June 2020 Newsletter
Summer Solstice Party
Saturday, June 20th, 5:30 PM, Kildonan Park
Our Summer Solstice Party is ON! But this will not be our usual Solstice party. There will be significant changes to keep everyone safe.
We’d love to see you there. But make sure to READ THE EVENT POST CAREFULLY
for important details and instructions.
Can’t make it to the picnic?
Because of physical distancing recommendations, we are not offering rides to the park. We understand that some people will not be able to get there, or will not be comfortable joining us due to personal or health concerns.
If you would like to join us online from your home and say Hi to your HAAMster friends at the picnic, please contact us ahead of time. We hope to set up a Zoom meeting between 6:30 and 7:00 PM during the party. You do not need to have a Zoom account to join us this way. We will send you a link via email before the picnic. The link will work from a computer (PC or Mac), cell phone, or tablet.
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.
Check out these online events from CFI Canada
The ‘Virtual Branch’ of the Centre for Inquiry (Canada) continues to host online chats and support groups for atheists and Humanists.
In addition, they are hosting some interesting presentations with guest speakers.
Thursday, June 4th – The Case Against Islamic Reform
Saturday, June 6th – Difficult Conversations: Why Secularists Disagree on Bill 21. (This refers to the Quebec’s controversial law banning religious symbols.)
Thursday, June 11th – Religion, Fake News, and Alternative Facts
Saturday, June 13th – Medical Research in the Time of COVID-19 – Making Sense of Health Reporting
These events are all free, but registration is required to participate (via Zoom).
For more information, and links to register, visit CFI’s MeetUp page.
Celebrate World Humanist Day
On June 21st, Humanist groups around the world celebrate with parties, conferences, and charitable activities. Read more about it at Humanists International (formerly the International Humanist and Ethical Union). Don’t miss this opportunity to spread the message about the positive values and ethics of Humanism.
11 Questions for atheists
The following list should probably be called “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?
Answers submitted by some of our members be found on the Perspectives page. But there are many other opinions and possible responses. Think about your own point of view before reading the article.
How should society move on post-pandemic?
As governments prepare recovery plans amidst the COVID-19 crisis, an informal alliance of over 150 Canadian groups, including the Canadian Labour Congress, Indigenous Climate Action, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, and the Canadian Health Coalition, is demanding these plans move us toward a more equitable and sustainable future.
This coalition has proposed a set of 6 Principles to govern plans for a Just Recovery from the pandemic They are:
- Put people’s health and wellbeing first, no exceptions.
- Strengthen the social safety net and provide relief directly to people.
- Prioritize the needs of workers and communities.
- Build resilience to prevent future crises.
- Build solidarity and equity across communities, generations, and borders
- Uphold Indigenous Rights and Work in Partnership with Indigenous Peoples.
HAAM is pleased to announce that we have joined the growing number of groups endorsing these important principles. Read more about them at justrecoveryforall.ca, and make sure to share them on social media. On the Spread the Word page, you’ll find a toolkit to help you. It contains sample tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts, and access to the graphics for each of these platforms.
Let’s all work toward a Just Recovery for everyone. Thanks to Catherine Kreindler for finding this information and sharing it with our executive.
Video of the Month
There are so many great debates, speeches, and presentations available online these days of interest to Humanists. No one has time (even these days) to listen to them all. But sometimes our members run across one that really needs a wider audience, especially when its presenter is less well-known. We’ll try to feature some of these videos in our newsletters. (Submissions welcome!)
Our president, Pat Morrow, will start off by recommending this presentation from Humanists UK about Morals Without Religion.
Here’s Pat’s description of the video:
Dr Alice Roberts is an English biological anthropologist, biologist, television science popularizer, and author. Since 2012 she has been Professor of the Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham and is currently the president of Humanists UK. In this presentation she talks about another great Humanist , Margaret Knight, who in 1955 caused a firestorm of controversy on the BBC with her radio essays: Morals Without Religion.
This is not a video on philosophy, but an interesting talk about two women on different yet parallel journeys 65 years apart, whose detractors are using the same arguments. Well worth the watch.
Don’t forget about our library
HAAM’s Library is still OPEN! If you now have time to read (or watch a video), go ahead and send us your request. Pick-up or drop-off can be arranged in the Winnipeg area.
Visit our Library page to browse by title, author, or subject, then click the ‘borrow book’ link to request the item.
All our library books and DVD’s are free to borrow for paid HAAM members.