Durango Skeptics and Atheists Newsletter February 2016

“Strange… A God who could make good children as easily as bad, yet preferred to make bad ones; who made them prize their bitter life, yet stingily cut it short; mouths Golden Rules and forgiveness multiplied seventy times seven and invented Hell; who mouths morals to other people and has none himself; who frowns upon crimes yet commits them all; who created man without invitation, then tries to shuffle the responsibility for man’s acts upon man, instead of honorably placing it where it belongs, upon himself; and finally with altogether divine obtuseness, invites this poor, abused slave to worship him!” — Mark Twain 

Next general meeting, February 17

Meetings are at Irish Embassy,

900 Main Street Durango

Dinner from 5:30PM.

Discussion starts at 6:30 

The topic for this month “Ethical Non-Monogamy”, presented by Kimberly Pennington, who will touch on the following topics:

  • What makes non-monogamy ‘ethical’ ?
  • What are some advantages/disadvantages of monogamy/non-monogamy?
  • What about Jealousy?
  • The science of sexual coupling in animals and in humans
  • Are humans naturally monogamous?

Non Monogamy composit

Kimberly has provided her on-line sources….

  1. http://www.vocativ.com/underworld/sex/monogamy-vs-polyamory/
  2. http://m.livescience.com/1135-wild-sex-monogamy-rare.html
  3. http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/30/health/why-monogamy-evolution-studies/
  4. http://www.livescience.com/27129-polyamory-good-relationships.html
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monogamy#Monogamy_in_ancient_societies
  6. http://www.usnews.com/news/national/articles/2008/03/27/how-common-are-cheatingspouses
  7. http://www.livescience.com/49690-humans-naturally-monogamous-promiscuous.html

….as well as some additional resources and suggested reading on the topic:

  • MoreThanTwo.com – Franklin Veaux’s polyamory site. Author of More Than Two and The Game Changer
  • PolyWeekly.com – Responsible non-monogamy from a kink-friendly, pansexual point of view. Website and blog by the sex-positive educator and host of the Poly Weekly podcast, known by her alias Cunning Minx.
  • The Ethical Slut: A Guide to Infinite Sexual Possibilities by Dossie Easton and Catherine Lizst – Considered by many people to be one of the definitive guides to “responsible non-monogamy.”
  • The Polyamorists Next Door by Dr. Elisabeth Sheff – This book is the result of a longitudinal research study by sociologist Dr. Elisabeth Sheff on polyamorous families. It starts with an introduction to polyamory, then covers the ways that poly families operate, how poly families raise children, and more.




Here are a few follow-up articles from our discussion last month of “Guns in America”.

Guns in American graphic

Federal Court Rules That Owning ‘Assault’ Weapons is Fundamental Right

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/fed-court-rejects-maryland-gun-reform-law-article-1.2522544       Federal court deals blow to gun reformers saying people have the ‘fundamental right’ to own assault weapons in  rejection of Maryland law.  Maryland A.G. to appeal


Over a Dozen States Enact  Laws to Deny Guns to Domestic Abusers

http://bigstory.ap.org/urn:publicid:ap.org:5822715d88384d05beb4d08fda7f7d82   It’s a ‘rare area of consensus’ in the debate over guns: persons convicted of domestic abuse should be stripped of their right to own a gun. “Domestic violence is definitely an area where there is the most agreement between the gun lobby and gun-violence prevention advocates,” said Allison Anderman, staff attorney with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco.

Gov. Nikki Haley (R) of South Carolina signed a measure in June that includes a life ban on gun ownership for the most serious domestic violence offenders.  “South Carolina is no longer thinking about the convenience of the abuser,” Haley said when she signed the bill in June. “South Carolina is thinking about strengthening the survivor.”


Fort Lewis College Students Examine Gun Violence



Town in Rural Oklahoma Arms Its Teachers, Following the Lead of  Texas

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2016/02/04/okay-public-schools-looks-to-deter_ap.html     “Having a sign in your front yard saying ‘this is a gun-free zone’ just tells the idiots, “Come on in,” because we can’t defend ourselves,” Superintendent Charles McMahan said.

Okay students trickle out of classrooms to go home as their parents drive by one of four signs placed at Okay Public Schools that warn that staff members “can be legally armed” to protect students.


11-Year Old Boy Guilty of Shooting 8-Year Old Girl in Dispute Over Puppies

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-tennessee-child-idUSKCN0VF0PM     When the boy pointed a loaded shotgun at the girl, she laughed saying that the gun wasn’t real. Benjamin Tiller, 11, had been trained in firearm safety and had gone hunting with his grandfather.


What the Take-Over of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge Teaches Us About Masculinity

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/susan-m-shaw/what-malheur-occupation-patriarchy-masculinity_b_9116064.html     In her blog Susan M. Shaw (Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Director of the School of Language, Culture and Society at Oregon State University) talks about guns, religion, white privilege and the role of women in the militia movement.

Militia take over composit


NRA Takes Heat  Over Board Member Ted Nugent’s Rant

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/gun-supporters-call-nra-board-remove-ted-nugent-article-1.2526937        After aging rocker, Ted Nugent, posted a virulent anti-Semitic rant on Facebook, NRA members joined the Anti-Defamation League and others to remove him from the board of the NRA. Here’s Nugent’s post:

Ted Nugent NRA

To accompany the above photo montage, Nugent wrote in his Facebook post: “Know these punks. They hate freedom, they hate good over evil, they would deny us the basic human right to self-defense & to KEEP & BEAR ARMS while many of them have tax paid hired ARMED security! Know them well. Tell every1 you know how evil they are. Let us raise maximum hell to shut them down!” 

In response to the near-universal outcry protesting his bigotry, Nugent then doubled down, posting, “Just when you hope that mankind couldn’t possibly get any dumber or more dishonest, superFreaks rise to the occasion,” Nugent wrote in his new post Monday evening. “What sort of racist prejudiced (piece of sh–) could possibly not know that Jews for gun control are Nazis in disguise? “NEVER AGAIN!” Anyone? Anyone?? (Are you fu–king kidding me?)”


Atheist Doings

Atheists Form Super-Group: Center For Inquiry Merges With Richard Dawkins Foundation 

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2016/01/21/richard-dawkins-foundation-to-merge-with-center-for-inquiry-rdf-president-robyn-blumner-named-ceo/   The new group will retain the CFI name and will be headed by the current leader of the Richard Dawkins Foundation, Robyn Blumner.

“It sounds like a win-win for both sides. CFI gets the Dawkins stamp-of-approval along with a way to tap into his large fan base and web presence for events, disaster relief efforts, and donor drives. The Dawkins Foundation gets the stability that comes with a greater budget, larger staff, and physical branches around the country, not to mention the opportunity to piggyback on top of a much larger organization in order to further its own agenda of teaching science and advancing secularism.”


10 Myths About Atheists

http://proud-a.blogspot.com/2014/10/myths.about.atheists.html     Interesting thoughts about Atheism…Myth #10 for instance: Atheists Are All Rational and Logical.    Atheism is simply the lack of belief in deities. There are atheists who believe in homeopathy, ancient aliens, 911 conspiracy theories and a host of other completely irrational ideas unsupported by any stretch of logic. Just because someone arrived at the rational non belief in deities does not mean they are rational about everything else.


Lawsuit Seeks to Remove ‘In God We Trust’ From U.S. Currency


In God we trust
In God We Trust

Having failed at the US Supreme Court to remove references to ‘God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance, atheist activist Michael Nedow wants “In God We Trust” removed from our currency.

The federal lawsuit, which was filed in Akron, Ohio, may be unique for relying not on the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, but on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). In essence, Newdow takes the same argument used by Hobby Lobby to get out of covering contraception for its employees and says that the U.S. Treasury can’t push God onto atheists without a “compelling governmental interest,” which he believes they don’t have.’


Prayers That Introduce Rhode Island Legislative Sessions Are “Dangerous”

http://www.rifuture.org/house-prayer-breakfast.html     Steve Ahlquist is the founding member of the Humanists of Rhode Island.  This year I have watched every session of the House and Senate and every session begins with a prayer. So far this year the legislature has prayed for nearly 15 minutes, loudly and publicly, even as they largely ignore the ideas of the Interfaith Poverty Coalition when drafting and passing their legislationI don’t want my government engaged in prayer, and really, no religious person should want that either. Every religious tradition has multiple stories of being persecuted by governments under the sway of a rival religion. Today we might be praying to the Gods and enacting the religious codes you believe in, but tomorrow may bring strange Gods that don’t have your best interests in mind. Best to keep church and state separate.”


How Satanic Temple Drove Phoenix City Council to Drop Opening Prayers

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2016/0205/How-Satanic-Temple-drove-Phoenix-City-Council-to-drop-opening-prayers     “A sharply divided Phoenix City Council voted 5-4 Wednesday to stop having an opening prayer at council meetings and instead observe a “moment of silent prayer,” a move that blocks a group of Satanists from giving the invocation at its next formal meeting…

Chris Bridges
FILE – In this Jan. 24, 2015 file photo, Chris Bridges holds a sign for The Satanic Temple during a protest outside of an all-day prayer rally headlined by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal in Baton Rouge. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman, File)

…but the decision sparked protests from some residents and city leaders, who said having a moment of silence is akin to banning prayer and gives the Satanists a victory.


And now, your moment of Dancing Bug!

Tom the Dancing Bug

TtDB cat

Tom the Dancing Bug

Tom the Dancing Bug is reprinted in the Durango Skeptics and Atheists Newsletter with the permission of its creator, Reuben Bolling.  See more TtDB cartoons at http://www.gocomics.com/tomthedancingbug


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