Recent Events (2016)

Our current calendar of events is on our home page and in our newsletter.

When What
Monday, August 27th
7:00 PM

Dinner & Discussion: The Overton Window

Conservative pundits like the concept. Glenn Beck even wrote a novel based on it and named after it. It’s not a new or partisan idea, though. Notice the last quote in its Wikipedia article https://tinyurl.com/o5mrmqm is from Frederick Douglass. You’ve never heard of it until recently only because someone finally gave it a name. So here are a couple of articles that should help you get a sense of it. From 2016: https://tinyurl.com/y7fb2c7t and from 2018: https://tinyurl.com/yclubd8o

Do you think this is only a political phenomenon, and can you think of some non-political examples?

Sunday, August 26th
3:30 PM to 5:30 PM

August board and standing committee meetings

All members are welcome to attend.

Monday, August 20th
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Monthly Meeting: Humanism in the Age of Trump

Connecticut attorney and humanist activist Dan Blinn will talk about how humanism can operate in the era of President Donald Trump at our monthly meeting on August 20 at 7:00 PM. at 700 Hartford Turnpike in Hamden.

Dan’s presentation will focus on what it means to be a humanist in America when so many of the administration's values are antithetical to humanist values; how humanists can find common ground and mutual respect when interacting with Trump supporters; and how humanists can find purpose and fulfillment in the face of Trumpism.

Dan Blinn is a humanist organizer, activist, and speaker. He is the founding president of Hartford Area Humanists and one of the founding co-chairs of the Connecticut Coalition of Reason, of which HAC is also a charter member organization. Dan was recently recognized by the American Humanist Association for his work as a humanist activist and organizer when he was presented with the AHA’s President’s Award at the Annual AHA Conference in May in Las Vegas. A graduate of the Humanist Institute, Blinn is also an attorney who handles consumer protection matters on behalf of consumers.

Saturday, August 18th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: “Lab Girl”

Our book for August is “Lab Girl” by geobiologist Hope Jahren. The discussion will take place Saturday, August 18, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. in the library at 700 Hartford Turnpike, Hamden.

  • “Engrossing. . . . Thrilling. . . . Does for botany what Oliver Sacks’s essays did for neurology, what Stephen Jay Gould’s writings did for paleontology.” – The New York Times
  • Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography.
  • Named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People”
  • An Amazon Top 20 Best Book of 2016
  • A Washington Post Best Memoir of 2016
  • A TIME and Entertainment Weekly Best Book of 2016

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

Monday, August 6th
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, August 4th
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: The Chain

Steve says "The seven deadly sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins, is a classification of vices (part of Christian ethics) that has been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct Christians concerning fallen humanity’s tendency to sin. In the currently recognized version, the sins are usually given as wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. In the late twentieth century, this story by the late British Dramatist, Jack Rosenthal, puts a unique twist on this ancient concept as we follow seven people, each guilty of a capital sin as they move house, and unwittingly interact with one another. Humorous and touching, it exposes the weaknesses and bonds that tie humans together. In the fashion of “La Ronde”, you will be drawn in as well."

(Rosenthal was the author of "Interview Day", which we watched in 2015.)

Monday, July 23rd
7:00 PM

Dinner & Discussion: What Do You Mean by Spiritual?

“Yale scientists have identified a possible neurobiological home for the spiritual experience — the sense of connection to something greater than oneself,” begins this Yale News article reporting on a paper published in the May 29th issue of the journal Cerebral Cortex . A more thorough reporting of the paper can be found at Quartz . What the paper made clear was that what one calls a “spiritual experience” is unique to each person. Contrast that with Pew Research defining the term by reading their questions under the heading “Spiritual concepts embraced by some, rejected by others in Western Europe” in this article. If you google the dictionary definition of spiritual you will find five entries at Merriam-Webster and a full dozen at dictionary.com.

So how do you handle the word “spiritual?” Do you use the term? Do you feel you’re understood when you do? Can you define what you mean when you use it?

We will discuss this at our next discussion dinner at the Wood ‘n’ Tap at 2100 Dixwell Avenue in Hamden. Link to map of the Hamden Wood 'N Tap restaurant location

Sunday, July 22nd
3:30 PM to 5:30 PM

July board and standing committee meetings

All members are welcome to attend.

Saturday, July 21st
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: “Lincoln in the Bardo”

Our book for July was the novel “Lincoln in the Bardo” by George Saunders. We held the meeting outside at USNH.

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

Monday, July 16th
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Monthly Meeting: Connecticut's Healthcare Advocate

The featured speaker at our monthly meeting will be Ted Doolittle, Connecticut's Healthcare Advocate. Ted will tell us about the work of the Office of the Healthcare Advocate (OHA).

A graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law (J.D.) and Harvard University (A.B.), Ted’s career has spanned healthcare, legal practice and law enforcement. He’s been a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Assistant Attorney General for the State of Connecticut, Associate General Counsel in the Legal & Regulatory Affairs Department at UnitedHealthcare, and more recently was Deputy Director of the Center for Program Integrity at Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service.

As Connecticut’s healthcare Advocate, Ted oversees a team of specialists who provide free assistance to Connecticut Healthcare consumers with plan selection, education, enforcement of healthcare rights, and improving healthcare access. OHA helps educate employers, healthcare providers, and others about the procedures and regulations of managed care. OHA also works with the Connecticut and National legislatures to improve access to the healthcare system.

If you’ve ever had (or known someone who has had) any kind of problem getting or using healthcare, you’ll wish you had known about this sooner.

We will start with half an hour of coffee and conversation at 7:00 PM followed by this timely and informative talk at 7:30 PM. Please bring anyone you think may benefit from learning about this!

Saturday, July 7th
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: The Sweetest Sounds

The evolution of the creative mind and the understanding of the human predicament is the focus of this biography of one of America's great composers, Richard Rodgers. From his schooldays at Columbia University, to his extended relationships with two brilliant lyricists, Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein, Rodgers plumbed the mind in innumerable ways and created musical plays for The Broadway Theater that still have a lasting impact today. Join us for this enlightening film, most appropriate for the current holiday.

We’ll watch a documentary and discuss the life and works of Richard Rodgers at 2:30 PM on Saturday, July 7, at 700 Hartford Turnpike in Hamden.

(You may recall we watched a film on Oscar Hammerstein in February of 2017. This presentation will give us the rest of the story of the Rodgers and Hammerstein duo.)

Monday, July 2nd
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.
Monday, June 25th
7:00 PM

Dinner & Discussion: Should HAC Join the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marjuana?

We have been invited to join the Connecticut Coalition to Regulate Marijuana (https://www.regulatect.org). Is this something that the Humanist Association of Connecticut should consider? At least read the “about” section of their website, which explains their mission and lists current coalition members. Should HAC join or endorse the coalition? We will discuss this invitation at our next discussion dinner at the Wood ‘n’ Tap at 2100 Dixwell Avenue in Hamden. Link to map of the Hamden Wood 'N Tap restaurant location

Sunday, June 24th
3:30 PM to 5:30 PM

June board and standing committee meetings

All members are welcome to attend.

Saturday, June 23rd
4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Annual Picnic at Gayle & Gordon's Home

.Join us for our Annual Picnic on Saturday, June 23th, from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the lovely home of Gayle Walter and Gordon Daniell in New Haven. The picnic will be held rain or shine.

Gayle and Gordon will provide hot dogs and veggie burgers. Please bring a side dish or dessert to share! More details are in the June newsletter.

Saturday, June 16th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: “One Nation Under God”

Our book for June is “One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America” by historian Kevin M. Kruse.

From the cover: “We’re often told that the United States is, was, and always has been a Christian nation. But in ‘One Nation Under God,’ historian Kevin M. Kruse reveals that the idea of ‘Christian America’ is an invention—and a relatively recent one at that.

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

Monday, June 4th
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, June 2nd
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: The Triangle Fire

In March, 1911, one hundred-forty six textile workers died in a massive fire as a result of negligence on the part of the factory owners and managers. The events of 1911 are worth considering in light of rollbacks of worker protections and other current shenanigans.

We’ll watch a documentary and discuss The Triangle Fire at 2:30 PM on Saturday, June 2, at 700 Hartford Turnpike in Hamden.

Monday, May 28th
7:00 PM

Dinner & Discussion: Should HAC Take the Pro-Truth Pledge?

You may recall that our March monthly meeting was a presentation on the Pro-Truth Pledge by Dr. Gleb Tsipursky. Should the Humanist Association of Connecticut sign the pledge as an organization? What would it mean to our organization? Please review what the pledge is all about at https://www.protruthpledge.org/. The menu item “public figures” includes organizations that have signed the pledge. The blog page even includes links to YouTube videos of elected officials taking the pledge! We will discuss this option at our next discussion dinner at 7:00 PM on May 28 at the Wood ‘n’ Tap at 2100 Dixwell Avenue in Hamden. Link to map of the Hamden Wood 'N Tap restaurant location

Sunday, May 27th
3:30 PM to 5:30 PM

May board and standing committee meetings

All members are welcome to attend.

Monday, May 21st
7:00 PM

Monthly Meeting: Ken Feder - Strange Archaeology: A Field Guide to Some of the Oddest Archaeological Sites in North America

Ken Feder, Ph.D. returns with a talk entitled “Strange Archaeology: A Field Guide to Some of the Oddest Archaeological Sites in North America.”

Did the ancient people of Utah live among dinosaurs and did they depict them in their rock art? Did some of those same ancient people encounter visitors from other planets, painting images of those extraterrestrials on canyon walls in the American Southwest? Have archaeologists discovered evidence of the presence of wandering Jews in ancient America, explorers who left their mark by engraving the Ten Commandments in Hebrew on rocks in New Mexico? And Ohio? And Tennessee? Finally, have archaeologists discovered the existence of the far western outpost of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, not in Africa, but in Guadalupe, California? If you’ve been paying attention to Ken Feder’s many lectures to the Humanist Association of Connecticut, you’ve already guessed that the answers to all of these questions is a resounding “No!” Join him as he provides a preview of some of the extraordinary claims about American antiquity that he explores in his upcoming book, Strange Archaeology: A Field Guide to Forty of the Oddest Sites and Claims in North America.

Ken is a professor of Archaeology at Central Connecticut State University, author of seven books and the co-author of another. He has been on BBC’s Horizon and Nationl Geographic’s Is It Real?

We will start with half an hour of coffee and conversation at 7:00 PM Followed by our main presentation after brief announcements at 7:30 PM.

Monday, May 7th
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, May 5th
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: Virginia Lee Burton; A Sense of Place

Born in 1909, Virginia Lee Burton was a leading author of children’s literature and understood how to invoke the curiosity in young minds with the goal of making learning an inherent component of their adult lives. Her books and illustrations are classics of children’s literature. A staunch feminist, she was the founder of The Folly Cove Designers in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the work of which is on display at MFA in Boston, and the Metropolitan in NY.
Sunday, April 29th
1:00 PM

Connecticut Food Bank Walk Against Hunger

We walked in the Connecticut Food Bank Walk Against Hunger at Lighthouse Point Park in New Haven. Registration started at 1 PM with the walk at 2 PM. It was a longer walk than last year.

Thursday, April 26th
6:00 PM

Dining Out for Life

We dinied at Caffe Bravo, 794 Orange Street, New Haven in aid of AIDS Project New Haven.

Monday, April 23rd
7:00 PM

Dinner & Discussion: Bitcoin/Blockchain/So What?

Blockchain is the new technology that makes Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies possible. But did you know that blockchain has the potential to be as revolutionary as double-entry bookkeeping? Find out why in this article from MIT’s Technology Review (www.technologyreview.com/s/610781/in-blockchain-we-trust), and bring your dreams about the future blockchain could make possible to dinner at the Wood-n-Tap at 2100 Dixwell Avenue in Hamden. Link to map of the Hamden Wood 'N Tap restaurant location

Sunday, April 22nd
3:30 PM to 5:30 PM

April board and standing committee meetings

All members are welcome to attend. This meeting will also be held at the new, later, time slot.

Monday, April 16th
7:00 PM

29th Anniversary Meeting: Connecticut Food Bank

In May, 2009, the Humanist Association of Connecticut fielded its first team for the Connecticut Food Bank’s Walk Against Hunger. We’ve participated almost every year since then, including this year. But have you ever wondered how this walk fits into the big picture of addressing hunger in Connecticut?

Bring a dish to our potluck Anniversary Meeting on Monday, April 16, when we welcome Mia Freedenfeld, the Special Events Manager for the Connecticut Food Bank. We’ll find out the reality of who’s hungry in Connecticut today, what resources are available to help hungry people, and how the Connecticut Food Bank fits into the mix of resources. We’ll learn how the walk helps, and how we can help beyond the walk.

Mia joined the Connecticut Food Bank in February of 2017, just in time to take over planning for last year’s walk. She has been involved in events for the not-for-profit world for thirteen years and especially enjoys being able to engage the community in the mission of the food bank.

Our anniversary meeting is a potluck, so please bring a dish to share, and remember we’ll have anniversary cake! We’re planning on giving the night’s collection to the Connecticut Food Bank, but Mia has agreed to bring a collection box, so if you remember, please bring a non-perishable food item.

We will start with a potluck dinner at 7:00 PM. The main presentation will follow brief announcements at 7:30 PM.

Saturday, April 14th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: “The Blithedale Romance”

Our book for April is “The Blithedale Romance” by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Note: The April Book Discussion will occur on the 2nd Saturday, April 14, instead of the 21st.

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

Saturday, April 7th
2:00 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: The Gilded Age

With the rise of industrialization in the years after the Civil War, America began to see the rise of two classes, the haves and the have nots. As today, the distribution of wealth and opportunity tilted unevenly toward the very rich as government became the handmaiden of the upper classes. Today we see history repeating itself, and we must consider the outlook for the future, and what remedies are at hand.

Note the earlier start time due to the length of the documentary.

Monday, April 2nd
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.
Monday, March 26th
7:00 PM

Dinner & Discussion: Feeling Foolish

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” - Richard P. Feynman

According to the justice Department, only 15 percent of fraud victims report the crimes to law enforcement. There are all kinds of frauds people fall for, and not all are considered crimes. Here are a couple of stories from The Atlantic: one about romantic fraud and one about people in a cult, including the cult leader.

People who realize they've been victims of frauds often don't report the fraud because they recognize they were fooling themselves and thus feel partially responsible for their victimization. Here are explanations of four common ways people fool themselves.

Can you think of some times you’ve been fooled, you’ve fooled yourself, or you’ve seen others fooled? Come and talk this over with your friends on Monday, March 26 at the Wood-n-Tap at 2100 Dixwell Avenue in Hamden at 7:00 PM. Link to map of the Hamden Wood 'N Tap restaurant location

Sunday, March 25th
3:30 PM to 5:30 PM

March board and standing committee meetings

All members are welcome to attend. This meeting will also be held at the new, later, time slot.

Monday, March 19th
7:00 PM

Monthly Meeting: The Pro-Truth Pledge

Are you concerned with the rising tide of fake news and alternative facts in our public discourse? What if you had the power to do something about it? Join us on Monday, March 19, because our speaker, Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, knows exactly how you can help orient the world toward truthfulness.

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is passionate about promoting truth-oriented behavior, rational thinking, and wise decision-making in public discourse. He researches these topics as a professor at Ohio State University, and serves as the President of Intentional Insights, a nonprofit devoted to popularizing these topics. Its main current focus is the Pro-Truth Pledge, , a project that aims to reverse the tide of lies and promote truth in public discourse through combining behavioral science and crowd-sourcing. He has authored a number of books, most notably “The Truth Seeker’s Handbook: A Science-Based Guide” and “Find Your Purpose Using Science,” and has a new book forthcoming in 2018, “The Alternative to Alternative Facts: Fighting Post-Truth Politics with Behavioral Science.” Pieces by him regularly come out in prominent venues such as Time, Scientific American, Psychology Today, Salon, Truthout, The Huffington Post and reason-oriented venues such as The Humanist, Skeptical Inquirer, Free Inquiry, American Atheist Magazine, and Patheos. He has appeared as a guest on network TV, including affiliates of Fox and ABC, and radio stations such as NPR, WBAI (New York City), KGO (San Francisco), and 700WLW (Cincinnati), as well as reason-oriented podcasts, such as Ra-Men Podcast, The Scathing Atheist, Serious Inquiries Only, and The Humanist Hour.

We will start with half an hour of coffee and conversation at 7:00 PM. The main presentation will follow brief announcements at 7:30 PM.

Saturday, March 17th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: “Margaret Fuller: A New American Life”

Our book for March is “Margaret Fuller: A New American Life” by Pulitzer Prize winning biographer Megan Marshall.

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

Monday, March 5th
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, March 3rd
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: Typhoid Mary, Personal Liberty versus Public Welfare

At the turn of the twentieth century an Irish immigrant found to be a carrier of typhoid fever was unwittingly spreading the disease in New York City. The issue of public health safety rose to the forefront and resulted in the protracted isolation of Mary Mallon. This documentary deals with the issues resulting from this problem. There will be time for what promises to be a lively discussion.
Monday, February 26th
7:00 PM

Dinner & Discussion: What is Treason Anyhow?

If you search for the term "treason" on google, you can find out who was accusing President Obama of treason in 2005 as easily as you can find the last time President Trump used the term (and then claimed it was a joke). It's one of those terms that gets used too frequently and possibly without full knowledge of its meaning.

Treason is addressed in the Constitution as well as in a law. Here are three readings of commentary to explain the American legal application of the official charge of treason.

The one with no irritating advertisements is from The Heritage Foundation. Legal Dictionary has a very informative discussion:. Thefreedictionary.com also has a nice explanation.

Does the law on treason seem too strict or too broad? Does it matter that the legal definition departs from popular understanding of the term? Is it important to do something about it, and if so, do you have any ideas about what we might be able to do about it?

Come and talk this over with your friends on Monday, February 26 at the Wood-n-Tap at 2100 Dixwell Avenue in Hamden at 7:00 PM. Link to map of the Hamden Wood 'N Tap restaurant location

Sunday, February 25th
3:30 PM to 5:30 PM

February board and standing committee meetings

All members are welcome to attend. This meeting will also be held at the new, later, time slot.

Monday, February 19th
7:00 PM

Monthly Meeting: Darwin Day is YUGE! Believe me!

Darwin Day is celebrated around the world on or near February 12 every year. It is a celebration of science and reason. Yet it is ignored, and even scoffed at, by many. In his talk entitled “Darwin Day is YUGE! Believe me!” Pat McCann will explore Darwin, evolution, and why humanists participate in celebrating Darwin Day.

Pat McCann has been an atheist and practicing humanist for 40 years but officially discovered humanism only 10 years ago. He began his activism for the secular community of Connecticut in 2012 after attending the first Reason Rally. Pat is a past President of the Hartford Area Humanists, chair of the Secular Coalition for Connecticut, and a past co-chair of the Connecticut Coalition of Reason.

Pat earned a BS in Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University, an MS in Molecular Biology from Rutgers University, and an MBA in Marketing from UConn. He holds a 3rd degree black belt in Washin-ryu Karate-do.

Saturday, February 17th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: “The Righteous Mind”

Our book for February was “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion” by social psychologist Jonathan Haidt.

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

Monday, February 5th
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, February 3rd
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: Sacred Cod

We will watch and discuss a recent documentary, "Sacred Cod", on the death of the New England cod fishery.
Sunday, January 21st
3:30 PM to 5:30 PM

January board and standing committee meetings

This meeting was held later than usual to let participants do more with their Sunday afternoon. This was the start of another experiment to find the best time to hold the board meeting.

Saturday, January 20th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: “The Machine Stops” & “A Story of the Days to Come”

Instead of a book for January, we read two early science fiction short stories, “The Machine Stops” by E.M. Forster & “A Story of the Days to Come” by H.G. Wells.

Copies of the stories are widely available in anthologies in public libraries in Connecticut, and at local and online booksellers. They are also available online as they are out of copyright.

Monday, January 15th
7:00 PM

Monthly Meeting: Travels in Northern Germany and the Czech Republic

Our program was our traditional January travelogue from Steve & Susan Boshi, this time covering their trip to Northern Germany and the Czech Republic

Steve said “The cities of Berlin and Dresden, bombed to smithereens during the Second World War Seventy years ago, have risen from the ashes, and are vibrant and beautiful destinations. Prague, the lovely medieval capital of The Czech Republic, escaped, largely unscathed, and continues to flourish. We will explore the highlights of these places along with some time in Karlovy Vary ( Karlsbad) a spa town on the German-Czech border, and Gorlitz, on the Polish-German border, a perfectly preserved location which served as the filming location for the 2014 film, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”.”

Saturday, January 6th
POSTPONED

Humanist Explorations: Sacred Cod

Our January Humanist Explorations meeting was cancelled as extreme cold was forecast.
Monday, January 1st
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.
Monday, December 25th
4:00 PM

Dinner at the Kennedys' home in Shelton

See the newsletter for more details.

Monday, December 18th
7:00 PM

Annual Meeting, Elections, and Solstice Party

The evening started at 7:00 PM. with an optional pot-luck dinner. Around 7:45 PM we held our annual business meetinged and elect officers for 2018. Following the business meeting we held our winter solstice party, starting with our traditional reading of "To the Tilt," with Tom Platt rising to the occasion. Violinist Linda Beers performed music from her animated film. Mickey Koth and friends also played during dinner and during the party.

Saturday, December 16th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: “Sapiens”

Our book for December was “Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari.

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

Monday, December 4th
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, December 9th
POSTPONED

Humanist Explorations: Sacred Cod

Our December Humanist Explorations meeting was cancelled as a heavy snowfall was forecast.
Saturday, December 2nd
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: “Evicted”

Our book for November was “Evicted: Poverty and Property in the American City” by sociologist Matthew Desmond.

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

Our December book discussion was held two weeks later on Saturday, December 16th.

Monday, November 27th
7:00 PM

Dinner Discussion: Topic My Family’s Slave

Join us for a discussion together over dinner at Wood-n-Tap, 2100 Dixwell Avenue, Hamden Link to map of the Hamden Wood 'N Tap restaurant location.

Please RSVP on Meetup or to development@cthumanist.org

Monday, November 20th
7:00 PM

Monthly Meeting: Kathleen Green of Yale Humanist Community

Kathleen Green succeeded Chris Stedman to become the second executive director of the Yale Humanist Community in May 2017.

Kathleen Green is Executive Director of the Yale Humanist Community, a Silliman College Fellow, and a Doctorate of Ministry candidate at New York Theological Seminary in New York City. Her project and dissertation focus on collaboration between humanists and religious adherents in interfaith engagement. Kathleen is part of the faculty at Claremont Lincoln University where she teaches in the Interfaith Action Masters degree program. She is also a certified positive psychology practitioner and author of the upcoming books A Flourishing Life - Applying the Principles of Positive Psychology in Everyday Life, and Goodness Gracious, a children’s book of humanist reflections on gratitude.

The evening will start at 7:00 PM. with conversation and refreshments. The main talk will begin after brief announcements at 7:30 PM.

Sunday, November 19th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

November board and standing committee meetings

All members are welcome to attend. The meeting will be held earlier in the month than usual to avoid the Thanksgiving weekend.

Saturday, November 18th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

POSTPONED: Book Discussion Group

Due to schedule changes and prior commitments, our November book discussion has been postponed to early December.

Monday, November 6th
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, November 4th
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: A Brit’s Experience in Sheriff Joe’s Prison

British national Shaun Attwood spent from May 2002 to December 2007 in Arizona’s prison system. In 2004 his family started his blog, Jon’s Jail Journal, from stories he sent home specifically to let the outside world know what was really going on inside Joe Arpaio’s prisons. If you want to read it, you can start at the beginning here: http://jonsjailjournal.blogspot.com/2004/03/. Today he’s a speaker, author and activist. We’ll show a video of the talk he gives to schoolchildren about his experiences. Join us for this enlightening documentary.
Monday, October 23rd
7:00 PM

Dinner Discussion: Mass Shootings and Perceived Risk

Join us for a discussion together over dinner at Wood-n-Tap, 2100 Dixwell Avenue, Hamden Link to map of the Hamden Wood 'N Tap restaurant location. Following the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas, we discussed perceptions of risk.

Please RSVP on Meetup or to development@cthumanist.org

Sunday, October 22nd
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

October board and standing committee meetings

Saturday, October 21st
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: “American War: A Novel”

Our book for October was “American War: A Novel” by Omar El Akkad.

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

Monday, October 16th
7:00 PM

Monthly Meeting: Josh Elliott - Hamden's Secular Representative

This month, our guest speaker was State Representative Josh Elliott. Josh is one of the few openly secular politicians in the United States. Here is his official biography:

“Josh Elliott is serving his first term as State Representative in the Connecticut General Assembly for the 88th District, in Hamden.

Josh grew up in Connecticut and attended high school in Hamden. After graduating from Ithaca College with a B.A. in sociology, he went on to obtain his J.D. at Quinnipiac School of Law.

Josh has long been involved in local and state community efforts. Since 1995, he has volunteered his time for Guiding Eyes for the Blind and from 2015 to 2016, he was an organizer for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.

With his mom, he operates two family-run natural food stores, Thyme & Season in Hamden and The Common Bond Market in Shelton.

Elliott is currently serving as Vice Chair of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and is also on the Energy and Technology Committee, the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee and the Committee on Children.”

Saturday, October 7th
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: Humane Executions?

If a State is going to kill people, shouldn’t it do so as humanely as possible? In this 2008 BBC Horizon, former conservative MP Michael Portillo investigates the science of execution and questions why the current methods used are not the most humane possible.
Monday, October 2nd
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.
Monday, September 25th
7:00 PM

Dinner Discussion: The President's First Pardon

Join us for a discussion together over dinner at Wood-n-Tap, 2100 Dixwell Avenue, Hamden Link to map of the Hamden Wood 'N Tap restaurant location.

On September 25, 2017, President Trump granted a Presidential pardon to Joe Arpaio, former Sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. This is the first and only pardon granted by this president to date. Glenn Beck's media outlet provides a montage of outraged quotes from a list of people and reports Trump’s response that Joe Arpaio kept Arizona safe. One supporter seems to credit Arpaio's tough stance on drunk driving with scaring him sober. But there’s some question that Arpaio kept anyone safe. East Valley Tribune  writers Ryan Gabrielson and Paul Giblin won a Pulitzer Prize for their series showing Arpaio's priorities endangered public safety. Additionally, two articles in the local Phoenix New Times clearly display evidence of incompetence and bullying by Arpaio's men. Still, his tenure as elected Sheriff lasted 24 years. And finally, if you didn’t know Presidential pardons could be challenged, the Washington Post explains quite a bit.  So what do you think of all of this? Is he an old man getting flack for being good at his job? Is he a jerk who deserves a taste of his own medicine?

Please RSVP on Meetup or to development@cthumanist.org

Saturday, September 23rd
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: “Guns, Germs, and Steel”

Our book for September was “Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies” by geographer and anthropologist Jared Diamond. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth Club of California’s Gold Medal!

Note the Date: The book discussion was the 4th Saturday of the month, Sept. 23 (instead of Sept. 16).

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

Monday, September 18th
7:00 PM

Monthly Meeting: What's Next for Civil Liberties?

Join David McGuire, executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut, for a discussion about the future of civil liberties under the Trump administration and to learn more about the ways in which the ACLU of Connecticut will be working to advance liberty, justice, and equality in the Constitution State.

David J. McGuire is the executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut, a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that defends, promotes, and preserves individual rights and liberties under the U.S. and Connecticut Constitutions in the courts, at the legislature, and in the state's 169 towns and cities. David joined the ACLU of Connecticut in 2007. His primary areas of legal interest are prisoner rights, digital privacy and free speech issues. He has also taken a leading role in pressing for police accountability legislation and was instrumental in passing laws to reform police complaint procedures and police use of Tasers. McGuire received his B.A. in history from Purdue University in 2003 and graduated cum laude from Western New England College School of Law in 2006. After law school, he clerked for the judges of the Connecticut Superior Court.

Sunday, September 17th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

September board and standing committee meetings

All members are welcome to attend.

Monday, September 4th
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, September 2nd
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: More on Guns, Germs and Steel

To get you in the mood for this month’s book discusion, we will watch a presentation by Jared Diamond on “Guns, Germs and Steel.”

Monday, August 28th
7:00 PM

Dinner Discussion: Topic Is Amazon Evil?

We held a discussion together over dinner at Wood-n-Tap, 2100 Dixwell Avenue, Hamden Link to map of the Hamden Wood 'N Tap restaurant location.

What did you think when you heard that Amazon plans to acquire Whole Foods? The internet is mixed. Some are alarmed (The New York Times: “Amazon Bites Off Even More Monopoly Power”), while others are pooh-pooing that sentiment (Forbes: “Five Reasons Why ‘The Retail Apocalypse’ Is A False Scare Story”). What about reports that Amazon is so afraid of theft that it abuses its employees (Vanity Fair: “Amazon Reportedly has Scoreboards to Shame its Workers”)? Some see a more generalized monopoly problem rather than a problem specifically with Amazon (American Prospect: “Bring Back Antitrust”). But nobody can deny that Amazon is astonishingly large (Visual Capitalist: “The Extraordinary Size of Amazon in One Chart”). So what do you think? Is Amazon using its size, influence, and power for good or evil? Is an organization that large destined to be evil?

Sunday, August 27th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

August board and standing committee meetings

All members are welcome to attend.

Monday, August 21st
7:00 PM

Monthly Meeting: John Dietrich and the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis

Former HAC President and Vice-President Doug Peary was the speaker at our August monthly meeting. Doug talked about his work publishing the sermons of humanist Unitarian minister John Dietrich, and Dietrich's life, including the period spent at the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis.

We will start with half an hour of coffee and conversation at 7:00 PM. The main program will start promptly at 7:30 PM

Saturday, August 19th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: The Kingdom of Speech by Tom Wolfe

Our book for August was the recent, short, non-fiction work by Tom Wolfe, the Kingdom of Speech.

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

Monday, August 7th
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, August 5th
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: The Twelve Chairs

This story, based on the 1928 novel by Ilf and Petrov, takes us back to the years following the Russian Revolution, as the aristocracy finds itself struggling to adapt to communist governance. While a seemingly Tolstoyesque tale, the screenplay is written and directed by Mel Brooks, and will keep you in suspense, and probably hysterics, as well. As summer draws to its close, this is a great way to spend a lazy afternoon.

Monday, July 24th
7:00 PM

Dinner Discussion: The Johnson Amendment

On May 3rd, President Trump signed an executive order instructing the IRS to exercise discretion in cases related to the Johnson Amendment. In his acceptance speech for the Republican Nomination, he had vowed to repeal the Johnson Amendment. What is the Johnson Amendment? Is it good or bad from a humanist perspective? Join us to consider this together over dinner at Wood-n-Tap, 2100 Dixwell Avenue, Hamden Link to map of the Hamden Wood 'N Tap restaurant location.

Sunday, July 23rd
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

July board and standing committee meetings

Monday, July 17th
7:00 PM

Monthly Meeting: All Life Springs From a Single Cell

John Pawelek was our featured speaker with an updated version of his talk on evolution, All Life Springs from a Single Cell.

A prominent USNH member and a long-time cancer investigator at the Yale School of Medicine, John has fascinated us in the past with presentations on his work focusing on the skin cancer melanoma.

Saturday, July 15th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey

Our book for July was Riders of the Purple Sage, a classic western by Zane Grey.

Copies of the book are widely available in public libraries in Connecticut, and at local and online booksellers. It is available free online at Project Gutenberg, since it’s out of copyright. Apparently the "Restored Edition" from 2005 contains material that did not appear in the serialization and original book edition, and gives the story more depth.

Monday, July 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, July 1st
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: Coney Island

In the late nineteenth century, a barrier island off the southern Long Island coast named for the wild rabbits that inhabited the place, and famously referred to as “Sodom by the Sea,” developed into an area famous for its hotels, beaches, amusement parks, and unbridled hedonism (not to mention hot dogs). For those of us at home this weekend, join us for a trip into the past, and learn about this fascinating place in a wonderful documentary by Ric Burns.

Sunday, June 25th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

June board and standing committee meetings

Saturday, June 24th
4:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Annual Picnic at Gayle Walter's Home in New Haven

Gayle Walter kindly volunteered to once again host our annual picnic at her home in New Haven. The address was given in the newsletter. Members were asked to bring a dish to share.

The picnic replaced the June monthly meeting.

Saturday, June 17th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: White Trash: The 400-Year Old Untold History of Class in America by Nancy Isenberg

Our book for June was White Trash: The 400-Year Old Untold History of Class in America by historian Nancy Isenberg.

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

Monday, June 5th
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, June 3rd
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: Verna, USO Girl

"With Memorial Day just behind us and the anniversary of the Normandy Invasion just ahead, this is a great time for the story of a young woman whose dreams and hopes for her future take place in the last months of the Second World War. Based on a story by Paul Gallico, the screenplay by Albert Innaurato, this film illustrates how life’s choices inform the fragility and evanescence of our days."

Sunday, May 21st
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

May board and standing committee meetings

Saturday, May 20th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower by Tom Krattenmaker

Our book for May was Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower: Finding Answers in Jesus for Those Who Don’t Believe by Yale Humanist Community Board member and award-winning USA Today columnist Tom Krattenmaker..

As a special treat, Tom joined us to discuss his book!

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

Monday, May 15th
7:00 PM

Monthly Meeting: Chris Stedman's Farewell Talk

Yale Humanist Community Executive Director Chris Stedman spoke at two previous HAC monthly meetings. We enjoyed a final talk from Chris before he moved to Minneapolis to help build the Humanist Center of Minnesota.

Chris Stedman is the incoming founding Director of the Humanist Center of Minnesota and outgoing founding Director of the Yale Humanist Community. A Fellow at Yale University, Chris was previously a Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University and a content developer and trainer for Interfaith Youth Core. He currently serves as a Fellow at the Sabo Center for Democracy and Citizenship at Augsburg College.

Chris is the author of Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious, “an intimate and deeply affecting portrait… [that] proves [he is] an activist in the truest sense and one to watch” (Booklist, Starred Review). He has appeared on CNN, msnbc, PBS, and Fox News, has spoken at numerous conferences and universities, and has written for many publications including Salon, CNN, msnbc, The Advocate, USA Today, The Huffington Post, The Rumpus, and The Washington Post. Details named him one of “five next-gen gurus who are disrupting religion’s status quo” and Mic called him, “the millennial who’s busting every stereotype about atheists.” He holds a summa cum laude B.A. in Religion from Augsburg College (with minors in English and Social Welfare) and an M.A. in Religion from Meadville Lombard Theological School at the University of Chicago.

Saturday, May 6th
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: The Hermitage

Founded by a Russian Czar in the eighteenth century, this art museum in St Petersburg, Russia, is one of the world’s greatest art institutions, with a collection of over three million works. While the buildings and the art are not of Russian origin, the totality of the ensemble is, indeed, Russian. Created by the Czarist Royalty and the Soviet Commissars who overthrew them in the early twentieth century, this institution ties its great art to the colorful and often tragic history of the country. Join us for an illuminating view of this magnificent cultural institution.

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

April board and standing committee meetings

We held our board meeting one week later than normal to allow members to participate in the Walk Against Hunger.

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

Connecticut Food Bank Walk Against Hunger

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

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 was 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 was followed by a rally at 2 PM and a march (down Whitney Avenue and back up Orange Street) at 3 PM.

Monday, April 17th
7:00 PM

28th Anniversary Meeting: The American Circus, RIP

Our anniversary meeting featured 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 started with a pot-luck dinner at 7:00 PM. The main program was delayed due to various technical problems until well after 8 PM.

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 was “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 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 1st
1:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: A Face in the Crowd (1957)

We started with half an hour of conversation at 1:30 PM. The movie started at 2 PM and ended just after 4 PM. We finished 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.

Sunday, March 26th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

March board and standing committee meetings

Saturday, March 25th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Special Visit from Evan Clark of The Humanist Experience

In a special event, Evan Clark, co-host of the podcast, “The Humanist Experience,” told us about his work.

The Humanist Experience is billed as a country-trotting storytelling series produced for Foundation Beyond Belief. The creators say, “The main thrust of our work is to encourage people in the secular community to take Humanistic principles out of the realm of pure intellectualism and into action. Our primary vehicle for this is storytelling: usually stories of life-changing encounters with modern social issues, which serve as a catalyst for discussion and emotional education.”

Evan Clark is a facilitator, activist, and designer who is currently the chair of the Secular Student Alliance and has over 10 years experience creating and leading community groups for social change.

Monday, March 20th
7:00 PM

Monthly Meeting: Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower

Can nonreligious people follow Jesus? And if so, why would they want to? Emphatically yes, says Tom Krattenmaker — because it will deepen their lives and help create a more humane world. Krattenmaker, religion-in-public-life columnist and author of the new book, “Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower,” will discuss his provocative claim and show how the figure of Jesus, engaged in a secular way, is powerfully applicable to contemporary life, and how his ethic and example can transform much of what ails us both as individuals and a society.

Tom Krattenmaker is an award-winning author and USA Today contributing columnist, specializing in religion in public life, and communications director at Yale Divinity School. His books and articles have been honored by the American Academy of Religion, Religion Newswriters Association, Foreword Reviews, and others. Krattenmaker has spoken at numerous conferences and colleges around the country and has appeared in media outlets including PBS, Fox News, National Public Radio, ESPN, and the New York Times.

The HAC book discussion in May will feature Tom’s book.

Saturday, March 18th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World by Andrea Wulf

Our book for March was “The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World” by Andrea Wulf.

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

Monday, March 6th
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, March 4th
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: The Great Cathedral Mystery

Begun at the end of the thirteenth century and structurally complete by 1418, the great cathedral of Florence, Italy, needs only a dome to enclose its vast altar which spans 150 feet. The problem is that no one knows how to accomplish the task. One man, trained as a goldsmith, and not an engineer or architect, steps forward to build the great dome of Santa Maria Del Fiore. Join us to witness, and understand, this monumental achievement of the Italian Renaissance and its impact on our civilization.

Sunday, February 26th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

February board and standing committee meetings

All members are welcome to attend.

Monday, February 20th
7:00 PM

Monthly Meeting: Darwin’s Ecological Experiment

To mark Darwin Day, we learned about the bizarre story of the greening of Ascension Island, a project conceived by Darwin's closest friend, Joseph Dalton Hooker.

Saturday, February 18th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart by Bill Bishop

Our book for February was “The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart” by Bill Bishop. Mr. Bishop was a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman when he began research on city growth and political polarization with the sociologist and statistician Robert Cushing. Bill Clinton recommended the book during his solo performance at the Connecticut Forum.

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

Monday, February 6th
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, February 4th
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

Humanist Explorations: Out of My Dreams

As we begin a new year, albeit somewhat inauspiciously, we can celebrate the life and work of one of the true unsung (pardon the unintentional pun) humanists of the twentieth century, Oscar Hammerstein II. In his writing and the lyrics for a thousand songs, he touched upon the human condition in ways rarely exceeded for the sensitivity contained therein. Join us for this informative and uplifting look at one of the true optimists in all of history.

Sunday, January 29th
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

January board and standing committee meetings

All members are welcome to attend. This month's board meeting was postponed a week from the previously announced date to allow members to attend the Women's March on Washington.

Saturday, January 21st
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Book Discussion Group: The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought by Susan Jacoby

Our book for January is “The Great Agnostic: Robert Ingersoll and American Freethought” by Susan Jacoby. We had planned to discuss this in December, but postponed that discussion due to snow.

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

Monday, January 16th
7:00 PM

Monthly Meeting: A Journey in Spain

January has become the month in which we welcome Steve and Susan Boshi with a travelogue based on their travels the previous summer.

Steve says, “In 711 AD, North African Muslims, or Moors, stormed across the Mediterranean into Gibraltar, and began the domination of the Iberian Peninsula. By 1492, the reconquista had pushed them from Spain, leaving behind Catholic rule, strongly influenced by Muslim culture. Join us for an armchair voyage to this fascinating place where we will explore some of the most important destinations in Spain, including Barcelona, Toledo, Cordoba, and Granada with its magnificent Alhambra.”

We will start with half an hour of coffee and conversation at 7:00 PM. . The main program will follow brief announcements at 7:30 PM

Saturday, January 7th
2:30 PM to 4:30 PM

POSTPONED TO Saturday, February 4 due to snow

Humanist Explorations: Out of My Dreams

This meeting has been postponed until February

As we begin a new year, albeit somewhat inauspiciously, we can celebrate the life and work of one of the true unsung (pardon the unintentional pun) humanists of the twentieth century, Oscar Hammerstein II. In his writing and the lyrics for a thousand songs, he touched upon the human condition in ways rarely exceeded for the sensitivity contained therein. Join us for this informative and uplifting look at one of the true optimists in all of history.

Refreshments will be served.

Monday, January 2nd
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.

Click here to see some other events we've enjoyed over the years.