About Ron Stephens

President of Mid Ohio Atheists

Vote for Picnic Location

We need to make a final decision on where we’re meeting for next month’s MOA annual picnic.  The choices that have been submitted at the meeting last Sunday are-

1. Mohican State Park by the covered bridge.

2. Central Park in Mansfield.  We may be able to reserve the gazebo in Central Park if we make a decision soon.  If they refuse us on the gazebo, it sure would make an interesting subject for a news release.

There is an issue with choice #2.  Some members have stated that they think Central Park would be fun, but they couldn’t attend if it is held there for business reasons.  They don’t want it publicized that they are an atheist for fear it would drive customers away from their business.  With the expected uproar that #2 could generate, and with media possibly covering the event, there is a real possibility peoples’ faces could appear in the paper or on TV.

Another choice is to have choice #1 on July 18th and do Choice #2 on another day.  That way everyone could attend the Mohican event and those who want to can also do Central Park.  Let’s call this choice #3.

What I need from everyone is to send an email to midohioatheists@gmail.com with your choice- 1, 2, or 3, ASAP so we can publish the results and for planning purposes.  If your name is not in your email address, make sure to include it so I can keep track of votes.

Today’s Meeting

The group met at Bob Evan’s Restaurant in Ontario this morning.  I was glad to see many new faces.  We had quite a wait for a table since we had such a large group. I suppose that’s a good thing though.

A light moment was had when someone asked for a volunteer to say grace .  I offered a simple and grateful thank you to farmers for growing the food and the cooks who prepared it for us.

We decided the next time we do this we’ll need a place that can more easily accommodate us.  For the August meeting, we will meet at Barnes & Nobles in Ontario.

We talked about the annual picnic next month but never made a final decision where it will be.  We’ll settle that through email or our page on facebook.com before too long.

There was much lively discussion about atheism and some of the experiences we have had as atheists in a Christian dominated society.  I think the best summary of the discussions is we were all glad we have a local group where we can find support and share our views among like minded people.  We also talked of ways to get out the message that an atheist group exists in the Mansfield area so we can grow our group.

Things are looking up!

Must Watch Movie

A new movie in limited release in the U.S. is Agora, a movie about the Greek scholar Hypatia from Roman Egypt who was killed by a Christian mob. Some scholars use this event as the end of Classical Antiquity and the beginning of the Dark Ages.  I’m sure this movie is never going to make it to our area theaters, we’ll just have to wait for the DVD.

Changing Attitudes toward Atheists

I had a great idea the other day I’d like to share with our members. I was at a restaurant where they were collecting money for a charity. For a dollar, they would give you a small card that you could sign.  They would then place the sign on their wall.  Instead of putting your name, just put the name of an atheist organization of which you are a member.

For instance, write Mid Ohio Atheists on the name line.  For a dollar, you could help put a positive image on atheism.

Republicans want your input.

The House Republicans have requested input from the American people as to what is important to them.  They’ve set up a site to collect all the responses- http://www.americaspeakingout.com

That’s all well and good, but from the comments I’ve seen on their website, I believe they are getting input that they didn’t quite expect.

Here are a few recent comments.-

  • The United States is not a christian nation and never has been. The idea that it is should be eradicated and we should continue to re-enforce the separation of church and state.
  • Government funds should not go towards religious organizations. I don’t want big government getting involved in my religion, and I don’t want money being wasted on something I don’t believe in. End the “christian nation” bull, taxpayer money shouldn’t be wasted on religion (it falls into the category of “wasteful government spending”). So repeal the law about faith based initiatives.
  • we need to employ some of those invincible black knights from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
  • Somebody stole my bike even though I had a bike lock on it… Guess I should have spent the extra $7 for the deluxe one with the thicker chain. Dangit.
  • We should pray more for a protective magic God wall to fortify America for those mean old terrorists. That’s show em.
  • lets give bibles to the poor, its more useful than food or education or healthcare, they can pray away their poverty.

I think the Republicans weren’t prepared for all the sarcasm they’re receiving.   🙂

Site Back Up

I moved the site to a new hosting service.  The other one, Awardspace, was offline too much.  I think the new host will be much more reliable.

I’ll be experimenting with new themes and the structure of the site for a while.  Let me know what you like, or don’t like, about the look and operation of the site.

Sunday Morning Meeting

We met at Bob Evans in Ontario for our monthly meeting on May 16th.  There was good food and good conversation to be had and enjoyed.  Those who didn’t make it really missed out.

We talked a little about current events and such.  I told the story of passing an old pickup truck that was pulling a flatbed farm wagon which had an 8′ cross and a 5′ black box with the words ‘King James Bible’ on the side.  What a hoot!  The funniest part was I was on my way to the MOA meeting when I saw the spectacle.

As for business, we agreed to have the meetings on the third Sunday of the month, it seems to have worked out well so far.  We also decided to have the annual Atheists in the Park picnic in July, location yet to be determined.

We also talked about advertising to get more membership.   I’m sure we could get many more members if more people knew about us.

The next meeting is June 20th, I hope to see you there!