The 8th annual Heretic’s Barbecue was a success!

This year’s Heretic’s Barbecue was one of the best we’ve had.  We had over 40 attendees, and we were able to afford to bring a great speaker to our event, Mr. Eddie Tabash!

 

Our event started off like it always does with mingling, meeting up with old friends, and general discussion.  There were several silent auctions in progress, and everyone was looking over the table filled with books, decorations, and other goods donated for sale.  Our vice president Cart also donated several beautiful hand made pottery pieces for sale.

 

Then came lunch, tri-tip, menudo, several different types of chili, potato salad, hummus, salad, and lots of other fixings, snacks, and desserts.  (Including candied apples, an October favorite!)

 

After a short break (and refilling our plates!) we introduced Mr. Tabash.  You can hear that speech on our new CVAAS Lecture Series page.  (And as we process other lectures, they will also become available here.)

 

After Mr. Tabash’s presentation, lots of different activities took place.  Cart demonstrated his pottery craft, and several people had the chance to make their very own pots.  T-shirt crafters got together and used the stencil and bleach method of t-shirt designing.  A few people playing board games,  several discussion groups got together, and door prizes were given away.
The whole event lasted for 5 hours, and there were a lot of different ways to have fun the entire time.   Everyone had a great time!

 

Heretic’s Barbecue is our main fundraiser, and this year our preliminary reports are that we did well.  But we can do so much better!

 

To do so, we will need YOUR help!  We need people to help us plan, to help us find new venues, to report on things happening in the valley.  You could even get a free membership out of this!  If that interests you, click here to find out about our Volunteer Affiliate Membership.

 

Eddie Tabash

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Eddie Tabash giving his presentation at the Heretic's Barbecue

The Armageddon Contract

Are you convinced that the world will end, “real soon now?”  Have you actually figured a date, or do you know Armageddon will occur sometime within the next 30 (or 40, or 50) years?

 

armageddonContractCVAAS invites you to demonstrate your confidence in the world’s end by signing a contract with us.  All you need is a date, or a “no later than date”.

 

Our contract states that you agree to give us everything you own on the day after you claim the world will end, or the day after you say you will be taken up in the Rapture.  Just pick a date, or a “no later than date”, and sign our handy contract and send it to us.  CVAAS can’t lay claim to anything you own until that date.

 

But… what if you’re wrong?  What if you are not one of the chosen?  What if you miscalculated the date?  It might be inconvenient to learn that CVAAS suddenly owns your money and possessions.

 

That is where the CVAAS end of the world contract shines.  This contract offers you a “buyback clause”.

 

It is a simple idea.  If after you sign our contract you run into the unlikely problem of miscalculating the end of the world, CVAAS will allow you to buy yourself out of this contract for a mere twenty dollars ($20.00).  For $20.00 your house, car, bank account and 401K are all legally returned to your possession.  This also works for you if the Rapture happens, and you are one of those people who are left behind.

 

So what is it?  Zombie apocalypse?  Meteor strike?  Planet “X”?  The Second Coming?  If you’ve got a date, we want to help you show the world how serious you are about it!  Just download our form, fill it out, and let CVAAS know so we can arrange to have one of our representatives sign this contract with you.

 

Click here to download the End of the World Contract (pdf format)

Sacramento Freethought Day – Oct 11

The 14th Annual Sacramento Freethought Day is Sunday, October 11, 2015, and combines the fun and atmosphere of a fair with the education and activism of a conference.

 

Join us for engaging speakers, live entertainment, family activities, an authors’ panel, and more!

 

Location

 

We are proud to be returning to the California State Capitol Building in Sacramento, on the south steps with convenient parking and local restaurants.

 

Speakers, Entertainers, Authors, and More

 

We are thrilled to share with you the many people who will be speaking, entertaining, and participating at our Authors’ and Podcasters’ Panel at this year’s Freethought Day (and the Fundraising Reception the night before):

 

  • Jason Torpy, Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers
  • Mandisa Thomas, Black Nonbelievers
  • Chris Johnson, A Better Life
  • Jason Heap, United Coalition of Reason
  • Tom Manger, Secular Coalition for California
  • Lyz Lidell, Secular Student Alliance
  • Amanda Metskas, Camp Quest
  • Victor Harris, Poet
  • Richard Carrier, Author
  • Greta Christina, Blogger and Author of Coming Out Atheist
  • Brendan Powell Smith, Author of The Brick Bible
  • David Fitzgerald, Author

 

.. and more!

 

Support and Volunteer

 

Freethought Day is an entirely non-profit event, supported by the freethought community. Your donation helps us cover our speakers’ travel, and pay for insurance, advertising, chair rentals, and food for our volunteers.

 

Here are four ways you can help make Freethought Day a continued success:

 

  • Donate to Freethought Day: Those that wish to support Freethought Day will be recognized in the program and on the website. And you can show your support with a keepsake button, all for just $25.
  • Fundraising Reception: Attend this special evening event on Saturday, October 10th which features live entertainment, a selection of great appetizers and desserts, wine, and the company of our speakers starting at $75. Also includes Reserved Seating at Freethought Day.
  • Host a Table: If you’re an author, business, freethought group, or any other community organization you can have your own table at Freethought Day. It’s free for student groups, $25 for authors, $50 for non-profits, and $100 for businesses.
  • Sponsorship: Businesses and organizations looking for exposure can sponsor Freethought Day starting at just $250. Benefits include reception attendance, on-stage announcements, an exhibitor table, program advertisements, reception tickets, and more.

 

For questions regarding support and volunteering, please contact David Diskin at david@LodiUnited.org.

 

See the event Facebook page

Raise a glass and learn at the Central Valley Café Scientifique

The school year has started, and Central Valley Café Scientifique is back in session!

 

For the price of a cup of coffee or glass of wine, the Café Scientifique forum is a place where anyone can explore the latest, cutting edge ideas of technology and science.

 

The café format starts with a speaker who is very knowledgeable in a field giving a short talk about a subject.  The subjects can be anything of science and technology.  After the initial presentation, everyone is given several minutes to relax, refill their glasses, and start a conversation.

 

Following that there is an hour or more of questions and answers.  Anyone can ask a question, and the questions and answers are frequently insightful and thought provoking.

 

The Central Valley Café Scientifique adds to the cultural opportunities in the California Central Valley.  Speakers are invited from local universities and beyond!

 

The informal setting encourages non-scientists to participate in a comfortable, non-academic atmosphere.

 

Currently Central Valley Café Scientifique meets on the first Monday evening every month.  See their website for details about time and venues.  (Click here)

Volunteer opportunities with CVAAS

We could use your help!

 

CVAAS is always looking for people that want to help us create and grow.

 

Opportunities to help include:

 

  • Writing and content creation
  • Graphics design
  • Desktop publishing
  • Podcast production
  • Website maintenance
  • Media relations
  • Public outreach
  • Advertising

 

If you have skills in any of these areas (or want to learn some of these skills) why don’t you let us know?

 

But what is in it for you?  Sure, you are doing this because you enjoy being a part of a secular / skeptical organization.  But it could mean more to you.

 

  • Volunteering with CVAAS is something that you can add to your resume.  Volunteer with us, and we will gladly provide volunteer references and a volunteer confirmation letter.
  • You could apply to become a “volunteer affiliate member” of CVAAS.  If accepted, you can trade 20 hours of volunteer time for a full one-year membership.
  • As a volunteer you can help make CVAAS a better organization – which benefits you, as a member!

 

Get started as a volunteer by letting us know!  Contact us in the form below, and let us know how you want to help.

 

[wdcontactform id=”1″]

CVAAS is back online!

We are back online, and it took some effort.

 

Instead of going with a customized website, or with a completely “free” website, CVAAS has purchased a turnkey membership site that couples together with WordPress.  Details such as membership lists, payments, and users are not kept at the CVAAS server, but are instead held by our pay gateway service.
tower crane

 

The membership tools give us some wonderful abilities to add content to our site for our members.  As we gain momentum, we will be adding lots of free media like podcasts, and we will also have some treats for our members – like debates and a full forum.

Continue reading “CVAAS is back online!”

Drinking Skeptically!

Got Doubt?

 

Do you have a hard time taking things at face value?  Are you inclined to question normally accepted opinions?

 

Then you should join up with a bunch of skeptics as we gather together at our local favorite places to have some food, and our favorite beverages!

 

Drinking Skeptically is an open event hosted by CVAAS for everyone who considers themselves a skeptic.  peeves-logo3Join us as we discuss any topic.  Nothing is off the table.  Our one rule is this:  Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence!

 

We currently meet at Peeve’s Public House, whose owner is a fellow freethinker and skeptic. Peeve’s offers a limited, daily menu of fresh, locally-sourced foods and a wide selection of beers and wines.

 

We are there from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm (or longer) on the first Sunday of every month!

 

Sometimes things happen and we can’t make it to Peeves.  If that happens, check our Meetup event page for our new location!

8th Annual Heretic’s BBQ!

Join CVAAS as we celebrate the 8th Annual Heretic’s Barbecue!

 

When:  Sunday, October 25th, 2015
from 11:30 am to 5 pm.
Location: Letterman Park, 908 Villa Ave, Clovis CA

 

This year our featured speaker is Eddie Tabash!

 

Eddie Tabash is a constitutional lawyer in the Los Angeles area. He chairs the Board of Directors of the Center for Inquiry Transnational and Chairs the Legal Committee of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He is one of the more well known separation of church and state lawyers in the United States.

 

Tabash_BioHe will be speaking on the “True Meaning of Separation of Church and State.” This presentation involves the history of the actual development of the First Amendment. Though, he is a very active Atheist, in this presentation, he will demonstrate how church/state separation is an enlightened concept that benefits believers as well as nonbelievers

 

Other events will include food (we’re serving Tri-Tip with all the fixings!) a chili cookoff (with prizes for the best chili), a raffle, and crafts.

 

This event is family friendly, and we encourage you to bring your kids.

 

Tickets for the Heretic’s Barbecue are $18.00 for adults, and $8.00 for children 12 and under.

 

If you purchase a CVAAS membership before the event, you will receive a $5.00 off coupon for the barbecue.  See the CVAAS store for tickets and details!

 

See you there!

CVAAS Member walks on water!

Members of CVAAS are pretty unique.  But there is something VERY special about one CVAAS member, Cart Duncan.

 

Cart walks on water!

 

Our first experience with Cart walking on water was at the second annual Heretic’s Barbecue.  At that event, CVAAS built a large container, and filled it with “Non-Newtonian Fluid”.  A mixture of cornstarch and water was used to create Oobleck, a type of non-Newtonian fluid that can withstand sheer stress while still remaining fluid.

 

Many CVAAS members walked across this mixture, but none with as much flair as Cart!

 

The next time we observed Cart striding across water was at a trip to Santa Cruz.

 

Escaping to the beach is a popular summertime destination for CVAAS members.  The Santa Cruz boardwalk, beaches, and restaurants are very popular.  As is the Cannery Row of Monterey.  The shoreline patio of the Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop in Monterey is a favorite place for members to hang out and enjoy the cooler weather.  Who cares if it is 100 degrees in Fresno?  In Monterey it is just the right temperature for hot chocolate and fascinating conversation!

 

Cart has also led CVAAS members to explore the history of the Fresno Fulton Mall, and when he isn’t traveling to some far off and exotic location, you can find him at many of our events.  We even talked him into donating blood!

 

CVAAS is made up of a lot of very interesting and diverse people.  Would you like to be part of that?  Maybe you can’t walk on water, but if you would like to try, consider joining CVAAS.  Lets go have some fun!

Become a member of CVAAS

Would you like to become part of the Central Valley Alliance of Atheists and Skeptics?

 

Our events are usually open to everyone, although occasionally we will host a “members only” event.  We also host on our website material that is for members only.  This can be presentations, videos or audio.  We also have a “members only” area in our online forum.

 

Becoming a member allows us to create and host better local events.

 

It seems like all the really “cool” events for atheism and skepticism are a 3 to 6 hour drive away, and cost a lot of money to attend.  CVAAS wants to help you out by creating local events that are fun and inexpensive.

 

Most often these events are centered on local venues, and occasionally we get together to create a day-trip to a cave, a fossil dig, or to the beach or a wine tasting trip.

 

And every year we have one or two major events where we invite a well-known speaker in the atheist or skeptical community to speak.  This costs money.  Selling tickets and asking for donations is one way that CVAAS finances these events.  Membership definitely helps!

 

You can purchase different membership levels in our online store.

 

We offer four different levels of membership.  Member, Student / Hardship, Volunteer and Associate.  Except for associate membership, all levels of membership are considered “paid” memberships, and offer full member benefits.  An associate membership is considered an “unpaid” membership and is limited in benefits.

 

Individual Member
Individual membership

Individual Membership

 

This is our full price membership which gives you all benefits of CVAAS membership, plus a $5.00 discount on the price of our annual Heretic’s Barbecue ticket.

 

As a CVAAS member, you can vote in CVAAS elections, run for office, serve on committees, and help steer the direction of our group.

 

Individual membership gives you access to “Members Only” areas of the CVAAS website, and allows you to post on our CVAAS discussion forum.

 

Membership also provides you with invitations to our “Members Only” functions. And you can opt-in to our members only email list, which will inform you of fun members only upcoming events.

 

Hardship_Student
Student / Hardship Membership

Student / Hardship Membership

 

This membership is half-priced.  To become a member under the Student / Hardship membership, you must be enrolled as a three quarter or full-time student, or be able to demonstrate financial hardship.  You will need to be approved by a CVAAS officer to receive this membership.

 

Once approved, you will be treated as a full member of CVAAS, with all the benefits of Individual Membership.

 

 

Volunteer
Volunteer Affiliate Membership

Volunteer / Affiliate Membership

 

Have you ever dreamed of being a minion?

 

To receive a CVAAS membership as a volunteer, you must first apply to become a CVAAS volunteer and pledge to volunteer a minimum of 20 hours for CVAAS for a one-year period in a non-officer position.

 

Once approved, you will be treated as a full member of CVAAS, with all the benefits of Individual Membership.

 

Associate Membership

 

Associate Membership
Associate Membership

So you want to be on our official email list?  You want to be forewarned about upcoming events via our automated email system?  You want to peek behind the curtains of our website just a little, but are not interested in joining in completely?

 

That’s fine.  You can sign up as an associate member of CVAAS for no cost to you.

 

There are some downsides.  You don’t get to vote in CVAAS elections or meetings.  You can’t run for office.  You will not get a discount for the Heretic’s Barbecue.  But if that is fine for you, then this is the membership that you want!