Rationalists of EastTennessee

February 2008

Potluck Dinner

Saturday evening,February 2nd, 2008, 7:30 p.m.

Kings' Home

Bring a potluck dishand enjoy fellowship the evening before Susan Jacoby's presentation at ourannual RET Public Meeting.

Susan will be the guestof honor at our gathering.

1109 VeniceRoad

Knoxville, TN 37923

(865) 690-7687

Phil and Sharron

865) 690-7687 (HomeTelephone)


Directions to Phil'sand Sharron's home:

- On Interstate 40about 8 miles west of Knoxville, Cedar Bluff exit (Exit 378)

North on Cedar BluffRoad, to Gulf Park Drive

(about a mile, bigCatholic Church is on your right, Lutheran Church on your left)

- Left onto Gulf ParkDrive, to Venice Road (about three-quarters of a mile)

- Right onto VeniceRoad. Proceed to stop sign at Sanders Road.

Continue on Venice Roadabout 1/4 mile to our home:

1109 VeniceRoad, (865) 690-7687

(basketball goal downthe hill at back of driveway).



Feb 3rd - SusanJacoby - RET Public Meeting

Please bring everyone you can.

Award-winning author,Susan Jacoby, will address one of the most thought-provoking issues of our timein an appearance at Pellissippi State Technical Community College on Sunday,February 3 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. in Goins Auditorium. Jacoby will discuss "TheAges of American Unreason, Past and Present." Arrive early for coffee,refreshments and socializing. Stay late for Susan's book signing session.

Her topic, the subjectof her upcoming eighth book, "The Age of American Unreason" (Random House2008), is the widespread new cultural phenomenon characterized by the declineof reading and the rise of scientific and historical illiteracy.


Book Club

February 10 At 4:00 PM

Barnes & Noble

Economics as a Religion ByRobert H. Nelson

This book draws parallels betweeneconomic paradigms and religious dogma.



February 17 10:30Pellissippi State

Extinction of the Dinosaurs

Speaker will be Colin Smurall,University of Tennessee


Highway Cleanup

Who can participate in a trashpickup on Saturday morning - February

2, 9:00a.m. - Noon, on PellissippiParkway?

Let's spruce up our highway beforefolks travel it to attend our

annual meeting. Please let me knowby Thursday night (Jan. 31) if you

will be able to help.

Please reply to:

padlrdie@yahoo.com (NOT to the group email)

An Expert Defines"cults"

"Cults donÕt welcomequestions about their beliefs, and if they do they find out youÕre havingdoubts IÕm sure theyÕll try to discourage you from seeking answers on your own.In fact, one of the characteristics of cults is that they believe they, alone,are right and all other groups are wrong."

"People who areattracted to cults often become convinced that they alone are right andeveryone else is wrong, and the become afraid to listen to anyone outside theirgroup. They may have been searching for God for some time and believe theyÕvefinally found Him. Only later to realize their error."

"The real issue foryou, however, is this: Are you willing to face the evidence, wherever it mightlead you?"

Excellent advice fromone who is a believer in free inquiry and a rational, naturalistic world view?

This line answers thequestion: " Only you can answer this, of course - but donÕt deceive yourself,and donÕt turn your back on God just because you want to run your own life.""...give your life to Him." "...seek godÕs will in everything."

"Only one sin isunforgivable - and that is the sin of turning our backs on god and refusing toheed his call ..."

"I donÕt know of asingle serious scholar today - either believer or unbeliever - who would denythat Jesus existed, and that He walked the roads of Palestine in the opening ofthe first century."  "They would agree that the evidence is simply toooverwhelming to come to any other conclusion.""

When a writer was toldby a counselor to forget God and to try to face his problems on his own Grahamreplied: "Whenever I meet someone like your counselor, I always wonder why theyare so hostile toward God. There may be many reason - but often itÕs simply becausethey want to run their own lives and donÕt want God to interfere."  ..."He (God) doesnÕt want you to be enslaved by whatever was wrong in your past."

All of the above quotesare from Billy GrahamÕs column, My Answer.


ItÕs Not Just WaterAny More

Years ago RET tested adowser for the Randi challenge. Dave Buck set up a double blind test and, ofcourse, the dowser didnÕt do better than chance. (Actually, the dowser did abit worse than chance.)

Now there is a newdowsing goal that may be a bit harder to test. Why look for water when one canfind energy. Now this isnÕt just something mundane like coal or oil. Just signup for a UT non-credit (fortunately) course and one can "find beneficial andand detrimental energies in homes and workplaces." This is useful because it can be use to "find high energy places on your property or in yourhome to ÔrechargeÕ after a hectic day."

So, if you are tired inthe evening just grab some coat hangers or make a pendulum and recharge. Itwill only cost four hours and $69 plus a $10 materials fee.



"Were we allowed toread the Bible as we do all other books, we would admire its beauties, treasureits worthy thoughts, and account for all its absurd, grotesque and cruelthings, by saying that its authors lived in rude, barbaric times. But we aretold that it was written by inspired men; that it contains the will of God;that it is perfect, pure, and true in all its parts; the source and standard ofall moral and religious truth; that it is the star and anchor of all humanhope; the only guide for man, the only torch in Nature's night. These claimsare so at variance with every known recorded fact, so palpably absurd, thatevery free, unbiased soul is forced to raise the standard of revolt."

New Board andOfficers

- President: JohnMcCaffrey

- Vice President:Dave Buck

- Secretary: KennyGraham

- Treasurer: PhilKing

- Board Member:Jonas Holdeman

- Board Member:Margaret Klein

- Board Member: CarlLedendecker

Board Member: AnneLittle

Board Member: EricRichter


RET Newsletter submissions
Feel free to submit newsof interest. Submissions are welcomed but may be limited by space and topicrelevance. The format may vary depending on the amount of informationsubmitted. Short submissions are preferred but longer ones may be accepted ifthey can be published as a series over two or more issues. Text or Word formatare best for submission. Text may also be included in an E-mail.  Carl Ledendecker at: (ledendecker@earthlink.net<mailto:ledendecker@earthlink.net>) 2123 Stonybrook Rd., Louisville, TN 3777   982-8687 evenings

The Newsletter can alsobe found online at our Web site: www.rationalists.org <http://www.rationalists.org>. Scheduling: Philosophy (Michael Lance) lancem@ornl.gov<mailto:lancem@ornl.gov>;  Round tables (Carl Westman) cawestman@bellsouth.net<mailto:cawestman@bellsouth.net>; Book Club (John McCaffrey) jkmccaffreytn@yahoo.com<mailto:jkmccaffreytn@yahoo.com> Newsletter: (Carl Ledendecker) ledendecker@earthlink.net<mailto:ledendecker@earthlink.net>, 982-8687        Material published in The RETNewsletter represents the views of the individual authors.  Publication does not constitute an endorsement by the Rationalists ofEast Tennessee or its members.