Wednesday, August 31, 2011

We DON'T find your lack of faith dISSAsturbing!

Greetings, freethinking friends!

Here's hoping your first week back went swimmingly! Honestly, how could it NOT have, what with our oh-so-awesome ISSA cookout this weekend? And that's just the beginning. Read on for an updated list of this semester's activities -- we'll be adding more soon!

THIS WEEK (READ ME!)--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This week's meeting will take place Thursday September 1st at 7pm in Noyes 161. Click here for a map. We hope to see you there!

On the agenda...
A rousing discussion of secularism in the media. We'll be watching American Atheists president Dave Silverman's most recent Fox News interview, then breaking up into small groups to talk about about the exchange and its greater implications.

ISSA at Murphy's
After the meeting, we'll adjourn to Murphy's, as is our tradition. We welcome anyone and everyone who can make it, regardless of whether or not you plan to drink. It's a great chance to get to know your officers and godless cohorts better!

Cafe Freethought -- Sunday, September 4th
Don't worry, you can still sleep in! But be sure to join us this Sunday at 2pm for a nice chill afternoon at the Espresso Royale at Goodwin & Oregon. Bring homework, games -- whatever you like! Just come ready for good coffee and even better conversation. Click here for a map/directions.

UPCOMING EVENTS -------------------------------------------------------

Party with the Heathens -- Saturday, September 17th
Heathens heathin' it up! It's the first ISSA party of the year, and we've already got a wacky theme in mind! Time and location to be announced.

Blasphemy Day -- Friday, September 30th
Blasphemy Day is an international holiday created in defense of free speech following the infamous publication of satirical drawings of the prophet Muhammad in a Denmark newspaper. We'll be assembling on the quad for a creative protest against worldwide anti-blasphemy laws, then it's time for a night of irreverent comedy! More details to come.

Curtis Orchards - Saturday, October 8th
Our yearly trip to Curtis Orchards is guaranteed awesome. Come for the hay rides, apples donuts, apple-picking and petting zoo, stay for the kinship! Transportation can be arranged -- just let us know if you need help getting there!

ISSA Ladies' Night -- Saturday, October 15th
Us godless girls gotta stick together! That's why we're planning a night just for the ladies. Bon bons, bonding and non-theism -- stay tuned!

Open call for blog entries -- ONGOING
Got something secular(ish) on your mind? BLOG ABOUT IT! Posts from members are always awesome -- simply email lliniSSA@illinois.edu if you're interested.

Love,
ISSA

_______________________________________________________
Can't get enough of us? ISSA online!
ISSA Blog: www.IlliniSSA.com
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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

"The invISSAble and the non-existent look very much alike." -Delos McKown


Greetings, skeptical schoolmates!

Welcome to the 2011-2012 academic year! ISSA has loads in store for you this semester, and it all begins this week with our very first meeting! Read on for further details...

THIS WEEK (READ ME!)--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The first meeting of the year will take place this Thursday August 25th at 7pm in Noyes 161. Click here for a map. Be there, or we'll insult your geometry.

On the agenda...
Presidents Ed Clint and Franklin Kramer along with Vice President Becca Tippens will be giving a presentation about our club and how you can get more involved! If you have any questions about our club or want to learn more this is the meeting to attend. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's a beautiful day for a Quad

Welcome back, everyone, and we hope you have a marvelous Quad Day.  Named after Richard Louis Quad, Quad day goes all the way back to 1904 when the eponymous Richard implored returning University of Illinois students to buy a singed cheese sandwich in order to protest against the King of Spain for outlawing the wearing of suspenders. Of course, today Quad Day is open to all sorts of student groups with equally important causes, so in memory and honor of Richard, come on down!

In other news, our first meeting of the year will be on Thursday, August 25th. We will meet at 7pm in Noyes 161. Be there.

 Before we get back to class I wanted to share a list of frequently asked questions that ISSA members have heard over the years and our (hopefully) thoughtful answers. Without further ado, here's our official list of frequently asked questions!

What is ISSA?
The Illini Secular Student Alliance is a community for atheists, agnostics, skeptics and freethinkers on the University of Illinois campus.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Quad Day ISSAn't just for freshmen!


Hey there, sexy secularists!

The new academic year is only days away, and the Illini Secular Student Alliance has soooooo much in store for you. We've also got an awful lot of good news to share (thankfully not the Jesus-y kind) -- for instance, we were recently honored as the national Secular Student Alliance's Affiliate of the Year! We'll be displaying the award proudly this Sunday at our Quad Day booth, and we'd love for each and every one of you to stop by. Attached is a map indicating exactly where our snazzy tent will be located.

Hope to see you guys there!

Much love,
ISSA

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dear Interfaith, it's over.

I originally wrote this for The Friendly Atheist blog here, but also wanted to post it here. -Ed

A letter to Interfaith, from ISSA (Illini Secular Student Alliance)

Dear Interfaith,

It's over between us.

Here's the thing, Interfaith: I tried. I really tried. Two years ago I knew nothing at all about you, but I felt obligated to at least get to know you. I went to your dinner with Eboo Patel. I not only attended an Interfaith potluck, but I baked for you! (Banana bread, because you asked that we bring food representing our "faith tradition" and bananas well-describe the atheist's lot of abject confusion and bewilderment). We had a fine time at the potluck; had some great food, played some Apples-to-Apples. I invited you to come over and talk about service projects, and you did. We had some laughs, talked some turkey. Things seemed to be going so well between us.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Your Monday Freethought Library Update -- Week Four!


TWO STACKS! Last week's goal attained. :)


These last two weeks have been good ones for ISSA's Freethought Library, with donations from the r/atheism community, the Center for Inquiry and various other friends of the group. We're so very grateful to all of you!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Transfaith vs Interfaith: Breaking the Mold

The Status Quo
The virtues of cooperative work (frequently referred to as Interfaith) with religious groups are widely noted and assented to in the secular community. You can improve your community service by adding many more volunteers to the effort. Better still, you can humanize yourself to people who might hold a narrow, two-dimensional stereotype of atheists (and vice-versa). Eventually, through this, you might even diminish the discord between religious and secular people at scale.

This all sounds great! Why would anyone running a secular group not want to do this? All is not well in Interfaith paradise.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

FFRF Case Against Rick Perry Dismissed


I know you guys might have been concerned about the state of this country, but luckily for us, Presidential nominee and Governor of Texas Rick Perry has offered a solution: “The Response,” not so coincidentally taking place on the national day of prayer, will have thousands of Americans gather at the Houston Stadium to solve the problems of our nation by mumbling to themselves for extended periods of time. Perry describes why he made the event:
“Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy.
Some problems are beyond our power to solve, and according to the Book of Joel, Chapter 2, this historic hour demands a historic response. Therefore, on August 6, thousands will gather to pray for a historic breakthrough for our country and a renewed sense of moral purpose.”