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2002 Atheist Awards, by Dave Kong, California State Director for American Atheists

Pioneer Atheists
Tom Maley, San Leandro Atheists
Chris Lindstrom, Atheists of Silicon Valley (See her site The Garrison-Martineau Project)
Roger Schlueter, Humanists, Santa Barbara

Outstanding Affiliated Group Volunteer
David Fitzgerald (See his 3/24/03 article in the SF Chronicle.)

California Badass of the Year
Dr. Michael Newdow

First Amendment Awards, for commitment to maintaining the separation between religion and government
U.S. Representative Pete Stark
U.S. Representative Mike Honda

Sunday Dec. 14, 2003, 5 PM dinner, 7 PM play: "The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged)"

Play location:
City Lights Theater
529 South 2nd St.
San Jose, California 95112
(408) 295-4200

Dinner location: (at 5)
Bo Town Chinese restaurant:
409 South 2nd St.

Here's a description: (The show was hilarious!)
The Boys from The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) are back with a zany, post-apocalyptic roller-coaster ride of sex, violence, murder, and miracles … The Bible! Offering answers to age-old questions (Did Moses actually look like Charlton Heston? Did Adam and Eve have navels?), this is an affectionately blasphemous, laugh-a-minute romp with a healthy dose of Holiday Season satire. The Good Book just got better!

Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2003, ASV Social Meeting: Incorporation papers

We worked on finishing off our incorporation papers, the 1st step in getting our 501c3.
We also heard a great true story of religious descrimination, by a godless refugee from Iran.

Friday, Oct. 17, 2003, 7 PM to 9 PM - Ellen Johnson & Eddie Tabash at UC Berkeley campus

Ellen Johnson is president of American Atheists, and spoke about Atheist activism.  Eddie Tabash, a lawyer in Southern California who made a strong run for the California Assembly as an Atheist, spoke about electing Atheists to political office.

Location: Room 2050 in the Valley Life Science Building, UC Berkeley campus

Eddie Tabash is a lawyer in private practice in Beverly Hills, he graduated magna cum laude from UCLA in 1973 and from Loyola Law School in 1976. He is a member of the California State Bar, the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Los Angeles County and Beverly Hills Bar Associations. He is a part time judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court. He has been the most publicly active man in the abortion rights movement since 1981 in California. From 1995-2001, he chaired the national legal committee for Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Council for Secular Humanism and on the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal. He is a contributing editor to Free Inquiry Magazine. He is a life member of American Atheists. In 2000, he was the only known Atheist to be a major contender for a state legislative seat in the United States. He is the author of "Electing Atheists to Political Office". He also engages in professional debates against theistic philosophers, on the classic topic: "Does God Exist?" You can read some of his articles on He is a resident of Pacific Palisades, California.

Here are a few fun facts about Eddie:

- Eddie tutored Arnold Schwartzenegger in English when he first arrived to LA.
- He makes his living defending prostitutes.
- His offices are in the Larry Flint building.

Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2003 at 7:30 - ASV Social Meeting: Pizza nite in Mtn. View!

Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2003 at 7:30 in Mtn. View - Chris Lindstrom told us about the latest on The Garrison-Martineau Project

The heart of The Garrison-Martineau Project is a simple idea: 2 believers, 2 nonbelievers and a trained facilitator getting together for a few hours, sharing food and conversation.

Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2003 - Social Meeting: Report on the MN Atheists Conference of 8/23

The Minnesota Atheists put on a great conference, with speakers from many national Atheist and Humanist groups. Mark and Lydia gave a report.

Monday, Sept. 8, 2003 at 6 PM - Americans United Executive Director Barry Lynn at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco

He told us what's wrong with the Religious Right, in a delightfully engaging talk.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003 at 7:30 PM in Mtn. View - We played the trivia game of Blasphemy! hosted by Dave Fitzgerald

Wednesday, August 13, 2003 at 7:30 PM in Mtn. View - Why a Christian comes to Atheist meetings, by Lynn Hofland

Lynn attempted to refute the statements MarkiThomas made at our March 26 meeting about design in nature.
He shared who he is and how he lives life with a foundation based on the Bible.
Here is an article written by Lynn.

Saturday, July 26, 2003 at 6 PM - SF Atheists meeting: "Taking Atheist Activism into Court" by Dave Kong

Dave is the California Director of American Atheists & National Award-Winning Atheist Activist
How does someone develop the courage and knowledge to sue their own government for Atheist rights? Dave Kong knows. He lived it, on his own and with others. We heard his story of joys and frustrations of past, present and future cases.

Dave spoke primarily on his current lawsuit against Medicare/Medicaid payments to Christian Science sanatoria. While about a relatively small issue (compared to funding of faith-based social programs and vouchers), the precedent the case could potentially set is disturbing.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003 at 7:30 PM in Mtn. View - Home-grown ASV Panel on "Atheism, Religion, Family, and Friends"

We heard from several of our own ASV members, in a panel moderated by Lydia.

How did our fellow Atheists deal with issues such as:

- Coming out to family/friends as an Atheist
- What is easier now
- What is harder now
- What issues our panelists are currently dealing with
- What useful strategies have our panelists found for dealing with these issues
After the panel discussion, we opened the floor to comments, questions, and discussions.
This was a a great meeting! We got to know (in person) people that many only knew from the email list, and got useful pointers on dealing with things that are going on in our own lives.

Friday July 4, 2003 at 8:30 PM in Mtn. View - Social

We went to Shoreline park for a picnic and a stupendous view of the fireworks!

Thursday, June 19, 2003 at 7:30 PM in Mtn. View - Our very own Deanna (Banana) Stewart spoke on Mormanism

We learned about the “Holy of Holies” in the Mormon Religion: The Temple Endowment.
We saw exactly what goes on in a Mormon temple, with actual temple rituals enacted.
We learned the secret handshakes that will get us through the pearly gates!
We saw the Magic Morman underwear!
We had a great time!

Thursday, June 5, 2003 at 7:30 PM in Mtn. View - Social Meeting

We watched Penn and Teller videos on creationism and end of the world predictions.

Thursday, May 15, 2003 at 7:30 PM in Mtn. View: 2nd anniversary pot luck dinner

People brought their favorite foods to share (even if it was potato chips or Pop Tarts). And, we watched the full eclipse of the MOON.

Thursday, May 1, 2003, 11:15 in San Jose: We Protested the National Day of Prayer

Atheists of Silicon Valley lead a protest against the National Day of Prayer event, as we have for the last two years.
This is a federally-funded annual abuse of the Constitution.
It was a lot of fun, again. We had signs to hold up, and pamphlets to hand out.
After all this, we retired to the nearby Togo's for food and refreshment.

May 1st is the ancient pagan Celtic holiday Beltane (Mayday). At night on Beltane, farmers and villagers would head out into the fields and have wild sex with each other, thinking that their fertility energy would make the crops grow better, or something. It's strange that the religious right selected this ancient day of sex and revelry as a National Day of Prayer.
- Tim Wayne

See Joe Mercado's write-up.

Thursday, April 3, 2003 at 7:30 PM: Social Meeting in Mtn. View: Is the Moon Made of Rock or Cheese?

In celebration of April Fool’s Day, Atheists of Silicon Valley was proud to present a debate on two of the most controversial theories of our time.
Presented by Barbara and Richard Lau.

Wednesday March 26, 2003 at 7:30 PM at Coco's at Lawrence & 101 in Sunnyvale: "Why I am an Atheist", by MarkiThomas

Most people came at 6:30 to join us for dinner.
Do you have questions about your lack of faith?
Is your faithlessness being testing by the righteous, brothers (and sisters)?
Do you have doubts about your doubts?
Do your parents/friends/siblings think that you will soon be back among the saved?
Are you afraid of backsliding?
This was the talk to get your rational head back on straight.

Mark showed that there are no good reasons to believe in any god, and many reasons to not believe in a god. He examined all the standard reasons for belief, and described how they collapse under the weight of science and philosophy. He then explained the advantages of Atheism and Humanism as world outlooks.

Thursday, March 6, 2003 at 7:30: Social Meeting, in Mtn. View.

We watched a 70 minute video on the godless Americans March on Washington. This was great fun, compliments of Ed Gauci.
Just remember, "If you want to get to heaven, you got to kiss the magic butt!"

Thursday, Feb. 20, 2003, 2003 at 7:30 PM: Activist workshop in Mtn. View.

Thursday, Feb. 6, 2003 at 7:30 PM: Social Meeting: VCR Movie Nite, in Mtn. View.

We watched "Monty Python's The Meaning of Life"
It took God six days to create the earth, and Monty Python just 90 minutes to screw it up.
Plot Outline: The comedy team takes a look at life in all its stages in their own uniquely silly way.
"Every sperm is sacred; every sperm is great; if a sperm is wasted, God gets quite irate."

Saturday & Sunday, January 18 & 19, 2003, Defending Reason in an Irrational World

A 2-day briefing to learn the latest in the battle for science and reason.
Presented by the Center for Inquiry, the Council for Secular Humanism, and CSICOP. Four people, including Paul Kurtz, discussed "the latest developments regarding church-state separation, science vs. antiscience, faith based funding, evolution vs. intelligent design, confronting the media, outreach to the young, and much more."
Paul Kurtz
Tom Flynn (editor of Free Inquiry)
Ed Buckner (executive director of the Council for Secular Humanism)
Amanda Chesworth (leader of the Young Skeptics program)

Thursday, Jan. 16, 2003, Escape From the Watchtower Society

Diane Wilson told us about her story and book Awakening of a Jehovah's Witness: Escape From the Watchtower Society

Diane Wilson, former long-time member of the Watchtower organization, has written a veritable "spiritual thriller", describing her dramatic journey to psychological freedom. She explores with frankness and passion her unfortunate servitude to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, an organization which views itself as the sole possessor of all religious truth.

The fascinated reader will be swept along emotionally as Diane details her odyssey to freedom from what most former Jehovah’s Witnesses describe as a mind-control cult. Diane spells out her initial vulnerability to the unique claims of the Watchtower Society and her fierce struggle to disengage herself from such powerfully persuasive people; in short, she reveals the dark side of Watchtower worship.

Sunday, Jan. 5, 2003, God Debate on the web

Dan Barker of FFRF debated a Muslim on the subject "DOES GOD NOT EXIST?"
Dan did exceptionally well, covering all the points.
You can watch a recording of the debate at Tawheed Institute.

Sunday, Jan. 5, 2003, Michael Shermer's talk is on the web


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