July 2009

President’s Message

Last month I missed the deadline for the newsletter; I try to have something ready each month but I was a little bit too busy. So I have a number of things to discuss in this issue.

Recently the American Humanist Association asked me if a few members of our chapter could staff a table at the Unitarian Universalists General Assembly from June 24-28 at the Salt Palace Convention Center.

I agreed, so on the 24th I set out for the Convention Center with some reading materials they sent and some of our chapter’s literature. I shouldn’t have been surprised at how extensive the displays were in the exhibit hall, but I was. There were a lot of things for sale, booths of candidates, kiosks with “assembly business,” caterers, etc. This gave me the idea to gather the various merchandises we had left over from Darwin Day in February. We sold many items, selling out on a number of things. This made us some money and made our presence more noticeable to the passers-by.

AHA Board Member Marilyn Westfall was attending the UU General Assembly and helped us with our table. She is a delightful person to meet and spend time with. Marilyn represents humanism and the AHA very well. It is always enjoyable talking to like-minded people.

I have to admit that going in I didn’t know that much about the UU, but I learned a fair amount in the hours I was there talking to the many attendees who came to our table. Of the hundreds of people I spoke to, nearly all were quite friendly, which speaks well of UU members. I was a bit amused by one woman who, in a scolding and motherly way said, “You people aren’t feeling enough. You pass all that up and go straight to activism.” I just smiled and said I was sorry she felt that way but that I didn’t agree.

Another item to report on is that there was a proposal to change a portion of the UU Bylaws (Article II, Section II). My understanding is that some members want to be more inclusive of traditional religion, to “get back to their roots,” as I heard it termed. There are some organizations within UU that promote this idea of more religion in UU, including the UU Christian Fellowship, the Jewish Light, and several others. The proposal was narrowly defeated.

The area where we were stationed was co-sponsored by the HUUmanists and the AHA. The HUUmanist had a bigger presence than we did and were making a big push to defeat, or at least delay, the proposal. They are good representatives of their UU religious humanism while staying anchored in humanism.

I certainly didn’t do all this alone. On Friday, Board Member Bob Mayhew took the humanist helm for the day and on Saturday, Bob and Julie Mayhew and their daughter Psarah came down and shared the duties. I wish to extend my sincere thanks to the tireless and ever helpful Mayhew family. All in all it was tiring, but very enjoyable and enlightening.

On July 9 we will have another movie night. So far I know of two suggestions, The God’s Must be Crazy II, or The Full Monty. We will have a vote on which movie to view, so if you have a favorite, bring it along and enter it!

August 13 will be our annual Barbeque and will again be by hosted by John Young. Details and directions will be forth coming. Please try to come. We always have a good time and it is a good send off for the upcoming season of meetings and events.

With regard to this newsletter, I continually hope that you, as members, will help us liven up our publication with a letter to the editor, book review, a favorite quote or web site, a joke. Wayne is always seeking submissions.

The Board of Directors is also looking for volunteers for our special events and monthly meetings. You don’t have to be a board member to help. We are also looking for a few people to join the board. Please give it some thought.

–Robert Lane
President, HoU


Member Recommended Websites

This site contains a good list of arguments from both sides of a number of issues. The specific link chosen for this feature concerns the phrase “under God” and whether it belongs on our coinage and in the pledge to the flag.