Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Weekend Events

Our first event of this weekend was our monthly Food & Fellowship which this month was held at Billy Ray’s Barbecue on Southwest Blvd. I wonder if anyone else saw the sign which read “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” I can remember the first time I saw a sign with that message. It was in the Park Hotel in Amory, Mississippi, circa 1961. I could not understand why a business would want to refuse service to anybody. You would think a restaurant would want as many customers as they could attract. Then someone explained to me the racial implications of the message.

I’m not sure that Billy Ray’s has the right to refuse service to black people. Perhaps they are just pandering to the redneck element of society. Whatever the situation, I will not be choosing this restaurant again for our Food & Fellowship gatherings.

The next day was our Atheists Meetup at Border’s. The meeting was well attended with 18 people showing up. I began by reading a poem by Philip Appleman. The poem was “Fleas,” which contains the memorable lines “for God concocted pox to mock us,/staph and syph and streptococcus:/poems are made by bards or hacks,/but only God makes cardiacs.”

Then we began discussion. The question was posed: How to get the word out about our existence. One person suggested the possibility of low power radio. What would that cost? Some have heard that the cost is high; others that the cost is low. The potential audience for such a venture is unknown. What would be the reach? In other words, how far would the transmission reach? Another idea raised was to buy time on a commercial station. How much would an ad cost? Would any station sell ad time to an atheist group.

We are going to explore these questions and post the findings on the Meetup message board.

Following this meeting, six of us met at Panera Bread on 41st to have dinner and conversation. Joining us was Bob’s wife – Susan.

Next we traveled to Tulsa University for a speech given by Steven Smith. The speech was follow by a Q & A period. I think there were 6 or 8 of us HAT folks there. Randy said following the speech, “It’s not the speech I would have like to have heard.”

Sunday, August 19, 2007

HAT meeting, 8/19/07

Eighteen people attended today’s HAT meeting at Hardesty Library. Present were Brian, Randy, Ron, Bob H., Bob N., Polly, Kirby, Sharon G., Marilyn, Mary, Larry, Richard, Jeff, Bea, Keith, Gail, Jan, and Dan.

Randy read a poem of his choice and I did likewise a bit later. I had four items of business to present to the chapter. I read a letter from Grassroots Coordinator Michael Friedman regarding (1) Americans United’s First Freedom First Campaign (2) Jonathan Miller’s video series A Brief History of Disbelief, and (3) Dr. Stephen Frederick Uhl’s donation of two copies of his book Imagine No Superstition.

Next, I read a letter from Sarah Burgess, a First Freedom First Intern who is working to promote the film Jesus Camp. Her letter offered to loan us a copy of the film, plus a few other things, including a disposable camera. In return, we would have to send the film back after viewing, along with the petitions and camera.

Following this I read a letter titled “Tabling Material for Events.” The letter listed various materials which are available for free from the AHA. I will order some of these materials. We need to identify some upcoming events at which we can set up a table to distribute these materials.

Next, I read a letter from Dr. Stephen Uhl who is offering his book Imagine No Superstition for just a buck per copy. There were about a half dozen people who gave me a dollar for a copy. I will order a few extra copies just to have on hand.

Finally, Brian Hill gave his usual excellent presentation – a review of the book The WalMart Effect: How It’s Transforming the American Economy written by Charles Fishman.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

ALGAE Outcome

Nine people attended the ALGAE luncheon at White River Fish Market last Wednesday. In attendance were Gail, Keith and Bea, Dave, Sharon, Julia, John, and Dan and Jan. I found it a good opportunity to catch up on the lives of some of the members while enjoying some of the best seafood in Tulsa. (Confession: I had red beans and rice.)

Numerous topics were discussed including the Secular Singers. There was talk of holding the next rehearsal at my house, with perhaps each member choosing one song. This way, with just four or five songs, we should be able to get our rehearsal time down to one hour. We talked about improving the quality of our singing. There is no Secular Singers rehearsal set for this month, but we will resume in September. New members and “listeners” are always welcome to come.

Julia announced that she will be moving to Washington, D.C. She will be missed.

Another topic discussed was the loneliness of atheists.

We spent close to two hours at the restaurant in conversation. Many topics were talked about that are not included in this report.