January 2016

The Right Side of History

By whatever name we’re called—and we have many names,
Like humanists and secularists—we all have similar aims.

One is a world that’s rational, that looks at actual facts,
At objective evidence to inform our thoughts and acts.

Too many in this world, though, do not accept this view
And embrace their ideologies which to them are true.

They hold back much needed progress as climate change deniers,
Preaching to the world that climate change scientists are liars.

Anti-evolution creationists are hell-bent on winning,
Believing that Genesis records the world’s beginning.

How many patriarchs are there who populate the Senate
Who believe in “legitimate rape” as a guiding tenet?

Birther Donald Trump and many others still pursue
The idea that Obama is not native born; and, too,

That Obama’s socialistic and a Muslim; they insist we see
That he wants nothing more than to destroy democracy.

And still too many people think that men choose to be gay.
The disregard the evidence that they were born that way.

The list of false beliefs goes on and on, there is no end.
They skew debate and everything on which our lives depend.

I think the number of ideologues will decrease
As non-rational beliefs dwindle, promising us peace,

And that sometime in the future there will by no mystery
About who today is on the right side of history.

Earl Wunderli

President’s Report

Happy new year everyone, I hope you had a pleasant holiday season.

Looking back on 2015, for me it was a rather busy year in spite of my being mostly retired. I could spend some time reflecting positively and negatively on the year. There is plenty to reflect on both personally, locally, nationally and worldwide. And, have no doubt I will have a lot to say about subjects like Donald Trump, terrorism, the environment, etc. in the month to come. But for now I would rather contemplate the coming year.

Personally, I had sort of a wow experience as I realized that I will soon be (no doubt) getting notices of my fifty-year high school reunion. Now I’m feeling like a real geezer (with apologies to those who don’t like the word geezer.) It should be interesting see who shows up. I remember last time Amy and I sat at a table where two of the wives (obviously Mormon) were determined to sit with mostly folded arms determined NOT to have a good time. It was held at a country club with all the decadence of a cash bar. But enough about the past for now.

In regards to our Humanists of Utah schedule, we have as our January guest speaker, Terry Orme, editor and publisher of the Salt Lake Tribune. Interestingly, my wife Amy knew Mr. Orme when He was doing the concert reviews and such. Her father John O’Connor was an editor on the city desk at the time and from what I’m told, Terry would pass on extra tickets to concerts to John for his daughters. So I’m looking forward to meeting and hearing from Mr. Orme and I hope you will join us.

In February we will be hosting our ninth annual Darwin Day celebration. This year it will be held at our usual venue in Eliot Hall at the Unitarian Church. As usual, there will be a reception before the speaker with catered finger food and a birthday cake for after the speaker.

I know I’m getting ahead of things a little bit, but one reason I have been excited about our Ninth Darwin Day event is that next year will be our tenth. That seems to me to be a milestone of some note. Hopefully the tradition will go on for many years. It has also been a dream or aspiration of mine to eventually form a foundation that could help make sure in goes on indefinitely. Now I realize forming a foundation is no simple task. It takes a lot of work and funding to plan and implement such a project, but I certainly think it is worth the effort.

That’s about all I have to say for now except to ask that you let us know what we can do to get more of you to join us more often. You know, we rarely here from some of you and we would like to see you.

Thanks to all for your support.

—Robert Lane
President, HoU


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