Skeptics and Atheists of Durango NEWSLETTER July 16, 2014

Skeptics and Atheists of Durango NEWSLETTER July 16, 2014


Skeptics and Atheists of Durango        July 16, 2014

To sum up: 1. The Cosmos is a gigantic flywheel making 10,000 revolutions a minute.

2. Man is a sick fly taking a dizzy ride

 3. Religion is the theory that the wheel was designed and set spinning to give him the ride.”  – H. L. Mencken (1880—1956)


 Pagan ‘church’ denied permits for ‘Pagan Pride Picnic’ and Pagan ‘House of Worship’.

also see:         Mayor of Beebe AR: “It is my opinion and the Beebe City Council’s that government leaders must pray to God as the true leader of the nation and that a nation cannot exist if they are not one nation under God trusting in God as the leader. It is my opinion government has allowed non-believers far too many liberties taking God out of our daily lives. As mayor of this city I will continue to open our meeting with a prayer and a pledge to our country – one nation under God.”

Lose Some…Win Some! 

GREECE, N.Y. (AP) — An atheist is set to deliver the invocation in a western New York community whose town board won a U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding its right to open meetings with a prayer!

Louie Gohmert, Intellectual Powerhouse

Mocking non-believers for failing to grasp the logic behind the existence of God, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) said: “Think about it, no matter how smart they think they are, an atheist has to admit that he believes the equation: nobody plus nothing equals everything….either you believe as a Christian that Jesus is the way, the truth, the life or you don’t.”

Here We Go!  Gitmo Detainees Seek to Exploit Supreme Mis-step

The D.C. Circuit determined that nonresident alien detainees were not “persons” for the purpose of Religious Freedom Restoration Act (1992). This is where the detainees make novel use of the recent Hobby Lobby decision and ask: Why are Gitmo detainees not “persons” under the RFRA, when corporations are?

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynocologists Urge Override of  Hobby Lobby Decision

   Group Supports Introduction of “Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act”

“Contraception plays an essential role in women’s preventive care, and contraception decisions should be made by a woman and her physician, based on her unique needs and preferences – not by anyone else. A woman’s boss has no role to play in her personal health care decisions…”

Now That Corporations Are Super-Citizens Owing To The U.S. Supreme Court…What Could Go Wrong?

 By letting Hobby Lobby’s owners assert their personal religious rights over an entire corporation, the Supreme Court has poked a major hole in the veil. In other words, if a company is not truly separate from its owners, the owners could be made responsible for its debts and other burdens.

…it’s clear that the conservative majority of justices has written itself into a corner in which it cannot refuse religious exemptions from selected tax obligations. The same preponderance of Supremes will have no way out of ruling, for example, that I and fellow Quakers (plus the Amish, Mennonites and others) do not have to pay the roughly 20 percent of our taxes that goes toward supporting the U.S. military…

Tom the Dancing Bug is re-printed in the Skeptics and Atheists of Durango NEWSLETTER with the permission of Ruben Boling. Support the artist at

Member Talk, July 29th  Himalayan Kitchen  5:30 – 8:30PM

Member Caleb Ontiveros will lead a discussion about non-human animals and our relationship to them.  What rights, if any, do non-human animals have?  What are the implications for human behavior?           Dinner and informal chat from 5:30 – 6:30PM…discussion from 6:30 – 8:30PM.



Skeptics and Atheists of Durango BOOK CLUB!

My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel by Ari Shavit

Betsy, the member who nominated this book, says “…it’s the best book I’ve read in a long time!”

Date and Time of the meeting is in September, TBA

Mention our S&AoD Book Club at Maria’s Books and get a 10% Discount!

Buy the club’s title of the month and receive a 15% Discount!

Please support the local bookstores!


Skeptics and Atheists of Durango NEWSLETTER     JUNE 18, 2014


Skeptics and Atheists of Durango        June 18, 2014

“I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.”  -Richard Dawkins


Vaccination News: Whooping Cough Becomes Epidemic in CA

Contributed by Marc Masor

The vaccination story just will not go away!  Whooping Cough makes a comeback:

Misleading headlines encourage parents to fear vaccines.  The headline of this story reads:  Combo Vaccine Raises Risk of Fever-Related Seizures in Toddlers: Study.  However, reading more deeply into the story, it turns out that the risk of ‘fever-related seizures’ is higher among non-vaccinated children than among those who were vaccinated.  No wonder parents are confused and frightened!




How American Evangelicals Infected Uganda

Speaking of preventable viruses, the US is spreading a virulent cultural virus with potential to kill many.  A vaccine is not available.



Navy Rejects Request For First Humanist Chaplain

Despite recent recognition of ‘Secular Humanist’ religious category, the US Navy has rejected calls for a atheist ‘chaplain’.  Many humanists are atheists but some say that the term “atheist” is not sufficient to express their belief, or lack of it. They often emphasize their confidence in the human potential.  Ironically, the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty welcomed the decision…


Women in Secularism Tell Their Ex-Fundamentalist Stories


Gallup Polls Show Americans’ Attitude Toward The Bible and Creationism

A Gallup Poll taken in May reveals that 28% of Americans believe the Bible is the actual word of God and that it should be taken literally. This is near the all-time low of 27% reached in 2001 and 2009. But about half of Americans continue to say the Bible is the inspired word of God, not to be taken literally — meaning a combined 75% believe the Bible is in some way connected to God. 20% of Americans view the Bible in purely secular terms — as ancient fables, legends, history, and precepts written by man — which is up from 13% in 1976.


Atheist For A Year: Ryan Bell’s Blog 

Tom the Dancing Bug by Ruben Bolling.   A Vintage TtDB cartoon is available only in the print edition of the S&AoD NEWSLETTERS.

To see more, or to support Ruben Bolling:


Contribute content to the Newsletter or volunteer your knowledge of current music for the KDUR Radio effort Saturdays at 3PM:

Sunday July 6, 2014 Cormac McCarthy’s The Road   

All discussions are 9:30AM at Durango Joe’s  732 E. College Drive

Please DO NOTPARK in Joe’s lot…use the side streets for parking.

And please, if you are buying your books, consider buying from a local book seller


Skeptics and Atheists of Durango NEWSLETTER May 21, 2014

Skeptics and Atheists of Durango        May 21, 2014

“Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived “   -Galileo Galilei


*Durango’s Radio Free-Thinkers…Not With a Bang, but a Thud

For the past few weeks several members of our group have attended meetings at FLC regarding our application for a weekly radio show over the summer break.  Our application for a talk/music show themed on Science/Atheism in History/Interviews/etc. was accepted, but the premise turns out to be incompatible with KDUR’s format which is all music, most of the time.  On our first show, we tried to comply by limiting our interviews, promos and comments to: 60, or less, while playing the requisite three newly released songs per hour; since then, the Program Director has raised the requirement for ‘new, unheard-on-any-other-station’ music to five cuts per hour or ten per show.  So this summer’s show will be less ‘Free Thinker’ and more ‘music not heard anywhere else’.

For the volunteers who’ve learned how to run a radio board, read announcements and how to comply with an FCC log, it has been a fun (I hope) adventure which will continue until early September when our commitment is completed.

If anyone under the age of 25 would like to consult on the ‘new’ music selection, your help would be greatly appreciated…please get in touch!


* New Study Strengthens Gut Bacteria-Autism Link

Bacteria living in the intestines and colon may affect symptoms of autism.  Researchers at ArizonaStateUniversity found that children with autism have a very different make-up when it comes to gut germs, compared to children without autism. More importantly, chemicals produced by these bacteria may affect the brain, they told a meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.  It is a first, small, study and has not yet been peer-reviewed…but will fecal transplants be The Answer to autism?


* Young Man Crushed to Death by Giant Crucifix

Fallen Cross


A 21 year old student was crushed to death last month, when a wooden, 98-foot tall crucifix, dedicated to

Pope John Paul II, toppled on him in the Italian village of Cevo.  Was it an Omen?  It happened just days before

John Paul II and Pope John XXIII were canonized

as Saints of the Roman Catholic Church.



* Pew Research: Religion and Public Life

Religious belief in America!  28% of respondents (all over 18) have switched from the religion of their birth.  Among Americans 18 – 29, 25% profess no religious affiliation….Protestants of various stripes account for 51% of Americans…the Catholic church suffered the largest loss of affiliation.  And SO MUCH MORE….

To contribute content to the Newsletter or to volunteer your knowledge of current music:


Sunday July 6, 2014     Cormac McCarthy’s The Road

All discussions are 9:30AM at Durango Joe’s  732 E. College Drive

Please DO NOTPARK in Joe’s lot…use the side streets for parking.

And please, if you are buying your books, consider buying from a local book seller

Reason # 1,432 the Religiously “Non-affiliated” are Increasing in Numbers

I wanted to share a blog post from a Christian Pastor I inadvertently stumbled upon. It’s titled, “10 Ways to Help Your Unbelieving Husband Open Up To Spiritual Matters”.

Here’s what #10 says on his list:

“Pray that he experiences pain. Sometimes the only thing that can break through a self-sufficient heart is pain. Pray that God breaks your husband. I know that sounds harsh, but you and I both know what is at stake. Whenever I meet with a guy and he’s arrogantly rejecting the gospel, I immediately start praying for him to suffer. The next time we meet, maybe a year later, it’s amazing how much life has humbled him and how receptive he is to the gospel.”





Durango’s Radio Free Thinkers on KDUR-FM 91.9 and 93.9

We are on target to begin our radio presence on the airwaves (and live streaming from the KDUR website) beginning with a program on Saturday May 10 at 3PM.  Due to a change in scheduling, our show will be TWO HOURS and not the three hour slot as originally planned.  Our slot is 3PM – 5PM every Saturday through the middle of September.  Our show will be leading into to the Latin Music block!  We hope to leave a few listeners for them!

Adrian Tillery and Charles McDuffie are signed on as regular alternate hosts so that the three of us can cover each other for summer vacations and other absences.  We have several people interested in doing some of the behind the scenes work…we could use people to produce single or serial segments on whatever topic that falls within the Skeptic/Atheist/Religion/Culture umbrella.   The station is primarily a NEW MUSIC format, so we will be treading lightly on the serious topics.  Adrian has already been in touch to say we have to be very careful not to alienate…we are more about explaining ourselves that we are going to be about de-converting anyone.  I am just anxious to share the fact that Atheists, Agnostics and the General Un-Churched are welcome to share our group.

Thanks for your support…if you have any ideas you’d like to pursue (or would like us to pursue) please let me know at  I am already plotting to interview Our Leader, Kathleen O’Conner about the genesis of the group, maybe Mark Masor will reprise his Vitamin D lecture; Professor of Philosophy Dugald Owen has promised to make an appearance later in the summer.  I am going to try and line up a few interesting interviews with people making ‘atheist news’.  Just as a rough guide,  no feature should be longer than 90 seconds.  Interviews will be five minutes at the max…we don’t want to wear out our welcome!  We just want to plant a few seeds as the revered co-founder of the group, Clayton Nash, used to remind us.  Maybe we can lure Clayton into the studio for a few choice words!


Durango’s Radio Free-Thinker is ON THE AIR!! Almost

My dear fellow Skeptics and Atheists of Durango…our group has been awarded a three-hour slot on Ft. Lewis College’s radio station KDUR 91.9 and 93.9 FM. It will be each Saturday afternoon, 3PM – 6PM.   I applied for a Sunday slot at the same time, but it was unavailable.  Adrian, if you see this please drop me an email at  I accepted the slot before checking with you…I’ll cover all shifts, if you are not available…but I HOPE you ARE!

The first show will be Saturday, May 10 and the show will air each weekend into September!  Yikes!



Skeptics and Atheists of Durango NEWSLETTER April 16, 2014

Skeptics and Atheists of Durango Newsletter     April 16, 2014
“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use…In the discussion of natural problems we ought to begin not with the Scriptures, but with experiments and demonstrations.” -Galileo Galilei

*To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate: Debate Rages When Rumor Collides With Facts
Contributed by Marc Masor

A new survey finds that 1 in 3 parents continue to believe that vaccines can cause autism despite the link being widely discredited by the scientific community. 29% of adults and 33% of parents with children under 18 are fearful that vaccinations cause autism. Of the people aware that a study once linked vaccines to autism, 50% were unaware that study has been debunked. Read the Reader’s Comments to sample the anger, mistrust and fear in the Land.

*Not Coincidentally, Measles and Mumps Make an Unwelcome Return
Contributed by Marc Masor

Among the patients are unvaccinated children under 18 and some of the health-care providers who became ill despite being vaccinated with MMR. MMR vaccine is 99% effective, but even those vaccinated may be infected by this air borne virus. There are 49 reported cases so far in 2014 vs. 4 at this time last year.

*Report: Taxpayers Funding Creationism in Classrooms

Taxpayers in 14 states will bankroll nearly $1 billion this year in tuition for private schools, including hundreds of religious schools that teach Earth is less than 10,000 years old, Adam and Eve strolled the garden with dinosaurs, and much of modern biology, geology and cosmology is a web of lies.

*How Jesus Became God
Another plug for Bart Ehrman, religious scholar and popular writer. It’s good to know the FACTS about the origin of Christianity, the religious doctrine that permeates our lives.

*Radio Free Atheist is Coming…Maybe…Stay Tuned!

Members interested in working on a weekly radio show to air on KDUR met last week to discuss the possibilities. The idea originated with member Bill Vana, who hosted a similar show in the past. Bill is unavailable this year due to employment commitments. Members Larry Bollinger and Adrian X have volunteered to anchor the project while another half-dozen members volunteered for duties as producers, researcher/writers, regular guests, as one-time interviewees, etc. At this writing, we are not guaranteed a slot on the station at all. There will be an organizational meeting for the summer radio schedule April 30th at 5:30PM in FLC’s Noble Hall, Rm 125. I (Larry B. and Adrian if possible) will be at that meeting and we will try to secure a two hour slot on Sundays…’our’ show once aired from 3PM-5PM when Bill was the host…I would be happy if we could get that slot again. All interested in participating, please email your information to and/or plan to attend the meeting April 30.

Suggest a name for our new show?

Read this month’s newsletter on-line with active links! Go to:

The Durango Skeptics and Atheists Meetup Group

Durango, CO
148 Skeptics and Atheists

This is intended to be a meetup group for all people who, like me, feel outnumbered in a world dominated by religion and superstition. This will be a casual, open atmosphere f…

Next Meetup

Durango Skeptics and Atheists Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, Apr 16, 2014, 6:00 PM
11 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →


To contribute content to the Newsletter:

Skeptics and Atheists of Durango Book Club Selections

Sunday, May 4th Rebecca Goldstein’s 36 Arguments for the Existence of God: A Work of Fiction

Sunday July 6, 2014 Cormac McCarthy’s The Road Both selections nominated by Dan
All discussions are 9:30AM at Durango Joe’s 732 E. College Drive
Please DO NOT PARK in Joe’s lot…use the side streets for parking.
And please, if you are buying your books consider buying from a local book seller


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