Friday, October 26, 2007

HAT Meeting 10.21.07

There were eleven people present at today's HAT meeting: Bob, Ron, Brian, Larry, Phil, Audrey, Kimberly, Marilyn, Polly, Randy and myself. I reported our membership now stands at 30, and the treasury is at $1395.81

We had a surprise guest speaker at today's HAT meeting -- Phil Ferguson from Arkansas. We actually had two speakers at today's meeting. Our own Brian Hill reviewed the book Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism by Arthur Brooks. Next Phil Ferguson of Arkansas made a special trip to Tulsa to report on his activities.

Due to the length of today's programs, the usual poetry readings were postponed until next meeting.

While Phil searched the library for the equipment he needed, Brian presented his book review -- another excellent job by Brian. Some of the audience voiced some skepticism about the author's objectivity regarding his findings.

Phil had a remarkable presentation, complete with a Powerpoint presentation. His presentation lasted the better part of a hour. Phil had just recently attended the FFRF Convention in Madison and was still fired up from hearing Christopher Hitchens inspired speech.

Phil showed a Powerpoint presentation making use of the Brick Testament, a project of Brendon Powell Smith. It is Smith's goal to reproduce the entire Bible with illustrations created from Lego blocks.

The part of the Bible Phil chose to show (via Brick Testament illustrations) came from the Old Testament story about Lot and his daughters. You remember the story of the angst created in Lot's daughters when they realize that the only way they are going to get pregnant (and thus continue the line leading up to Jesus) is to get their father drunk and have sex with him.

Phil said that he is sometimes accused of taking passages of the Bible out of context. But he points out that when you read the pages before and after the questionable passage, nothing is resolved but more (sometimes embarrasing) questions arise.

Another video Phil chose to show was part of a gut-busting comedy routine by George Carlin. Carlin is known for his no-holds-barred critique of religion.

Following the presentation I asked Phil if he would be willing to come back to Tulsa for an encore presentation for the Atheists Meetup. Today's presentation was his third or fourth before other freethought groups. He said he would be glad to give the presentation again.