August 2019 Newsletter
Upcoming HAAM Events
HAAM and Eggs Brunch
Sunday, August 18th, Smitty’s Transcona, 1512 Regent Ave W, 9:30 – 11:00 AM
Curious about who we are and what we do? Summer’s a good time to check us out.
New people are welcome. Details here.
Friday, August 23rd to Sunday, August 25th, Morden Manitoba
It’s Morden Corn and Apple Festival time again – and we’ll be back there in our Outreach booth!
Don’t forget to stop by and say hello; we’d love to see you!
Save the Dates
Our Fall meetings will be – September 14th, October 5th, and November 16th
Check our Events calendar for the latest information on all upcoming events.
Upcoming Community (Non-HAAM) Events
If you live in the Steinbach area or plan to be in the area, and would like to connect with another great bunch of Humanists, check out the Eastman Humanist Community.
Links to Non-HAAM events of interest to our members can be found on the Community Events page.
Check back periodically for updates.
Charity of the Month
Our Charity of the Month program will resume in September. At each of our regular monthly meetings, January through May and September to November (8 times a year), we collect donations for a different charity. In 2018, we contributed over $1500 in total towards worthwhile causes.
HAAM’s executive selects organizations that fill a wide variety of needs – animal welfare, environmental protection, science, assistance for underprivileged and/or vulnerable children and adults, education, health care, counselling and peer support groups. Once a year our donations cover the annual school tuition fee for a child in Kasese, Uganda.
We don’t necessarily exclude charities operated by religious organizations, but we do prefer those that are secular. This helps ensure that our contributions are spent on the intended programs and not used to support religious institutions or proselytize clients. Manitoba has no shortage of worthy secular charities, many of which are small, grass-roots efforts that don’t receive a lot of publicity.
Learn more about our Charity of the Month program, and view the list of past recipients, on the Charities web page.
Partners for Life Report
We’re just over halfway through 2019, so how are we doing with our pledge of 25 blood donations this year from our members? As of the end of July, we are at 13 donations – so just about halfway.
If you are due to give blood, or haven’t given in a while, or have never given blood before – this is the time! The blood bank always runs low in mid-summer because regular donors may be away on vacation, so let’s help Canadian Blood Services top up their supply!
More information about the Partners for Life program, and instructions on how to sign up, are on our website.
(P.S. Information about Manitoba’s organ donor registry is on the same page.)
Book of the Month – How to Start Your Own Religion
Philip Athans usually writes fantasy, science fiction, and horror books. He also wrote a Guide to Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction, which contains advice about how to create sci-fi and fantasy settings, including plausible invented religions.
Keep that in mind as you read How to Start Your Own Religion: Form a Church, Gain Followers, Become Tax-Exempt, and Sway the Minds of Millions in Five Easy Steps. This book promises to teach you how to gather the flock, invent mysterious rituals, recruit celebrity spokespeople, and make a blood sacrifice. Is it tongue-in-cheek? Maybe… but truth is often stranger than fiction or fantasy, right? You’ll understand all the mechanics of propaganda and brainwashing by the time you finish the book. Please just don’t try them out on your fellow HAAM members!
All our library books and DVD’s are free to borrow for paid HAAM members.
Visit the Library page to request to borrow a book or DVD, and we will make arrangements to get it to you.
Get the Facts about Abortion and Stand Up for Choice
With the recent release of the anti-choice movie Unplanned, and right-wing politicians trying to make reproductive rights an issue in this fall’s federal election, abortion is in the news this summer in a way that it hasn’t been since the 1980s.
If you’re seeing anti-choice memes and articles posted on social media and want to be able to respond to them, or if you’re just wondering what the facts are behind all the propaganda and hype, here are some suggestions for reading.
Need accurate information?
Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights (formerly Planned Parenthood Canada) has an excellent fact sheet called Common Myths About Abortion. It includes responses to common anti-choice rhetoric, like ‘there is no abortion law in Canada’, ‘post-abortion syndrome’, and many others.
Dr Jen Gunter is a Winnipeg-born ob-gyn who writes about sex and science on social media. A recent article in Chatelaine magazine called her ‘the most important truth-teller in women’s health’. On her own website, Wielding the Lasso of Truth, Dr Gunter has addressed topics like a fetus’s ability to feel pain, late-term abortions, ‘abortion-pill reversal’, and more. Read those posts here.
The Women’s Health Clinic in Winnipeg has a web page that provides information about local access to abortion, as well as FAQ’s about both medical and surgical abortions, birth control options, and after-care.
Hearing a lot about that new movie?
Unplanned has been widely critiqued for being manipulative and scientifically inaccurate. There is no shortage of disparaging reviews, in either the mainstream media or the blogosphere, for this compendium of dis-information. Both the Huffington Post and Glamour magazine interviewed medical experts about the inaccuracies in the film, and the Globe and Mail called it a ‘disgusting piece of propaganda’.
Got kids asking questions?
Valerie Tarico, an ex-evangelical Christian and psychologist in Seattle, writes about “religious fundamentalism, gender roles, reproductive empowerment, and the intersection of these three”. One of her posts addressed how to talk to your kid about abortion (including on a personal level, if you have had one yourself).
The attack on reproductive rights is escalating. Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights currently has two ways in which you can show your support for reproductive rights in Canada. Help bust the myths, expose the lies, and support everyone’s right to choose!
1. Don’t support Unplanned by spending money to watch it! (If you want to know what’s in it, a reporter for MacLean’s Magazine watched it so you don’t have to.) Instead, donate the cost of the movie ticket ($12) to the Norma Scarborough Emergency Fund. This fund provides travel and accommodation for people who need to travel to access abortion services and would otherwise not be able to afford an abortion.
2. Stand up for Choice! Commit to resist political attacks on rights that have been won through decades of activism. HAAM has already signed on as an organization, but you can count yourself in as an individual, too.