Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tunisia, Egypt, and Why We Need to Care About More than Religion

For the first time that I can remember in a good long time, freedom seems to be triumphing over tyranny.

Right now, in Tunisia, Egypt, and soon to be Yemen and Jordan, revolutionaries have taken to the streets to overthrow their corrupt, authoritarian governments. And unlike revolutions of the past in the Arab world, these are not Islamic of nature, but liberally based. While their are religious groups involved, these uprisings are being led by labor unions and students, not the elites.

Just watch this video, released today, and try not to feel some kind of emotion:


And all through this, our government, the leaders of what is supposedly the most freedom-loving and tyranny-hating of all, refuses to fully support these people. In his speech on the topic yesterday, President Obama refused to fully codemn Mubarak's regime, pleading rightly for peaceful protests but insisting that the dictator be a part of the peace process. As if 30 years of draconian law and oppression wasn't enough. Though, not exactly surprising given who the Secretary of Defense is.

It's often been said that organizing atheists is like herding cats, and frankly it's true. About the only thing we can ever agree on is the ridiculousness of religion, and even then we don't necessarily see it the same way. It's our ultimate intellectual strength, as we're not mindless zombies, but again, it largely prevents us from presenting a united front. However, on issues like this, we NEED to come together: freedom is, I believe, a basic human right, and as freethinkers, people who seek to free the mind from indoctination, we need to extend that desire to the body as well. Political freedom is just as important as mental freedom.

I would highly urge all of you to keep up to date on the situations in Tunisia, Egypt and elsewhere. Follow @on Twitter, he's a Democracy Now! reporter who's actually on the ground in Egypt, and is probably the best primary source out there. His story on the situation so far can be found here. Make sure to watch Democracy Now! itself every day, as well as checking out sites like Daily Kos and pretty much all other independent progressive media. I would particularly recommend the podcast Citizen Radio, hosted by the wonderful Jamie Kilstein and Allison Kilkenny. If you like what they do, consider becoming a member. They do great work, and could use the dough. They're totally independent, no corporate paychecks or anything of the like, so consider it please.

Til later.

Andrew

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Meeting Minutes 1/24

Here are the notes from the DAFT General Meeting on 24 January 2011:

  • Our Send an Atheist to Church fundraiser will be taking place this week and next. People can vote with their spare change on five different religious services for DAFT to attend: Grace Baptist Church, DePaul Hillel, St. Vincent DePaul, Barry United, or UMMA Mosque Services. Look for tables in the student center Monday - Thursday 11:30am to 2:30pm.
  • Olivia will set up an official DAFT bank account so we are eligible to receive funds from the SSA.
  • The DAFT Secular Social is coming up soon! It will take place within walking distance of campus February 11th 10PM – 2AM. Admission – 5$ and includes light refreshments. You can purchase tickets using the PayPal link in an earlier post.
  • Plans for the DAFT website are being taken care of by Arthur.
  • There is a revised form letter at the bottom of this blog post to use for our Winter Panel Discussion. It was recommended that Kim Clark, Todd Feast, Nick Herrera, Naomi Steinberg participate in said discussion. If you know of a DePaul professor who would be able to take part in a panel on Raising a Religious Family, please e-mail them the letter below.
  • Eric D and Scott will be attending the Activists Unite Meeting networking activist groups on Thursday 5PM Dorothy Day room Library.
  • DAFT will be hosting Chris Stedman who will talk about the roles of atheists in the Interfaith movement. The discussion will take place February 17th 6PM in Room 380.

----------------------------------

Dear Professor,

Greetings from the DePaul Alliance for Free Thought! We are the university's first and only student organization for nonreligious individuals. You are receiving this letter because a member of our organization has recommended you as a knowledgeable and articulate member of the DePaul faculty.

We invite you to represent your area of study in our faculty panel that seeks to answer the following topic: Is it morally right to raise a religious family? The panel discussion will feature five DePaul professors representing fields such as religious studies, developmental psychology, sociology, LGBT studies, and education. The discussion is open to the university and will take place the evening of March 10, 2011 on the Lincoln Park campus.

The DePaul Alliance for Free Thought is the university’s officially registered organization for atheists, agnostics, humanists, skeptics, and non-religious students. We are an affiliate of the Secular Student Alliance and have been proudly representing free thought on campus since November 2009.

Our membership is open to all DePaul students, undergraduate and graduate, regardless of major. We are committed to fostering community among non-religious students, educating the DePaul community about reason and free thought, and encouraging dialogue and interfaith cooperation.

We would be most glad to have you participate in our discussion. Please let us know if you are available and interested in being a part of this important event.

Sincerely,

[Your Name]
DePaul Alliance for Free Thought

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Send an Atheist to Church Promo Tables

Hi folks! Here is the schedule of folks who signed up to work Send An Atheist to Church for the Lincoln Park Campus:

Tuesday the 25th
11:30 - 1:00pm
Olivia M
Danielle W

12:50 - 2:30pm
Marcus Clay
Ali Kaspar


Wednesday 1/26
11:30 - 1:00pm
Jenny Vance
Brian Missel
Georgia Kauknas

12:50 - 2:30pm
Mike Metiuier
Erica Binelli
Nick Keenan


Thursday 1/27
11:30 - 1:00pm
Amy Dorner
Danielle W
Olivia M

12:50 - 2:30pm
Ali Kaspar
Emily Mackmiller


Monday the 31st
11:30 - 1:00pm
Steve Aron
Brandi
Eric DeCamp

12:50 - 2:30pm
Nick Keenan


Tuesday 2/1
11:30 - 1:00pm
Olivia M
Danielle W

12:50 - 2:30
Ali Kaspar
Andrew T


Wednesday 2/2
11:30 - 1:00pm
Scott Domek
Brandi

12:50 - 2:30pm
Nick Keenan


Thursday 2/3
11:30 - 1:00pm
Dominic
Danielle

12:50 - 2:30pm
Andrew
Ali Kaspar


LOOP PROMO TABLES:
Monday the 31st AND Tuesday the 1st

12:00pm - 2:00pm
Maria Pahl
Ian Wymore
Rodolfo Gomez


IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO SIGN UP! If you're available for a tabling slot (three people to a slot is ideal) then e-mail us at daftdepaul@gmail.com. Otherwise, if you are listed above, please e-mail us your phone number. Thank you!

Monday, January 24, 2011

1/24/11 Meeting!

Hey there Interwebs,

Today DAFT held a productive meeting where we discussed many of our upcoming events including "Send an Atheist to Church". Though, as we here at DAFT always do, we made room for some fun-time and took some PEECTURES!


also everyone here at DAFT would like to wish our president, Brandi Stepp, and VERY VERY VERY happy birthday!!!!! health, reason, and good fortunes to you!

Tickets for the DAFT Secular Social Now Available

You can buy tickets for the DAFT Secular Social online through our PayPal link:








Tickets are $5 plus a $0.30 online processing fee. Ticket purchase includes light refreshments. After purchasing, your name will go on our guest list. Cocktail attire required for entry. Party will take place February 11th from 10am to 2pm.

Monday, January 17, 2011

DAFT Meeting Notes 1/13

Summary of DAFT Meeting 1/13:
  • Danielle and Dominic will be representing DAFT at the Lincoln Park Involvement Fair January 18th from 12pm-4pm. All DAFT members are welcome to stop by the table and hang out to help recruit new members. The Involvement Fair takes place in the LPC Student Center.

  • The Send An Athiest to Church fundraiser will take place January 24th through February 3rd. Students will vote with coins which church service out of five houses of worship they would like DAFT members to attend, with the proceeds going to benefit JumpStart. All DAFT members are invited to come to the winning religious service with us the weekend of February 5th. Tables will be collecting money in the Student Center Monday through Thursday 11:30am to 2pm. If you are interested in helping staff the table (Tuesdays and Thursdays are particularly needed), please e-mail daftdepaul@gmail.com.

  • DAFT is planning a Secular Social for the Winter Quarter on February 11th. 10pm - 2am. Admission is $5 and includes refreshments. Cocktail attire required. Any member who brings a friend to a DAFT meeting between now and then will get a pair of free tickets to the party. Our attendance goal for this party is 30 people. More info and online ticket purchasing will be available soon!

  • Our meeting on February 14th will be Daftintine's Day! It's a celebration of non-traditional love and other campus groups are invited. We will need donations of magazines and art supplies, so please help out.

  • March 10 is our faculty panel discussion on Raising a Religious Family. We are looking for 4-5 professors plus a moderator. We are in the process of drafting a letter to send to potential panel members. If you have a professor you'd like to nominate, comment on this post or e-mail daftdepaul@gmail.com.

Thank you to all who attended! Please make sure you've joined DAFT on Demon Direct and we look forward to seeing you at our next meeting January 24th from 6pm-7:30pm in Munroe Hall Room 115. ROCK!