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Cause & Effect: The CFI Newsletter – No. 13

Cause & Effect is the biweekly newsletter of the Center for Inquiry community, covering the wide range of work that you help make possible.

The Main Events


20140817_155218 copy.jpgCFI Wraps Up a Summer of Incredible Events

Since the last edition of Cause & Effect, CFI has put on three very different freethought events, each one uniquely enlightening and showcasing so much of what is great about our community. Here’s a wrap-up of a very exciting couple of weeks.

What happens when ninety people get together to honor some of the most remarkable reformers of the nineteenth century? You get perhaps the most uplifting and hopeful event of the year! This past weekend CFI hosted a unique conference celebrating Robert Green Ingersoll and three other radical freethinkers who called Central New York home: Matilda Joslyn Gage, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Frederick Douglass. Among many highlights, Saturday’s events included presentations by Susan Jacoby, Sally Roesch Wagner, and Christopher Cameron. Elizabeth Cady Stanton herself even spoke, thanks to the fantastic in-costume work of historian Melinda Grube

20140817_154826 copy.jpgOn Sunday the entire crew hit the road via tour bus to visit the newly renovated Robert Green Ingersoll Birthplace Museum in Dresden, New York, followed by an afternoon at the Women’s Rights National Historic Park in Seneca Falls. Attendees enjoyed two ranger talks and visited three sites there: the restored home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the Wesleyan Chapel (site of the first Women’s Rights Convention in 1848), and the park museum/visitors center. The whole weekend was exhausting, but everyone left renewed and inspired to carry on the work of these incredible reformers. Click here for pictures from the conference and stay tuned for videos of the lectures!

DSC_00955.jpgFor the younger set we had Camp Inquiry 2014 in Holland, New York. This year’s Do-It-Yourself theme took the term “hands-on” to the next level with opportunities for the campers to cooperatively write this year’s code of conduct, lead self-designed workshops for their peers, and take genuine ownership of their own camp experiences. In addition to cracking cases with experts like Joe Nickell, new special guests this year included “mathemagician” Ethan Brown and youth activist Jessica Ahlquist

10313420_751028671602420_2497392122093014797_n.jpgAs the campers were being introduced to new ways of thinking critically, grownups were honing their skills in Eugene, Oregon, with the 22nd Skeptic’s Toolbox, a weekend-long workshop providing skeptics the tools and experience they need to evaluate claims we run into in our everyday lives. This year the Toolbox focused on case-based skepticism, which used real-life journal articles to study such subjects as homeopathy, “Clever Hans” the allegedly brilliant horse, and the ideomotor effect. Toolbox faculty Ray Hyman, Lindsay Beyerstein, James Alcock, Loren Pankratz, and Harriet Hall directed attendees through a series of workshops, with a Sunday recap from attendees on what they had learned. This year’s “In the Trenches” award winner was longtime attendee and Independent Investigation Group member Jerry Schwarz. Check out photos from the event here.

 


paul_offit_II.pngPaul Offit to Receive Critical Thinking Award at CFI HQ

Each year, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry honors an author whose work best exemplifies healthy skepticism, logical analysis, or empirical science. The Robert P. Balles Prize in Critical Thinking recognizes work that has the greatest potential to create positive reader awareness of important scientific issues. This year we are pleased to present the Balles Prize to Dr. Paul Offit for his exemplary advocacy exposing the dangers of alternative medicine and the anti-vaccine movement with his book Do You Believe in Magic? The Sense and Nonsense of Alternative Medicine. He’ll receive the award at CFI headquarters in Amherst, New York, on Saturday, September 6. Following the award presentation, Dr. Offit will deliver a presentation on “The Philadelphia Measles Epidemic of 1991: Lessons from the Past” and be available for an audience Q&A. Late last year, Dr. Offit was a guest on our flagship podcast Point of Inquiry, and this past week we re-broadcast the episode

 

News from HQ and the CFI Community


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Students Gain Skills and Confidence at the CFI Leadership Conference

Student and community freethought leaders who attended the 2014 CFI Leadership Conference last month are still feeling the glow from the skills honed and the connections made over those four exciting days at CFI headquarters in Amherst, New York. Over the past couple of weeks, five of those student leaders have written about their own personal feelings and observations about the conference at the CFI On Campus blog, The Course of Reason. Their positive experiences are deeply encouraging and motivating for all of us at CFI, and we’d like to share some with you.

  • Kristen Murdaugh of Furman University shared how the conference gave her a sense of personal resolve, writing, “Not only did I walk away with the confidence and motivation to improve my college’s secular organization exponentially, but I walked away with the confidence to once and for all not be afraid to truly be myself—atheist and all.” 
  • Also from Furman, Ashton Nicewonger found a similar boost, declaring, “Today I am more confident in who I am and eager to share this confidence and support with those who have none.” 
  • Lance Menard of Kettering University’s Kettering Secular Skeptics wrote, “Thanks to the incredible energy and love and passion of the people I found in Amherst, I now have a direction and meaning to apply, not only to our club, but to my life as a whole.” 
  • Broadway Jackson III of Elon University said the conference was “an amazing experience” that “re-energized” his brain for secular activism. 
  • Jonathan Solis of the Secular Students at the University of Iowa said, “I left the conference feeling more invigorated, more connected, and more empowered to help do that.” 

Our sincere thanks to the students who shared these observations and to everyone who took part in such a meaningful and invigorating conference…and we’ll see you again in 2015!



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CFI Addresses the Crisis in Ferguson, Missouri 

On August 14, we at CFI weighed in on the days-long conflict in Ferguson, Missouri between police and protesters. What was a secular humanist and skeptic organization doing talking about an event like this? One of our core missions is to defend free expression wherever it is threatened or stifled. “Given that the demonstrations in Ferguson have thus far been largely peaceful,” we wrote in our statement, “available evidence indicates that the severity of the police department’s actions – which includes a massive display of military-grade weaponry, the detention of journalists without charge, and damage to people’s homes – outweighs any threat posed by protesters.”

Our president and CEO, Ronald Lindsay, expanded on our official statement to put forward some of his personal observations, including concerns about the way the U.S. arms its local police forces and the way our own community should exercise critical thinking when dealing with this issue. “As persons who pride themselves on basing claims on evidence,” writes Ron, “I believe statements by skeptics and humanists about this tragic killing should be measured and should not indulge in characterizations that, at this stage, lack sufficient evidentiary support.”

 


2a5e48449dca4a488e4d25e3212ab594-097dc4cc944e402fb0b53f73b7dTown of Greece, NY Puts Forward Prayer Guidelines

When atheist Dan Courtney delivered a historic secular invocation before the town council of Greece, New York, we at CFI were there to support the inclusion of the nonreligious after the troubling Greece v. Galloway Supreme Court decision. This week, the town council released a new policy for these invocations, and as we noted in a statement, the guidelines they’ve put forward are troubling, as they appear to exclude the nonreligious from participating. “If this policy does, in effect, bar the nonreligious from delivering invocations, it would represent a disappointing step backward for the Town of Greece,” said Ron Lindsay. We’ll be keeping our eye on this policy to see how it is actually carried out.

 


Daniel Pearl Fellows.JPGComing Out Atheist and Press Freedom at CFI–Los Angeles

At “Feed Your Brain” lectures for CFI–Los Angeles and CFI–Costa Mesa this past Sunday, author and blogger Greta Christina gave practical tips about coming out as an atheist based on her new book. 

The week before, in CFI–LA’s Steve Allen Theater, the L.A. Press Club, which makes its home at the Center, held a reception and panel discussion for three Daniel Pearl Fellows from Tunisia, Pakistan, and Egypt that was moderated by Rob Eshman, the Jewish Journal publisher and editor. Attending for the eighth year of the event at the Center were Judea and Ruth Pearl, parents of the journalist kidnapped and brutally murdered by Pakistani militants in 2002.

 

CFI on the Web and in the Media


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●   One hundred years after the start of World War I, Josh Zepps talks to historian Christopher Capozzola on Point of Inquiry about how supposedly rational world leaders could allow such a catastrophe to happen, examining the role of reason—or lack thereof—in the Great War’s inception. (Lindsay Beyerstein was off this week.)

●   HuffPost Live hosted a panel discussion on the unique challenges faced by atheists and humanists in the military, hosted by Josh Zepps and featuring CFI’s senior policy analyst Ed Beck, himself a former U.S. Marine.

●   Our Center Stage podcast has a couple great talks from last year’s CFI Summit: Cara Santa Maria’s discussion of her own journey away from religion and toward science communication, and physicist Leonard Mlodinow on the unconscious mind

●   CFI–DC’s Simon Davis talks with Josh Slocum, executive director of the Funeral Consumers Alliance, about the myths that abound in the death industry, at VICE.  

●   Robert Ingersoll did not have a deathbed conversion, though some tried to make that rumor stick. One result was this book from our rare book collection, highlighted by CFI’s Tim Binga: The Death-Bed Conversion of Robert G. Ingersoll.

●   Ben Radford cautions against generalized criticisms of “the media” as a monolith that doesn’t actually exist. Ben also appeared this week on KASA TV in New Mexico to talk about his new book Mysterious New Mexico.

●   Sharon Hill points out the perils of faking scientific credentials at conventions: “Paranormalists get pretty peeved at me for calling them out when playing pretend scientist.”

●   Gurmukh Mongia interviews skeptic YouTuber Kenny Biddle about his video rants against paranormalists. “If I see bulls***, that’s how I call it—then I explain why,” says Biddle. “Yeah, I curse a lot.”

And of course, you can keep up with news relevant to skeptics and seculars every weekday with The Morning Heresy.

 

Upcoming CFI Events


August 23:

     •  CFI–Michigan holds a service day, doing maintenance work at the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding in Rockford.

August 27:

     •  Henry Pollack, professor of geophysics, delivers a presentation to CFI–Michigan on “Ice, Water, and Climate.”

September 10:

     •  Sam Harris gives a talk on his upcoming book Waking Up and is interviewed by the Washington Post’s Michelle Boorstein with CFI–DC. 

September 13:

     •  Greta Christina talks to CFI–Western New York about her book Coming Out Atheist.

September 14:

     •  Glenn Branch comes to CFI–Los Angeles to talk about the aftermath of the Dover “Intelligent Design” trial.

Don’t forget to SAVE THE DATE for CFI’s 2015 National Conference! Mark June 11–14, 2015, on your calendars—it’s time to come home. Join us in Amherst, New York, next summer for our biggest conference of the year, a reunion of skeptics, seculars, humanists, and atheists, all coming together where it all began—the headquarters of the CFI family of organizations, where Free Inquiry and Skeptical Inquirer were launched thirty-five and (almost) forty years ago. Stay tuned for more details.


Thank you!


Everything we do at CFI is made possible by you and your support. Let’s keep working together for science, reason, and secular values.  Donate today!


I Support Reason, Science, and Freedom of InquiryFortnightly updates not enough? Of course they’re not.

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       •  Like us on Facebook

       •  Encircle us on Google+

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Cause & Effect: The Center for Inquiry Newsletter
is edited by Paul Fidalgo, Center for Inquiry communications director.

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in
Washington, D.C. It is also home to both the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism. The mission of CFI is to foster a
secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. CFI’s web address is www.centerforinquiry.net.

 

The National Secular Society has expressed concern that a school linked to a controversial Pentecostal Nigerian ‘witch hunter’ pastor is set to open in England.

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Non-religious parents in St Albans have been told by the local authority that the only state education they can offer their children is at a faith school.

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The Labour Party has revised its recently-adopted equality statement to cover non-religious people, having previously only referred to ‘religion’.

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Former MEP and NSS honorary associate Michael Cashman has been appointed to the House of Lords as a Labour peer.

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The Equality and Human Rights Commission has launched a major call for evidence from individuals and organisations about how their religion or belief may have affected their experiences in the workplace and in using the services and facilities they nee…

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The National Secular Society has called on the Home Secretary to deny a controversial Pentecostal Nigerian ‘witch hunter’ pastor entry into the UK.

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A Christian lobby group is threatening the Government with a judicial review over its plans to introduce new standards for independent schools aimed at reinforcing equality and fundamental values.

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Cause & Effect is the biweekly newsletter of the Center for Inquiry community, covering the wide range of work that you help make possible.

 

The Main Events


10501941_10152300429745698_7740230697732906042_n.jpgFour Days of Enlightenment at the CFI Leadership Conference: “Reason for Change”

The 2014 CFI Leadership Conference wrapped up last weekend, and it was the kind of event where the connections formed and the skills learned exceeded expectations. Student freethought leaders, community activists, and CFI branch leaders came together to workshop, train, network, and generate ideas for advancing the causes of science, reason, and secular values at the campus, local, national, and international levels. 

There were too many highlights to fully capture in this space. Some moments that did stand out, however, included a conversation with secular activists in Kenya and South Korea over an online video chat; Eric Adriaans and Sergio De Lara’s impressive presentation on a newly energized CFI–Canada; the hands-on training from experts like Desiree Schell, Michael De Dora, and Michael Cardus; the inspirational talks from James Croft, CFI president Ronald Lindsay, and Board Chair Eddie Tabash; and comedian Leighann Lord’s unique and hilarious wit. 

And there was so much more (including ice cream). Definitely check out the photos from Brian Engler and Monica Harmsen (parts one and two). It was a weekend that left all who attended with a trove of skills, strategies, and best of all, optimism for bringing about a new wave of positive change. We can’t wait for next year.

 


Closer170.jpgMichael De Dora Elected President of UN NGO Committee

Last week we proudly announced that CFI Director of Public Policy Michael De Dora, our main representative to the United Nations, has been elected to a two-year term as president of the UN’s NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, which is dedicated to defending and promoting the international agreements that protect the rights to freedom of religion or belief. Michael has big plans for the coming months, in which he intends to hold events with key UN figures and bolster the Committee members’ capacity to communicate and effect change. We are biased, of course, but we think Michael was the perfect choice, for as he’s said himself, “The rights to freedom of religion and belief are not only central to CFI’s mission, they are foundational for a flourishing global civilization.” 

 


2013__Uganda__Kato_Mukasa_speaking.jpgUgandan Humanist Organization Is Robbed, But You Can Help

The global secular community was recently taken aback when we learned that the offices of Uganda’s Humanist Association for Leadership, Equity, and Accountability (HALEA) had been violently robbed, with security guards beaten and almost everything of value stolen. In response, we’ve activated our Skeptics and Humanists Aid and Relief Effort (SHARE) program to raise funds to help them recover. As CFI’s director of international programs, Bill Cooke, wrote in a letter, HALEA has been doing “tremendous, inspiring work with unemployed, pregnant, and other at-risk teenagers in the poorest districts of the city, where crime, violence and superstition play a poisonous role in destroying their already slim chances of fending for themselves.” We can’t let this key friend and ally down. Find out how you can help support them here. 

 


wedding-rings.jpgSecular Celebrants Now Free to Solemnize Marriages in Indiana 

Last month, history was made as the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the state of Indiana could not bar Secular Celebrants from solemnizing marriages and rejected the idea that Indiana’s nonreligious should hypocritically declare themselves part of a makeshift “religion”to skirt the law. It was a milestone victory for secular Americans, and this week we learned that the state would not try to delay the decision, meaning that Secular Celebrant marriages could begin. (The state could still decide to request an appeal, and we hope they do not.) As Reba Boyd Wooden, director of CFI’s Secular Celebrant program said, “We’re delighted to have the equal status of the nonreligious recognized and finally made official in Indiana. Our Secular Celebrants stand ready to accommodate any couple—religious or nonreligious—who desire a secular ceremony, whether it be a private solemnization or a large wedding in front of family and friends.”

 

News from HQ and the CFI Community


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Our Big Summer Events are Happening Now!

Camp Inquiry, CFI’s weeklong summer camp for young freethinkers, is going on right now in Holland, New York, with this year’s theme, “CI is DIY.” With guidance from some of the best counselors in the business, the kids are learning the creative and critical thinking skills they’ll need when it’s their turn to run the world. Find out more by visiting CampInquiry.org

On the other side of the country, the skeptically inclined are gathered in Eugene, Oregon, for the 2014 Skeptic’s Toolbox, where they’re sharpening their investigative and critical thinking skills. This year’s event is centered on using model cases to better deal with dubious claims, with sessions taught by experts like Ray Hyman, James Alcock, Harriet Hall, Lindsay Beyerstein, and Loren Pankratz

There’s still time to sign up for part of next weekend’s conference in Amherst, New York, Robert Green Ingersoll and the Reform Imperative. While the second day’s motor coach tour is sold out, you can still come for the first day of lectures and presentations, which includes a special keynote address on secularist pioneer Matilda Joslyn Gage by Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner.

With Camp Inquiry and the Skeptic’s Toolbox happening at the same time this year, followed so quickly by the Ingersoll Conference, we expect average U.S. freethinking quotient to jump a few points by next week.

Don’t forget to SAVE THE DATE for CFI’s 2015 National Conference! Mark June 11–14, 2015, on your calendars—it’s time to come home. Join us in Amherst, New York, next summer for our biggest conference of the year, a reunion of skeptics, seculars, humanists, and atheists, all coming together where it all began—the headquarters of the CFI family of organizations, where Free Inquiry and Skeptical Inquirer were launched thirty-five and (almost) forty years ago. Stay tuned for more details.

 


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CFI Backs Bill Providing Contraceptive Coverage for Women in the Military

At the end of July, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire introduced the Access to Contraception for Women Servicemembers and Dependents Act of 2014, which would provide for comprehensive contraceptive coverage and family planning counseling for all U.S. servicemembers, as well as their dependents, who rely on the military for health care. We’ve joined a coalition of thirty-six groups that includes the ACLU, Catholics for Choice, and Planned Parenthood in supporting this bill, which already has sixteen cosponsors in the Senate. We and our partners have sent a letter to Sen. Shaheen expressing our support, noting that the bill would “ensure that confidential, comprehensive, and medically accurate family-planning counseling becomes a guaranteed health service for servicewomen, and is offered by medical providers that have the most up-to-date, evidenced-based information regarding the full range of contraceptive methods available.” Read the full letter here.

 


Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 11.04.03 AM.pngAnimal Madness and Understanding Risk on Point of Inquiry

On CFI’s flagship podcast Point of Inquiry, Lindsay Beyerstein explores the strange, still misunderstood world of mental illness in animals with TED fellow Laurel Braitman, author of Animal Madness: How Anxious Dogs, Compulsive Parrots, and Elephants in Recovery Help Us Understand Ourselves. It’s a fascinating discussion that challenges much of what we assume about the inner lives of non-human creatures. 

After so much recent bad news regarding tragic airline disasters, how does it change the way the public understands what is and isn’t “safe”? Josh Zepps is joined by David Ropeik, an international consultant and expert on the subject of risk perception and communication, to talk about how mathematical probabilities clash with our emotions and perceptions.

 

CFI in the Media


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●   At Huffington Post, Ron Lindsay relates his impressions of the Qur’an, calling it a “defensive” work in which “the text exudes insecurity masked with bravado” and compares its sanctioning of violence to that of the Bible.

●   Brian Pellot at Religion News Service previews the World Humanist Congress, and says, “Some of the greatest advocates for these rights I’ve met in the past year have been non-religious groups, a good example being the Center for Inquiry.

●   Foster’s Daily Democrat notes CFI’s criticism of the FDA and the FDA’s failure to stop the dangerous and baseless cancer treatments of Stanislaw Burzynski

●   ThinkProgress touts our Keep Health Care Safe and Secular campaign in a widely read piece on the Satanic Temple and its “religious exemption” gambit against abortion restrictions.   

●   Shahla Khan Salter of Universalist Muslims at Huffington Post calls upon Canada’s Prime Minister to do more for children in war-torn areas like Syria and Gaza and gives a nod to CFI for our human rights work.

●   At Religion News Service, Sarah Jones argues for atheist solidarity with the Muslim groups being targeted by the NYPD’s surveillance operations and cites CFI as one of the groups doing the right thing.

 

Highlights from CFI on the Web


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●  Thanks to the hard work of Protect Portland Children, CFI–Portland (Oregon), and many other local activists, the aggressively evangelical “Good News Club” is now in a critical spotlight for coming to Portland to systematically target school children for religious indoctrination. Just in time, CFI’s Center Stage podcast features a presentation from last year’s CFI Summit by Katherine Stewart on this very subject, including how the “Good News Club” sneaks its way into public schools.

●   David Koepsell, director of CFI’s educational programs, gives us two new articles at the Free Thinking blog: one defending open access to scientific literature in the wake of the arrest of a Colombian student; the other a meditation on “finding ourselves to be an accident of physics” and how humanism helps us create meaning.

●  Let it never be said that Carrie Poppy does not suffer for her art, as she does here with a month of oil pulling (or as she puts it “oral torture”) to see if it “transforms her health.”

●  Bob Blaskiewicz at Skeptical Inquirer looks into the originator of an odd Matrix-based meme alleging that the Jews of Israel are “false Jews,” someone who “embarked on a fourth career as a New Age guru who claims that the world is controlled by capitalist reptilian bloodlines.”

●  Tom Flynn is baffled by New York Times columnist Tom Friedman and his apparently recent discovery of religion’s role in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. “The seemingly-perpetual crisis in the Middle East has been a religious conflict … since its beginnings. And all three Abrahamic faiths bear guilt, in my view.” 

●  Kitty Mervine at Skeptical Briefs recounts the strange legal conflict between an alleged UFO abductee and Carl Sagan over depictions in the original Cosmos.

●  LaRae Meadows reports back from the SkeptiCal conference with new lessons learned, including one on how we behave to those we disagree with: “Being a rude, obnoxious jerk simply to bolster one’s own ego does not further debate or discussion, and it is not an expression of superiority.”

●  Leo Igwe gives a very positive review to the book 50 Popular Beliefs That People Think Are True for Skeptical Inquirer.

●  Ben Radford looks into the real-life history of psychics and spiritualists as portrayed in the film Magic in the Moonlight and finds that the filmmakers have indeed done their homework.

And of course, you can keep up with news relevant to skeptics and seculars every weekday with The Morning Heresy.

 

Upcoming CFI Events


August 10:

     •  CFI Legal Director Nick Little will speak to CFI–DC about the ugly repercussions of the Hobby Lobby decision and its roots in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

     •  Rob Boston of Americans United for Separation of Church and State visits CFI–Los Angeles to talk about how the concept of religious liberty is being distorted by the religious right.

August 11:

     •  Astronomy professor and humorist Norm Sperling speaks to CFI–Indiana. 

August 13:

     •  Law professor Daniel Ray joins CFI–Michigan in Grand Rapids to give an overview of the major Supreme Court developments over the past year. 

August 17:

     •  Greta Christina comes to CFI–Orange County to talk about the importance of “coming out atheist.” 

August 23:

     •  CFI–Michigan holds a service day, doing maintenance work at the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding in Rockford.

August 27:

     •  Henry Pollack, professor of geophysics, delivers a presentation to CFI–Michigan on “Ice, Water, and Climate.”

 

Thank you!


Everything we do at CFI is made possible by you and your support. Let’s keep working together for science, reason, and secular values.  Donate today!


I Support Reason, Science, and Freedom of InquiryFortnightly updates not enough? Of course they’re not.

       •  Follow CFI on Twitter.

       •  Like us on Facebook

       •  Encircle us on Google+

       •  Subscribe to us on YouTube.

 


Cause & Effect: The Center for Inquiry Newsletter
is edited by Paul Fidalgo, Center for Inquiry communications director.

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in
Washington, D.C. It is also home to both the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism. The mission of CFI is to foster a
secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. CFI’s web address is www.centerforinquiry.net.

 

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Our humanist allies in Uganda badly need your
help after a cruel and violent robbery left them with almost nothing.

The Humanist
Association for Leadership, Equity, and Accountability (HALEA)
, based
in the slums of Kamapala, Uganda’s capital, has for six years SHARE Uganda HALEAbeen doing
tremendous, inspiring work with unemployed, pregnant, and other at-risk
teenagers in the poorest districts of the city, where crime, violence and
superstition play a poisonous role in destroying their already slim chances of
fending for themselves. CFI’s Uganda branch has been working closely with them.

Late last month four men
approached HALEA’s headquarters in a large car demanding access to the group’s
offices. When the security guard refused them entry, they uprooted the HALEA
sign and threw it into their neighboring office’s front yard. A few days later, they forced their way in, beat the security
guard unconscious, and ransacked the place.
 All of HALEA’s computers, cameras,
phones, printers, microphones, power cords, DVD players, and some CDs were
taken. They also took their entire cash reserve of US$1,425; money that had
been carefully marshaled over many years, helped by, among others, CFI.

Image-CFI-Share-Donate-Button.jpg

As a result of this heinous
burglary HALEA needs $7,000 to re-establish its work in the
slums of Kampala. CFI has activated SHARE, the Skeptics and Humanists
Aid and Relief Effort,
 to address this tragedy. Please donate as
generously as you are able so we can make up for six years of lost progress and
get HALEA back to work. It’s difficult for me to imagine a secular and humanist
organization more worthy of your support than HALEA. They were making real and
measurable progress before this horrible crime. All money collected up to $10,000 will be given directly to HALEA. Anything over that amount will be set aside for CFI–International so they can continue promoting science, reason, and secular values world-wide.

SHARE Uganda HALEASHARE 
is a project of CFI that collects money for
disaster relief efforts without the intermediary of a religious organization.
The money collected through SHARE goes directly to secular relief efforts in
afflicted areas. By donating to SHARE, you can pool your resources with other
like-minded individuals who wish to effect real change in the world. You are
also showing that it is possible to be good without god.

In many parts of the world, we need to do much
more than just debate religious believers and show that you can be good without
god. Religion is still costing people their lives and livelihoods if they don’t
believe the “right” way. CFI International has
been hard at work to remedy this situation and broaden our real impact on the
ground. One way to increase that impact is to lend a hand today to our friends
at HALEA.


Image-CFI-Share-Donate-Button.jpg
All money collected up to $10,000 through
this SHARE campaign will be given directly to HALEA so they can continue their
important work. Together we can make a difference. Thank you for
your support.

Sincerely yours,

Bill Cooke Signature.jpg

 

 


Bill Cooke
Director of International Programs
Center for Inquiry

 

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