June 2018 Newsletter
Upcoming HAAM Events
Summer in the City Outreach
Friday, June 15th to Sunday June 17th, Steinbach MB
Our annual Outreach at the Summer in the City Festival. Drop in and say Hi! Details here.
Summer Solstice Party
Saturday, June 23rd, Kildonan Park, 5:00 – 9:00 PM
New location! Everyone is welcome! Details here.
Save the Dates
Mark your calendars now so you won’t miss anything!
Fall meeting dates: September 8th October 13th November 17th
Details about all upcoming HAAM events are on our Events page.
Upcoming Community (Non-HAAM) Events
Winnipeg Pride Parade
Sunday, June 3rd, Manitoba Legislative Building. Rally at 10 AM and parade at 11.
The parade marks the finale of Pride Week.
More information and links to all non-HAAM events are on our Community Events page.
We’ve been holding our regular monthly meetings on Saturday evenings at Canad Inns Polo Park for the last several years now. It’s a great venue in many ways, but not necessarily ideal for our group. Three main drawbacks are that
1. we can’t bring in any outside food, even for special celebrations;
2. we cannot make noise that would be heard in the dining area or the next meeting room (which pretty much rules out music of any kind); and
3. a hotel meeting room is not particularly spacious or kid/family friendly.
The perfect meeting space
Here is what we would ideally be looking for:
1. location – reasonably central (ie not on the outskirts of the city), safe area, on or close to a major route, parking available, no religious affiliation (ie not a church)
2. reasonable cost
3. capacity – at least 50 people
4. availability – Saturday evenings? is there any other time or day we could consider? Sunday morning or a week night?
5. the ability to bring own food if we want, such as for treats, special occasions, or pot lucks
6. more kid/family friendly space
7. no noise restriction (ie ability to play music)
We need your input!
Our executive has been exploring other options, so far without success. We would like your opinions and suggestions. Are you happy with the current location? Does it matter to you if there is food/a meal available at each meeting? Do you know of a place that you think might be more suitable? Would a change of location make you more, or less, likely to attend? What if we found a great location that was not available Saturday evenings? Would you come on a week night? Sunday morning?
Let us know what you think! Please complete this short (2 minute) survey to help us plan for next season.
Stealing Reason: Christianity’s Theft of Human Values
If you were unable to make it to our May meeting, you missed an excellent presentation by our own Pat Morrow about the false claims that Christians make while trying to claim credit for scientific and moral progress.
Good news – Pat’s talk is now uploaded to our YouTube channel. Check it out!
Partners for Life Update
Summer’s here – and that means that Canadian Blood Services will be facing their annual blood shortage as regular donors travel or relax at the lake.
HAAM participates in the Partners for Life program, with an annual pledge of 25 donations from our members. As of mid-May, we had 11 donations… so we’re on track to meet that goal. Maybe we can even surpass it! If you’re a blood donor, please make the effort to donate over the summer.
If you’ve never donated before, or never asked to have your donations credited to HAAM, please join our Canadian Blood Services Partners for Life team and help us reach our goal. Let’s show that Humanists care enough to donate blood!
Video of the Month
Summer’s here, so that means it’s Outreach season – and HAAM certainly won’t be the only group doing outreach. Religious organizations and lobby groups will have booths at small town fairs all over Manitoba. You can usually count on finding evangelical Christians, anti-choice groups, and creationists.
These organizations are very well funded by their supporters, and they put on large and splashy displays, with flashy professionally produced posters and leaflets to hand out. Answers in Genesis, the US-based creationist organization responsible for the Creation Museum and the Ark Encounter in Kentucky, usually has a whole trailer full of sophisticated schlock at the Morden Corn and Apple Festival. But don’t think that these beliefs are unique to the US. Creationism and science-denial in general is wide-spread in Manitoba’s Bible Belt communities – even in Morden, home of the Canadian Fossil Discovery Centre. Some of our members were indoctrinated with creationism as children. If you haven’t taken it seriously up until now, you need to get out more.
Want a primer on some of the wacky stuff creationists believe? HAAM has a copy of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, the propaganda film in which Ben Stein dismisses evolution (and science in general) as a conspiracy to keep God out of laboratories and schools. Why not borrow it to watch at home this summer, where you can have a good laugh (or a good cry, or maybe just a couple of drinks) while you’re watching. Warning – this film is pretty bad. It links evolution to Nazism and misrepresents interviews with science advocates like Michael Shermer and Richard Dawkins. Its initial rating on Rotten Tomatoes was 9%. Roger Ebert called it “cheerfully ignorant and manipulative”. But Christianity Today gave it 3 out of 4 stars.
Love it, hate it, or just laugh at it – this film will provide you with some insight into the creationist mindset. Maybe it will even inspire you to join us in our outreach booth to promote science and reason.
All our library books and DVD’s are free to borrow for paid HAAM members.
Visit our library page if you would like to borrow this video.
Looking for a Summer Camp?
Summer’s here – and every year we get asked about children’s summer camps. We’ve written about this topic before, so here’s a summary of what we know.
Almost all overnight children’s summer camps in Manitoba are directly run by religious organizations. A few others are targeted at specific populations (ie kids with disabilities). The following are the only camps we are aware of that are unaffiliated with religious groups:
- Camp Wannakumbac up at Clear Lake (Keystone Agricultural Producers)
- Camp Stephens (YMCA) in the Whiteshell
- Caddy Lake Girl Guide Camp (girls only, but membership in Girl Guides is not required)
- Camp Manitou (True North Youth Foundation) – mostly day camps, but some overnight camps
- Camp Wasaga at Clear Lake (families only).
Disclaimer – noting that a camp is not affiliated with a religious group cannot guarantee that it will be 100% secular. Last summer a member who sent her child to Camp Wannakumbac reported to us that they still recite ‘grace’ at mealtimes.
Do you have experience with, or knowledge of, children’s summer camps that would help our members?
We’d appreciate your feedback so that we can pass the information along to other families.