FreeThought Fort Wayne

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Archive for January, 2009

FreeThought Fort Wayne’s February Meeting

Posted by Skeptigator on January 14, 2009

What: FreeThought Fort Wayne February Meeting
When: February 11th, 2008 7PM-9PM
Where: Main Branch, Allen County Public Library, Meeting Room B
Desc: If you have any ideas or questions please feel free to shoot me an email below or post a topic in the forums. As usual the discussion will be moved to a local pub. Public is always welcome. Please check the website in case there are changes to meeting rooms.
For more information go to or email us at

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Temporarily Closed For Renovations

Posted by Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg on January 9, 2009

FreeThought Fort Wayne will be undergoing renovations today so we’ve temporarily disabled comments so nothing gets lost while we shuffle things around. As soon as the new site is fully up and running we’ll turn comments back on.

Depending on how fast your ISP updates its DNS records, you should start seeing the new site later this afternoon. Hopefully no later than Sunday morning. We’ll see you all at our new digs shortly!

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AIDS in Uganda, the Rick Warren Connection

Posted by dystressed on January 7, 2009

This is an amazing story from The Daily Beast.

Rick Warren has been working closely with the Martin Ssempe, the charismatic leader of a booming born-again minister promoting abstinence only AIDS eductaion in Uganda, more or less scrapping all the success of the previous, hugely successful ABC program of the Ugandan government.

Ssempe enjoys close ties to his country’s First Lady, Janet Museveni, and is a favorite of the Bush White House.

Ssempe is a close ally of Warren and even gave the keynote speech at Warren’s 2005 AIDS conference at the Saddleback Church.

Another amazing insight is that Ssempe believes in witches and arresting homosexuals.

Dr. Helen Epstein, a public health consultant who authored the book, The Invisible Cure: Why We’re Losing The Fight Against AIDS In Africa, met Ssempa in 2005. Epstein told me the preacher seemed gripped by paranoia, warning her of a secret witches coven that met under Lake Victoria. “Ssempa also spoke to me for a very long time about his fear of homosexual men and women,” Epstein said. “He seemed very personally terrified by their presence.”

It’s interesting to see the parallel between witch paranoia and born-again Christians. Now compared to Ssempe, Warren is a dream choice to pray at the inauguration. I just hope that people realize his record on AIDS has an ugly, evil side.

Posted in Politics, Religion, Science | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

If You’re Going to Seattle…

Posted by dystressed on January 6, 2009

…visit the Discovery Institute!  (if you can)

Skepticality had a fantastic interview with Kate Holden and Tiana Dietz, the skeptic activists who conned their way into the Discovery Institute.  You can download the MP3 of the podcast here.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the visit was the fact that the two have engaged in a lengthy blog discourse with the Discovery Institute, which claims to welcome all people with open arms.

While lying is hardly ever called for, Holden and Dietz maintain that they only did what the producers of Expelled did when they conned their own ways into interviews with Michael Shermer and PZ Myers. They kind of have a point.

The question of morality aside, the chutzpah of Kate and Tiana is admirable. They also urge fellow skeptic activists to go to the Discovery Institute and take the tour… that is, if the Discovery people will let you in.

Posted in Humor, Religion, Science | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

She and her exes live in Texas

Posted by Andy Welfle on January 2, 2009

Marquis LaFortune and Benjamin Stakes

Benjamin Stakes and Marquis LaFortune

Score one for the Catholics. A Catholic high school teacher was fired for getting divoriced.

The reason for her termination turns on a theological tenet. According to Catholic doctrine, participants in a marriage must be an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. LaFortune told the principal that her fiance had been divorced – a proceeding not recognized by the Catholic Church.

The deacon was concerned with whether the first marriage of LaFortune’s fiance, Benjamin Stakes, had been declared invalid by a Catholic tribunal and thereby annulled. His concern, however, did not sit well with LaFortune, who refused to resign from her job or seek an annulment – a process that could reach to Rome and take more than a year.

It’s no secret the Holy See has a problem with change. They didn’t officially apologize for the imprisonment of Galileo until 1992. Hell, I remember when girls couldn’t be servers (altar boys). So the fact that they refuse to recognize divorice isn’t surprising.

And true, since over half of all marriages end in divorice, some of them should never have been married in the first place. But divorice protects people every day. It saves peoplel from spousal abuse, rape, exploitation, and even suicide. None of this matters to the Vatican — they live in a black and white world, with no room for exceptions.

No wonder their numbers are rapidly declining. They need all the teachers they can get.

Posted in Religion | Tagged: , , | 5 Comments »

FFW Top Ten Blog Posts of 2008

Posted by Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg on January 1, 2009

Father Time and Baby New YearIt’s New Year’s Day which means all over the internet you’ll be seeing top ten lists from bloggers of their most popular posts from the past year. Why should we be any different? Well, we are a little bit different in that this blog didn’t exist until last year. In fact, the first blog post here didn’t even appear until February 27th and that was just an announcement of our upcoming meeting. So really, this blog has only been active for ten out of the past twelve months. And if I recall correctly, FreeThought Fort Wayne itself didn’t even exist until late in 2007.

Yet we’ve come a long way in the past few months. We’ve produced 14 great episodes of our public access telvision show The Enlightenment Show, featured talks by author John Loftus of the popular blog Debunking Christianity as well as biblical scholar and author Robert M. Price. We’ve grown as an organization, had a variety of meetups in addition to our regular monthly meetings, developed a constitution and we’re about to elect officers. Additionally, we’ve taken this blog from nothing to almost 110,000 visitors, thanks to a couple of very popular stories and a couple of links from the most popular science blogger on Earth, PZ Myers.

So before we move on to bigger and better things in 2009, here’s a look back the most viewed posts of 2008.

And there you have it. Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church are always good for a big laugh, although I’ve got to say Mark Souder might have been more of a contender if he had made his ridiculous remarks earlier in the year. Of course, Andy Welfle’s deconversion story is not to be missed. 2008. What a year. And for FreeThought Fort Wayne, 2009 is only going to be better. No, strike that. It’s going to be fantastic!

Posted in Local | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »