PLEASE JOIN US!   We meet on the first Sunday of each month in downtown Duluth at the Radisson Hotel (Location Map)
            Socializing begins at 9:00 am.
            Optional breakfast buffet at 9:30 am.
            Presentation from 10:00 until about 11:30.

            Co-Host: David Broman - (218) 349-7455
            Co-Host: Jim Lyttle - (218) 464-1652
             Videographer - Jan Resberg


February 2012 Newsletter

February 2012 Newsletter of the Lake Superior Freethinkers

Facilitators: David Broman – 218-349-7455 & Bill Guse - 834-4583, 343-4806
First Sunday - Radisson Hotel – 9:00 AM Social – 10:00 Brunch

George Erickson, editor, tundracub@mchsi.com


Program: Rev. Kevin Annett


Reverend Kevin Annett is the de-frocked pastor (mid-1990s) of a small United Church of Canada parish in British Columbia. When he started asking questions about why there were no Natives coming to his church, he was told by his all-white congregants that everybody liked it that way. But when he asked the local Natives why they weren't coming to his church he was told a different story, a sobering story about neglect, kidnappings, abuses and even unaccounted-for deaths of Native children that had occurred in the local residential school that had been in existence for several generations. Further research revealed that there was once a 50% annual mortality rate for Native children in some of the military-style schools.


When Rev Annett found out that his own church denomination had illegally sold Native land to large timber companies (and he refused to shut up about it), he was well on his way to being expelled from the United Church of Canada. He will tell that story at this week's LSF meeting.


Reminder – Surely, I'm not the only LSF member who has books I've read at least once – and now just sit on the shelf. Please examine your books, and if you find some good ones that you won't read again, bring them to the meeting to share. If just 10 people bring 1 book per month, we'd really have something.    


Morality is doing right no matter what you are told.

Religion is doing what you are told no matter what is right. Anon.


Geochronolgy of the Fundamentalist World

                                 adapted from a piece by Russell Seitz


4004 BCE- Earth still molten- Adam and Eve invent asbestos waders.


3554 BCE- persistent lava incinerates Noah's Ark.


3264 BCE- Methuselah begins to notice passage of geological time.


2444 BCE- Breathable atmosphere develops - First sermon preached.


1794 BCE- Children of Ham insist that the fauna ofthe Burgess Shales (which abound with fossils) are kosher.


1704 BCE- Charshumash the Hittite bitten by first vertebrate.


1444 BCE- Pangea breaks up in accordance with the Treaty of Uruk.


1104 BCE- Ezekiel se de pterodactyl way up in de middle ob de air.


1024 BCE- Goliath stepped on by Barosaurus. David takes credit.


794 BCE- Jonah swallowed by Carcharus megalodon. Never returns.


454 BCE- Marble deposits form in Greece. Parthenon erected.


The Year 0- Nothing happened, there being no time.


CE 31- Miracle of the Loaves and Icthyosaurs.


CE 70- Paul, formerly Paul the Tarsier, undergoes identity crisis on


the road to Damascus and writes Epistle to the Cephalopds.


CE 494- Snakes evolve and are driven out of Ireland.


CE 974- Leif the Unlucky dies when his dragon ship is spotted by an amorous Kronosuarus.


CE 1215- Magna Charta is eaten by Velociraptor.


CE 1324- Gunpowder introduced. Dinosaurs hunted to extinction.


CE 1384- Dante Alighieri describes earth's core-mantle boundary.


CE 1484- Leonardo da Vinci designs archeopteryx.


CE 1588- Spanish Armada frustrated by the absence of the English Channel.


CE 1636- Earliest primates appear. Harvard founded.


CE 1664- Archbishop Ussher reveals the last four digits of the age of the earth.


CE 1754- Gibbons evolve and write Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.


CE 1835- Charles Darwin, a devoted Christian, attacked by a ratite  in the Galapagos, becomes a Neptunist.


CE 1846 - Ape evolution confirmed by birth of a son to Lady and Bishop Wilburforce.


CE 1914- Holy Roman Empire wins WW I.


CE 1954 De Gaulle invades Russia.


CE 1957- Civil Rights movement challenges Jim Cro-Magnon laws.


CE 1961- Rachel Carson links DDT to Glyptodonts' decline.


CE 1971- Warhol paints Campbell Soup cans on walls of Lascaux Caverns.


CE 1988- Homo habilis declines to serve as Pat Robertson's running mate.


CE 1991 Sadam Hussein discovers fire.


CE 1997- Citing black smoker emissions in the ocean, the Christian

Coalition bans continental drift.


CE 2001 – Christian Fundamentalists find new puppet. Name it G W Bush.


CE 2004 – Christian Fundamentalists promote equal rights for anyone

to be as dumb as G W Bush by adoring Sarah Palin.


CE 2009  -  ditto for Michelle Bachmann.

CE 2010 – ditto for Rick Perry


                           Science vs Religion  by Joel Welty

I'm tired of the repeated mantra, "Science and religion are simply two ways of looking at things." This is nonsense. Science has expanded its reach continuously, while religion has been forced to retreat on issue after issue. So, the religious apologists have been left with a tattered statement: "Religion talks about the meaning of life and the purpose of life and moral values."

Baloney! Religion tells us to stone a man to death if he works on Sunday. So, if your house catches fire on Sunday, the firemen will go to work on Monday to put it out. And purpose of life? Religion tells us not to worry about today, but to focus on the afterlife -- for which we have no evidence. And values? Jesus approved of slavery; I don't. …  Jesus, Paul, Augustine and others ignored the values of family and marriage; what kind of value system is that?

Science gives us a better understanding of human relationships than any of the religiousists ever did. We can understand the instincts of our species better by understanding natural selection than by studying the bible or any religious tract.

Science and religion are NOT two different windows we look out of.  Religion was an early, flawed attempt to understand the universe. We would be better off to drop it altogether and rely upon science to learn about things - including ourselves.

To the editor, USA Today

Just as I change the channel or turn off the TV during MLB's 7th Inning 'Cod bless america', I would likely do the same when tebow or his ilk go into their nonsensical public proselytizing, or just shake my head in 'disbelief' when I see Pujhols and others pointing to the sky after getting a hit, but no acknowledgement when they hit into a DP?


Note to these proselytizing morons - gawd, yahweh, odin, zeus, thor and thousands of other mythical gods would never root for millionaire crybabies, especially playing a stupid game! Also, praying has been proven to be a very psychotic (talking to oneself) behavior. Someone had to burst the 'bubble'. William Soderlind Sr. Duluth, Mn.


A false equation: Faith equals morality – by Gwyyne Dwyer- edited by GAE


Prime Minister David Cameron has declared that the United Kingdom is a Christian country "and we should not be afraid to say so."  He was speaking on the 400th anniversary of the King James translation of the Bible, so he had to say something positive about religion - but went far beyond that.

"The Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals and which can make Britain won it is today," he said. "Values and morals we should actively stand up and defend."

The King James Bible was published at the start of a century in which millions of Europeans were killed in religious wars over minor differences of doctrine.  Thousands of "witches" were burned at the stake during the 17th century, as were thousands of heretics.  They have stopped doing that sort of thing in Britain now - but they've also stop reading the Bible.  Might there be a connection here?

Besides, what Cameron said is just not true.  In last year's British Social Attitudes survey, conducted annually by the National Center for social research, only 43% of 4000 British people interviewed said they were Christian, while 51% said they had no religion.  Among young people some 2/3 are non believers.

Why would Cameron proclaim the virtues of a Christian Britain that no longer exists? He is no fanatic; he describes himself as a "committed" but only "vaguely practicing" Christian.

You'd think that if he really believed that a God who scrutinizes his every thought, and will condemn him to eternal torture in Hell if he doesn't meet the standard of behavior required, he might be a little less vague about it.  But he doesn't really believe that HE needs religion.  He thinks it is necessary instrument of social control for keeping the lower orders in check.

This is a common belief among those who rule, because they confuse morality with religion.  If the common folk don't fear a God – any old God will do - social discipline will collapse, and the streets will run with blood. Our homes, our children, even our domestic animals will be violated. 

Just listen to Cameron: "The alternative of a moral neutrality should not be an option. You can't fight something with nothing if we don't stand for something we can't stand against anything.    What he means it is that there cannot be moral behavior without religion - so you poles had better go on believing, or we privileged people will be in trouble.

But Cameron already lives in a post-religious country.  Half its people say that they have no religion, 2/3 them never attend a religious service, and a mere 8% go to church, mosque, synagogue or temple on a weekly basis. Yet the streets are not running with blood. 

Indeed, religion may actually be bad for morality.  In 2005, Paul Gregory made the case for this in an article titled Cross-national Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracy is.

Gobbledygook. But in a statistical survey of 18 developed democracies, Gregory showed that, in general, "Higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, teen pregnancy and abortion.

Even within the United States, Gregory reported, "The strongly atheist, anti-evolution South and Midwest have markedly worse crime rates and social problems than the relatively secular Northeast."  Of course, the deeply religious areas are also poor, so it might just be poverty making people behave so badly.  On the other hand, maybe religion cause is poverty. 

The point is that David Cameron, and thousands of other politicians, religious leaders and generals in every country are effectively saying that my children, and those of all other millions who reject religion, are morally inferior to those who don't.  It is insulting and untrue.

      A Constitutional Amendment codifying marriage on biblical principles:

  • Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women. (Gen 29:17-28; II Sam 3:2-5; Matthew 25:1)
  • Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron11:21)
  • A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be executed. (Deut 22:13-21)
  • Marriage of a believer and a non-believer shall be forbidden. (Gen 24:3; Num 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh 10:30)
  • Since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any state, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. (Deut 22:19; Mark 10:9)
  • If a married man dies without children, his brother shall marry the widow. If he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not give her children, he shall pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. (Gen. 38:6-10; Deut 25:5-10)
  • In lieu of marriage, if there are no acceptable men in your town, it is required that you get your dad drunk and have sex with him (even if he had previously offered you up as a sex toy to men young and old), tag-teaming with any sisters you may have. Of course, this rule applies only if you are female. (Gen 19:31-36)-------

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