Here is some general information to know about SHoWLE and our activities.
Meeting and Event Formats:
We will hold at least one general meeting a month except during the summer months of July and August. The general meetings will be a formal structure with a mixer with light refreshments at the start then a program with a speaker or discussion topic. We might also show a film or TV show of interest to discuss.
General meetings will always be free and open to the public. However depending on the location of the meeting some members may need to buy something at the location – such as a restaurant – in exchange for us using the location. You will get ample notification if that will happen. SHoWLE won’t police such purchases so if you want to attend the meeting and don’t have cash just let a Board member or officer know.
Events will be activities or meetings outside of a general meeting. They may be less structured and less formal. It might be a group going to the movies, or having dinner, or having a bowling night. Usually these events may cost money to attend and we will make that known in advance. The fees involved don’t go to SHoWLE.
Depending on the meeting or event, we may “pass the hat” for donations to offset the cost of putting on the meeting and event. If you paid money to attend the meeting or event you won’t be obligated to donate to the hat.
Working with other groups: We give priority to working with other like minded groups who share a major portion of our world view and principles. While we aren’t opposed to working with faith based groups on shared objectives, SHoWLE will not “tone down” or hide our beliefs for the sake of the other group’s “comfort”. It is more important to accomplish the shared objective and not be judgmental.
Group Discussion Best Practices:
We intend to foster a membership that is curious about the world and who want to explore human solutions to human problems without regard to any specific world view or politics. We want to create a space that is open and honest about these topics and ideas. To that end, here are some general best practices to be used during group discussions or “Question & Answer” periods after a speaker.
1. Discussions will be moderated by an officer or volunteer. Please raise a hand when you want to speak and allow the speaker to finish what they have to say before asking to speak. The moderator will have the power to stop a speaker and move to the next speaker if people are waiting to speak.
2. Please stay on topic and be as brief as possible in making your point. Be considerate of others who might be waiting to speak. If you want to pontificate on a topic, save it for your blog.
3. Remember – Treat all with basic dignity and worth even those you disagree with. “Attack” the idea and NOT the person. Name calling, bullying, or harassment of anyone will NOT be tolerated. Punishment for doing it may include being asked to leave the meeting or event and could lead to your removal as a member of the group.
*Note* Critical examination of beliefs, including critical commentary on another person’s views, does not, by itself, constitute bullying or harassment.
4. Because we are a non-profit group we will not and cannot endorse candidates for political office. We can advocate for issues such as civil rights, keeping abortion legal and safe, and the need for a strong and rational public education system for example. Members can wear political shirts and buttons at meetings and events. Members can also ask for petition signatures but please do that before or after a meeting.
5. Although all topics and ideas are open for discussion at a meeting, there is one topic we won’t be discussing. SHoWLE is a humanist group and many of us are humanists because we came to a reasonable conclusion on the existence of “god” question. Arguing religious points or apologetics won’t be welcome. Also comments that unnecessarily disparage religion are simply boring to those of us who have moved to secular humanism and won’t be welcome.
Comments that attempt to denigrate whole groups of people also aren’t welcome. We are interested in solving problems not scapegoating.
6. There will not be a right to speak without consequences. Humanists believe all ideas are open to question including our own. There is a possibility we are wrong.