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Foundation Beyond Belief

If you would like to make a donation to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma Recovery efforts, use the Foundation Beyond Belief.

"Foundation Beyond Belief is a humanist charity that promotes secular volunteering and responsible charitable giving. Guided by the principles of secular humanism, our mission is to:

  • Unite the humanist community in volunteering and charitable efforts.
  • Advocate for compassionate action throughout the world.
  • We forward our mission through our programs: Grants, Disaster Recovery, Service Corps, and Volunteer Network."

An Organized Panic - Reading and Book Signing

  • When: Thursday, September 21, 2017 @ 6:00 pm
  • Where: Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania Street, New Orleans, LA view map

We think this may be the first literary novel with an atheist narrator--definitely one set in New Orleans! 

An Organized Panic by Patty Friedman is a rare - if not unprecedented - novel for atheists: it's literary and contemporary, but no sci fi or fantasy elements. For NOSHA readers it has the added element of having been described as "another tale told in the darkly humorous Friedmann voice - and set in the New Orleans only a native would know."

This story sets born secular humanist Cesca against her brother Ronald, a later-in-life evangelical Christian. It's a serious struggle, each trying to prove the other is not above board, but we hear the comic Friedmann of Secondhand Smoke and Eleanor Rushing. After all, Ronald runs a business called JesusCleanup. Organized Panic took second place in the Faulkner-Wisdom competition. Read more about Friedman here.


 

NO/AIDS Walk 2017 -- Join the Unholy Strollers!

  • When: Sunday, September 24, 2017 @ 9:30 am
  • Where: Crescent Park , 1008 N Peters St, New Orleans, LA 70117, New Orleans, LA view map

This has become an annual event for NOSHA fans and who can't use a good walk now and then with friends, right? NOSHA member Clay Richard will once again be our dependable captain. 

The money goes to a very good cause and we'll set up a team page to make it official, so you can register ahead of time. 

You can sign up as a member of the team and/or donate here: https://tinyurl.com/y9fkt7al

The walk officially begins at 10am.


 

Rights and Sexuality: Where Individual Freedoms and Civil Rights Meet

  • When: Tuesday, September 26, 2017 @ 7:00 pm
  • Where: New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 3939 Gentilly Blvd, New Orleans, view map

The Institute for Faith and the Public Square is dedicated to exploring the intersection of faith and politics. This year's conference will feature four panelists:

Tony Campolo, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Eastern University
SarahJane Guidry, Executive Director, Forum for Equality
Craig V. Mitchell, Professor of Philosophy, Politics, & Economics
Travis Weber, Family Research Council

There is a $10 entry fee per person for members of groups with 10 or more attending, and you must sign up online in advance to get the $10 rate OR pay $15 at the door.

If you sign up online, you must choose "Part of a group of 10+" and write NOSHA on the form and it will process your payment at the $10 rate. 


 

09/21/2017

Renaissance Man?

Lessons from a Lost Classic on Secularism 

In the current (Sept/Oct 2017) edition of The Humanist, former president of the American Humanist Association Lyle L. Simpson marks the centennial anniversary of the modern humanist movement with a brief summary of its improbable beginning in a Minneapolis Unitarian Church, while also mentioning its ancient origins with Greek and Roman literati Epicurus and Lucretius.
Epicurus' teaching, "centered on each of us maximizing our life here on Earth instead of our life being regulated by the gods"  was "spelled out in detail" in Lucretius' poem "On the Nature of Things" writes Lyle, and was later translated into Latin and adopted by the Medici family, Florentine rulers in the early 1400s, as a code for living.
Missing from Lyle's abbreviated history was an entire movement generally referred to as Renaissance Humanism, beginning with the efforts of Italian poet Petrarch, promoting the idea of human progress—only three centuries removed from the Dark Ages—  and as an alternative to the static outlook of Catholic scholasticism. Petrarch's belief was that in order for humanity to advance and regain "cultural excellence"—and thus "progress"—Classical-era texts and histories of needed to recovered, restored, and thoroughly studied and then emulated in life. He considered the Greek and Roman classical age as the high point of civilization, and emphasized the need to get back to a culture modeled after it. From the late 1300s to the 1600s, humanists went about searching "private and monastic libraries, [the region of] Byzantium, and [interviewing or uncovering works by] Muslim scholars and merchants," (1)  collating and cross-checking translations for accuracy. The rebirth of the Classical age was the goal, and that would be progress.

...continue reading

 

Where Everybody Knows Your Name: A Case of Mistaken Identity

09/13/2017

Someone once told me that opening up your Facebook app was like going to the neighborhood bar. The lyrics:

"Sometimes you want to go     
Where everybody knows your name,
     
and they're always glad you came.
     
You wanna be where you can see,
     
our troubles are all the same
     
You wanna be where everybody knows
     
Your name.
"

soon came to mind and continue—complete with the sappy melody from the Cheers sitcom theme of the '80s—to initiate a daylong ear worm every time I think about it.

For my purpose, the barroom analogy may be well-suited. Whether  you sit there reading, scrolling—latte or Red Bull within arm's reach of your keyboard—or with elbows and forearms prone on the counter guarding the  micro-brew standing between them,  with a co-relaxant/conversationalist on the next barstool, the inevitable interloper will walk through the door. How she got here if she were not otherwise on a "Friends with" list or a page group member, we may not know, possibly gaining entry through algorithmic aberrations of the Facebook master plan to have eventually everyone become friends of everyone else. But your space is public, just like the pub, so no explanation is ultimately necessary—it just happens. But this character is not the overly-welcomed Norm or the just-irritating trivia monster Cliff of Cheers, but a full-on goddamned troll; and just when you thought the day's stress was evaporating with each passing minute, she's on a mission. The analogy fails when, as most in-the-flesh disagreeable strangers keep to themselves in public settings like pubs,  the newcomer, seeing a group expressing opinions contradictory to his own, is more likely to grab a stool at the far end of the bar. Likewise the troll without the cover of his basement or bedroom, or the road-raging driver without two tons of Ford F-150 armor is effectively neutered. Isolation seems to bring out the worst in us.

...continue reading

 

New Episodes - The New Orleans Humanist Perspective

Humanist Perspective 235 Report on FFRF Convention, with William Gautreaux

 
Posted on 2017-09-19T19:47:56+00:00
Humanist Perspective 234 Responding to common "Questions for Atheists" from Christians

 
Posted on 2017-09-19T19:12:19+00:00

Watch more episodes on our Media page.

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