Saturday, December 15, 2012

Today's HAT Meeting

The December meeting of the Humanist Association of Tulsa was called to order at 2:00 pm on December 15, 2012. There were seven people (six members and one guest) in attendance. Since our president, Marilyn Clarke, had another obligation today, I chaired the meeting.

Winner of the door prize (a flashlight) was Patricia Highby. Patricia was a guest today, having moved to Tulsa recently from Colorado.

The meeting began with readings, poetic or otherwise. I read a poem with the title of “Amo, Amas” written by John O’Keefe.

The treasurer’s report came next. Treasurer Larry Roth reported we had some $1,200+ in the treasury. As secretary, I reported we currently have a dues-paying membership of 15. I mentioned, that with the exception of September, all the slots for Humanist Sunday in 2012 were filled. Anyone wishing to speak in September 2013 should contact me.

I spoke about the relationship of HAT and COTR (Church of the Restoration). I mentioned that not one member of COTR had become a dues-paying member of HAT in 2012. The hoped for use of the facility as a “hang-out” for HAT never caught on. We currently pay COTR a monthly fee of $25 to use the building. Starting in January 2013, we will most likely revert to paying the $25 per use fee. No official action could be approved today since we lacked a quorum by one vote. The voting on the matter was deferred to the January meeting.

Larry Roth said that Dr. Stan Rice of Southeast Oklahoma State University in Durant would be traveling to Tulsa to perform in costume as Charles Darwin. The will take place on February 16 next year. This will be our Darwin Day program. There was some discussion about whether the meeting room at the Genealogy Center will be large enough to seat all who come to see Dr. Rice.

Bill Dusenberry would like to have a get-together on December 21 (Solstice Day) at some restaurant to celebrate the day, if there is enough interest in doing this. I will be polling my contact list to see who is interested.

If you were at today’s meeting, you may add your own reflections in the comment area.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Marilyn Clarke to lead Tulsa Humanists in 2013

The November HAT meeting was called to order by Larry Roth shortly after 2 pm on November 17, 2012 at the Genealogy Center, 2901 S Harvard Ave. Seven members were in attendance: Marilyn Clarke, Larry Hochhaus, Richard Maule, Dan Nerren, Larry Roth, Glenn Visher, and one other member who wishes to remain anonymous.

Larry had prepared an agenda. After calling the meeting to order, Larry moved on to item 2: reading, quotes, and quips. I read “Silver Jack,” an anonymous poem written more than a hundred years ago.

Larry told us about plans to bring Stanley Rice to Tulsa in February for Darwin Day. Dr. Rice teaches at Southeast Oklahoma State University in Durant. He has several videos on YouTube. We anticipate having a large group when Dr. Rice gives his presentation as Charles Darwin.

I mentioned that the next Food and Fellowship would be held at Cardigan’s, 6000 S. Lewis, on Saturday, November 24, at 11:30 am. The next meeting of the Progressive Book Group and the Oklahoma Observer Discussion Group will be held in January 2013. Members will be notified by e-mail once the dates are set for these meetings.

We talked about filling the officer positions for 2013. We settled upon this arrangement:

Marilyn Clarke, President

Dan Nerren, Vice-President

Dan Nerren, Secretary

Larry Roth, Treasurer

Marilyn Clarke, Program Director

Next, Richard Maule gave a presentation on a Tulsa Library program called Great Decisions. (GD is a national program which the library is using.) HAT may want to take part in this program or even Church of the Restoration, said Richard. Already Glenn Visher is attending a GD group at All Souls Church. Richard passed around copies of a publication which is used by those taking part. The book can be purchased for around 15 to 20 dollars. An optional video can be had for $35. The book contains the materials for the eight sessions in the GD series.

The next HAT meeting will be held on December 15. Marilyn has another obligation on that date; therefore, as vice-president, I will preside at that meeting.

This has been just the highlights of the meeting. Anyone wishing to add more may do so by leaving a comment.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Beyond Outrage: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy, and how to fix itBeyond Outrage: What has gone wrong with our economy and our democracy, and how to fix it by Robert B. Reich

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beyond Outrage is a book which deals with the growing gap between rich and poor. Reich explains the frustration which has led to the Occupy movement. Quoting Reich, "Yet when real people without money assemble to express their dissatisfaction with all this, they're told the First Amendment doesn't apply. Instead, they're clubbed, pepper sprayed, thrown out of public parks, and evicted from public spaces. Across America, public officials have said Occupiers have to go."

This is a timely book as we are approaching a Presidential election. Reich does his best to rally the oppressed. "So many people have been hit by job losses, sagging incomes, and declining home values that Americans will eventually become mobilized. The question is not whether, but when."

I am giving this book a five-star rating. It is a must read.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

HAT Meeting, 4.15.12

Six members were present for the HAT meeting at Church of the Restoration on the 15th.  We decided to change to start time of our meetings to 1:00 pm.  We went through to order of service for our Humanist Sunday service and made a few changes.  We decided to donate the TV/VCR to the Free Store in Crosbie Heights.  I took the piece of equipment to the Free Store the following Tuesday.  Regarding the recent shootings in Tulsa, Bill said he would write up some response for the secular elements of Tulsa and submit it to the newspaper.

The next meeting will be on May 20.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A quote from Andy Norman

I don’t believe in God, but I think it’s a tactical mistake to, by definition, exclude theists from our ranks. What do we want to say to the billions of people who subscribe to humanist principles (like 1-6 above), but still cling to belief in God? ‘Sorry, but you must ditch your imaginary friend before you can join us?’ What do we accomplish by such exclusion? The first thing we do, whether we intend to or not, is erect a barrier to constructive dialogue. But humanism is, above all, a commitment to such dialogue. Real dialogue works a kind of magic, but only when participants set aside tribal loyalties and reason together openly, honestly and, dare I say it, in good faith. We want reason-giving dialogue to work its magic on them, of course, but the price is openness to the possibility that the exchange might change us as well. That’s the way dialogue works; it’s a two-way street. Framing humanism in a way that excludes theists in advance comes across as fearful of what they might teach us. Here’s an idea: let’s embrace our commitment to fearless inquiry and truly ‘walk the talk.’ In this context, that means avoiding a self-conception that creates artificial barriers to collaborative inquiry.

--Andy Norman