Preparing for the HumanLight celebration December 23rd?


We like to use an Honor Net, a decorative net on which to hang ornaments, instead of an ornamented tree. Each person decides on a person, event, idea or place that's inspired him/her and decorates an ornament. We take turns placing the ornament on the net, sharing our story of inspiration.

For example:

A person who has inspired us. The gold ornament with red, along the bottom says "Carl Sagan", whose Cosmos series meant a lot to me.

An inspiring event. The gold ornament to the left of the HumanLight guy was added by James. As a boy he at a scout camp he participated in a huge procession, toward a bonfire event. As the procession passed into the special place everyone became completely silent. This spontaneous self discipline gave James hope for humanity.

A idea or place. The larger transparent ornament with red lettering near the top says, "Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence." The small gold one above the HumanLight guy celebrates nature.

What person, event, idea or place inspires you with hope and meaning?

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One ornament isn't enough for Carl Sagan... there have to be billions and billions....

Ha ha!

Annie Laurie Gaylor - Person
Co-President FFRF - organization

Since November 2004, serving with Dan Barker.

Freedom From Religion Foundation, Madison, Wisconsin, 1976, when she was a college student, with her mother Anne Nicol Gaylor. The Foundation incorporated as a national nonprofit educational organization with two purposes in 1978 under the leadership of Anne Nicol Gaylor and works to protect the constitutional principle of state/church separation and to educate about nontheism.

This is one for now -- I'll think about more to post here later

Here's a picture of Annie Laurie Gaylor from the Freedom From Religion site. Thanks.

Here is her mother -- she inspires me too. 

Tribute to Anne Nicol Gaylor


Delivered by Annie Laurie Gaylor, with music provided by Dan Barker, on Oct. 29, 2004, at the 27th annual national convention of the Freedom From Religion Foundation in Madison, Wisconsin.

Anne Gaylor, the founder and president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, is stepping down from the presidency after this convention. She has been president 26 years officially, but 28 years in reality. She is not necessarily retiring -- she will be involved as an on-call consultant with the office, and is still deciding where she will direct her considerable energies in the future.

I was hoping she'd out-Reagan Reagan (not to put him in her company). Reagan was 78 when he left his presidency, Anne will be 78 on Nov. 25. She still works harder than the rest of us -- people one half to one third of her age.

She is stepping down only because her eyesight has diminished -- due to macular degeneration and glaucoma. She may be losing her eyesight, but she is not losing her vision.

Desperate women began to phone her, asking where they could go for safe abortions. She launched into activism, abortion rights, feminist groups and Zero Population Growth.

She founded the ZPG Abortion Referral Service in 1970. Between 1970 and 1975, she made more than than 20,000 referrals. She took calls at home day and night, especially after her number was published without her permission, in Playboy!

Anne and Annie Laurie, 1976, after founding the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

"Whenever I hear people suggest that if there were no 'religion,' and no fear of God's wrath, there would be no morality, I wish they could meet Anne Gaylor, her family, her many colleagues in this organization, and the countless other 'non-believers' who are working every day to repair the world." --Anne Treseder

(Anne Treseder's full tribute, "Anne Gaylor--Mentor and Friend," can be read here.)

There were those in the feminist movement Anne was heavily involved in, who told her that her atheist activism was "hurting the cause." Ironically, there were a few in the freethought movement who told her that her feminist activism was "hurting the cause"!

This year I honor Naomi Klein. I'm excited about her article Capitalism vs. the Climate in The Nation. There's so much insight, it's a long article, that I can't easily summarize all that's important to me in this space.

One point is that we of the left, who disdain climate change denial, are deeply in denial ourselves. We refuse to face the extent of economic change required for a sustainable future. The white guys holding those reins have a gut level grasp of profit driven economics as a root cause of climate change. Since relinquishing power and privilege is unthinkable, they put their money and identity into denying reality.

In my words, left and right are two camps, pointing fingers at one another, each willing to face only half of the problem. As long as we cling to our moral superiority, none of us has to confront the terror clawing at our groin. Echoing the plague-ridden Middle Ages, we all hide behind masks to participate in a macbre dance of global death.

The solution Naomi Klein offers is to embrace climate destabilization as the central organizing theme that will supercharge the left-green Occupy movement. She points the way!

The person who has inspired me is Anwar El-Sadat, for daring to go to Jerusalem so many years ago to make peace. He was not popular for this, and was assassinated, but to me he symbolizes what I wish all people understood: the need to live peacefully with those who are not the same as us with kindness and respect for our differences.

Event: the writing of the Bill of Rights, particularly the rights of freedom of speech, peaceable assembly, freedom of (and by implication, from) religion.

Place: the place inside myself when I find quiet, calm and contentment, along with the hope that other people can also find that place inside themselves.

I have always been inspired by Galileo.  I wrote a blog about his courage a month or so ago.


Noam Chomsky

I personally think Nietzsche might deserve some honor...

Life in the Universe is what inspires me and all those men and women who rationally have asked how,  when, where it comes from and goes to, guide my own search and daily work. That's big enough to deserve my whole efforts every day of my own life. To study, to learn, to know, to teach what is life and to contribute to preserve it on Earth. The only place in the Universe we actually know life alreadey exists.




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