CFI Social Night: 7PM TODAY at Sharp Edge Bistro


Where: Sharp Edge Bistro (922 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15222)

When: 7PM TODAY

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Secular-Freethinkers/events/223625316/

Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers (CFI)

Welcome to the Center For Inquiry’s monthly social night, held every first Tuesday of the month at the Sharp Edge in the Cultural District downtown.  Come and socialize with like-minded friends.

See you there!

To learn about all the secular groups in Pittsburgh, visit the Pittsburgh Coalition of Reason website…and you can follow Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers and CFI on Facebook!

*CFI-Pittsburgh strives to be an ADA compliant organization.  Please email pgh@centerforinquiry.net to request accomodations.

Pittsburgh, PA 15222 – USA

Tuesday, July 7 at 7:00 PM

Details: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Secular-Freethinkers/events/223625316/

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PSF Ladies Meetup: 7/12/2015 at Cafe Phipps


Where: Cafe Phipps (1 Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, PA, USA)

When: 7/12/2015

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Secular-Freethinkers/events/222729330/

Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers (CFI)

Welcome to the PSF Ladies Meetup at the Phipps Cafe.

See you there!

For more fun, follow us on Facebook!  To learn about more secular groups in Pittsburgh, check out the Pittsburgh Coalition of Reason website.

*PSF strives to be an ADA compliant organization.  Please email pittsburghsecularfreethinkers@gmail.com to request accommodation.

Pittsburgh – USA

Sunday, July 12 at 2:00 PM

Details: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Secular-Freethinkers/events/222729330/

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Brunching Skeptically: 12PM TODAY at Schenley Plaza


Where: Schenley Plaza (4100 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213)

When: 12PM TODAY

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/Steel-City-Skeptics/events/223494569/

Come meet some like-minded folks of all ages and have a great brunch at the same time. This month, we are doing an outdoor meetup in Schenley Plaza in the heart of Oakland.  We will meet under the big tent.  There is no set topic or fix agenda, but rather the opportunity to engage in  a free-flowing discussion on issues of the day.

Before joining the group, you should buy your brunch at one of the local vendors in the plaza (or bring your own).  Recommended are the Conflict Kitchen, which only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict (Iran, Afghanistan, Cuba, etc) or Waffalonia.  There is also Asia Tea House or Opa Gyros.  You could also consider carry-out from The Porch, but the wait would be a little longer.  See menus for the Kiosks at http://www.pittsburgh….

Brunching Skeptically is brought to you by the Steel City Skeptics, which is part of the Pittsburgh Coalition of Reason. For more information on these groups or our other events, go to: http://unitedcor.org/…

Sunday, July 5 at 12:00 PM

Details: http://www.meetup.com/Steel-City-Skeptics/events/223494569/

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Happy Independence Day!


Happy Independence Day, fellow patriots!  I hope you’re enjoying the wonderful weather and are able to share this memorable date in history with your family and fellow patriots.

As I was monitoring my Q today, I found myself reflecting on something that I find quite peculiar.  Has anyone noticed that Independence Day has been morphing into a kind of second Veterans Day celebration?  I’ve never took much notice of this phenomenon in the past.  Perhaps I was simply blind or clueless to it.  I’m confident a reader will help fill in a few details on the subject.

Public TV announcements show images of people placing flowers at a grave site in a veterans internment plot, public radio announcements remind us to “thank a vet” for the freedoms we enjoy, published Letters-to-the-Editor proclaim the sender’s gratitude for the service of veterans, FB posts by some conflate their religion with national symbols going so far as to claim the good ol’ US of A is a gift of their friend up there in the sky somewhere and is working hand-in-hand with America’s military to secure “our blessings.” My local newspaper’s headline page today contained a giant photo of an aging Korean War vet kneeling next to a 20’ flag pole in his yard on which he flies a 3’x5’ American flag 24/7.  The accompanying article provides the details of his and another vet Korean War service and medals that he’s earned.  WTH?

I haven’t checked, but I’d say there’s a very good probability that David Barton is probably giving free tours of the Capitol Rotunda spreading his gospel of the founders’ godliness and the critical role that Moses and Jesus played in our country’s founding.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not working here to downplay or belittle the role of those who serve our nation in the military or the veterans who’ve served before them. Both are worthy of our highest accolades.  Far from it.  What I’m trying to figure out is the connection between our national day of independence from Britain and our military, America’s war veterans, and in many cases, the Christian imagery that seems to accompany the outpouring of patriotism that I am observing these days in digital and pulp media.

Why am I confused? Well, my creds in history may not be as stellar as David Barton’s or Franklin Graham but if I’m recalling my seventh-grade history lessons correctly, July 4 celebrated the day in 1776 that the “Declaration Of Independence” from mother Britain was adopted by a group of men who lived in the area of Virginia and Pennsylvania, men who had the audacity to believe that “governments were instituted among men who believed that their power to govern came solely from the consent of the governed,” not from God or kings who pretended to be God’s representative on Earth.

No, the Declaration of Independence was actually written by Thomas Jefferson, a Deist who detested Christianity to such a degree that he cut and removed all references to the divinity of Jesus, the so-called miracles and his alleged resurrection from his copy of the King James Bible.  He also removed most references to “the supernatural.”

Jefferson’s god was the god of Spinoza and Einstein, “Nature’s god,” not a god that intervened in human affairs, spied on Earth’s inhabitants or demanded unending adoration and worship from any schmuck willing to leave his brains at the church vestibule before they joined a Sunday worshipathon.

Anyone with a working finger, more than two brain cells and a third-grader’s understanding of how to use Google can learn of Jefferson’s view of Christianity in a couple of seconds, a mere fraction of time that it takes some people to post one more in an endless stream of casserole recipes on their Facebook page”

Here, for example, is something that I pulled up in about 4 nanoseconds:
Jefferson wrote that “Jesus did not mean to impose himself on mankind as the son of God.” He called the writers of the New Testament “ignorant, unlettered men” who produced “superstitions, fanaticisms, and fabrications.” He called the Apostle Paul the “first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus.” He dismissed the concept of the Trinity as “mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.” He believed that the clergy used religion as a “mere contrivance to filch wealth and power to themselves” and that “in every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty.” And he wrote in a letter to John Adams that “the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”

Now, given all that I’ve offered, would someone be kind enough to explain what the connection is between Christianity, god, American veterans and Independence Day?

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CFI and PSF Discussion Group: 7/9/2015 at Tan Lac Vien


Where: Tan Lac Vien (2114 Murray Ave (Squirrel Hill), Pittsburgh, PA 15217)

When: 7/9/2015

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Secular-Freethinkers/events/223238892/

Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers (CFI)

Hi Everyone,

This is our monthly discussion group.  I post the discussion topic a few weeks in advance; stay tuned for more information. Please feel free to submit discussion topics to: pittsburghsecularfreethinkers@gmail.com

See you there!

To learn about all the secular groups in Pittsburgh, visit the Pittsburgh Coalition of Reason website…and you can follow Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers and CFI on Facebook!

*CFI-Pittsburgh strives to be an ADA compliant organization.  Please email pgh@centerforinquiry.net to request accommodations.

 

Thursday, July 9 at 7:00 PM

Details: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Secular-Freethinkers/events/223238892/

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A 10 Commandments question


Following-up on yesterday’s post by Sam Stone: I have a question about a couple of commandments, namely #9 and #10.

Why is it that the coveting your neighbor’s house warrants a distinct commandment?  Why couldn’t “the Lord” have combined them by simply placing a comma after the word house?  C10 ends with the words, “nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.”  Given those six words, C9 could have been clearly expressed as: Thou shall not covet anything that is thy neighbor’s.”

The biggest advantage of such a consolidation, of course, would be freeing space for another much more meaningful commandment like, “Thou shall not sexually molest innocent children” or “Thou shalt not collude with maniacal, murderous thugs and tyrants” or maybe, “Thou shalt not, like fly shit, plaster these edicts on any walls or spaces exempting those in your own homes and places of worship.

A commandment like one of these could have been of immeasurable help to all of humanity.   But I digress.  Back to the original question: what the hell is so special about “thy neighbor’s house” that it deserved a special commandment?

Does anyone have any clue?  I’m pretty confident that there’s more than a handful of xtian apologists out there who can explain it fully to me.  I can’t wait to learn what it is.

decalogue

Oklahoma State Capital decalogue

 

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CFI Social Night: 7/7/2015 at


Where:

When: 7/7/2015

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Secular-Freethinkers/events/qdtzvgytkbkb/

Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers (CFI)

Welcome to the Center For Inquiry’s monthly social night, held every first Tuesday of the month at the Sharp Edge in the Cultural District downtown.  Come and socialize with like-minded friends.

See you there!

To learn about all the secular groups in Pittsburgh, visit the Pittsburgh Coalition of Reason website…and you can follow Pittsburgh Secular Freethinkers and CFI on Facebook!

*CFI-Pittsburgh strives to be an ADA compliant organization.  Please email pgh@centerforinquiry.net to request accomodations.

Pittsburgh, PA 15222 – USA

Tuesday, July 7 at 7:00 PM

Details: http://www.meetup.com/Pittsburgh-Secular-Freethinkers/events/qdtzvgytkbkb/

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Ten Commandments Not Ok in OK


In a strong 7-2 ruling, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that Ten Commandments, which had been installed outside the State Capitol, had to come down, as they violated the Oklahoma State Constitution. The Washington Post noted:

According to the court, the Ten Commandments is “obviously” a religious document, and the state constitution prohibits any public property from being used to support a specific religion.

The Ten Commandments monument is pictured at the state Capitol in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Clearly, it is religious. Clearly, it was put up to remind people that Christianity is the favored religion in the state. Clearly, the Oklahoma Constitution could not be clearer:

Article 2, Section 5 of the Oklahoma Constitution
No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.

I hope that we hear soon about the Connellsville and New Kenningston lawsuits, which is also clear cut as the monuments sit on directly on public school property.

Why can’t those that feel so strongly about the Ten Commandments just put them on private property?  Clearly, their current strategy, which is to put them on government grounds, is not working and a waste of money that serves no purpose.

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Brunching Skeptically: 7/5/2015 at Schenley Plaza


Where: Schenley Plaza (4100 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213)

When: 7/5/2015

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/Steel-City-Skeptics/events/223494569/

Come meet some like-minded folks of all ages and have a great brunch at the same time. This month, we are doing an outdoor meetup in Schenley Plaza in the heart of Oakland.  We will meet under the big tent.  There is no set topic or fix agenda, but rather the opportunity to engage in  a free-flowing discussion on issues of the day.

Before joining the group, you should buy your brunch at one of the local vendors in the plaza (or bring your own).  Recommended are the Conflict Kitchen, which only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States is in conflict (Iran, Afghanistan, Cuba, etc) or Waffalonia.  There is also Asia Tea House or Opa Gyros.  You could also consider carry-out from The Porch, but the wait would be a little longer.  See menus for the Kiosks at http://www.pittsburgh….

Brunching Skeptically is brought to you by the Steel City Skeptics, which is part of the Pittsburgh Coalition of Reason. For more information on these groups or our other events, go to: http://unitedcor.org/…

Sunday, July 5 at 12:00 PM

Details: http://www.meetup.com/Steel-City-Skeptics/events/223494569/

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Science and Skeptics Book Group: Life Ascending. Nick Lane.: 2PM TODAY at Schenley Park Café and Visitor Center


Where: Schenley Park Café and Visitor Center (101 Panther Hollow Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15213)

When: 2PM TODAY

RSVP at: http://www.meetup.com/Steel-City-Skeptics/events/222842001/

Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution. Nick Lane.

How did life invent itself? Where did DNA come from? Nick Lane reconstructs the history of life by describing the ten greatest inventions of evolution (including photosynthesis, sex, and sight) based on their historical impact, role in organisms today, and relevance to current controversies. The book is a stunning account of nature’s ingenuity. This book is the Royal Society’s Best Science Book of 2010. The library has six copies, and it is available at Amazon for as low as $5.70 plus shipping

Sunday, June 28 at 2:00 PM

Details: http://www.meetup.com/Steel-City-Skeptics/events/222842001/

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