Oct 212014
 

Keeping you informed on what your board members are discussing and working on for you!

BUS ADS

Almost there!  We have our artwork decided on (just a few tweaks to be made – the attached version is not the final one), we require approval from Ad Standards Canada and still need to raise a few hundred dollars more to reach our goal.  We’ll be stretching out the website address to go across the bottom, and adding the call to action: ”Join Us”.   If you want to donate (even $20 here or there will help us towards our goal) you can make a donation on the merchandise/membership page here on the website, just click on the donate button.

Bus Ad idea decided

CONFERENCE!!

We’re taking a big step next year and are pleased to announce that next year the Society of Edmonton Atheists (and perhaps some other Alberta groups or Canadian sponsors) will be hosting a conference in Red Deer in October 2015!!  This is a first for us, and we are more than excited about moving forward with such a big event.   We hope to offer panel discussions and workshops, as well as having a few ”celebrity” guest speakers come in to speak to us about issues that concern us here in Alberta and worldwide.      Mark your calendars for the weekend of October 17th and 18th, 2015!

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 11:05 AM
Oct 152014
 

Last week the PC party announced a number of new schools would be built in the province,  schools that are long overdue.  Many school boards have been asking for new schools for years, and not very many have been opened to keep up with the increasing population in Alberta.     My own school board explained that our  public schools are running at over 90% capacity (schools don’t usually go above 80% that way it leaves room for new students who move to the area).  Finally a new school was planned to start being built next year (April 2015) but by the time it’s completed it will already be full and we’ll require another new school, in fact it’s already full now (we have several schools in our area that are overcrowded, using libraries as classrooms etc etc).   This isn’t just a problem where I live, this is all over the province.

So now, let’s look at the Morinville situation.   Just a few years ago only Catholic schooling was available to the residents in Morinville while the other areas had a Protestant option as well as Catholic.  The parents in Morinville fought for their right to a secular education without having to bus their children to St. Albert, and won.  Morinville was now included in the Sturgeon School Board, which covers numerous other communities.   A public non-faith based school system was finally introduced in 2012 (prior to an actual school there were a few modulars set up to start immediate secular education), however it only goes to grade 7.  After that the children still have to go to the Catholic system (or be bussed out of town) in order to finish their schooling to grade 12.  As you can imagine, a new public school was asked for, one that could handle the growing demand for secular education in the area.

The announcement of schools last week was welcomed, with many areas getting 2 new schools for each district.  With the exception of Morinville.  Despite an obvious need for a new non-faith based public school the town instead recieved news of one new CATHOLIC school to be built.  Catholic?  Have they even been watching what’s going on there?

The Morinville Problem

If you would like to lend your support to the campaign to bring a new secular school to Morinville and hopefully get answers as to why they were overlooked, you can sign the petition to show your support.

 Posted by at 4:01 PM
Sep 302014
 

Did you know that September 30th is International Blasphemy Day?

Don’t confuse this event as some cheap excuse to legitimize insulting those of faith. It isn’t.  This is an event that marks and highlights the importance of Freedom of Though, Speech & Expression as a Fundamental Human Right – one that cannot be taken away under the guise of Religious Freedom or privilege.

Many countries around the World (including the West) have blasphemy laws. 13 countries punish blasphemy with death, still more with lashes, jail and fines. Those found guilty (included bloggers killed this week) number in the thousands.

In honor of today we are posting a cartoon that more than a billion people can’t – and one that would carry a death sentence for many.

Luke Fevin, Director for SEA

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 Posted by at 2:07 PM
Sep 222014
 

Some of us  met Brad when he came to speak to our group earlier this year, so I thought this might be of some interest… It’s a free event tomorrow evening and looks like it could be thought provoking!

Dying With Dignity

 Posted by at 11:20 PM
Sep 212014
 

Looking forward to seeing you out this evening, we do still have a few tickets left so you can purchase them for cash at the door if you don’t have yours yet.   Event starts at 7:00pm sharp!

The event will be in the Mechanical Engineering Building, Room 2-1 (room 201)

mech Eng

Facebook ad attempt 2

 Posted by at 11:25 AM
Sep 112014
 

An article appearing in the Cold Lake Sun  this week shows the President of the Islamic Society of Cold Lake being awarded a government grant of $100,000,  reporting that this money is to assist in the building of a new mosque there.    According to the goverment page regarding these grants, there is a budget of $38 million per year that goes towards projects that enhance the community.  Any groups applying must fulfill specific criteria and there is a fund-matching policy in effect (so you must have funds of your own) before being granted money via the Community Facility Enhancement Program.

Many of the first responses to this article were questions about why the government is able to fund a religious group and if this is a violation of our Charter.  It’s worth noting that Canada does not have a clear separation of church and state, our Charter only guarantees freedom OF religion.   If you’d like a more detailed explaination, check out this article explaining the differences between the US and Canada.   Ajaz Quraishi’s group were able to meet the criteria for the CFEP as they fall under the societies act, despite also being tied to a religious group.

new mosque cold lake sun

The project has been in the works for years and first hit the news in 2010 when councillors voted to allow them to purchase some land at a 90% discount, then rescinded that offer.   Eventually the society were granted 2 acres of land at market value ($130,000)  in Cold Lake and now plan to use that space to build a community center and a mosque.

Ajaz Quraishi

I spoke to Ajaz Quraishi directly to get more details and to confirm what the monies will be used for.   He has issued a public statement on his own facebook wall explaining the report was incorrect and that the money will in fact go towards a community hall, which will be open for use (presumably rentable space) by the public.  The mosque is a separate project although it will still go on the same land.   The application for the grant took about 6 months and Ajaz is hoping to have the permits in the next few months so they can start building the community hall.   He has no timeline for the mosque as of yet as the group are still raising funds for that project.

 Posted by at 2:52 PM
Sep 092014
 

Caring for Alberta's Highways: Society of Edmonton Atheists

A few years ago, the SEA adopted a section of the QE II highway; we make sure it gets cleaned, and the province puts our name on a sign. The second weekend we’re cleaning this year is this Saturday and Sunday, from 9-11:30am.

If you can offer a carpool, or need a carpool, please contact us, or if you’re on the Facebook group, post a notice on the events.

Meeting Location, 9am:
South end of the Sparrow Drive Service Road in Nisku, at the cul-de-sac just south of the Blackjacks Roadhouse.

SEA will supply: Continue reading »

Sep 062014
 

Carrier Poster

Click here for TICKETS VIA EVENTBRITE

 

**Please note, there is limited seating, so this event may sell out prior to the night. **

Tickets will also be available in person at book club on September 7th.

 

 

sense and goodness book draw

All current members (who have purchased a membership in 2014 or are lifetime members) of the Society attending this event will also be entered into a draw for a signed copy of Dr. Carrier’s book ”Sense and Goodness without God”.  You can purchase a membership via our membership tab on the website, at any event from a board member or if you have tickets for this event, at the door upon entry.

 

 

*pictures may be taken at this event that will be published on our facebook page or website

** end time of event is subject to change.

 Posted by at 10:42 AM
Aug 152014
 

Keeping you up to date with our board meeting discussions!

2014 SEA BOD banner

Bus Ads:
We are getting ever closer to our bus ad goal, with designs falling into place and funding going well.  We’re still about $1000 short, so every small amount will bring us closer now.   You can donate on our merchandise/membership tab.   We’ve also given ourselves a deadline of August 31st for our design, so we will be submitting and looking for approval from Ad Standards Canada on that date.

This is one example of a design we’re playing around with, this was done quickly with free clip art images, so could be refined by taking more time to look for images.  Have a design for us?

Fairy tales

 

 

Merchandise Sale!

We’re selling Grey T-shirts at 50% off.  Grab a bargain for $10 (while they last) and be a walking advertisment for atheism.  If you are interested in purchasing one (we have medium and large sizes available) they will be available at upcoming book club and roundtable events, or you can let us know via email or on the facebook group page.

Grey shirt back

 
Outreach Ideas

We’ve been approached by someone from Alpha Canada, and were wondering if anyone would like to take this course?  It’s free, we would meet every week for a 2-3 hour presentation and it lasts for 8 weeks.  If you are interested please let one of the board know so we can decide if we want to go ahead.

Other than that, we’ve been talking about more outreach events, like Ask An Atheist day at churches or even holding our own Atheism 101 class that would be open to the public and answer general questions about what being an atheist is.   Do you have an idea of where we can do outreach?

ask an atheist
Special Guests

Save the Date!  Dr. Richard Carrier is coming to town!

Richard Carrier, Ph.D., is a philosopher and historian, specializing in contemporary philosophy of naturalism and Greco-Roman philosophy, science, and religion, including the origins of Christianity. He blogs regularly and lectures for community groups worldwide. He is the author of Sense and Goodness without GodOn the Historicity of JesusProving HistoryWhy I Am Not a ChristianNot the Impossible Faith, and Hitler Homer Bible Christ, as well as chapters in several other books and articles in academic journals, and his namesake blog. For more about Dr. Carrier and his work see www.richardcarrier.info.

He’ll be coming on Sunday September 21st to speak about  ”The Arguments For and Against the Resurrection Of Jesus”.   We do intend on opening this event up to local church groups if they are interested.   Keep up to date on this event by visiting our website regularly for specific details or you can request to be added to our email list by contacting us.

Carrier take one

 Posted by at 4:42 PM
Aug 112014
 

If you are thinking about attending the University of Alberta in the fall here is a course you might be interested in.   The classes run Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10am – 10:50am and are taught by PhD Candidate History and Classics,  Lara Apps.    This is a for-credit course and can also be taken through open studies.

The course description is as follows:
_______________________________________________________

Is atheism a modern phenomenon? Is modernity quintessentially atheist?  Did atheism help create the modern world? We will engage critically with these recent claims through an exploration of the development of
atheism in Europe from the fifteenth century to the late nineteenth century. We will also consider the relationship between atheism and critiques of the social, political, and moral order. A general  knowledge of European history is recommended, and students should be prepared to participate in class discussions. The course readings will  include several primary sources in English translation.
Atheism course UofA

 More information on how to register for classes at the University can be found on their website.

 Posted by at 10:17 AM