July 2020 Newsletter
Winnipeg Pride Parade
This has been rescheduled for September 13th. We are looking forward to the celebration and showing our support for Winnipeg’s GSRD (Gender, Sexual, and Relationship Diverse) community. HAAM is entered as a walking group, and everyone is welcome to join us – so cross your fingers that it will proceed as planned.
HAAM and Eggs Brunches
We will resume our regularly monthly brunches only when it is safe to do so.
We can continue to interact, support each other, and maintain friendships online. If you are not a member of our private Facebook group, and would like to join it, contact us. It is open to anyone in Manitoba who identifies as a Humanist/atheist (i.e. you do not need to be a paid member of HAAM).
Check our Events calendar for the latest information on all upcoming HAAM events.
Like so many other organizations, HAAM’s activities have been dramatically disrupted by COVID-19. We will continue to rely on evidence-based information and follow the recommendations made by Shared Health Manitoba before deciding when to resume in-person meetings and events. We encourage you to visit our home page (haam.ca), our Facebook page, or Meetup for information and updates.
11 Questions for atheists – Part 2
Last month we published an article that included submissions from our members in answer to the following “FAQ’s for non-believers”:
1. How much does it cost to become an atheist?
2. What is THE book on atheism?
3. Are atheists afraid of the Devil and Hell?
4. Where do atheists get their morals, if not from the bible?
5. How did you become an atheist?
6. If God did not create the universe, who did?
7. Why are atheists so angry?
8. Do atheists have a soul?
9. Do atheists believe in nothing?
10. If atheists don’t believe in God, what prevents them from raping, killing, and breaking the law?
Bonus question – What happens when you die?
Chad Froese took his time and submitted answers to ALL of these questions. The experiences he gained during his own journey out of conservative Christianity make his responses particularly insightful.
Take the time to read them on our Perspectives page.
Can you donate blood?
Blood donation numbers are DOWN due to the pandemic – but sick and injured people still need blood! Canadian Blood Services is open for donations, and it’s safe to donate as long as you follow the health and safety guidelines.
Note the following changes due to COVID-19 – all donors require an appointment (no walk-ins); some donation centers are closed; masks are required; and no snacks will be provided. Of course, all this could change again. To get the latest information and updates, visit blood.ca before making your appointment.
If you are able to donate, please try to do so! And make sure that your donation is credited to HAAM’s Partners for Life team. Partners for Life is a friendly competition between community organizations to see how many donations their members contribute. HAAM’s annual pledge is 25 units, and already we are up to 18!
Instructions on how to join the HAAM Partners for Life team, as well as other useful information) are here.
How will the pandemic affect religiosity? Cast your vote!
So many people are ill or dead from the Coronavirus this year. So many people are spreading or catching it at religious services. So many people are praying for health or healing – to no avail. COVID-19 is proof positive that faith doesn’t protect people from harm and that prayer doesn’t work. So religiosity will decline in the next year, right?
But wait! All this uncertainty and upheaval due to the pandemic – people sick or dying, or out of work, the downturn in the economy, and unstable governments – causes anxiety and stress. And when times are tough, faith gives people hope. So religiosity will increase in the next year, right?
The first view, that religion will decline, is expressed in a rant by an atheist on YouTube who calls herself the Angry Aging Woman. The second view, that religion will increase, is espoused by Phil Zuckerman in an article for Psychology Today.
So which is it? We are all probably rooting for the YouTuber – but Zuckerman is a professor of sociology who actually studies secular culture. Is the expert correct? Will we see increases in church attendance over the next year?
Read the article and watch the video in the links above, then let us know who you think is correct.
We’ll publish the poll results in the August newsletter. Then we can follow the news over the next few months to see who turns out to be correct.
New Essay Contest
Calling all students! Humanist Canada is holding another essay contest, open to anyone age 16-19 as of September 2020. If you know a student who has some time over the summer, and is able to express their view(s) on some important social issue that relates to secularity and Humanism, let them know that they can earn up to $1000 (first prize) or $750 (second prize) simply for putting their opinions down on paper. Entry deadline is September 30th.
Visit Humanist Canada for all the details and rules.
The winning entry in the 2019 essay contest, called “The Necessity of a Universal Basic Income in Upholding Human Freedom”, is now up on the Humanist Canada website.