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


November 2013 Newsletter

November, 2013 Newsletter of the Lake Superior Freethinkers

Facilitators: David Broman - 218-349-7455, Bill Guse - 834-4583, 343-4806

First Sunday -Radisson – 9:00 AM Social – 9:30 Breakfast - 10:00 Presentation


George Erickson, editor, tundracub@mchsi.com

Program - Bemidji’s Dan Allosso presents "Freethinkers in Print"
with emphasis on Dr. Charles Knowlton. See http://freethoughthistory.com/K/Knowlton.html

Pandora’s Promise

This new film (that is hugely opposed by the coal and oil lobbies), takes a close look at nuclear power – and the non-polluting future that new generation reactors hold for the world. No one has died in Western Europe or the Western Hemisphere because of nuclear power, but THOUSANDS have died from the use of coal or oil that creates CO2. Safe, efficient nuclear plants create NO CO2.

As a boy, Upton Sinclair’s heroes were (the anticlerical) Shelley and Jesus Christ. Sinclair paid for his education at Columbia University by writing for magazines and boys' weeklies. Sinclair's sixth novel, the muckraking classic, The Jungle (1906), catapulted his literary career. The Jungle resulted in passage of the Pure Food and Drugs Act and the Meat Inspection Act (1906). Raised in an Episcopalian family, Sinclair was deistic as an adult, never quite losing his boyhood admiration for the moral teachings of Jesus, but going after organized religion in his book, The Profits of Religion: An Essay in Economic Interpretation (1918). In the preface, which Sinclair wryly titled "Offertory," he explained, "This book is a study of Supernaturalism as a Source of Income and a Shield to Privilege." A cursory scan of its chapters reveals its thrust: "The Priestly Lie," "The Great fear," "Priestly Empires," "The Butcher-Gods," "the Holy Inquisition," "Hell-fire," "Anglicanism and Alcohol," "Bishops and Beer," "God's Armor," and "Riches in Glory." Sinclair was a socialist who ran for public office several times. He wrote 90 books. He won the Pulitzer in 1942 for Dragon's Teeth, about the rise of Nazism. D. 1968.

“There are a score of great religions in the world. . . and each is a mighty fortress of graft.”

“How do you convince someone they're not thinking clearly, when they're not thinking clearly? What we're actually saying is no magic, no afterlife, no higher moral authoritative father-figure, no security, and no happy ever after. This is a tough sell.” --Phil Plait


Diamond D's brothel began construction on an expansion of their building to increase their ever-growing business. In response, the local Baptist Church started a campaign to block the business from expanding -- with morning, afternoon, and evening prayer sessions at their church.

Work on Diamond D's progressed right up until the week before the grand reopening when lightning struck the whorehouse and burned it to the ground!

After the cat-house was burned to the ground by the lightning strike, the church folks were rather smug in their outlook, bragging about "the power of prayer."

But late last week Jill "Big Jugs" Diamond, the owner/madam, sued the church, the preacher and the entire congregation on the grounds that the church ... "was ultimately responsible for the demise of her building and her business -- either through direct or indirect divine actions or means."

In its reply to the court, the church vehemently and voraciously denied any and all responsibility or any connection to the building's demise.

The judge read the plaintiff's complaint and the defendant's reply, and at the opening hearing he commented, "I don't know how the hell I'm going to decide this case, but it appears that we have a whorehouse owner who staunchly believes in the power of prayer, and an entire church congregation that thinks it's bullshit.

True education starts with the premise that all truth claims must be open to scrutiny…. All hypotheses are tentative and all conclusions are provisional. This is in direct contradiction to religions which believe, and preach, that their version of the truth is the only version sanctioned by their holy writ. -- Rodney Sheffer

Did you miss the presentation about nuclear power? Click this link for the text. http://thoriumforum.com/thorium-nuclear-power-climate-change-killer-21st-century

Bill Maher Says Atheism Will Grow in Acceptance by Stoyan Zaimov

Comedian and TV host Bill Maher has claimed that atheism will be "the new gay marriage" in terms of social acceptance, as more and more non-believers will "come out of the closet."

"Atheists are out there, they're thinking it, they're just afraid to say it," Maher claimed during an interview with The Wrap. "But that's changing."

Maher claimed that the number of people in America who say they do not believe in any religion and are atheist or agnostic is approaching 15 percent. Various surveys have produced different numbers on the question, though a 2012 Pew Research Center poll found that America's unaffiliated make up 19.6 percent of the population, though only 2.4 percent are atheist and 3.3 percent are agnostic.

The comedian also claimed that non-believers are underrepresented in the political sphere, and said that there were no admitted atheists serving in Congress. Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) was the first openly atheist member of Congress, but his 10-year term ended in January of 2013.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) admitted to Maher that he was an atheist earlier this year, but that came only after he left Congress, and also 25 years after announcing he is gay….

Maher was asked if he would ever consider running for office, but called himself "the last person who could ever win," referring to the many controversial segments on his show. The TV host has often criticized organized religion, most notably in the 2008 documentary "Religulous."

Atheist groups have been increasingly vocal about advocating for the rights of nonbelievers, notably with The Freethought Equality Fund PAC that was announced by the Center of Humanist Activism earlier in September. The PAC represents the interests of all those who support the "separation of church and state" and the "civil liberties of secular Americans."

"The increasing numbers of non-religious Americans now have a vibrant PAC that will be directly supporting candidates who champion the principles of secular government now so fervently under attack," said Bishop McNeill, the coordinator for the new PAC.

"There is a clear need to assist candidates who will challenge those looking to use the power of government to impose religious doctrines on everyone."

Hot Tip!

For some good humor on religion, check out www.nobeliefs.com. Be sure to watch After the Rapture, the 5th video listed.

The Bible gave Man dominion over Nature, which was a license to use, abuse and exploit Nature, willy-nilly. Most indigenous Americans regarded Nature as their Mother, whom they treated with respect…. Albert Schweitzer wrote, “Man has lost the ability to foresee and forestall -- he will end by destroying the earth.” We are well on our way. -- Rodney Sheffer
Nut Cases

Pastor Kevin Swanson: “I Don’t Buy Girl Scout Cookies Because I Don’t Wanna Support Lesbianism.”

The pastor of a N C church asked that only white people be used as greeters – so as to puttheir “best foot forward.”

A Catholic website advises young women to “learn to be a wife and mother instead of pursuing an education.” It then asks parents, ”Is a degree worth the loss of your daughters purity, dignity and soul?”

A Saudi cleric says that women should not drive because “medical studies have shown that it automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upward.”

Ken Blackwell of the Family Research council says that there’s “nothing more Christian” than the massive cuts in food stamps passed by House Republicans. Why? Because it will help them “uplift and empower themselves.”

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