Tuesday, October 16, 2012

'Godless conference coming to Little Rock'

Posted By on Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 9:53 AM

REMEMBER THE BUS ADS CONTROVERSY?: Sponsoring group is among organizers of coming gathering of atheists, agnostics, humanists.
  • REMEMBER THE BUS ADS CONTROVERSY?: Sponsor of bus ads is among organizers of coming gathering of atheists, agnostics, humanists.

My headline is that written for a news release for an event Oct. 27 in Little Rock being billed as "Reason in the Rock."

Atheists, agnostics, humanists, and other secular people from all over Arkansas will gather from 9 to 5:30 p.m. at the Darragh Center of the downtown library.

"There are more nonreligious people in Arkansas than many might think," said Susan Heffington, president of the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers. "Many of us feel strongly about separation of church and state and want to be sure that a loud contingent of religious advocates does not drown out other voices. We all bring something significant to the table."

Full release follows:

Atheists, agnostics, humanists, and other secular people from all over Arkansas are traveling to Little Rock for the inaugural Reason in the Rock conference. The one-day event will be held Saturday, October 27, from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM in the Darragh Center Auditorium of the Central Arkansas Library, 100 Rock Street, in the River Market District of downtown Little Rock.

Speakers will be from Arkansas and adjoining states as well as from Ohio, New Jersey and North Carolina, and will represent varied aspects of the secular movement. The primary sponsors of the event are the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers and the Central Arkansas Coalition of Reason. Funding has been provided by the national United Coalition of Reason and the James Randi Educational Foundation. Other organizations supporting the event are American Atheists, Camp Quest Oklahoma, the Secular Student Alliance, and Recovering from Religion.

"There are more nonreligious people in Arkansas than many might think," said Susan Heffington, president of the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers. "Many of us feel strongly about separation of church and state and want to be sure that a loud contingent of religious advocates does not drown out other voices. We all bring something significant to the table."

"This event will bring people together in an important way," added co-organizer Anne Orsi. "People without religious belief often feel isolated and marginalized. Sometimes we don't know that our neighbors share our nonbelief because talking about it is practically taboo. Conferences like Reason in the Rock let nonreligious people know that they aren't alone."

At Reason in the Rock, the Randall "Doc" Fleck Common Sense Plus Award will be initiated and presented by the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers to the family of Dr. Fleck. Dr. Fleck died this year after a long illness. He was one of the primary activists in the Arkansas secular movement and was instrumental in organizing a number of the secular movement's groups around the state. This included the Northwest Arkansas Coalition of Reason in Fayetteville.

The speaker lineup will consist of the following:

- Seth Andrews (keynote speaker), an Oklahoma resident who produces the Thinking Atheist podcast and YouTube channel

- Jerry DeWitt, a former Pentecostal minister who is now president of Recovering From Religion

- Teresa MacBain, a former Methodist minister who is now public relations director for American Atheists

- Mike Thom, the Arkansas state chapter leader for the National Atheist Party

- Tod Billings, founder of the Arkansas Society of Freethinkers

- J. T. Eberhard, an Arkansas native and freethought blogger now with the Secular Student Alliance headquartered in Ohio

- Lauren Lane, co-founder of Skepticon in Missouri and guest blogger on The Friendly Atheist

- Aron Ra, vlogger and Texas state director for American Atheists

- Cindy Cooper from Camp Quest Oklahoma, the summer camp for freethinking children and teens

The conference is free and open to the public but there is limited seating. All interested in attending need to register on the conference's website at ReasonInTheRock.org where they will find links to nearby lodging and opportunities to donate.


The Arkansas Society of Freethinkers is an Arkansas nonprofit corporation that promotes a secular, non-theistic, humanist viewpoint as a valid contribution to public discourse, advocates the strict separation of church and state, and hosts weekly events geared to encourage and facilitate dialogue in matters of science, reason, critical thinking, and tolerance.

The Central Arkansas Coalition of Reason seeks to raise public awareness that people can be good without believing in a god. Central Arkansas CoR brings together ten humanistic, secular, and nontheistic organizations in the Central Arkansas region.

The United Coalition of Reason is made up of 57 local coalitions nationwide and works to raise the visibility and sense of unity among non-theistic groups. Its website is UnitedCoR.org

Tags: , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (27)

Showing 1-27 of 27

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-27 of 27

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
    • Apr 20, 2017
  • Death Row inmates argue to keep stay of execution in place; urge 8th Circuit not to 'rush' analysis

    Early this morning, attorneys for nine Death Row inmates, filed an argument with the 8th United States Court of Appeals contesting the state's effort to override Judge Kristine Baker's order Saturday that halted executions scheduled this month.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • Federal judge denies execution stay for Don Davis but larger stay continues

    Don Davis, who's been moved to the killing facility of the state prison for killing tonight at 7 p.m. if a stay of execution is lifted in another federal suit, sought a stay in another federal court Sunday, but the request was denied.
    • Apr 17, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

People who saved…

Most Shared

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
  • Art bull

    "God, I hate art," my late friend The Doctor used to say.
  • Not justice

    The strongest, most enduring calls for the death penalty come from those who feel deeply the moral righteousness of "eye-for-an-eye" justice, or retribution. From the depths of pain and the heights of moral offense comes the cry, "The suffering you cause is the suffering you shall receive!" From the true moral insight that punishment should fit the crime, cool logic concludes, "Killers should be killed." Yet I say: retribution yes; death penalty no.
  • Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

    Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning.
  • The Ledell Lee execution thread

    Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The sunny Sunday line

    • Trump is willing to shut down the government if he doesn't get funding for his…

    • on April 23, 2017
  • Re: The sunny Sunday line

    • STEPHEN SMITH THIS DATE IN ARKANSAS HISTORY 23-Apr 1912 Congressman Robert B. Macon of Helena…

    • on April 23, 2017
  • Re: The sunny Sunday line

    • My dear (and I mean that) Norma, do not over-imagine our attention span. There is…

    • on April 23, 2017

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation