What's New?

Our April 2017 newsletter is now available for download on our newsletter page.

Be sure to sign up for our e-mail list to get advance notification of events.

Upcoming meetings (at USNH, 700 Hartford Turnpike, Hamden, Link to map of USNH location unless otherwise noted)

When What
Saturday, April 1st
1:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: A Face in the Crowd (1957)

We will start with half an hour of conversation at 1:30 PM. The movie will start promptly at 2 PM and end just after 4 PM. We will finish off with 30 minutes of discussion.

This film, released 60 years ago, about the rise and rot of a populist hero, was prescient at the time, and eerily indicative of our society now in 2017. Observing our currently elected government, it illustrates the evolution of fiction to fact. This brilliant work by Budd Schulberg, starring Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal and Walter Matthau, and directed by Elia Kazan, will test you in ways you may not have thought possible.

Refreshments will be served.

Monday, April 3rd
7:00 PM
New Haven area social dinner at Turkish Kebab House, 1157 Campbell Ave., West Haven Link to map of Turkish Kebab House restaurant location.
Saturday, April 15th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon by Daniel C. Dennett.

Our book for April is “Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon” by Daniel C. Dennett.

For all the thousands of books that have been written about religion, few until this one have attempted to examine it scientifically: to ask why—and how—it has shaped so many lives so strongly. Is religion a product of blind evolutionary instinct or rational choice? Is it truly the best way to live a moral life? Ranging through biology, history, and psychology, Daniel C. Dennett charts religion’s evolution from “wild” folk belief to “domesticated” dogma. Not an antireligious screed but an unblinking look beneath the veil of orthodoxy, Breaking the Spell will be read and debated by believers and skeptics alike.

Copies of the book are widely available in public libraries in Connecticut, and at local and online booksellers.

Monday, April 17th
7:00 PM

28th Anniversary Meeting: The American Circus, RIP

Our anniversary meeting will feature an illustrated lecture, inspired by the recent announcement of the forthcoming demise of the great Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, by Arthur H. Saxon, author of P. T. Barnum: The Legend and the Man; The Life and Art of Andrew Ducrow & The Romantic Age of the English Circus; Enter Foot and Horse: A History of Hippodrama in England and France; and numerous other works dealing with the history of the circus and its figures.

The speaker, who holds a Ph.D. in the History of the Theatre and Dramatic Criticism from Yale University, and who is a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, has been a spectator and occasional reviewer at circuses for nearly eighty years. In addition to touching on his long involvement with that entertainment, he will discuss a number of the circus’s more famous artists and owners; the so-called “Nouveau Cirque” and its best-known example, Le Cirque du Soleil; Yale’s own sometimes embarrassed association with the “big top;” besides boldly addressing the contentious topic of the influence on circuses and zoos of such animal-rights organizations as PETA and the Humane Society. The speaker may have a few copies of his ancient works for sale, and will also exhibit several choice items from his personal collection that will delight both the ladies and the gentlemen.

We will start with a pot-luck dinner at 7:00 PM. (Please bring a dish to share if you can.) The main program will follow brief announcements shortly after 7:30 PM

Saturday, April 22nd
1:00 PM onward

The March for Science, New Haven

Humanists support science. Humanist Manifesto 3, "Humanism and its Aspirations" says: "Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis. Humanists find that science is the best method for determining this knowledge as well as for solving problems and developing beneficial technologies. We also recognize the value of new departures in thought, the arts, and inner experience—each subject to analysis by critical intelligence."

The March for Science is the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments.

Building on the success of the Women's March on Washington in January, the March for Science will be held on Earth Day (Saturday April 22), 2017.

If you can, please attend the main march in Washington, DC. Failing that, please participate in one of the hundreds of satellite marches. including one in Hartford.

The New Haven march will be held at the College Woods Pavilion in East Rock Park (the old location for the Walk Against Hunger) at 1 PM.   An hour of community events will be followed by a rally at 2 PM and a march (down Whitney Avenue and back up Orange Street) at 3 PM.

Sunday, April 23rd
1:00 PM (registration)

Connecticut Food Bank Walk Against Hunger

The Walk Against Hunger will be held at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven. Register for the HAC walk team or make a donation.

Sunday, April 30th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

April board and standing committee meetings

All members are welcome to attend. We are holding our board meeting one week later than normal to allow members to participate in the Walk Against Hunger.

Notes

Dinners: If you're planning to attend one of our social dinners, please RSVP to editor@cthumanist.org, so we can give the restaurant a rough head count.

You can RSVP for the dinners and most HAC events via meetup.com.

Book Discussions: You can download a list of the book selections for July to December 2016 here.

Titles selected for our book discussions can be found in most local libraries or ordered from bookstores such as Barnes and Noble.

We're on Twitter and Facebook. HAC is a chapter of the American Humanist Association, a member of the Connecticut Coalition of Reason, and a UU Humanists local group.