|Programs - Programs|
Upcoming Sunday Programs
• Hemant Mehta, chairman of Foundation Beyond Belief’s board of directors and known for his “Friendly Atheist” blog, opens our season on Sunday, September 7th, with “The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide.” Mehta will describe the big change since being an open atheist in high school meant becoming a target for bullies. He will discuss how this change occurred and what we can do to keep it going.
• Anthony Pinn, a professor of Humanities at Rice University, speaks Sunday, September 14th, on “How a Good Methodist Became a Better Atheist.” An expert in African American religion and humanism, Pinn will describe how the issues of human suffering and material need prompted his leaving the evangelical ministry. He will discuss how his intellectual development and social life led him to rethink his beliefs and move on from a preoccupation with personal salvation and assurances of eternal life.
• Martha Bayne, author of the Soup and Bread Cookbook and a former staff member of the Chicago Reader, speaks Sunday, September 21st, on “Building Community—One Soup Pot at a Time.” Bayne will examine the classic model of a soup kitchen and how soup has become a political tool for both strengthening the community and fostering social justice.
• Amir Sufi, professor of finance at the University of Chicago, speaks Sunday, September 28th, on “House of Debt: How We All Caused the Great Recession.” Sufi will describe his joint research with Princeton University economics professor Atif Mian and how it may explain how the meteoric increase in household mortgage borrowing before the Great Recession contributed to the current anemic recovery. He will place their findings in historical context and critique the government’s response to the crisis.
• Dick Simpson, professor of political science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a former Chicago city alderman, speaks Sunday, October 5th, on “The Critical 2014–2015 Elections.” Simpson will discuss the long-term effect of the elections: how the Quinn-Rauner governor’s race will decide the fate of the state’s income tax, budgets, and pensions, and how the race for Chicago mayor and aldermen will affect public safety, the schools, and property taxes.
• Wayne Messmer, professional speaker, singer, broadcaster, speaks October 12th on "The Spirit of a Champion/The Challenge of Change." Drawing from a career in the sports and entertainment business, Messmer delivers a timeless message of hope to connect with us on multiple levels of emotion, passion, survival, overcoming adversity and fear. A master storyteller, Wayne entertains from the platform with wit and humor.
• Roger Scott Jackson, an actor and writer A.K.A "Brother Sam Singleton, Atheist Evangelist" presents “Blasphemy–Extract of Ingersoll” on Sunday, October 19th. In the satiric persona of the fictional "Brother Sam," Jackson will recreate several of the lectures of Robert G. Ingersoll, famous 19th Century orator acclaimed as the “Great Agnostic,” and an outspoken critic of superstition and belief.
• Brenda Weitzberg, founder and Executive Director of Aspiritech, will speak on Sunday, October 26th, on "Harnessing the Special Talents of People with High Functioning Autism." Weitzberg will show how her organization provides employment opportunities to those with Asperger's syndrome and other forms of high functioning autism in the field of software testing. This is a vocational area in which autism can be an asset as it utilizes their unique strengths such as focus, attention to detail and an affinity for repetitive tasks. Aspiritech works to enable the tech industry to utilize prized skills while simultaneously enriching the lives of those doing the testing.
• Richard Carrier, a world-renowned author, professional historian, published philosopher, and prominent defender of the American freethought movement, speaks on Sunday, November 2nd, on "Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus." Dr. Carrier will demonstrate that valid historical methods—not only in the study of Christian origins but in any historical study—can be described by, and reduced to, the logic of Bayes’s Theorem.
• Our fall intergenerational program features Scales & Tales Traveleing Zoo on Sunday, November 16th.
For over 20 years, Scales & Tales and Beth Wagner have been providing Chicagoland with professional, insightful and just plain fun animal shows. Always a hit with kids and parents alike, Beth and her animal crew make even the most timid person comfortable enough to encounter her menagerie.