Tulsa Atheist Rendezvous

Tulsa Atheist Rendezvous grew out of the Atheists Meetup group in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We seek to provide an opportunity for those who self-identify as atheists to meet with one another for fellowship and to discuss matters of mutual interest. --Dan Nerren, moderator

Monday, June 27, 2011

FreeOK coming July 30

A meeting of the Tulsa Atheist Meetup was held in the Fontana Center at 1 pm, Sunday, June 26. There were about 40 people present for this meeting.

The meeting began with a showing of a fairly new promo we have been running on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqbitu-bV5o.

Then there was some conversation about the success of the equal marriage amendment in New York state. Someone suggested that we might ally ourselves with the gays, but someone else said that gays were not necessarily non-believers, and that, in fact, may gays have found refuge in certain churches. The LGBT community is supported by certain liberal churches.

Two gay women in attendance said that they were at the meeting today thanks to a book written by Carlton Pearson which had influenced their thinking on religion.

A man named Kevin (didn't get his last name) spoke as a representative of Camp Quest. He thanked our group for the financial support given to Camp Quest. The are now 11 such camps throughout the U.S. They are a secular version of Boy Scout camps.

A letter was ciurculated which had beewn received from the Eastern Oklahoma Food Bank thanking us for a donation of 603 lbs. of food. Many units of bood were donated the same day by atheists.

Will talked about signs of heat exhaustion since the group was going to picking up trash following the meeting in the area designated for the group by the state Adopt-A-Highway program.

Another short video was shown promoting FreeOK. FreeOK is the Oklahoma Freethought Convention which is schedule for July 30. You can view the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DGOTvlEG2g.

Next, Bill Morgan, formerly on the faculty of ORU, spoke about Charity Water, a cause he works for. "Water changes lives," said Morgan. Bill D. said, in effect, any cause is a lost cause without population stabilization. See video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nP51U_p-8jw.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

TAM meeting 2.27.11

This month’s Atheist Meetup was held on Sunday, February 27, 2011. There were approximately 30 people in attendance.

I was impressed by how well organized the meeting was and by the ability of William Poire to keep us focused on the agenda. A nice feature of today’s meeting was the addition of a printed program listing the upcoming events in March. Will listed himself “Interim President” in the program, but he did such a fine job, I wish he would consider taking the leadership for a longer period of time.

Have you found your niche yet in Tulsa Atheists? Do you see a need in the organization that you could fill? As the old Chinese proverb says, “Many hands make light work.”

One of the upcoming events will be “Secular Friends and Family” to be held this month at the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks. Admission for adults is $13.95. This event will be held on Sunday, March 13 at 1 PM. It is an opportunity for secular-minded people to get together and have a good time.

Of most immediate interest is the Roy Zimmerman performance scheduled for this coming Thursday evening at the Nightingale Theater, 1416 E. 4th St. That’s just two blocks east of Peoria. For a sampling of Zimmerman, watch this YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZmHC75FDqQ

February’s theme was Blacks in America; March’s theme will be women’s rights. Next month our speaker will be from the faculty of NSU and she will speak on women’s issues.

It was mentioned that two people are seeking to have the Pope investigated for crimes against humanity. How far they will get is still uncertain.

Bill brought up the perennial problem of children being indoctrinated into the religion of the parents. Mark mentioned that trying to take corrective action is frought with other problems, namely government interference in parental rights. The issue was bounced back and forth without any resolution.

The web site http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/ was mentioned as a source of assistance in creating additional advertisements. If you go there, be sure to check out the videos found there. They are some of the best I have seen.

Chris Proctor, who works with the astronomical observation post south of Mounds, attended today for the first time. He told of some of his experiences talking to church groups. Sometimes Chris will say something which does not square with the visitor’s religious views. To avoid getting sidetracked, Chris will steer them back to science and keep moving.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

TAM meeting, 11-28-10

There were about 20 people at today's TAM meeting. Kenny opened the floor for people to talk about their experiences with religious friends and neighbors around Thanksgiving. People were cautioned about exposing too much personal information about themselves on social networking sites.

Annie Laurie Gaylor will be in Tulsa around December 18 or 19. She will be at Randy's to accept an award for someone...we will need to designate that person soon. Earlier plans were to give an award to Mike Ritze (R-BA) in conjunction with the 10 Commandments monument on the state capitol grounds. But has the monument been placed yet? What is the hold up?

Bill mentioned pantheism and the World Pantheist Society. If everything is god, then nothing is god.

Bill Mahar will be coming to Tulsa soon. Mahar has done as much to promote atheism as anyone we could think of presently.

The Pope has been in the news with his relaxed stand on condom use. What a shocker! Now if he would only broaden his view to include all women, that would be real progress.

I missed the October meeting as I was recouperating from surgery, but it came as a surprise to me that Kenny was stepping down as organizer. He cited his job which takes him out of Tulsa frequently. The club has achieved a lot under his leadership. I am thinking specifically of the development of cable advertising and his organizing of the Free Tulsa Music Festival tabling effort. Kenny will still be a member of our group, just as I, the original organizer of the group, am still a member. Taking over for Kenny will be William Poire. William has been an assistant organizer for several months now. William spoke of the desire to set up some committees at the next meetup.

At the end of the meeting, a representative from the state Adopt-A-Highway program showed a video and answered questions about our participation in the program. The initial cleanup will happen soon. We are asked to clean up a section of Highway 169 from 21st Street to Admiral Blvd. (north side only). A sign crediting TAM for this effort will go up soon.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Second Day at Free Tulsa Music Festival

Once again, I was at the Humanist booth at the Free Tulsa Music Festival today. I arrived shortly after 3 pm, and it was very hot at that time. At had been there half an hour when a young person came up to the table and started asking questions. Also at about the same time a second person came to the table and started talking with person number one.

Person number two was a like-minded freethinker. The two carried on a long conversation, each defending his side of the argument over the Bible, free will, evolution, church/state separation, and other related topics. I asked the young believer to look at www.skepticsannotatedbible.com when he got home. Can anyone view this site and still think that the Bible is the "word of God?"

Kenny once again provided food for those who worked the table. We had fixings for turkey sandwiches, cantaloupe, and watermelon.

It was a scorcher today, but fortunately we had a strong fan giving us a cooling breeze.

Kenny had my shirt ready which I had ordered from him. It is a baseball style jersey with a picture of the twin towers of the World Trade Center with the words "Imagine No Religion" superimposed upon the scene. Below that was the Tulsa Atheist logo.

Friday, July 30, 2010

At the Free Tulsa Music Festival

From right to left: William Poire, Bill Dusenberry, and Bob Hooper.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

TAM, 7-25-10

It was close to 1 pm when Kenny called the meeting of the Tulsa Atheist Meetup to order. Kenny said he had purchased a canopy to be used at the Free Tulsa Music Festival next weekend to be held in the vicinity of Cain’s Ballroom. The portion due from HAT will be $66.67. A two-day ticket to attend the Festival will cost $15, but those working at the Festival get in free. Ticket price includes a t-shirt. Kenny said he would like to have more volunteers.

Our group will have a prime spot among the vendors. We will have two canopy tents. I assume the other tent will be that of HAT. If you intend to work the first part of either day, please be there at 2:30 pm.

The mid-month social gathering will be held at the Delta Café. A poll was taken to see how many people lived close to which Delta Café. The results were split almost evenly among the two locations. Check the TAM web site to find which location will be the one chosen.

Next Will spoke to the group. He is sponsoring the Atheist Hotline. He said our group now is on Facebook.

Nick Singer, president of Oklahoma Atheists, addressed our group. He said his group is made up mostly of young people who are activists. Plans for a gathering of both groups in Stroud could not be worked out, he said.

Next, Stan Young addressed the group. He spoke about a book titled Three Lives of a Warrior written by Phil Butler. He also referred to a Dana French, whose name I Googled. There were several people by this name, so if Mr. Young would like to include something about Mr. French, I invite Mr. Young to add it by attaching a comment to this blog entry.

Next, Bill Dusenberry spoke to the group. Bill spoke on the Boy Scouts issue and the hospitals issue. He mentioned that around September 1 a billboard will be erected calling attention to the fact that Oklahoma at one time had an atheist representing us in the U.S. Senate. He mentioned that Freethought Radio is available at AM 540. Dan Barker or Anne Laurie Gaylor will be making a trip to Tulsa in conjunction with a billboard to be erected at approximately 14th and the BA Expy. Plans are in the works to bring Rob Boston to Tulsa.

There was some discussion of 12-step recovery programs, the Secular Organization for Sobriety, and Alcoholics Anonymous. Three videos or books were cited by advocates within our group: Decoding the Language of God, Veiled Atrocities, and Why We Fight.

There was some discussion of our library and the absence of our librarian.

These are the highlights that caught my attention. As always, you are welcome to add your own comments by using the comment feature below

Monday, July 05, 2010

Street Tabling: A Learning Tool

[The following article is taken from the July/August 2010 newsletter of the New York City Atheists.]

I recommend, for those who want to strengthen their confidence and skills in dealing with the public, that they consider joining our [New York City] street tabling group on Saturdays. In good weather, we pitch our tent at Columbus Circle, hang up our banners, set out our chairs and prepare to meet the public. It is only recently that I realized that street tabling is probably the most valuable tool we have in learning how to deal with, and communicate to, the non-Atheist community. You can get experience in telling people that you are an Atheist and why; you can rehearse your responses while answering the questions of the people who approach our table. Oddly enough, we get many new members via our street tabling, which shows me that some of our regular tablers have gotten quite proficient. In any case, tabling is a good first step before dealing with your parents or work colleagues. Street tabling is, indeed, a mini-classroom for people who want to build up their confidence, communication skills or interpersonal skills. It makes you aware of what people are interested in learning about Atheists, what reservations they have and how they perceive Atheists.

Street tabling can prepare you for participating in panels, organizing events or volunteering for political candidates who respect our goals.

And truth be told, street tabling is an easy way to “come out.” You are out there with a group of Atheist friends, chatting it up and having fun. You are telling non-Atheists, if they ask, why you are an Atheist and the wonderful delusion-free, selfdetermined Atheist way of life. You are actually out as an Atheist. Free at last.

So come join us on good-weather Saturdays, wear your Atheist tee shirt or cap, think about Harvey Milk and begin your life-long journey toward building a better society based on reality.