CFI-Harlem Monthly Meeting

Sunday, June 28th 2009 at 1:00 pm
Sunday, June 28th 2009 at 4:00 pm
Harlem State Office Building, 163 W. 125th Street, 8th Floor (Trains: 2, 3, A, B, C, D).

Tyranny of the Believers : The Center for Inquiry has responded to a Kearny High School club field trip to creationist museum. Matthew LaClair, president of the Center for Inquiry's campus outreach initiative, recently alerted CFI that his former history teacher, David Paszkiewicz, is at it again. You may recall Mr. Paskiewicz—he’s the one who was recorded by LaClair telling students that dinosaurs were on Noah’s Ark and if “you reject the Lord’s salvation, you belong in hell” (New York Times, 12/18/06). This time, he is acting as the advisor of a Christian club at Kearny High School (located 10 miles outside of Manhattan in New Jersey), called the Alpha and Omega Club, which has scheduled an interesting and troubling fieldtrip to a creationist museum in Peterburg, Kentucky.

Main topic : A recent news story posited that in some Black communities, being an atheist is "akin to donning a white sheet and a Confederate flag. In others, it's ostensibly tolerated yet whispered about, branded culturally incorrect and bad form, if not outright sacrilege. For Black atheists like myself, proclaiming one's non-belief amidst genial wishes to 'have a blessed day' is never easy in the seemingly innocuous context of casual chit chat between Black folk."

Does being an atheist pose such a serious problem in the Black community? Do you really pay a price for being an avowed atheist? If so, how much of one? Are Black women really under such pressure to conform? Or, is this just a media story?  Steve Harvey, the comedian/radio host with the best selling relationship book on the serious topic of dating,  "Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man" is telling his audience that women should not marry an atheist. Should he be rebuked? How so? We will talk about it all at the meeting this month.  Get your thoughts together.