Help Ed Brayton Battle a White Supremacist

Our colleague Ed Brayton is being sued by a white supremacist for calling him a white supremacist. It’s a case that Ed is sure to win. But the guy attacking him has minimal expenses (since being a lawyer, he is representing himself) and Ed needs to cover enough of his own costs to answer him capably. Read all about it in Please Help Me Fight a Lawsuit, where you can also send Ed some bucks to help. It’s worth a little dosh at least. Because this is yet another case of our backwards legal system disadvantaging the non-rich by making them pay for justice.

Major Godless Chicago Conference: Last Chance to Get Discount Rate!

From Ed Brayton: The Foundation Beyond Belief, the nation’s largest humanist charitable organization, is holding its first national conference, “Humanism at Work,” this July 18-20 (2014) at the Hilton Rosemont in Chicago, Illinois.

This conference, the first of its kind in the freethought community, centers on how nontheists can put their compassionate humanism to work for a better world. It will include TED-style presentations on philanthropy, volunteering, and community building, as well as practical workshops, panels, and hands-on volunteer opportunities.

Speakers include:

  • Evidence-based giving expert CAROLINE FIENNES
  • Nigerian humanist and human rights activist LEO IGWE
  • Atheist homelessness activist SERAH BLAIN
  • HEMLEY GONZALEZ, a humanist at work with the poor in Calcutta
  • Atheist authors HEMANT MEHTA and GRETA CHRISTINA
  • Social psychologist DR. BRITTANY SHOOTS-REINHARD
  • THE PATHFINDERS, three humanists just returned from a year of global service

To register, go to the Humanism at Work website. We’ve worked hard to keep the conference affordable at $129 up to April 15 and $149 after that date. Included in that price is a formal dinner at which we will give away the Heart of Humanism awards to those who have put humanism into action in their local communities and around the world.

This is definitely worth attending! Especially if you–or any atheist, humanist, or secularist group you are a part of (and thus can report back to)–want(s) to get more involved in humanitarianism and philanthropy, or community or other charitable work, or just engage with that realm of activity more as atheists.

If you can afford to go, I recommend it!

Even if you miss the deadline tomorrow, the price bump after that is only twenty dollars.

I Support the SSA, MRFF and MAAF. So Can You, So Easy to Do!

Today I renewed my support for the Secular Student Alliance as a Bronze Member. Just a mere $35. Many of us in the US can afford that per year for the things we value most. So everyone who can do even so little as that, and believes in what the SSA does for our future, please Bronze up! (Or even more, if you can.) If you aren’t already jumping to, please check out why I think the SSA is important and why everyone should be supporting them even if only modestly.

I give small amounts like this to a large number of organizations, because every little bit helps. Two others I support that often get overlooked are the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) and the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers (MAAF). I just gave each $35 as well. As I try to do every year. And I hope many of you can do something along the same lines. They also do extremely important and much needed work. As I’ve explained before (including why we need them both, because they do different things). If you want to join me in their support, you can donate here (MRFF) and here (MAAF). They request only $25 a year. I give a little more. But if you can only give the minimum, it helps.

Help a Leading Skeptic Fight Her Sexual Harasser

Photo of Karen Stollznow wearing a necklace by Surlyramics.Karen Stollznow has been harassed for years by an ex-boyfriend, who was eventually disciplined by his employer for it (CFI), and she finally wrote about her experience, and apparently to harass her further, he is suing her. It looks like he is counting on the fact that defending herself in court will bankrupt her and has used that to try and intimidate her into issuing a retraction, but she refuses to retract what she says is simply the truth. If you think this is appalling and want to help her, I would very much like you to. I am donating to her defense fund, and am ready to give more if it’s needed. Their target is $30k but legal experts say a case like this could cost $40k, and in any event, all money not used for the case will be donated to Colorado’s Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Center, so no matter what, your donation goes to a good cause. I want to see this fund grow to equal what he is spending. So she can have her day in court, effect discovery (and thus get a hold of documents he and CFI may have been keeping from her, and depose witnesses under oath), and be fairly represented and not unfairly trumped by wealth.

I think it is a fundamental injustice in this country that people have to pay for their own legal representation in courts. This is not only the case in civil trials, but contrary to popular myth, you even have to pay for your own legal defense in a criminal trial–if the government “decides” you can afford it, you have to pay. This is appalling. It thus turns especially civil cases, but even many criminal trials, into a plutocracy where the one with the most money wins (and in criminal cases, that’s the state), rather than the one with justice actually on their side. But alas, this is the system we are stuck in. So please support the justice our government won’t: help someone get a fair trial. And in the process help fight sexual harassment: because if the precedent is set that harassers can intimidate their victims into shutting up by exploiting the injustice of our wealth-based justice system, well, I’ll let you do the math on that…

Read Karen’s explanation and appeal here.

Donate to her legal defense fund here.

And for backstory on the case, read this (and this).

Secular Sobriety Program in Crisis: Lend a Hand

Do you like living in a world where there are definitely sobriety programs without god in them? Then help save pretty much the only one there is. Read this post buy Ophelia: Secular Organizations for Sobriety / Save Our Selves. That will give you the links and info to check them out, and to help donate so they can hit their target to stay funded (and it’s a steep target, so help is needed–please consider it).

Meanwhile, I’m in studio again this week to finish audio for Hitler Homer Bible Christ, and just completed two chapters for John Loftus’s final anthology in the trilogy (Christianity Is Not Great, which completes what we began with The Christian Delusion and The End of Christianity, both awesome volumes, and I have seen the content for this last one, and it’s even more awesome still).

And I just turned around the corrections for the first half of the proof of On the Historicity of Jesus, and Sheffield promises the second half is coming this week, so we’re on the final slalom on that project.

And I have a talk Thursday to a Christian youth group led by Josh McDowell’s son (no kidding) and a doctor’s appointment Friday (a follow-up–I’ve been sterilized!–so, have had and will have a sore crotch this week to supplement my still-healing innocuously broken toe, so I have that on top of all the tasks this week enumerated above).

And…drumroll…I am hoping to have my review of Maurice Casey’s anti-mythicism book done and up by this Friday evening. (I’ve already been impressed with the critiques at Vridar, which I’ll be citing.) I’ve had his book for over a week now, I just have been too busy to get to it!

And for all that, I’m sure I’m even forgetting something.

This is a hectic week for me.

Get Hug an Atheist to a Film Festival!

Hug an Atheist is a great movie. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s worth buying. Check out the Amazon customer reviews. Now it needs to get wider attention. The film’s director is running a crowdfunding campaign to get enough money to present it at film festivals, which will get more people to see it, especially people outside of atheism, who most need it, and whom it’s most for. Here is where you can donate some bucks to help them make that happen. And this is something your local atheist group can get together to help with. They have perks just for that. And this is their appeal:

For this film to make a real difference, it’s important to get it in front of as big an audience as possible. It’s very nice that we already have a supportive audience here, but you all already knew that we atheists aren’t demons. Now it’s essential to get that message out to an audience that really needs to hear the message this film has to offer. And the best way for an independent film like Hug an Atheist to do this, is to get into film festivals. Unfortunately, this costs money, and the funds that we raised to make Hug an Atheist have long run out (and then some!). So we have started a new campaign to raise the funds to get the word out about the film, with a modest goal of $2500 that we have to reach by 3 February. One of the perks this time is a DRM free high definition download of the film for only $10. We also have perks specifically aimed at groups and organisations, so you might want to encourage your local group to organise a screening of Hug an Atheist.

Typhoon Devastates the Philippines: Please Aid the Humanist Crisis Response!

Because I couldn’t say it better than Ed Brayton already did:

The Foundation Beyond Belief is launching a new Humanist Crisis Response for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which has been rated as the most powerful storm ever recorded by the US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center. The power of this storm is mind-blowing, sustained winds of 195 mph and gusts up to 235 — with 10 million people in its path. The aftermath is absolutely devastating. After much research, FBB decided on the Citizens Disaster Response Center as the beneficiary. They’re based in the Philippines and on the ground already. Any help you can give is obviously very badly needed. You can find a link to donate here. Every dollar will go to the CDRC. It isn’t enough to be anti-religion; if we are serious about our humanist principles, we must put them into action and help others whenever possible.

One More Time, with Feeling!

Skepticon is just a few thousand short of their funding needs. One last push to get them there would be much appreciated! I’ve asked before. But for incentive this time, PZ said it best

If you need additional incentive, consider this: this is the conference the haters hate the most. I’ve already got some wackaloons I’ve never met and who have never attended a conference I’ve gone to, and in particular have never had any plans to attend this one, ranting and raving about a boycott of the con, and a walkout of my session (but then, these are the same kooks who propose to do that every time I give a talk somewhere, and the only people who’ve walked out so far seem to be invisible). This is the convention that has Rebecca Watson, Amanda Marcotte, Greta Christina, Debbie Goddard and all kinds of uppity women stirring up trouble. Subvert the dominant paradigm! Support the skeptical conference that isn’t run by asshats!

Amen.

Help Skepticon Make Its Budget!

Skepticon dinosaur cartoon, brontosaurus-like, thought-bubbling the money symbol with an exclamation markSkepticon! It’s time to register (whether you’re going for free or not), and donate something if you can (whatever you think a ticket would be worth if it wasn’t free). They are just ten grand short of making their budget. They have some matching donors that will double your donation, and some cool things you can make happen. So check out the details. The full schedule is also now up. And I’ll be there. So help them out. Send a little dosh their way.