Atheists of Silicon Valley

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2004 Atheist Awards, by Dave Kong, California State Director for American Atheists

Tom Maley — Lifetime Award, for substantial contributions to the Atheist movement
Larry Hicok — Pioneer Atheist
MarkiThomas — Voice of Reason Award
Roger Schlueter, Santa Barbara — Affiliate Volunteer
Phil Paulson, San Diego — Atheist of the Year


» » Past Events in and around Silicon Valley « «


Wednesday, 7/25, 7:30 pm - ASV Ice Cream Social
- in Mtn. View.


Wednesday 2/28, 7:30 pm - Is there a connection between prayer and healing?
- in Mtn. View

Dr. Wallace Sampson gave an informal talk followed by a discussion period on prayer and religion, as it relates to the claims of the studies that have been done.  This was a unique opportunity to learn if prayer, therapeutic touch, and religion aids recovery.  Dr. Sampson carefully examined the published studies for flawed methods and the normal course of diseases or illnesses.  Can prayer result in the Fr. Serra [St. Sierra] effect?

Dr. Sampson serves as editor of The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine and is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Council Against Health Fraud.  He has served as Chief of Medical Oncology at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, and is clinical Professor Emeritus of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Dr. Sampson is a highly-respected and well-known authority in numerous medical fields, including oncology, hematology, and pathology and teaches the critical analysis of Complementary and Alternative Medicine at Stanford University.  He is co-editor of the book Science Meets Alternative Medicine.


Wednesday Feb. 14, 7:30 pm - ASV working mtg, in Mtn. View.

It's time that we got our 501(c)(3) so we can be a real group. We continued work on the paperwork.

Wednesday, January 24, 7:30 pm - PBS video "The New Atheists"
- in Mtn. View.

The PBS program Religion and Ethics Newsweekly recently aired a special segment on Atheism and unbelief in America.

The show's cameras were also on hand to capture the November 14 Grand Opening press conference of the Center for Inquiry's new Office of Public Policy in Washington, D.C. In a wide-ranging interview, Paul Kurtz took the opportunity to discuss the dangerous intermingling of religion with science and the ethics of leading a good moral life, without the need for religion.

From the Web site (http://www.pbs.org/religion):

According to national polls, 90 percent of Americans say they believe in God, and more than 50 percent hold a negative view of those who don’t share their belief in a "Supreme Being." But non-religious fervor is slowly gaining a foothold in the U.S. as some atheists find a way to successfully reach out to mainstream America about their views on the existence of God.

Betty Rollin explores how a small group of America’s non-believers, such as biologist Richard Dawkins, author of "The God Delusion," neuroscientist Sam Harris, author of "Letter to a Christian Nation," and actress/comedian Julia Sweeney, are challenging religious fundamentalism through best-selling works and sold-out performances. According to Harris, "The usefulness of religion -- the fact that it gives meaning, that it makes people feel good -- is not an argument for the truth of any religious doctrine."


Wednesday, December 13, 7:30 pm — Working Meeting, in Mtn. View.

It's time that we got our 501(c)(3) so we can be a real group. We continued work on the paperwork.


Wednesday, December 6, 9 am — Mark Thomas on Christian radio/webcast

Mark Thomas, California Assistant State Director for American Atheists, was the guest on the Christian radio/webcast Unchained Radio, this Wednesday at 9 am PST (noon EST). The show is called "The Narrow Mind" and it's their "Atheistic Wednesday." The website is unchainedradio.com. The call-in number is 800-466-1873. The show can be downloaded here afterwards.


Wednesday, Nov. 22, 7:30 pm - Report on a study of local Atheists, in Mtn. View

Several years ago, many of us along with other local Atheists filled out a questionnaire on our beliefs. A book about this study was recently published, and tonite Chris gave us a synopsys.


Wednesday, November 8, 7:30 pm — Working Meeting, in Mtn. View.

It's time that we got our 501(c)(3) so we can be a real group. We continued work on the paperwork.


Wednesday, October 25, 7:30 pm — Videos of pastor & religious organizer, in Mtn. View.

Ben recorded a provocative video of two Charlie Rose interviews. One of the interviews is with Gregory Boyd - an evangelical pastor who lost 1000 members at his church due to his efforts to popularize the idea that this ISN'T a christian nation!

The other interview is with Rich Warren - a religious organizer whose organizational success might contain ideas we could use (in a non-religious way - of course!)


Wednesday, October 11, 7:30 pm — Working Meeting, in Mtn. View.

It's time that we got our 501(c)(3) so we can be a real group. We continued work on the paperwork.


Wednesday, September 27, 7:30 pm - Lee Smolin The Trouble With Physics:
The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science, and What Comes Next

We got together at Kepler's to listen to this maverick physicist.

Location:
Kepler’s Books
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park

FREE


Tuesday, Sept. 19, 7:00 pm - Americans United Panel Discussion, in Saratoga - with:
    ** Lori Lipman Brown – Director/Lobbyist of Secular Coalition for America
    ** Paul Gilbert – Executive Director of Humanist Community of Silicon Valley
    ** Mark Thomas – President of Atheists of Silicon Valley

The Silicon Valley Chapter of AMERICANS UNITED For Separation of Church and State is sponsoring a panel discussion. The topic was:

“The Non-Religious Community Speaks to Issues of Separation of Church and State”

Americans United is the only national organization that devotes one hundred percent of its time and resources to church/state separation. Through education and advocacy, Americans United works to preserve religious liberty and freedom of conscience as guaranteed by our Constitution.

Time & Location:
Tuesday, Sept. 19, 7:00 pm
Saratoga Library
Community Room
13650 Saratoga Avenue
Saratoga, CA 95070

This meeting was free and open to the public. All were invited and encouraged to attend.

Sponsored by:
Silicon Valley Chapter American United for Separation of Church and State
2310 Homestead Road
Ste 523
Los Altos, CA 94024


Wednesday, Sept. 13, 7:30 pm — Working Meeting, in Mtn. View

It's time that we got our 501(c)(3) so we can be a real group. Tonite we continued work on the paperwork.


Wednesday, August 23, 7:30 pm — Comedy nite: South Park's The Passion of the Jew
in Mtn. View

"South Park" often pokes fun at sacred cows. Here they take on Christianity as the boys see "The Passion of the Christ."


Wednesday, August 9, 7:30 pm — Working Meeting, in Mtn. View.

It's time that we got our 501(c)(3) so we can be a real group. Tonite we continued work on the paperwork.


Wednesday 07/26 7:30 pm - Ice Cream Party
- in Mtn. View.

It was party time for Atheists of Silicon Valley! We had some ice cream (courtesy of Chris) and socialized.


Wednesday, June 12, 7:30 pm — Working Meeting, in Mtn. View

It's time that we got our 501(c)(3) so we can be a real group. Tonite we reviewed the paperwork and projected budget from our previous meeting.


Wednesday, June 28, 7:30 pm — Video: Daniel Dennett, in Mtn. View

Provocative videotaped interview with Daniel Dennet, author of Breaking the Spell. If Dennet is not religious, why does he go to church occasionally? How is religion like our sweet tooth? How can taking the "faith card" off the table help improve thinking? And what does that mean? How is what we are asking the Iraqis to do different from what the US government is doing? Interviewer Bill Moyers finds some of his questions turned on him!

Daniel Dennett is a philosophy professor and co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. He is the author of Breaking the Spell, Brainstorms, Elbow Room, Consciousness Explained and Darwin's Dangerous Idea, a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.


*** Saturday, June 24, West Coast Regional Atheist Meet ***
*** in Foster City ***
*** 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ***

Atheists from across California and surrounding states got together for an exciting day of nationally renowned speakers, networking, strategizing, and of course fun, fun, fun! All this for only $20 in advance - $25 at the door.

Here's the lineup of speakers:

* ELLEN JOHNSON, president of American Atheists and chair of Godless Americans Political Action Committee.
   Ms. Johnson spoke on "Confronting National Issues: the Need for Political Action".

* DR. DAVID ELLER, author of Natural Atheism
   Dr. Eller spoke on "Natural Atheism: Our Godless Birth and Why It Is Right."

* CLARK ADAMS of Internet Infidels
   Mr. Adams gave his multimedia presentation "The Increase in Atheism and Religious Satire in Popular Media."

* EDDIE TABASH, constitutional attorney and board member of the Council for Secular Humanism. In 2000, he was the only known Atheist to be a major contender for a seat in the California legislature.
   Mr. Tabash spoke on "Why There Really is No God."

* RICHARD CARRIER, doctoral student in ancient history, author of Sense and Goodness Without God and contributing author to The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave.
   Mr. Carrier spoke on "Jesus in the Trial Transcripts of Peter and Paul."

* DAVID FITZGERALD, Bay Area Atheist activist and author of the upcoming book 10,000 Christs and the Evaporating Jesus.
   Mr. Fitzgerald spoke on "Did Jesus Kiss Judas Back? The Gospel of Judas and Other Sexy Gospels."

* DON HAVIS, Bay Area archivist and longtime human rights activist.
   Mr. Havis spoke on "The Top 10 Weirdest Jesus Theories."

There was also a panel to discuss "Kooky Theories about Jesus and Problems with the Evidence."

Location:
Crowne Plaza Hotel
1221 Chess Drive
Foster City, CA

Sponsored by:
American Atheists
San Francisco Atheists
East Bay Atheists
Atheists of Silicon Valley


Wednesday, June 14, 7:30 pm — Working Meeting, in Mtn. View

It's time that we got our 501(c)(3) so we can be a real group. Tonite we reviewed the paperwork from our previous meeting and added a projected budget.


Tuesday, May 30, 7 pm - "Did Jesus Even Exist?" by Richard Carrier, at Stanford

Richard is an expert in ancient history and historiography. He talked about reasons to doubt that Jesus ever existed as an actual historical person, covering the major evidence and clues. His website is at www.columbia.edu/~rcc20.

Links to the handouts: Outline and References
Passages Quoted


Wednesday, May 24, 7:30 pm — Video of Julia Sweeney, in Mtn. View

This is a hilarious video of Julia Sweeney talking about her show "Letting Go Of God."


Wednesday, May 10, 7:30 pm — Working Meeting

It's time that we got our 501(c)(3) so we can be a real group. So, we started reviewing the paperwork.


Thursday, May 4, 11:15am - 1:00pm
— *PROTEST* of the National Day of Prayer event, at the NEW S.J. City Hall

Atheists of Silicon Valley again lead a protest against the National Day of Prayer event, as we have for the last five years. This is a federally-funded annual abuse of the Constitution.

We had signs to hold up and pamphlets to hand out.

See Joe Mercado's write-up of 2004's event. See American Atheists' press release.


Wednesday, Apr. 26, 7:30 pm — Marc Perkel, on the Church of Reality

The Church of Reality is a religion based on the practice of Realism, believing in everything that is real. Our motto is, "If it's real, we believe in it." Since no one knows all of reality, the Church of Reality is really a religious commitment to the pursuit of reality the way it really is. We think about thinking. We wonder about wondering. We try to understand the understanding of understanding.

Realism is the next stage in the evolution of Atheism - moving the focus from what we don't believe in to what we do believe in. Learn why Realism moves the focus away from deities and on to what really is real.


Wednesday, Apr. 12, 7:30 pm — Movie: "Devil's Playground" in Mtn. View

Amish youth, on turning 16, are turned loose to experience the outside world until they can decide whether or not to commit to a lifetime within the Amish community. "Devil's Playground" follows four Amish teens through this experience and is the first film to get inside the Amish community. With this freedom comes many conflicting emotions; full-blown teenage mayhem coupled with deep religious roots — a brutal combination. See here for more info.


Wednesday, Mar. 22, 7:30 pm — Video: "Religion as a Natural Phenomenon"
by Daniel Dennett, in Mtn. View.

Daniel Dennett analyzes the purpose of religion in his new book, Breaking the Spell. The author describes religion as a cultural phenomenon that was developed by natural, evolutionary processes. During his presentation, Mr. Dennett challenges the idea that belief in religion is an outgrowth of supernatural forces.

Author Bio: Daniel Dennett is a philosophy professor and co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. He is the author of Brainstorms, Elbow Room, Consciousness Explained and Darwin's Dangerous Idea, a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize.


Wednesday, March 8, 7:30 pm - Socrate's "Cafe" in Mtn. View.

Socrates sent his regrets. However, his method lives on. We explored the big questions of today as Socrates would - by asking more questions! We were all participants in this provocative journey of ideas.


Wednesday, Feb. 22, 7:30 pm — State/Church Separation Panel, at Stanford

Admission:
FREE

Location:
Building 370, Room 370
Main Quad, 450 Serra Mall
Stanford University

Join the Stanford Rational Thought student group in support of their panel of luminaries Eddie Tabash, Annie Laurie Gaylor, and Tim Gordinier. Eddie Tabash is a well-known Atheist who has run for public office with serious chances of winning. Annie Laurie Gaylor is co- president of Freedom From Religion Foundation which regularly challenges government infringement. Tim Gordinier is the Director of Public Policy at the Institute for Humanist Studies.

For several years now, the constitutional separation of politics and religion has been under severe attack. Court cases about the public display of the Ten Commandments spring to mind. Even more sweeping is the Bush administration's financing of faith-based initiatives, and extremely troubing is its support for prison programs with prominent religious components. Come hear what these panelists have to say about "Whither Church/State Separation?"

Annie Laurie Gaylor is the co-founder of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the editor of the Foundation's journal Freethought Today. She is also the author of "Woe to the Women: The Bible Tells Me So", "Betrayal of Trust: Clergy Abuse of Children", and "Women Without Superstition: No Gods - No Masters".

Tim Gordinier is the Director of Public Policy and Education at the Institute for Humanist Studies, where he spearheads the Institute's legislative agenda. He has a doctorate in Political Science with a focus on constitutional law and specifically on the religion clause of the First Amendment.

Eddie Tabash is a civil rights attorney and the Chair of the National Legal Committee for Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. He has been active in the abortion rights movement in California and has successfully represented the secular humanist position in a number of high profile debates, such as with William Lane Craig or Peter Van Inwagen.


Saturday Feb. 4, 7 pm — "A Debate on the Existence of God" in Mtn. View

ASV president Mark Thomas debated Mark Porter about the existence of the Christian god.

Mark Porter, founding pastor at Valley Church, Pleasanton, has debated Atheists over his technical and pastoral career. Recent experiences include a panel debate with Michael Newdow "On the Pledge of Allegiance" (2002) and a book (in debate form), co-authored with Chris Lindstrom (one of the leaders of Atheists of Silicon Valley) in 2003. He is presently under contract to write a book entitled “Reasoning with an Atheist”

Mark Thomas is actively involved in many Atheist groups in the nation and California:
* California Assistant State Director for American Atheists
* Advisory Board Member for Godless Americans Political Action Committee
* Co-founder and President for Atheists of Silicon Valley
* Steering Committee Member for San Francisco Atheists.

Location:
First Presbyterian Church of Mountain View
1667 Miramonte Ave.  (note that Shoreline changes to Miramonte at El Camino)
Mountain View


Sunday Jan. 29, 4 pm — Mark Thomas on KPRZ 1210 AM

We discussed separation of government and religion on the Bob Siegel show, on KPRZ 1210 AM, San Diego, CA. You can listen to an archive of the show at http://www.bobsiegel.net


Tuesday, Jan. 24, 7:00 pm — Meet Humanist lobbyist Lori Lipman Brown in SF

We've got a lobbyist in D.C. Her name is Lori Lipman Brown.

San Francisco Atheists and Bay Area secular groups were proud to welcome Lori Lipman Brown, the first official Washington DC lobbyist for secular causes. Appointed in September 2005 by the Secular Coalition of America, she is touring to learn the issues and ask for support.

As a former Nevada State Senator, Brown earned awards by the ACLU and others. Brown has been a lawyer, a college professor, and a high school teacher. She has been a guest on radio, TV, Humanist conferences and the recent Atheists in Foxholes Rally.

Sponsored by San Francisco Atheists, East Bay Atheists and Atheists of Silicon Valley.


Wednesday, Jan. 25, 7:30 pm — Tape & Talk on Evolution

Trace your family tree back to its roots and meet your ancestors. Without them you wouldn't be here.

Elizabeth presented this tape in hopes that it creates a better understanding of evolution.


Wednesday, Jan. 11, 7:30 pm — Open discussion

We worked on solving the world's problems that are caused by religion. We also had some great cookies that Ben brought.


Friday Dec 23, 6 - 9 pm, HumanLight Party at Chris' place

If you ever wished that there was a holiday just for Atheists and Humanists — your wish was granted! We celebrated HumanLight with our Atheist/Humanist/Skeptic friends.

What a feast and party - some Humanist "MadLibs" and the "12 Days of HumanLight"!

WHAT: HumanLight Celebration
WHEN: Friday Dec 23rd, 6 - 9pm
WHERE: Chris Lindstrom's Place


Wednesday, Dec. 14, 7:30 pm, in Mtn. View.
— Audio Tape of Bishop John Shelby Spong

What does he have to say? Why do we care?

We listened to Bishop John Shelby Spong’s speech to the Spiritual Activism Conference - courtesy of our very own God-frey! This was not a bible thumper speech.

The Reverend seemed to reject the god of myth and invent a new god. Can the godless work with him and maybe even support his brand of religion? He was at times serious, outright hilarious, and rebelliously controversial for most church goers and even included Atheists in his speech.


Wednesday, Nov. 23, 7:30 pm, in Mtn. View.
— Open Discussion on Family and Religion

How can we cope with religious family members over the upcoming holidays?


Wednesday, Nov. 9, 7:30 pm, in Mtn. View.
— MOVIE: Heart of the Beholder

What happens when Christian fundies attempt to shut down a video store because it's renting "The Last Temptation of Christ" — a movie that the fundies don't like? Based on a true story.


Wednesday, Oct. 26, 8:00 pm, at Stanford
— Women and Humanism

This was sponsored by RATT, the Stanford Rational Thought Group.

Panelists:
Masuma Ahmed (Humanist Voice from the East)
Sena Havasy (Humanist Celebrant)
Chris Lindstrom (Founder of the Garrison-Martineau Project)
Molleen Matsumura (Author of the "Sweet Reason" Advice Column)

Humanism is a life philosophy that intrinsically values all human beings, irrespective of their gender, race, sexual orientation, or social status. The gender inequalities that are present in many religions simply have no place in Humanism. Nevertheless, we all sometimes struggle to apply our ideals to our daily lives. We heard about the contributions to the non-believers' movements by outspoken secular women in the past, why it is important to hear women's voices when tackling today's issues, and how the four panelists use their humanistic ideals to make the world a better place--for both women and men.

Location:
Stanford Women's Community Center
Fire Truck House
433 Santa Teresa St
Stanford Campus


Wednesday, Sep. 28, 7:30 pm, in Mtn. View — Movie: The God Who Wasn't There

Bowling for Columbine did it to the gun culture.
Super Size Me did it to fast food.
Now The God Who Wasn't There does it to religion.
Holding modern Christianity up to a bright spotlight, this bold and often hilarious new film asks the questions few dare to ask.
Your guide through the world of Christendom is former fundamentalist Brian Flemming, joined by such luminaries as professor Richard Dawkins, Jesus Seminar fellow Robert M. Price, author Sam Harris and historian Richard Carrier.

We learned:
* The early founders of Christianity seem wholly unaware of the idea of a human Jesus
* The Jesus of the Gospels bears a striking resemblance to other ancient heroes and the figureheads of pagan savior cults
* Contemporary Christians are largely ignorant of the origins of their religion
* Fundamentalism is as strong today as it ever has been, with an alarming 44% of Americans believing Jesus will return to earth in their lifetimes
* And God simply wasn't there.

Newsweek says The God Who Wasn't There "irreverently lays out the case that Jesus Christ never existed." The Los Angeles Times calls it "provocative -- to put it mildly."


Wednesday, Sep. 14, 7 pm, near San Diego — Debate: Does God Exist?

Mark debated Bob Siegel at New Life Church in El Cajon, CA. Of course, few if any true believers were swayed by mere facts, evidence and logic.


Wednesday, Sep. 14, 7:30 pm — Pot Luck

People brought food and thoughts

Wednesday, Aug. 24, 7:30 pm, in Mtn. View - Debate: Does God Exist?

Dr. Fazale "Fuz" Rana, an apologist from the Apologetics Hotline, debated Mark via phone on the BIG question. We had a phone hookup to speakers so everyone could listen.

Apologetics Hotline: (1-626-335-5282, 5-7 PM PT)


Wednesday, Aug. 10, 7:30 pm in Mtn. View - Ice Cream Making Social

Chris brought the ingredients and machine. Everyone else brought the muscle. We then shared ideas and the icey fruits of our labors.


Wednesday, July 27, 7:30pm in Mtn. View
— The End of Faith - Review of Sam Harris' Book

Is there reason to be optimistic about the state of the world and Atheists' role in it? Or are we destined for some brand of Muslim/Christian/Jewish theocracy & nuclear disaster? What role does Atheism play in creating a better world and thwarting horrors?


Wednesday, July 13, 7:30pm in Mtn. View
— Logical Thinking & Transit - Mutually Exclusive?

Why did environmental and transit groups oppose a tax to fund public transit in Nov. 2000? What is the real story on what's happening with plans to improve public transit? And what place does rational discourse have in the world of transit politics?

Margaret Okuzumi, the executive director of BayRail Alliance, helped us to think critically about transit options (Is BART-San Jose really a good idea?) and to understand why government has failed to act logically despite the efforts of advocacy groups such as the Sierra Club.


Tuesday, June 28, 10:00 am - 10 Commandments Rally in San Francisco

Today the Atheists of the Bay Area held a rally at the steps of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in SF, over the rulings from the Supreme Court on the government displays of the 10 Commandments. We had a great turnout with about 30 Atheists and Humanists. Dave Kong, CA State Director for American Atheists, organized the event. Here is what he sent out after the rally, "Please pass on my gratitude to those in your group who participated in today's rally. These events can only be successful when we have a good turnout, and today was a very good turnout, especially for a Tuesday morning."

Our own Ed Gauci took many pictures of our rally and put them on the web.

American Atheists also held a rally in D.C. Here is a photo from the New York Times showing a reverend in DC discussing the decisions, with American Atheists' signs being held over his head in the background. American Atheists strikes again!

"It is true that many Americans find the Commandments in accord with their personal beliefs. But we do not count heads before enforcing the First Amendment."
— Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, concurring in a ruling against government displays of religious symbols.


Wednesday, June 22, 7:30 pm in Mtn. View
— Video: David Eller speaking about his new book Natural Atheism

Larry Hicok, Coordinator of East Bay Atheists, Berkeley, presented a video on a 60 inch screen of Prof. David Eller speaking about his new book, Natural Atheism. David is the former Colorado State Director for American Atheists, the current head of the Denver Atheists group, and in possession of an uncanny knack for analysis.

Frank Zindler, editor of American Atheist Press, has called Natural Atheism the "textbook of Atheism" and "the most important book on Atheism since Madalyn Murray O'Hair's death."


Wednesday, June 8, 7:30 pm, in Mtn. View
— Your (short & painful) life in an American Theocracy

Ever heard of Rushdoony? What you don't know CAN hurt you! These guys are working toward a utopia of their own, and guess who'd be the first to be stoned to death in their new world order?

One of our own members shared his expertise and uncovered the shocking truth: there are Rushdooney supporters even in the Silicon Valley! His siblings attended Bob Jones & he knows whereof he speaks.

Here's a suggested reading and web list:
Theocracywatch audio-video
The Christian Right, Dominionism, and Theocracy
Vengeance is Ours written by an anti-Reconstructionist Christian - excellent coverage of detailed doctrinal differences within Christianity
Eternal Hostility written by a professional reporter
"Democracy as Heresy" article from Christianity Today on 20 Feb 1987 (not on web)


Friday May 27, 7:30 - at Stanford University
— Silicon Valley premiere of the movie "The God Who Wasn't There"

Holding modern Christianity up to a merciless spotlight, this bold and hilarious new film asks the questions few dare to ask. And when it finds out how crazy the answers are, it dares to call them crazy.

Sponsored by RATT - Rational Thought and Atheists of Silicon Valley.


Wednesday, May 25, 7:30 pm in Mtn. View
— Women's Voice From the East: Taslima Nasrin

Masuma Ahmed, originally from Bengal, presented an important perspective on Taslima Nasrin as seen through the eyes of a "woman from the east." Taslima Nasrin is a physician, journalist, poet, novelist, humanist, and Bengali, with a fatwa on her head. She is also the winner of the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize 2004.


Fri., Sat. & Sun., May 20, 21 & 22: All-Atheist Weekend in San Francisco!

Click here to see what was in over 100 newspapers!


Friday, May 20, 7:00 pm in San Francisco
— Ellen Johnson, president of American Atheists, at the Commonwealth Club

      Ellen spoke on "MADALYN MURRAY O'HAIR: What She Stood For and Why Her Ideas Matter Today." The presentation included rare archival film footage and commentary on Ms. O'Hair's efforts to end coercive school prayer and Bible verse recitation in public schools. Johnson also examined why her ideas are especially relevant today to a new generation of Atheists and other nonbeliever-separationist activists confronted by further assaults on the First Amendment.

Ellen's talk was free and sponsored by San Francisco Atheists. Our own Ed Gauci took some pictures and put them on the web.

— — — — —

Friday evening, May 20, after her talk
— Dinner with Ellen Johnson, at Sotano's in SF

This was a wonderful opportunity to meet her, and support the Atheist groups that paid for the Commonwealth Club.

Sponsored by San Francisco Atheists

— — — — —

Sat. & Sun., May 21 & 22, 1:00
— World premiere of the movie "The God Who Wasn't There"

Holding modern Christianity up to a merciless spotlight, this bold and hilarious new film asks the questions few dare to ask. And when it finds out how crazy the answers are, it dares to call them crazy.

Sponsored by San Francisco Atheists

Location:
Off-Market Theater
965 Mission, near 5th St.
just south of Union Square
downtown SF


Wednesday, May 11, 7:30 pm, in Mtn. View - From One Heretic to Another
— First-Hand Report on a Heresy Trial

Special Surprise Guest! This person experienced the full horrors of a heresy trial and lived to tell the tale! We found out what does happen and got good advice on how to avoid the flames.

He was tried on charges that did not relate to any prescribed tenets of his faith - just some that they were thinking of instituting.


Thursday, May 5, 11:15am - 1:00pm — PROTEST of the National Day of Prayer event, at S.J. City Hall

Atheists of Silicon Valley again lead a protest against the National Day of Prayer event, as we have for the last four years. This is a federally-funded annual abuse of the Constitution.

We had signs to hold up and pamphlets to hand out. There were plenty of xtian highschoolers who got the time off to come to this, and were at least nominally interested in an alternative view.

See Joe Mercado's write-up of last year's event.

See American Atheists' press release.


Wednesday, April 27, 7:30 pm in Mtn. View — An Atheist's Guide to Objectivism

Objectivism is a philosophy founded by Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. While all Objectivists are Atheists, not all Atheists are familiar with Objectivism. Steve Nahm, coordinator of the Silicon Valley Objectivists, presented a guide to Objectivism for Atheists. He discussed the many ways Objectivism shares ideas with other Atheists, and believes that Objectivism is a life-affirming philosophy that every Atheist should know. He also talked about ways in which Objectivism addresses issues we come up against regularly, such as its ethics, which is derived from the nature of people, not from supernatural beliefs.


Wednesday, April 13, 7:30 pm in Mtn. View
— Video: South Park episode "The Passion of the Jew"
— and birthday party for Thomas Jefferson and Madalyn Murray O'Hair
— and reports on the American Atheists and Atheist Alliance International conventions

Thomas Jefferson was born on April 13, 1743.  Madalyn Murray O'Hair was born on April 13, 1919.


Wednesday, Mar. 23, 7:30 pm in Mtn. View — Money: Red, Blue or Green

Brian Davis, member of the local Humanist Community, described local work being done to promote Clean Money campaigns. According to their website, "Clean Money, Clean Elections (CMCE) reduces the influence of special interest money and provides a level playing field by offering qualified candidates a limited and equal amount of public funds. It's a bold, new experiment in campaign finance reform, seeking to restore democracy and the principle of one person, one vote." Atheists have always supported human beings solving human problems (who else is there?!)


Wednesday, Mar. 9, 7:30 pm in Mtn. View
— The "Execution" of a President - What Really Happened on Nov 22, 1963?

Hal Verb, a long time San Francisco Atheist activist, is also among the first generation of assasination critics. He was the first to teach a college credit course on the JFK assasination at SF State University from 1966-1969 and was the first researcher to publicly show the Zapruder film. He has had articles published in the US and Britain in venues including The Berkeley Barb, The Los Angeles Free Press, Back Channels, The Fourth Decade and more. Hal gave us a presentation "like no others now being offered in print or in person."


Wednesday, Feb. 23, 7:30 pm in Mtn. View — What a Department of Peace would look like

Can humans solve human problems?

As Atheists, we know that it's up to us human beings to solve human problems. Vince Scarich from the South Bay Department of Peace Campaign talked about what a Department of Peace would look like and the human organizing going on around this idea right now. Vince Scarich describes himself as "A lifelong Republican who now passionately supports establishing a Department of Peace."

The South Bay Department of Peace Campaign is associated with the North American Peace Alliance.


Tuesday, Feb. 22, 6:30-8:30 pm at Skyline College, San Bruno — Debate: Does God Exist?

David Fitzgerald of San Francisco Atheists debated Chang Yuon, follower of Jesus Christ. Every review of the debate said David won. (Of course, he had the easier task.)

Location:
Skyline College Cafeteria


Saturday, Feb. 12, 2:00 pm in San Francisco — Darwin Day with David Seaborg

It was Charles Darwin's 196th Birthday, and everyone was invited to the party! The party included a crazy game and a real debate. Charles Darwin was portrayed by famous real scientist David Seaborg, debating a creationist portrayed by infamous real Atheist David Fitzgerald.

We had refreshments and fun, including a big birthday cake for Darwin and the exciting game "Evolutionary!"

Location:
Buca di Beppo
855 Howard
San Francisco


Saturday, Feb. 12, 7:30 pm in Palo Alto — Darwin Day with Dr. Eugenie Scott

The Humanist Community of Palo Alto and Darwin Day Celebration, Inc. sponsored a Darwin Day event on 2/12/05. It featured a talk by Dr. Eugenie Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education. Her talk was entitled, "What Would Darwin Say About Creationism?"

Location:
St. Andrew's Methodist Church
4111 Alma Street
Palo Alto


Wednesday, Feb. 9, 7:30 pm - Video: Did god cause the tsunami? Atheists & Theists debated on TV

Ellen Johnson and Dave Silverman (American Atheists President & Communications Director) were on Scarborough Country recently, along with a few xtians and a rabbi. The topic was whether god caused the tsunami in Asia. Ellen and Dave were human, personable, and caring. They were the only ones who seemed genuinely concerned with the victims of the tsunami. The others seemed more concerned with their religious messages and positions -- often trading insults of blasphemy over who knew (or could know) the mind of their god. Pat Robertson was overtly callous -- smiling and laughing.

The transcripts are Jan. 4, for Dave and Jan. 5, for Ellen.


Wednesday, Jan. 26, 7:30 pm in Mtn. View - Video: The Bishop's Gambit. When Church & State Collide

We watched the intrigue unfold when church and state tangled in "The Bishop's Gambit" -- an episode of British Comedy Series "Yes, Prime Minister". When given a choice between appointing one of two equally politically unpalatable bishops, the prime minister's wife suggests he object to both on the grounds that neither believes in god. (Is that a requirement for bishop?!!!)


Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2005, 7:30 pm in Mtn. View - Video of Mike Newdow & Mark Thomas on "Hannity & Colmes" TV show 12/08/04

There were over 3,000 screaming (mostly conservative) Christians along with two antagonistic hosts, and Mike & Mark held their own. We then had a lively discussion on state/church separation and the usual subjects.

>>>>>>>> Past Events of 2004 <<<<<<<<


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