Press Release from the Oxford Humanist Educational Association January 1, 2016— New Membership Program:
If you live in the Granville County, NC area and would like to come to our meetings, sign up as a member on our local website. There, you will be able to view the meeting schedule and receive emails from organizers.
The Oxford Humanist Educational Association (OHEA) is developing a program designed to increase its membership in Granville and Vance Counties, NC.
People joining Humanist organizations are likely to be dissatisfied church members, religious skeptics, unaffiliated with religious groups (the Nones), and supporters of secular government and human and civil rights for everyone.
Humanists are not actively anti-religious, and they understand that science cannot solve all human difficulties. Humanists support scientific methods of inquiry while rejecting sectarian doctrines. We believe it is immoral to make decisions, guide your life and base your actions based on gods. Our group focuses on treating people with respect and understanding based on the concept that such behavior is based in ethics and not on religious imperatives. You may certainly join us at meetings to learn more; we welcome all persons.
Various data suggests to us that people may become potential Humanists because they no longer believe the teachings of their faith, have drifted away from their faith, no longer feel that their needs are being met, or are unhappy with their faith’s position on social issues like homosexuality, abortion, or birth control.
People may find Humanism’s non-theological and non-threatening practical approaches to solving life’s problems refreshing and attractive.
Dan Winslow, President
Dr. Frank McKay, Vice President
Dan Winslow, OHEA President, Has a Clash with a Christian Apologist!
True Story: Recently Dan ran into an old friend and this is how it went:
One Humanist’s Reply to an Apologist
The noon sun’s light, but little heat, reflected from the parking lot’s tarmac as Arthur, an infrequently seen acquaintance, peered in my direction, stopped, altered his course so as to intersect mine, smiled and asked, “Dan what have you been doing since the last time we met?”
“Well, I replied” our Oxford Humanist Education Association is growing. Our discussions included an update of Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution through natural selection, how same-sex life partners are affected by homophobic legislation, and earth’s age from a university geologist’s perspective. “What are you doing?”
“I’m a religious apologist!”
“That’s amazing work Arthur trying to defend Bronze Age beliefs about a magical and mysterious universe inhabited by angels and demons and created by people who believed the earth was flat and that stars were God’s light shining through holes in the night sky. How do you keep from laughing?”
“It’s all true Dan! It’s in the Bible! The Bible is the word of God! Jesus told us everything we need to know to be saved from Hell!” Supportive quotations from Genesis, Corinthians, and other memorized scriptural references flowed from his tongue.
“Arthur you’re presenting persuasive statements as if they were arguments! Your theology teachers should have cautioned you against reification, circular reasoning and tautologies! You might Google FreeThoughtPedia and learn how to avoid thought killing pseudo arguments unless you intend to sabotage critical thinking. You might familiarize yourself with the following widely cited persuasive and logically faulty arguments (not actually arguments but I will call them so for literary convenience) for the existence of a metaphysical God. (1) The argument from ignorance: I don’t how the world came to be so God must have created it. (2) The argument from design: I found a watch by the seashore and such a complicated thing must have had a designer and humans are complicated so they must have had a designer – God. (3) You can’t prove God doesn’t exist! (4) I can conceive of God so He must exist because if he didn’t exist I couldn’t conceive of him. (5) I know God exists because a billion people believe in Him and they say He talks to them. (6) Pascal’s Wager: Whether or not God exists it is a good bet to believe in Him because if He exists and you don’t believe in Him you will go to Hell forever.”
“Arthur Go read modern Biblical criticism and you won’t have to rely on inadequate and repudiated 18th and 19th century theories similar to those developed by William Foxwell Albright. There is no proof of your assertions, and you know that they must be accepted on faith alone if they are to be accepted at all.”
“What happens if you die an unbeliever, what will you say to the Lord at the Last Judgment when He asks why you didn’t believe in Him?” Note that here Arthur played his supposed trump card, the “You will go to Hell card for not believing me.”
“Why I would reply as did Lord Bertrand Russell as cited by Richard Dawkins, ‘Not enough evidence, God, not enough evidence.’”
Dan Winslow 12/30/2013/
Dan’s Personal letters
OHEA meets, Accepts Bylaws and Elects a Board of Directors
On September 28th, 2013 an important meeting of OHEA members was held in Oxford, NC.
A set of Bylaws was voted on and unanimously passed by the assembled members. As required by the Bylaws, a Board of Directors was then elected and the Board elected officers. Dan Winslow was elected Chairman, Dr. Frank McKay Vice Chairman and Silvanus Slaughter as Secretary/Treasurer.
Earlier in the year OHEA became a Charter Member of the American Humanist Association which automatically conferred a 501(c)3 tax status on our Organization.
A social lunch followed this business meeting.
Chris Brockman, an OHEA Member living in Wilton, NC, has published a new 2015 book entitled “What to Think About: Philosophy for a Thoughtful Younger Generation.”
Each chapter ends with scenarios and questions challenging the reader to think. This book is “written from a humanist perspective” and is recommended for young adults. Chris Brockman is the author of the classic of religious skepticism for children: “What about gods?”
This new publication is available in paperback or e-book from Amazon where you may also see his other publications.
Silvanus Slaughter, an OHEA Member living in Oxford, N.C., is an accomplished film producer, writer, singer-songwriter and pianist.
Silvanus worked in the L.A. film industry for two decades; his film, “An Encounter” was televised nationally via PBS in the 90s. A novel, “Sweet Piece,” was published by Trevisi Publications in 2003. In the interim, he has emerged as a wildly prolific singer-songwriter and pianist whose debut rock CD in 2005 was well-reviewed. He turned abruptly to jazzy symphonic pop with deep jazz and Country Romance influences. In 2012, he was commissioned to score a film for the Bernard Osher Foundation in San Francisco. He performs regionally, has amassed a library of over 300 songs to be released, and has directed over 40 of his eclectic music videos on YouTube channels.
OHEA Member Evelyn Winslow Writes Open Letter to Pope Francis in Local Newspapers on Sexual Abuse of Children
An Open Letter to His Holiness Pope Francis
Dear Pope Francis, I am not a Catholic, but my conscience compels me to say these things to you.
I commend you for admitting to the world that priests committed evil when they sexually abused children. In fact, I call raping and molesting children unspeakably wicked, especially when those acts are done by men who claim to be celibate and pious representatives of Jesus Christ.
Dante’s Hell is not punishment enough for ruining the psyches of generations of young people entrusted in their care. Concealing these crimes and allowing the perpetrators to visit their wickedness on other unsuspecting victims in other locations is loathsome indeed. Pedophiles need psychiatric treatment and confinement away from potential victims.
The Catholic Church’s obsession with controlling everyone else’s sexual behavior is unhealthy. Celibacy is not normal and obviously it is hypocritical for priests to pretend that they are celibate when the evidence proves otherwise. Would it not be better for the mental health of priests and their congregations to admit that they are sexual beings and allow them to be openly gay or heterosexual and to marry? Then they could better understand the issues that their parishioners face.
Evelyn Winslow, member, Oxford Humanists Educational Association