Heretic’s Barbecue in One Week!

9th Annual Heretic's Barbecue
Click here to learn more!
The Heretic’s Barbecue is just a week away!  Are you ready?

CVAAS has been working hard to prepare for the Heretic’s Barbecue.  The venue is locked in, we’re doing our final sound checks, the caterer is standing by.

Have you done your part?

Haven’t you wanted to go to one of the Secular or Skeptical conventions, but couldn’t because it was hours away by car or even a few states away?  

Bean Bag Toss Boards
“Cornhole” – bean bag toss

Here’s a secular and skeptical mini-con, right in your own backyard!

So you know about the food, and about our speakers – but did you know that this is a family friendly event?  There will be a pumpkin decorating contest, we have a “Cornhole” or bean bag toss setup, plus horseshoes.   Also the Moravia ship is in port on the children’s playground – this is a great place to be a ship captain, or pirate!

ticketsMore information:

  • CVAAS will be selling entry tickets at the door ($19 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under).  We do encourage you to purchase your tickets online.
  • There are still tables available for hosting – if your organization wants to promote itself, or if you would like to advertise your goods to a secular community, you can still do so by purchasing a table.  Your purchase price also gives you one ticket for entry.
It’s going to be a great day!  Come and be a part of it!


Why donate to CVAAS?

Donations along with memberships and sales allow us to create quality events and bring excellent speakers right here to Fresno.  We also use our budget to table at local venues, support the local secular and skeptical community, and to demonstrate that local religious leaders can not, and do not speak for everyone in the San Joaquin Valley.

Did you hear about the time that CVAAS helped Michael Shermer and Dinesh D’Souza have a debate about God right here in Fresno?


Maybe you heard that CVAAS members invited James Randi to have breakfast with us?  Mr. Randi not only graciously accepted, but for over two hours he entertained us with very sharp conversation and answers to our questions.  Plus, he did a little slight-of-hand magic.


It was pretty cool.  But that’s just the kind of thing we do here!


Wouldn’t it be great to travel to one of the big secular and skeptical events that happen outside of the San Joaquin Valley?  We could go to the Reason Rally in Washington DC, or to Skepticon in Springfield Missouri.


But for most people even Las Vegas with Jame’s Randi’s “The Amazing Meeting” seems too far away, and far too expensive.


This is one of the reasons why CVAAS is committed to bringing noted and popular skeptical, secular and science speakers to Fresno.  We want to give everyone the chance to meet some of our best minds in the rational community.


Past speakers at the CVAAS annual Heretic’s Barbecue include Brian Dunnin, Ed Brayton, James McGaha, and Eddie Tabash.


CVAAS has had to turn down opportunities because we just couldn’t stretch far enough to make them happen.  We came very close to turning down the opportunity to host Aron Ra for beer and pizza right here in Fresno because our budget was at its limit.


But we got this crazy idea – what if we asked for people to “chip in?”


The results were better than we could have hoped.  Within 48 hours we had met our goal.


Also, we had a good response from people who wanted to donate to us, with no muss or fuss.  This makes it easy.


So give us a hand.  Help us out.


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Past speakers at the Heretic’s Barbecue
Speakers for Heretic’s Barbecue 2016
Dinner with Aron Ra Oct. 20, 2016



Rational Horizon 06 – The “T” in LGBT – Transgender & Transsexual issues. Justice for All!

9th Annual Heretic's Barbecue
9th Annual Heretic’s Barbecue

In this edition of Rational Horizon, Mark Boyd interviews Jess and Jordan Fitzpatrick, and their friend Rain Chamberlain about issues important to the Transgender and Transsexual community.

Jess and Jordan are speakers at this year’s 9th Annual Heretic’s Barbecue.  You can find their printed biography on the event web page.

In this episode of Rational Horizon, Jess, Jordan and Rain help Mark understand some of the more pressing problems that are faced by people who are changing their gender.  While the gay and lesbian community have made great strides in acceptance and legal equality, the trans community is lagging far behind, for several reasons.

Mark learns about these reasons, which include attacks against trans people through conservative-sponsored legislation, through social and workplace discrimination, through violence, and through mindless computerized bureaucracy.  

We also discuss what the Fresno trans community is doing to assist transgender and transsexual people in need, and what they are doing in order to raise visibility and awareness of trans people with other Central Valley organizations.

This podcast was produced from the interview audio.  The original audio is available to listen to in its entirety in the Members drop-down menu.  Only paid members of CVAAS can access this audio.  If you would like to become a member, check our our store.  Members also receive a $5.00 discount from Heretic’s Barbecue tickets.

9th Annual Heretic’s Barbecue


9th Annual Heretic’s Barbecue!
Saturday, October 29

wineryThis is our biggest Heretic’s Barbecue EVER!  CVAAS has pulled together a great event  for the secular and skeptical community of the California Central Valley!

Join us for a day of wine, food, fun and secular speakers in a beautiful winery setting outdoors in the cool October weather.  You deserve to have a cool glass of wine after a hot summer!

ticketsOur new venue is the very beautiful and family friendly Moravia Wines and Event Center.  There is an elaborate playground for children  and horse shoes and bean bag toss for everyone.  As always, board games and crafts will be available – including create your own T-shirts and a pumpkin decorating contest with paints and markers.

We will have books and other items for sale, plus door prizes and several raffles.  And yes, bottles of wine will be included with our prizes.

HostTableHost a table at the Heretic’s Barbecue!
Want to promote your organization, club or business?
There are a limited number of tables available.  
Check the CVAAS store for availability.

Event Details:

Date: Saturday, October 29th, 2016
Time: 11:30 am to 5:00 pm.
Location: Moravia Wines & Event Center – 3620 N. Bishop Ave, Fresno CA 93723  (See Map)
Ticket Prices: Adults: $19.00.  Children 12 and under: $5.00.  Get $5.00 off with Membership.
Tickets: Get them from the CVAAS store!

Questions?  email, or call 559-892-0102


Heina Dadabhoy

Heina Dadabhoy
Heina Dadabhoy
Heina spent their childhood as a practicing Muslim who never in their right mind would have believed that they would grow up to be an atheist feminist secular humanist.

She has been an active participant in atheist organizations and events in and around Orange County, CA since 2007, and on the national stage since 2011.

Heina is a speaker and panelist on a range of diverse topics including feminism, race, LGBT issues, the challenges of deconversion, Islam, non-monogamy, strategies for inclusivity, and the various intersections of the above.

You may have heard them at Skepticon, the American Atheists National Convention, the Huffington Post Live, and Have Your Say on the BBC World Service or read about them in the New York Times. They are currently writing A Skeptic’s Guide to Islam.

You can find Heina online at her blog, “Heinous Dealings”.

Ashton P. Woods
Ashton P. Woods
Ashton P. Woods
Ashton is an Activist and native of New Orleans, LA that now resides Houston, TX. He began his life as an activist during his freshman year of high school and never stopped fighting for those who are the most marginalized.

Ashton’s willingness to fight comes from his thirst to selflessly create change and spread universal equality. Because he knows what being marginalized looks and feels like,

Ashton openly identifies as Gay/SGL, Atheist, HIV positive & unapologetically Black. While none of these things completely define Ashton, they highlight intersectionality and teach that being Black is not a monolith. 

In Ashton’s View justice must be intersectional and it is highlighted by his involvement in the Black Lives Matter Movement, SGL/LGBT rights, and equality for all when it comes to discrimination and overall fairness in society. 

Ashton will be participating from Houston Texas via two-way teleconference on our big projected screen.

You can find Ashton’s website here.

Jess & Jordan Fitzpatrick
Jess and Jordan
Jess & Jordan Fitzpatrick
Jess Fitzpatrick is the Vice-Chair of Trans-E-Motion. As a community organizer in Fresno Jess works to support and educate the transgender community, their friends and their families.
Jordan Fitzpatrick has been certified as a domestic violence counselor and is the social media coordinator for Trans-E-Motion. Jordan organizes events, presentations and outreach for the transgender community.
Jess and Jordan were married on June 18, 2016!

Jess & Jordan can be found on the Trans-E-Motion website.

CVAAS Lecture Series – 03 – Brian Dunning – “Five Miracles”

Brian_Dunning-201x300In this podcast CVAAS presents Brian Dunning at the 5th Annual Heretic’s Barbecue, held October 7th, 2012.

Mr. Dunning gives his skeptical presentation of 5 different miracles or miraculous events.  These events include:

  1. The Incorruptible Monk – a monk who died in 1927, and whose body has never degraded.
  2. The Angels of Mons – a group of angels who are said to have protected the British Army from the Germans in the Battle of Mons in World War I.
  3. The Miracle of Calanda – a farmer’s amputated leg is miraculously restored.
  4. John Frum and the Cargo Cults of Vanuatu – The mythology and religion of cargo cults.
  5. The Virgin of Guadalupe – The miraculous appearance of the Virgin Mary before Juan Diego.

Apologies for the poor recording.  There was a lot of ambient noise, and a lot of cleaning up and removing some very intrusive noises.  

Since 2012 CVAAS has been working toward making better quality recordings, and we will bring better podcasts to you in the future.  

You can hear more of Brian Dunning on his own podcast, from the “Skeptoid” podcast website.

The CVAAS Heretic’s Barbecue is an annual event that happens every year in late October.  This event has been increasing in size since it started, and is always a great time to get together and celebrate with other secular and skeptical people and their supporters.  

We have a great lunch, some excellent presentations, and crafts and activities.  In the past we have created our own UFOs, made pottery on a real potter’s wheel, made T-shirt art, traveled through “bad luck” gauntlets, committed homeopathic “suicide” and even walked on water!

What is coming up in future Heretic’s Barbecues?  Check out and find out!  And instead of hearing our speakers in a podcast, you can hear them while having some delicious barbecue among secular and skeptical friends.

Rational Horizon 05 – Sean and Mark talk about being at the Reason Rally and SkeptiCal conference

Mark and Sean talk about their experiences at the Reason Rally and the SkeptiCal Conference. Special musical appearance by singer bassist Joey Fabian.

Reason-Rally-Header-LogoSean visited the Reason Rally in Washington DC on June 4, 2016, and Mark was one of several CVAAS members who hosted a table at the Skeptical Conference in Oakland, CA on May 15, 2016.

small-avatarSean and Mark discuss these events, the people they met, and what they learned.

As a bonus, singer and bassist Joey Fabian has provided the podcast music for this episode!  If you like Joey’s music, check him out on iTunes.  You can also find him on Facebook, and at his website.

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!