud in public settings. I intend to read Philip Appleman's poem "Noah." If you would like to read something, please bring it.

The next HAT event is set for Saturday, April 1 (a week from today). This is a new event we are adding to our monthly calendar. It is a Movie Night at the Bradleys'. Randy and Dawn Bradley will be hosting a monthly movie night on the first Saturday of each month in their home starting at 7:00 PM. Saturday's movie will be announced later.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Minutes for HAT meeting, March 19, 2006

Today was a chilly, wet day. Nine people turned out for the HAT meeting. Present were Howard, Harold, Polly, Brian, Marilyn, Stan, Randy, Jan, and myself. We divided into two teams and played a quiz game. Brian officiated the game.

We talked a bit about brochures HAT recently purchased from the Council for Secular Humanism: "The Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles." The brochure was first brought to my attention a few months back by Harold Dundee. We have a hundred of the brochures, but as of yet we have no plan on how they are to be used. I expect we will mail the brochure to inquirers who contact HAT.

Randy announced that he will be hosting a monthly movie night at his house starting Saturday, April 1. These gatherings will take place on the first Saturday evening of each month beginning at 7:00 PM.

If I have left anything out, feel free to add your own comments.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Today's luncheon plus new event coming

We had another great ALGAE luncheon today at White River Fish Market. How good it is to have a meal with friends! Wish more of you could have been there.

In attendance today were Keith, Dave, Gloria, Bea, Warren, Dan, Larry, Jan, and Sharon. Conversation was wide-ranging. In addition to the usual topics of religion and politics, we also heard about the dangers of underground natural gas pipelines and an upcoming production of Wagner's Ring Cycle in Paris, which one of our lucky members will soon take in.

I find it to be an uplifting experience to be with my fellow Humanists, whatever the occasion. If you are not yet attending HAT events, I would like to invite you to do so. Experience these highs for yourself.

There will soon be another event added to our monthly calendar. Randy told me that he will be having a monthly movie night at his house, probably on a Saturday night. We will watch a movie and talk about it, as we sip wine or whatever your beverage of choice happens to be. Randy says that if you drink so much wine that your driving ability is impaired, you are welcome to stay over. Now that's real hospitality.

I love you guys and gals and look forward to seeing you again this Sunday (3/19/06) at 1pm at Hardesty Library for our regular monthly HAT meeting.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Atheist Jokes from Harold

Harold Dundee sends these jokes:

I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up. They have no holidays.
~~Henny Youngman
Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
Three atheists are lost in desert and have run out of food and water. One
says, "Guess the is the end, guys." But another says maybe we should try

"Prayer," snorts another guy, "we're atheists. We don't know how to pray."

"Well," says third guy, "I used to live next door to a church and have some
idea of how it goes. First you bow your head, I think, then start reciting
no. 7. number 54, no. 62."
Steven Wright ~ Can atheists get insurance for acts of God?

Sunday, March 05, 2006

OCCJ presentation lacked strict separationist viewpoint

I attended the third session of the OCCJ Trialogue series today. Also attending from HAT were Marilyn Clarke and Brian Hill. The theme of this year’s Trialogue was “Jefferson’s Wall: The American Separation of Church and State.” It was disappointing that none of the three presenters was a strong supporter of church/state separation.

In the question and answer session which followed the presentations, written questions from the audience were addressed by the speakers. My question was chosen as the first one to be addressed. I asked: Do you expect to see further erosion in the wall separating church and state? The gist of the responses was: What erosion?

Daniel G. Gibbons, Professor of Law Emeritus at OU, who continues to teach a Church-State Relations Seminar, responded by saying he thinks the wall metaphor, while it may have been useful when it was first employed 200 years ago, is now out of date and no longer useful. Presenter Deron Spoo, pastor of Tulsa’s First Baptist Church, who otherwise struck me as a progressive sort, said things are fine and sees no disturbing trends regarding church/state relations. I don’t remember exactly how Msgr. Gaalaas of St. Benedict Catholic Church responded (I was still stunned by the responses from the first two), but it was along the lines of the first two.

It would have been nice if the OCCJ would have invited a strict separationist to be among the presenters today. The OCCJ’s motto is “We open minds.” I didn’t find anything mind opening in today’s presenters’ (accommodationists all) hostility to church/state separation.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Library Donation Received

Our donation of $100 to the Tulsa Library Trust has been received and acknowledged. Once the library is built, "Humanist Association of Tulsa" will appear on the "Donor Wall." The library will be connected to a new community center. The joint facility will have several meeting rooms.

The new Kaiser Library will be built in the northeast section of LaFortune Park. This area might be more centrally located for our membership, and we may wish to move our 3rd Sunday meetings to the new library.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

AAI convention to be in KC

I would sure like to attend the Atheist Alliance International convention next month in KC. There is a great line-up of speakers. It would be nice if we could get a half dozen of us and rent a minivan and drive up to Kansas City for this event. If any of you have an interest in doing this, please contact me.

Forwarded Message:
Subj: Atheist Alliance International convention in KC 4-14-16, 2006
Date: 3/1/2006 7:21:45 AM Central Standard Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)

I'd like to invite you and all your members to attend the upcoming Atheist Alliance International Convention to be held in Kansas City, April 14-16, 2006.
Below you will find out more about the convention. Please feel free to publish the article below in your newsletters or send it on to anyone you think might be interested.
Also, to learn more about the convention or to register, please visit If you would like me to send the registration form as a pdf file directly to you to print, please email me at
Jo Ann Mooney, Convention Coordinator
Atheist Alliance International

Atheist Alliance International to Hold Convention in KC
April 14-16, 2006
Jo Ann Mooney

Easter weekend 2006 will hold a pleasant surprise for those in Kansas City. The Atheist Alliance International’s annual convention will be here at the Airport Marriott. Speakers to date are:

Julia Sweeney, writer-actress, winner of this year's Dawkins Award and author of Letting Go of God: My Beautiful Loss of Faith Story.

Dr. Hector Avalos, Associate Professor of Religious Studies & Director of U.S. Latino/a Studies at Iowa State University and author of Fighting Words: The Origins of Religious Violence.

Lori Lipman Brown, freethought's first Washington lobbyist and Executive Director of the Secular Coalition of America.

Matt Cherry, President of the United Nations NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Executive Director of the Institute for Humanist Studies, and author of Imagine There's No Heaven: Voices of Secular Humanism.

Dr. Paul Mirecki, Professor and past Departmental Chair of Religious Studies at the University of Kansas, the first to propose teaching ID as mythology and author of Magic and Ritual in the Ancient World.

Dr. Ron Pine, Research Associate, Field Museum of Chicago and Visiting Scholar at the Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, University of Kansas.

Dr. Fred Whitehead, freethought historian and author of Freethought on the American Frontier.

The convention will also include:

“Camp Quest: A Summer Away Camp for Atheist Kids” by Katie Hladky & Shawn Jeffers
“How to talk about Atheism” hands-on training by August Berkshire and Margaret Downey
“Leaving the Fold: Ex-ministers Speak Out”
“Religion, Science, Secular Humanism and Well-being" by Dr. Gale Fuller
“Selling Atheism" hands-on training by Woody Kaplan
and panels on Atheist Parenting and Lobbying for Separation of Church and State

The convention price ($175 advance registration) includes all events including: a reception Friday night, two dinner banquets, two breakfasts and a luncheon. Additionally, we provide Camp Quest for children ages 4-12 and full-time babysitting for those younger.

If you ever feel a need to get energized or reaffirm your nonbelief stance in this heavily Christian nation, this convention will be an easy way to do that. You’ll get a chance to meet other freethinkers from around the world, share ideas and discuss issues. Please don’t wait to register by visiting!

Lodging information:
Rooms are ready to be booked at the luxurious KC Marriott Hotel Airport for only $65 per night. You can also call the number below and ask for the Atheist Alliance's rate: code athatha.
(816) 464-2200
775 Brasilia Ave
Kansas City, Missouri 64153

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Church/State Lectures

I attended this afternoon the second of three lecture programs on the subject of the history of church/state relations in the U.S. Marilyn Clarke was the only other HAT member I saw there.

Of the three speakers, Paul Finkelman was the most impressive. He was very informative and, during the question and answer period, proved to be most witty. Since he lives in the area, I am hoping we will be able to get him as a guest speaker for one of our meetings.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Food & Fellowship Report

There were twelve of us today at Marie Callender’s for this month’s Food & Fellowship. This monthly event is getting to be a regular lovefest of good vibrations. Don’t you feel good after meeting with your fellow humanists, exchanging hugs, and soaking up the smiles? I certainly do. You folks light up my life. I’m always wishing these events could go on longer.

Those present today were Marilyn G., Dave T., Howard K., Gail S., Randy B., Dawn B., Larry Hi., Polly M., Harold D., Marilyn C., Jan N., and myself. Two others contacted me saying they wished they could attend but had other obligations.

We were in a linear seating arrangement (six on one side with the other six across on the other side) with two or three conversations going at all times. I was seated on the east side and did not hear much of the conversation from the west side.

Next month we will be eating at the Royal Dragon on E. 51st St. They have a private dining room with a large round table. The following month Polly and Marilyn will host the F&F at their house. Some of us are wanting to organize a Humanist Hootenanny for some future gathering.

The Board has decided to donate $100 toward the construction of the new library to be built near Memorial High School. By making this donation our name, Humanist Association of Tulsa, will be included on a small metal plaque on a donor wall. I see it as a perpetual form of advertising.

Larry Hicks is hoping a group of us will be able to attend a showing of the film Why We Fight. There will be more about this later, but right now it looks like the best day to attend the film will be Saturday, March 4.

Tomorrow (2/26/06) is the second of three meetings in which lecturers will speak on the subject “Jefferson’s Wall: The American Separation of Church and State.” The lectures tomorrow are being held at Temple Israel, just south of the Utica Square shopping center on 22nd Pl. The lectures tomorrow focus on “Evolution of the Law: The Bill of Rights to the 1950s.” Starting time is 2pm.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Humor from Harold

HAT member Harold Dundee sent this bit of humor:

Subject: Win some loose some

Who Should Make the Coffee?

A man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew
the coffee each morning. The wife said, "You should do it, because
you get up first,and then we don't have to wait as long to get our

The husband said, "You are in charge of the cooking around here so
you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for
my coffee."Wife replies, "No, you should do it, and besides it says
in the Bible that the man should do the coffee."

Husband replies, "I can't believe that! Show me."

So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and showed
him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says, "HEBREWS."

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sunday lunch at Spaghetti Warehouse is canceled

Randy called just now and said that due to the weather the planned luncheon today at Spaghetti Warehouse is canceled. He also said OSU-Tulsa is closed, so I would assume the film there will not be shown. I do not know whether the lectures at Boston Avenue Methodist Church are still being held or not.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Eight Attend ALGAE Luncheon

It was good to see a well-attended luncheon today at the White River Fish Market. Present were Mary C., Valerie O’B, Julia T., Russ B., Dave T., Dana T., Jan N. and myself. We were glad to see Valerie again after a long absence. She is working on a Ph. D. at Tulsa University. She enjoys the sense of community she finds among to faculty in the biology department at TU.

Dave has recently obtained a copy of Daniel Dennett’s new book Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon and is looking forward to reading it. The book sounds like it is a good candidate for perusal by the Humanist Study Group.

We are glad Julia made it back safely from her recent trip to Kansas City, where she saw her younger sister perform in an orchestra.

We have another opportunity to be together again this Sunday (2/19/06) as we gather at the Spaghetti Warehouse at noon.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Dr. Hill's letter to Rep. Dank

Rep. Odilia Dank February 10, 2006
2300 North Lincoln Blvd
Room 408
Oklahoma City, OK 73105'

Dear Rep. Dank:

I understand that bills are likely to be considered by the state legislature during the current session which will pertain to the teaching of creationism and intelligent-design in the tax-supported (public) schools.

As one trained in science (undergraduate degree in Paleontology from Caltech and UCLA) and in religion studies (Yale U. PhD.) and an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA) with nearly forty years of teaching in the latter field (Indiana U. and U. of Tulsa), I feel qualified to say

Creationism is a scientific theory (it offers an explanation for observable and testable phenomena just as all scientific theories do).
Other theories have been selected by modern science as more adequate. All scientific theories are only tentative, however convincing a particular one may be in giving a comprehensive explanation for the observable.

I can see no barrier to including creationism in a course taught by an scientifically trained teacher as a scientific theory--so long as the others developed by humans in a variety of cultures and modern scientific theories are included also.

Each theory should be described and put in its cultural and its historical context.

When this is done, that particular theory of the creation of a cosmic order derived from that ancient culture which eventually was incorporated in the Jewish and Christian Bibles is recognized as having been selected among scientific theories by those who have an emotional and theological commitment to the infallibility/inherency of those Bibles. Their primary motive is not scientific but religious.
They fear that the rejection of the first chapter of Genesis means rejection of the authority of the Bible.

"Intelligent design" is known to all philosophers as a philosophical (not scientific) theory and has no place in any academic treatment of science but is more than legitimate in courses in philosophy.

It is not derived from "creationism", is not a variant of "creationism" and is not a synonym for "creationism".

It is commonly know by philosophers [and long before there was any Judaism or Christianity] as "the argument from design". This is an "argument" or proposition that observable design must be the consequence of a designer. This argument is used by certain theologians ["theology" is a subset of "philosophy"] to define the Ultimate as Ultimate Mind or Designer--and popularly called, "God".
in English.

I suggest that each bill proposed be tested by the above definitions.

Harold E. Hill
1625 South Lewis Place
Tulsa OK 74104-5122
918 744 6389

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Book recommendation

Today I began listening to another book on CD. It is Jimmy Carter's most recent book: Our Endangered Values. I checked it out from the Tulsa Library. It is read by Carter himself, which adds something to the listening experience. It is on four CDs, the first one being about 73 minutes long.

While I differ with Carter on his theology, I much admire this former President. If I can get my hands on a print copy, I would like to post some quotes from his book here. Carter is a storehouse of wisdom.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Geocaching Successes

There were five of us out searching for geocaches today. With five pairs of eyes, we were able to locate all five geocaches we searched for. (A sixth cache we were intending to look for had been withdrawn a few days earlier.) We found each cache after a search of only five minutes or so. After we finish caching for the day, we all went to Mazzio's where I provided pizza for everyone. We had a great time. Wish more could have been with us.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Hatters to go geocaching

The first of seven activities for freethinkers this month happens this Sunday starting around 1pm. We will gather at Randy’s house, 6705 E. 54 St. and talk about geocaching and what we are about to do. Then we will see if we can find six caches hidden within a two-mile radius of Randy’s house.

I will have a sheet on each hidden cache, but if you would like to have an advance look at what we will be searching for, go to In the box for the ZIP code type in Randy’s ZIP code of 74145. There are 54 caches within a three-mile radius of the 74145 post office. (There are now hundreds of caches in the Tulsa area, with new caches being placed each week.) By clicking on any of the listed caches, the page for that cache is displayed. (If you have an account with (it’s free) then a small map pinpointing to location of the cache is displayed on the cache page.)

The six caches I have selected for us to find are:

Lunchtime Cache #8
Micro Mania #9
Hidden Park
Twisted Sisters
Asphalt Jungle – SP4
Nest Egg

You will notice that the terrain difficulty for all these is low. We should be able to walk right up to them. Finding them is another matter. Some caches are very cleverly hidden. Once I was caching with Dan Cagle in Norman, and we searched for twenty minutes (at least), and then Dan spotted the cache. We were within 20 feet of it all the time we were searching. With a group of us searching, we should be able to locate each cache within 10 minutes. (I hope.)

I have a travel bug I need to drop off in one of the caches, but I won’t go into that now.

Two caches we will be looking for are at LaFortune Park, and another one or two are in parks, also. If you see a cache on the geocaching web site that interests you, print the cache sheet and bring it with you.

Perhaps we could go to the Mazzio’s near Randy’s afterwards for some pizza?

Friday, February 03, 2006

February Events

Sun., Feb. 5, 1pm
Geocaching Adventures with Randy and Dan. Meet at Randy’s house, 6705 E. 54 St. Then we will go searching for half a dozen hidden caches in Randy’s neighborhood using a GPS receiver.

Sat., Feb. 11, 10am
Secular Singers at Randy’s house, 6705 E. 54th in Tulsa. Join Bea, Randy, Gail, Julia, and Dan to sing freethought and other songs. Come to sing or just come to listen and enjoy the fellowship.

Sun., Feb. 12, 2pm
Humanist Study Group at Border’s, 81st & Yale. Topic: Jared Diamond’s recent book Collapse

Wed., Feb. 15, 11:30am
ALGAE (A Little Group of Atheists Eating), luncheon at White River Fish Market, 1708 N. Sheridan. This seafood restaurant seems to be growing in popularity.

Sun., Feb. 19, 1pm
HAT Monthly Membership Meeting In lieu of the MMM this month, we will meet for lunch at the Spaghetti Warehouse at noon. Then we will watch the film Moloch in the nearby OSU-Tulsa auditorium. Film starts at 2pm.

Sat., Feb. 25, 11:30am
Food & Fellowship at Marie Callender’s on 51st St.

Sun., Feb. 26, 2pm
Tulsa Atheist Rendezvous at Barnes & Noble Bookstore on 41st St. See for the latest TAR news.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

HAT Minutes, January 15, 2006

HAT met today, Sunday, January 15, starting at 1pm at the Hardesty Library. There were 19 people present, which included two first-time visitors. Door prize winners were Brian Hill and Russ Butler.

The new HAT Directory was distributed. I reported that we had $1,169 in the treasury. Someone immediately said its time we had a party, but frugal heads prevailed and no party was planned.

We decided that in lieu of a meeting in February that we would go to the Auditorium on the OSU-Tulsa campus and view a film – Moloch, which is a fictional account of Eva Braun and Adolf Hitler in their Alpine retreat in beautiful Berchtesgaden, Germany. Prior to viewing the movie we will gather at the Spaghetti Warehouse for lunch at noon.

The program was on Bart Ehrman’s book Misquoting Jesus. We heard a portion of an audio recording of an interview of Ehrman on The Diane Rehm Show. Due to a technical malfunction with the CD player we were unable to hear more of the interview, but we all launched into a discussion of various matters including the perennial favorite: atheism vs. agnosticism.

[I have probably left out some things that we discussed at the meeting. If anyone would like to add to the record, you can add your own comments.]

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

On the Cult of Character

This quote comes from the article "The Cult of Character" by Silja J. A. Talvi from the January 9 issue of In These Times.

Again, here is the fundamental premise: what the IBLP [Institute in Basic Life Principles] hopes will come of these myriad efforts on secular and religious fronts is a patriarchal, hierarchical Christian government that truly has no place for dissent, for disbelievers, or for those whose character qualities fall short of expectations. Government, from this viewpoint, is akin to the right hand of God: Nothing or no one should stand between the two entities, or question their right to rule over our lives.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Publicity effort

The following was e-mailed today to Urban Tulsa Weekly:

Under Clubs/Meetings...Ongoing

Humanist Association of Tulsa, 1pm
Hardesty Library, 798-3629


Above item submitted by Dan Nerren, Secretary/Treasurer of HAT. Phone 798-3629

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Financial Reports

Since at this time HAT is no longer publishing a newsletter, our financial reports will be published on this blog.

Dan Nerren, Treasurer

Financial Report for March/April 2005

Balance as of 2/28/05…………1191.88

Dues…………………...........…………. 6.00
Contributions…………………....... 34.00
Interest………………………….......... 1.05

TOTAL RECEIPTS…………….....41.05

SSA ad in Daily O’Collegian…........ 68.90
Postage………………………............ 22.20


Balance as of 4/30/05……….. 1141.83

Financial Report for May/June 2005

Balance as of 4/30/05……….. 1141.83

Dues…………………….…… 30.00
Contributions……………….. 42.00


Village Inn refreshments….. 15.20


Balance as of 6/30/05……… 1198.63

Financial Report for July/August 2005

Balance as of 6/30/05……… 1198.63

Interest…………….………… .99



Balance as of 8/31/05…….. 1199.62

Financial Report for September/October 2005

Balance as of 8/31/05…….. 1199.62

Interest……………………… 1.03


P. O. box rental…………… 68.00
Music for Secular Singers . 10.12


Balance as of 10/31/05…… 1122.53

Financial Report for November/December 2005

Balance as of 10/31/05

Dues………………………. 4.00



Balance as of 12/31/05….. 1126.53