MHA Newsletter - April 2017

Mississippi Humanist Association

Newsletter - April 2017

 

Greetings, humans. We’re getting closer and closer MAY 21st and our first big speaking event - Seth Andrews, host of The Thinking Atheist! And while we wish all atheists (and everyone, really) could be described as “thinking,” we know that’s not the case. This event will be well attended so you NEED to RSVP on Facebook, or email us if you want to go! Please, make your intentions known so that we have a good idea of how many people to expect, because at the moment, we expect to fill the venue!

 

Admission for this event is free, but seating is limited. If you plan to attend, you MUST RSVP to guarantee admission! If you are bringing guests, please indicate the number of guests in the RSVP. You may RSVP on any Facebook event page (MHA public event, MS Humanists private event, or the MS Atheist Experience event), our MHA Meetup page, or via e-mail to Stephen Frank or Kim Gibson at mha@mshumanists.org. If you have previously procured a VIP entrance to the event, you have reserved your seat.

 

The event will be held in Pearl, at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites-Pearl International Airport. (If you need to Google it, that unwieldy name will keep you from getting it mixed up with all the other Holiday Inn Expresses) at 100 Riverwind Dr, Pearl, Mississippi 39208.

 

The free event will be a great way to spend your Sunday afternoon. We start at two, and plan to be done by four.

 

A free event? Yes! Because we use your donations and membership dues to fund our operations, and events like this. It’s not cheap to maintain a presence online and in real life, and while we rely entirely on volunteers, even our volunteers need to buy a few things here and there (printer ink isn’t cheap) to make sure we’re above board and effective.

 

You can probably guess why I’m bringing that up - we need donations, or even better - members. If you have let your membership lapse, now’s a great time to renew. If you’re not yet a member, now’s a great time to join.

 

If you’re already a member, you can always donate money. Go to our website (which isn’t free to host or maintain) and drop us a few bucks if you can. Join or donate. Every little bit helps.

 

Speaking of helping, our 2016 fundraiser and book-buying spree with Big House Books recently ended, and we capped it off by volunteering funds and time to get the books packed up and sent to prisons in Mississippi. With the rise and spread of faith-based organizations reaching deeper and deeper into our prisons preying on our most vulnerable citizens, we need to get more critical thinking and secular literature into prisons. Volunteering with Big House Books is easy, they take volunteers every Tuesday, and could use your help packing books into envelopes for delivery. Just visit their website and go from there.

 

Looking for something else helpful to do? Consider one of the FOUR Mississippi March for Science marches - they’ll be held in Jackson, Oxford, Long Beach, and Hattiesburg!

 

While the main March for Science is to be held in Washington, DC, satellite marches will be held across the country, for obvious reasons, we’re most interested in the marches in Mississippi. If you’re going to go, please let the organizers know so they can brag about how many people attended. It may not seem like much, but it’s really hard to count people on the ground, and opponents of these marches will always undersell the attendance.

 

What is the March for Science? I’ll let the organizers explain:

 

“The March for Science is a celebration of our passion for science and a call to support and safeguard the scientific community. Recent policy changes have caused heightened worry among scientists, and the incredible and immediate outpouring of support has made clear that these concerns are also shared by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. The mischaracterization of science as a partisan issue, which has given policymakers permission to reject overwhelming evidence, is a critical and urgent matter. It is time for people who support scientific research and evidence-based policies to take a public stand and be counted.”

 

Science doesn’t just provide the human comforts and improvements of technology that humanism uses to thrive, it also provides us with insight into the way that the world really is, giving us our best chance to engage with - and change - the world.

 

We won’t be able to rely on those insights, those changes, those ways of thinking, if we allow science to be denigrated and derided as some unfriendly, inhuman institution practiced only in rarified halls for no purpose. We need people to understand that science has supporters, that scientists and the people who believe them are not monsters, nor are they some quiet, tiny minority.

 

Plus, it’ll be fun, and it’ll be a good chance to make some science-pun signs and wear your favorite T-shirt. It’s also on Earth Day! So carpool with your favorite humanists, scientists, and environmentalists!

 

Finally, it’s a bit of a drive, but Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association, is speaking in Little Rock, AR on Saturday, April 29th at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock, 1818 Reservoir Road, at 2:00 PM. His presentation is titled Humanism 101: Politics, Religion, and Community for the Unchurched.

 

Here’s your calendar of events:

 

April 19th: Humanist Happy Hour at Hal and Mal’s - Join your favorite humans for drinks and discussion! We’ll be in the side room/Oyster Bar. 6 till whenever. (Usually we’re done by 8 or 9)

April 22nd: March for Science! Oxford, Jackson, Long Beach, and/or Hattiesburg. See the relevant info above.

April 27th: MHA Board Meeting, Whole Foods meeting room, upstairs, Jackson. Come see the sausage get made and find out how we’re using your donations and membership fees.

April 29th: Roy Speckhardt, Humanism 101: Unitarian Universalist Church of Little Rock, 1818 Reservoir Road, at 2:00 PM.

April 30th: Mississippi Atheist Experience: Details TBA.