Cedar Falls/Waterloo Iowa Secularists Meet-Up

A new Meet-up group has been set up for non-religious individuals in the Waterloo/Cedar Falls community and surrounding area. It has been organized by Jill from the Iowa Secularists. 

This meet-up group will have its first casual meeting this next week. 
Location: Panera Bread Cedar Falls (map)
When: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 7:00 PM

Hope to see you there!

Iowa Secularists is a non-profit organization committed to creating a community of religion-free Iowans, educating the public on living without religion and keeping the Wall of Separation strong

Point of Inquiry

Hey All –

Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11-11:30am I’ll be playing episodes of Point of Inquiry, a podcast produced by the Center for Inquiry, on UNI’s own radio station 94.5 KULT. Tune in twice a week for interviews with big names in science and skepticism. Past guests have included: Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins, Tom Flynn, Lawrence Krauss, Sam Harris, Michael Shermer, Daniel Dennett, James Randi, and Eugenie Scott, among many others.

I’ll be posting my episode schedule at the beginning of each week starting next Monday!

Tune in tomorrow (Oct. 23, 11-11:30am) for Michael Shermer’s discussion of “The Mind of the Market”, a look into how psychology and pseudoscience affect our economy. Stick around after the podcast for remaining 45 minutes of my show, which I fill with extreme metal! |\m/| ( – -) |\m/|


Religious bigotry.

I don’t want to turn this into a political blog. It isn’t. But… sometimes religion and politics cross paths (BTW: stay tuned for the podcast from the last Grab a Brew). I have repeatedly stated that one of the main driving forces behind starting UNIFI was this survey. It saddens me that people feel as though someone’s lack of belief in a god disqualifies them to be a leader,or president in this case.

Weighing differences to make a choice as long as they are based on reasonable grounds is healthy practice. Being able to discriminate between options is one of humanities greatest assets.

It was Matt Damon(yeah i know?) that nailed it on the head for why Sarah Palin’s belief about the age of the earth and humans relationship with dinosaurs is of interest when considering her as a potential VP choice. This is discrimination based on her beliefs, and I don’t see a problem with it, so long as why you think those beliefs are relevant is reasonable. So my question is and always has been, “What about the non-religious disqualifies them?” Because I sure as hell think certain beliefs such as Sarah’s ought to be weighed appropriately. I recently came across two videos that perpetuate this unnecessary bigotry against the non-religious.

This one left me screaming to my self “What’s in a name!?!” and “Who gives if his mother was an atheist? What does that say about him as a leader?” Nothing.

I don’t know. This one leave me speechless. Is it because the non-religious would lead to social and moral decay? A new book by Phil Zuckerman would suggest the contrary.

I am an atheist.

I am an atheist. TaDa! I am also an agnostic, an agnostic atheist, a skeptic, a non-believer, a secular humanist, an anti-theist, and most importantly a pastafarian.

You may be saying to yourself, “Cody I knew this you are the president and co-founder of UNIFI. This isn’t news to me.” You would be right but…. I am sitting in the Union right now eavesdropping on a group of students talking about what an atheist believes (“You know even the people that are atheists believe in a higher power”) Let me quickly nip that in the butt. As an atheist I have no beliefs about god, or the supernatural for that matter. NONE.
At a recent Grab A Brew, Share Your View there was the similar dispute. The statement came up that atheism was a religion. Gasp!! Anyway someone quickly pointed out that atheism is a religion in the same way that not collecting stamps is a hobby. I was tempted to laugh but I find this misnomer prevalent and disconcerting.
Anyway, welcome to the blog! We hope to keep everyone up-to-date with UNIFI happenings, UNIFI relevant news, and commentary on study-group eavesdropping sessions.

Faith Forum

What is Faith Forum?
Faith Forum is a monthly discussion event that brings together theists and atheists for constructive small group discussions. We do not take the “coexist” approach to faith; to the contrary, we strongly believe that ideas do not deserve freedom from criticism, and that it is possible to disagree strongly and openly while maintaining a personal respect for each other. We hope you will join us for frank, honest, respectful small group discussions.

Who can come?
Anyone and everyone is more than welcome at Faith Forum! The only rule we enforce is that you must respect the person you’re talking to, even if you don’t respect his/her beliefs! If you can do that, we sincerely hope to see you at Faith Forum!

Cool, when is it?
Faith Forum is generally the second Wednesday of the month at 8pm, any changes to this schedule will be posted on the facebook group.

So what’s the format, Holmes?
This event is largely informal. We begin with brief prepared statements from a representative of each side of the issue (topics will vary each month). After these statements will be informal, unguided small group discussions. Try to learn something new about the issue by learning about your opponents’ positions!

You can check out the facebook group here!

UNIFI’s Sunday Brunch

Every Sunday during the school year, and sporadically throughout the summer, UNIFI hosts brunch at Hy-Vee in Cedar Falls. The event started last fall and gets 20-25 attendees every week. Originally dubbed an intellectual Sunday morning alternative, UNIFI Brunch has helped to build a community for non-religious students with it’s no-holds-barred conversations and laid back atmosphere.

Who: Anyone!
When: Every Sunday, 11:00 AM
Where: Cedar Falls Hy-Vee

Join our Facebook group or check http://brunch.unifreethought.com to see when the next Sunday Brunch is happening.

Here’s what real UNIFI members have to say about Sunday Brunch

-UNIFI Director of Finance Seth Coster

“I get there before 11 so I can still get breakfast!”
-Maggie Stehn

“I LIVE for Hy-Vee breakfast. See you at 10:58 Maggie!”
-Former UNIFI Vice President Nick Covington

“We’ll see how hung over I am.”
-Derek Stewart

“Dude. We usually stay there til’ 2. I work til 430 in the morning and still make it. Buck up son!”
-Former UNIFI President Cody Hashman

Grab a Brew, Share Your View

Grab a Brew, Share Your View is a local event co-hosted by Kaio Church and UNIFI. It’s an attempt to find a comfortable environment to discuss religious issues through open mic and small group discussions. Past topics have included “What’s so ‘gay’ about gay marriage,” “What’s wrong with Christianity,” and “Should we tolerate intolerance.” Each event starts opening speakers, followed by small group discussions, and finally everyone comes together for the open mic section. After the event, participants typically break into small groups again and discuss everything from the night’s topic to evolution to their favorite variety of beer.

We operate on only two rules during the event:
1: Respect the person though you may not respect the view; and
2: Keep your mic use down to about 1-2 min. intervals.

Who: Anyone! We open GABSYV to students, community members, and other organizations.
When: The second Tuesday of every month at 7:00 PM
Where:  Hemisphere Lounge in the Maucker Union

You can learn more about GABSYV at www.GrabaBrew.com. Be sure to join the Facebook group for event invites.