Monday, November 28, 2011

AHA Weekly Update

Hey Madison Atheists!
Have a restful Thanksgiving Break?
Great, because AHA has a ton of stuff coming up, and you should totally join us!

This week, instead of our usual meeting, we will have Dan Barker talk about "The Importance of Church-State Separation"!
The co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Dan Barker, will give a talk ranging from the history of Jefferson's "wall of separation" in the Establishment Clause (Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...) all the way to the work the FFRF does today to preserve it.
It is on Wednesday the 30th at 7pm in 6210 Social Sciences

Want more of the Freedom From Religion Foundation?
Join AHA in a tour of the FFRF on Saturday, December 3rd from 1pm to 3pm.
Its at Freethought Hall near the Capitol Meet us here! (map)
We'll take a tour of the global headquarters of the FFRF and end the day with an interfaith dialogue with the Christians from Beloit College and the Maranatha Baptist College.
Come along! It'll be great!

Not enough AHA for ya? Well, we've got another event next Wednesday too!
Watch AHA and Badger Catholic in a battle of wits at our first student debate!
We'll be covering abortion, stem cell research, contraception, gay marriage, and a Q&A section!
Its on Wednesday, December 7th at 7pm in Union South's Varsity Hall
Come for the arguments, Stay for the potential rap battle
Want to invite your facebook friends to the event? Heres the event page!

Finally, the AHA would like to give a huge thanks to all those who donated to our
Thanks to all of you, we've raised over $1,500!
We are so proud and cannot wait to do this again.
Thanks a lot everyone!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

AHA Joins War on Hunger

Times are tough.
According to a recent Gallup Poll, in the past year more than 20% of Americans reported not having enough money to purchase the food that they or their families needed.  As a result of the global financial meltdown and ensuing economic downturn, more and more households are turning to soup kitchens and food pantries to make ends meet.  Across the country, organizations which provide food assistance are struggling to keep up with rising demand.  The situation in Wisconsin is no different.  From a recent article in Madison's Capitol Times:
The pattern is the same in food pantries throughout Dane County, where visits rose 56 percent from 2007 to 2010, when the number reached 132,000. Visits are on a pace this year to jump another 13 percent, says Brockel. His agency provides food and technical support to the Dane County Food Pantry, a group of about 50 pantries, shelters and meal sites operating out of churches, community centers and service agencies. "We hear from all the pantries that they are setting records every week," he says.
Atheists, united, have the power to make a difference. Thus, AHA is proud to announce a new partnership with the non-sectarian Second Harvest Food Bank of Southern Wisconsin.  Every year, Second Harvest distributes more than 8.6 million pounds of food, for free, to 141,000 hungry people (43% of which are children).  They have also received a four star Charity Navigator rating - indicative of an exceptional level of accountability, transparency, and efficiency.  Best of all, through its relationships with manufacturers and retailers, Second Harvest is able to provide three meals for every $1 donated. Check it out:
Source
To make things more interesting... there is a twist!
AHA will be competing with The Crossing campus ministry and the Muslim Student Association to see which group is able to raise the most money for the Second Harvest Food Bank by the end of November.  This is, of course, a friendly competition - and should be taken as an example of the way that, regardless of the particular faith traditions we come from, we can all join together under the common cause of trying to make the world a better place.

However, bragging rights are at stake!
I want AHA to win, and you can help.  We've recently implemented a "Donate" button at the top right hand corner of the blog.  You can contribute using PayPal or any major credit card. 100% of the money raised through the blog between now and the end of the funding drive will go towards our total donation to Second Harvest.  Currently, AHA has raised about $175 from our members alone.  By tapping into the generosity of the atheist internet hive-mind, I am declaring a fundraising goal of $500 - that's 1,500 meals - by the end of the month.  Your donation will help ensure an AHA victory, thus proving once and for all that atheists are more moral than Christians and Muslims. (That was a joke)  Seriously though, if this contest ignites within us a competitive, wallet-opening spirit... then we will have successfully fed more hungry people, and ultimately that is the most important thing.

Edit:
11/22/11
This post was featured on the Friendly Atheist blog thanks to our dear friend Hemant Mehta.  I'm a sucker for statistics, so I'll be updating this post as donations come rolling in.
12:00pm: Friendly Atheist post goes live.
12:37pm: First $100 raised.
1:10pm: Up to $200!
1:45pm: $300 - Shout out to Richard Wade of "Ask Richard" fame.
2:10pm: $350.
2:28pm: $450 ... Almost there!
3:05pm: $505 - Fundraising goal achieved!  Can this rate be sustained?  New Goal: $1000
3:49pm: $600
5:05pm: $700 - Victory will be ours!
6:46pm: $845
8:05pm: $905 - So close to breaking the $1k barrier...
9:15pm: $995 - I can almost taste it!
11:27pm: $1010! - SUCCESS Unbelievable. $1000 in 12 hours.  Thank you all.

11/24/11  Thanksgiving Update
Donations continue to roll in.  New total: $1350!  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

AHA Emails #9: Atheism & The Law

Hey everybody!
I hope you all had a great weekend.
And you can keep on partying at AHA this week with our topic... Atheism & The Law

What: A discussion of how atheism fits in with government of the past, present, and future
When: Tomorrow, Wednesday, 7 P.M.
Where: 155 Van Hise
Why: Because as Justice Robert H. Jackson said "The price of freedom of religion, or of speech, or of the press, is that we must put up with, and even pay for, a good deal of rubbish."
Wow: Yeah, thats a nice quote.

Also, don't forget! We're still raising money for Second Harvest Foodbank!
So bring some money to our meeting and help feed some families in Wisconsin
If you can't come to a meeting to donate, you can donate through our blog.
(And we're competing with The Crossing (a campus Christian group) and The Muslim Student Association... So lets win!)

We are down to our last few shirts so get them while you can!
They are on sale for the low, low price of $15
Conform and dress like the rest of the group does!
Also, there's a Bertrand Russell quote on the back (super cool!)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

AHA Emails #8: Science, Philosophy, and Our Awesome Universe

Hey all!
If we survive the nearby asteroid tonight, we'll have quite a fun week coming up!
And speaking of asteroids, our meeting tomorrow will be on The Wisdom of Carl Sagan!

What: A discussion of science, philosophy, and the awesomeness of our Universe
When: Tomorrow, Wednesday, 7 P.M.
Where: 155 Van Hise
Why: How else will you celebrate Carl Sagan Day?
Wow: ...other than wearing your favorite turtleneck

Also, don't forget! We're raising money for Second Harvest Foodbank!
So bring some money to our meeting and help feed some families in Wisconsin
(And we're competing with The Crossing (a campus Christian group) and The Muslim Student Association... So lets win!)

If you want to further celebrate the greatness of Sagan, stop by the Rathskeller tomorrow between noon and 4pm!
We'll be hanging out at the literature table, showing some Carl Sagan clips and talking space stuff

Oh yeah, we've still got T-Shirts!
These highly collectable, wonderfully designed shirts are going fast so get one before we run out!
They are on sale for the low, low price of $15
Conform and dress like the rest of the group does!
Also, there's a Bertrand Russell quote on the back (super cool!)