Metro State Atheists End of the Year Newsletter
- Biologist Paul Z Meyers
- Vote No on 48 Campaign
- Separation of Chuch and State Rally
- Astrobiologist David Grinspoon
- Don’t Believe in God?You’re not Alone
- Author Victor J. Stenger
- Sam Singleton Atheist Evangelist
- Bob Enyart’s Radio Show
- CFI’s 12th World Congress (Bethesda, MD April 9th-12th)
- Colorado Skepticamp 2009
- The National
Vote No on 48 Campaign
The year of 2008 saw what was the most historic election in the history of the United States thusfar. Although the presidential election of 2008 overshadowed most of the other issues in our state, one ballot initiative could not go overlooked. Amendment 48, also known as the Personhood Amendment, would have made a fertilzed egg a person under sections 3,6, and 25 of the Colorado State Constitution. The implications of this amendment were appalling and we wanted to fight it. So, we teamed up with Protect Families, Protect Choices to oppose Amendment 48. We set up two info table about two week prior to the election to get the word out, while do so, 9 News spotted us and asked if one of our officers would agree to do a live interview online. Joel Guttormson agreed to do the interview. When asked why our group opposed the measure, Joel was concise and accurate in explaining the pitfalls of the Amendment. Then, the pro-48 person was interviewed. She agreed with what Joel had said regarding the pitfalls of the Amendment but said she was voting for it anyway because it outlawed abortion. On November 4, 2008, Amendment 48 was defeated in stunned fashion with a near 3-1 margin.
Separation of Church & State Rally
In September of 2008, Vice President of Metro State Atheists, Chalmer Wren, was one of numerous guest speakers for a Rally for the Seperation of Church & State on the steps of the Denver capital. organized by Denver Atheists and Freethinkers. Additional speakers included Lucia Guatney, Victor Stenger, Marvin Straus, Brian Graves, Groff Schroeder, Mike Smith, and Richard Berg.
Astrobiologist David Grinspoon
In October, we hosted a lecture by author and curator of astrobiology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, David Grinspoon. David is author of Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life . Although David was scheduled to speak about the Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission, he instead spoke about astrobiology and planetary science in general. David was also kind enough to donate his time for this event. More information about David can be found at is website www.funkyscience.net.
Don’t Believe in God? You’re not Alone
In November of 2008, the Colorado Coalition of Reason (COCORE), put up 11 billboards with the phrase, “Don’t Believe in God? You’re not alone”. This resulted in a what we considered a media frenzy given the lack of media attention we get as a movement. Joel Guttormson stepped up as the unofficial spokesman for COCORE in this matter and was interviewed by Channel 7 News on November 13th prior to them actually going up and then again on November 17th once they were up. Then, Joel was interviewed by Bill Johnson of the now disbanded Rocky Mountain News. We received some hate mail, mostly from Christians but we all got encouraging emails from Christians, Joel was phoned by a sympathetic theistic Jew and we also received a blog comment and phone call from someone on the east coast. Joel also wrote an article about this and other events in the CFI Campus Inquirer in January. All-in-all, the campaign was a success, and we’d like to thank COCORE for their activism and support.
Author Victor J. Stenger
In October 2008, we hosted a lecture and book signing by the New York Times best selling author and retired physicist, Victor J. Stenger. Victor was kind enough to donate his time for this particular event. Victor spoke about the content of his 2007 book, God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist. Afterward, Victor stuck around to sign copies of his book that we were selling to raise funds. An article about the event was written for the The Metropolitan by Nicole Queen but never published. Nicole sent us a copy, though, and it can read here.
Sam Singleton Atheist Evangelist
In what I can only described as a theatrical comedy performance, we arranged to host “Sam Singleton Atheist Evangelist: Patriarchs and Penises.” More information about Brother Sam can be found at www.samsingleton.com.
Bob Enyart’s Radio Show
In January of 2009, Joel was interviewed by Christian radio talk show host Bob Enyart. You can listen to the interview here. After listening, you can read Joel’s and Chalmer’s commentary about the show.
CFI’s 12th World Congress (Bethesda, MD April 9th-12th)
In April 2009, Joel, Chalmer, and Faculty Adviser of Metro State Atheists, Norman Schultz, attended the Center For Inquiry’s 12th World Congress in Bethesda, Maryland. Among the numerous guest speakers were ncluded magician and skeptical investigator James Randi, evolutionary biologist Michael Ruse, NASA climatologist Drew Shindell, philopher and author Barbara Forest and professor of psychology Richard Wiseman . Additional information about this event can be found at www.centerforinquiry.net/worldcongress. This endeavor was funded the MSCD’s student travel program. We would like to thank MSCD, specifically Angela LeValley for making the trip possible.
Colorado Skepticamp 2009
In may of 2009, we hosted and provided catering for Skepticamp, a skeptics barcamp style conference. This event included more than a dozen speakers, including presentations by Metro State Atheists’ President, Joel Guttormson, and Vice President, Chalmer Wren, on a plethora of topics including global warming, homeopathy, and Saturn. More information about Skepticamp can be found here.
A Denver-based reporter for The National, a United Arab Emirates (UAE) English newspaper, contacted Metro State Atheists via email requesting an interview and photo of Joel and Chalmer. They were told the article would be similar to the one done by the New York Times some time earlier. She interviewed both Joel and Chalmer and both of them were quoted in the article along with others in our movement.
Late in the fall semester, Metro State Atheists received a grant from the Secular Student Alliance (SSA) to purchase merchandise to sell for fund raising purposes. This merchandise was provided to us by fellow COCORE member Evolvefish.com. We are happy to say that so far, the effort has been a success and we have sold a good portion of the merchandise and are poised to re-order some of our more popular selections.
By Joel Guttormson and Chalmer Wren
May 21, 2009 - Posted by Metro State Atheists | Metro State Atheists, News, Newsletter | Amendment 48, Astrobiology, Barbara Forest, Bill Johnson, Bob Enyart, Campus Inquirer, Center For Inquiry, Chalmer Wren, Channel 7 News, cocore, Colorado Skepticamp, David Grinspoon, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Drew Shindell, Evlovefish, God: The Failed Hypothesis, How Science Shows God Does Not Exist, James Randi, Joel Guttormson, Lonely Planets, Metro State Atheists, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Michael Ruse, MSCD, Newsletter, Nicole Queen, Patriarchs and Penises, Paul Z. Myers, Pharyngula, Protect Families, Protect Families Protect Choice, PZ Myers, Rocky Mountain News, Sam Singleton, Sam Singleton Atheist Evangelist, Skepticamp, SSA, Student Secular Alliance, The Colorado Coalition for Reason, The Met Report, The Metropolitan, The National, THe National Newspaper, The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life, The War Between Science & Religion, Victor J. Stenger, World Congree
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Metro State Atheists is an affiliate of The Center for Inquiry (CFI), Secular Student Alliance and American Atheists; Which are not-for-profit organizations uniting freethinking, skeptic, secularist, atheist/agnostic, and humanist students and student organizations.
Our purposes are:
- To encourage freedom from superstition, irrationalism, and dogma;
- To further the acceptance and application of science, reason, and critical thinking in all areas of human endeavor;
- Advancing the public understanding and appreciation of science;
- To challenge misrepresentations of non-religious convictions and lifestyles;
- To create a campus community for freethinkers and skeptics.;
- To counter all forms of religious political extremism;
- To defend religious freedom, promote freedom of thought and inquiry concerning religious beliefs, creeds, dogmas, tenets, rituals, and practices, and, to advocate, labor for, and promote in all lawful ways the complete and absolute separation of state and church;
- To defend individual freedoms and civil liberties for all persons, regardless of race, sex, gender, class, creed, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and disability and Fighting racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, and heterosexism;
- To unite freethinkers, skeptics, and humanists and consolidate campus resources to engage in such social, educational, legal, and cultural activity as will be useful and beneficial to the members of Metro State Atheists and to society as a whole;
- Exposing pseudoscience;
- Investigating claims of the paranormal;
- Safeguarding the freedom of expression and opposing censorship;
- Defending academic freedom;
- Challenging academic fads and orthodoxy;
- Debating the philosophy of science, skepticism, and theism;
- Exploring secular and humanist ethics;
- To collect and disseminate information, data, and literature on all religions and promote a more thorough understanding of them, their origins, and their histories;
- To encourage the development and public acceptance of a humane ethical system stressing the mutual sympathy, understanding, and interdependence of all people and the corresponding responsibility of each individual in relation to society;
- To develop and propagate a social philosophy in which humankind is central and must itself be the source of strength, progress, and ideals for the well-being and happiness of humanity;
We are also a member of College Atheists of Colorado.
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