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An entry as a request from :iconnatalyabass: who asked for input on starting a secular student club.  It's a big answer so I wanted to put it in my journal section.  

The best resource for starting a secular student club is the Secular Student Alliance.  They are completely supportive and will assist with any resources you need.

Some tips from my experience:

1) As soon as possible, start planning for who will replace you as president or club leader

Most new clubs discontinue after the founder leaves.  It's easy to fall into the obligation to do everything in the club yourself but it's important to delegate.  Encourage people to take a more active role in the club sooner, so when you leave there will be more people interested in taking over.  I also would consider not starting a club in your freshman year.  Get comfortable with your college first.

Secular Student Society by cbMorrie

2) Do not make the club solely about atheism or non-belief.

There is no fun sitting in a room talking about what you don't believe.

When you start your club, be aware of what your community and your members enjoy.  Not every club meeting has to be deep debate about religious/philosophical issues.  In fact, the less you concern your club with religion the better.  Your club is not about religion; it's about your members and doing things without religious context.  Making every club meeting into a secular agenda becomes either depressing or boring.

I started my Secular Student Club in northern California in a college town.  Likely 90% of students, including myself, were pursuing environmental degrees.  Therefore, a lot of our club activities involved volunteer work for environmental restoration.  It was fun for us to hang out as a group and it gave us community service to put on our resumes; we also got to explore Northern California this way.

Orick Farms and River Damage by cbMorrie Secular Volunteers by cbMorrie

3) Religious clubs and folks will approach you.  It's okay, most are open and friendly.

This will happen surprisingly a lot.  My club was not considered to be in a conservative area but nearly every school has one or two Christian clubs.  Members or founders of these clubs will likely come to you if you are tabling in an open area.  Perhaps naturally, they may expect you to be hostile.  ( I only say this because that is what most have told me afterwards. )  

Visitors to your table curious and there to learn about you.  Most will explain what they think an secular club is.  The most common question I got was something along the lines of "Are you an anti-theist group?"  When this question was asked, I would explain that we are more of a social group for like-minded individuals.  I would also show them examples from our upcoming activities that prove that our club is not full of militant atheists.  

It's natural to expect some kind of resistance from religious folk.  Like me, you may have had bad experiences living in religious communities or maybe you've just seen stuff on the internet.  However, most visitors have their own misconceptions about non-religious folk (particularly atheists) and the general secular community.  The best part is, they are visiting your table because they have misconceptions and they're curious if they're right or not.  You have the opportunity to change any misconceptions and it's a cool experience.  Most visitors I got were really happy to learn we were not an anti-theist group and that we did community service and fun stuff like movie nights.  I even had one mother, who was a Christian, say she was really happy her son, who was not religious, would be in a club like ours.  

Also, many questions may come off as rude or disrespectful but always remember those questions are likely rooted in misconceptions and it's your chance to directly address them.  

However, as I say this there were times were people wanted to start debates.  One guy even started it when we were just chillin' at an art fair.  Feel free to give your opinion and whatnot but if you really don't want to debate with random strangers then just invite them to your next meeting.  They usually don't care that much to show.

Simply put, don't think that you'll always be forced to defend your club and treat questions as honest inquires and not as challenges.

Flying Spaghetti Monster Emote by cbMorrie

4) When using your club on your resume

It's difficult to decide whether or not to put secular club activities on your resume.  If you live in a more Christian conservative area, employers may ignore your resume.  Other employers specifically say do not put anything on your resume that relates to religion, political, race, gender etc etc, because they do not want someone later saying, for example, they were not hired because they're black and their resume said "Black Student Association" or something.  In that case, your efforts at your club may seem to have no after benefit.  However, most work places do not care although there are ways to better describe your club.

- I would not put "atheist" or "agnostic" on your resume.  They're very jarring words (whether that is fair or not is beside the point).  Plus, implying that you are atheist or agnostic is a meaningless description of yourself for a job.  "Secular" is a good word.  It's general and classy looking.

- Describe your club as something that benefits students.  Your employer does not care about the values of secularism or the importance of separation of church and state.  How did your club contribute to your school and provide positive social outlets.

- If you founded the club, what did you learn about organization, speaking, and leadership.  Doesn't matter if you founded the Kittenz4Evah club, you learned something about organization, speaking and leadership that is gold for your resume.

There will eventually come a point where college clubs are a silly thing to put on resumes.  I don't even put my old secular club on my resume cause it was years ago.  All the skills I got were eventually replaced with more relevant experiences.  So don't think that starting a club will be a permanent feature on your resume

Atheist A Icon by cbMorrie

5) Enjoy your club

Yes, the meaningless last rule for everything.  But seriously, clubs are meant to be fun.  It's easy to get caught up in a mission but remember, it's a club.  Maybe a religious club won't like you, fuck 'em, it's not their club.  Maybe your club just wants to eat popcorn while watching Game of Thrones, fuck yea, it's your club.

Work in Progress: Lucca and Robo

Mon Apr 14, 2014, 7:31 PM
Something I have been working on for a while but barely getting through cause of lack of time.  I've been wanting to share it and also getting any input on drawing robots as I continue.  I can never seem to get robots to look right.

Please give input!

I finally got internet in my new place!

My Favorite Pranks

Sun Mar 30, 2014, 8:14 PM
Warning!  For best results prank only friends!

1) Tape an air horn behind the door.

2) Get a bottle of coke, a bottle of sprite, and some soy sauce.  Drink the bottle of coke.  For best results drink on a hot day.  Pour the sprite into the coke bottle.  Add soy sauce until sprite looks like coke.  Offer to forgiving friend.

3) Wrap dozens of rubber bands around your friend's phone.

4) If your friend has pets.

5) Paint soap with clear nail polish; the soap won't lather in the shower.

Now for my favorite professional pranks:

It's Just a Theory Ideas?

Thu Mar 27, 2014, 5:42 PM
Since I don't often remove anything from my gallery, I sometimes get comments and favorites on things I did years ago.  I got to say, when it happens it's a little embarrassing because the work is really shitty quality.  

This recently started happening with a submission called "Just a Theory" where my opinion was I stop listening once someone said that evolution is just a theory.  I don't know how sometimes old work gets more attention but I ended up deleting it.  While I still have that opinion, the way I delivered the message was really crude.

I believe that there is a distinction between people who have questions about evolution and those who make a career out of trying to disprove it.  I get tired of just thinking back on that submission and thinking of old "evolution vs creationism" arguments that would go on and on and on...and it would just become an argument about religion.

I thought about maybe redoing, but I can't really think of a way to positively convey that message.  Normally a disbelief in evolution comes from 1) believing that evolution is a belief of atheism 2) evolution is against God or one cannot be religious and accept evolution 3) :edit: believing that :edit: scientists are actively try to disprove everything about religion.

I would love to do a drawing addressing positively any message along the lines of 1) evolution is not an atheist thing 2) anyone can be a biologist and have religion in their lives.  Does anyone have ideas or thoughts?

Commission Info

Tue Mar 11, 2014, 10:48 AM
I have the luxury of declining anything I don't feel comfortable drawing. Don't worry about asking though.

I'm not great with deadlines on commissions. I'll finish as soon as possible but I'd rather not promise a date.

Pay what-you-want Commissions

As the name implies, you get to pay what you want for your commissions.  Regardless of what's requested in a commission, you can pay what you think it's worth.  Both points and paypal are accepted

Why do this?  I'm not a professional artist so drawing is simply for fun.  Even so, it's rewarding to earn a little profit for drawing.  I really don't know what my commissions are worth so you get to help me out!

I'll accept payment after the commission is done. I'd prefer if you don't tell me how much you'll pay until after the commission is done.

Suggestions for commissions
sketch :bulletred: ink (no color) :bulletred: color (flat colors with shading) :bulletred: full color (color bending a.k.a best I can do)

Pikmin CHARGE! by cbMorrieGeek Girls got Nothing to Prove by cbMorrieSentai Portrat by cbMorrie

Art with a Heart

Why not do a good deed for the love of art?!  Donate to any of the listed organizations bellow and help out your fellow human being.  Your charitable actions will be included in the comment section of your commission.  Donations much be at least $10.  Please send me a link of the receipt.

Members of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage are committed to ending child marriage, a harmful traditional practice that affects millions of children, predominantly girls, every year. As members of Girls Not Brides, we are joining together to accelerate efforts to prevent child marriage, and to support girls who are or have been married, all over the world.  Girls Not Brides will amplify the voices of girls at risk of child marriage and defend the rights of girls to health, education and the opportunity to fulfil their potential. In line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, we believe that 18 should be the minimum age of marriage for boys and girls.  In working to end child marriage, we believe that social change cannot succeed without community engagement. Members of Girls Not Brides will work together to enhance and strengthen efforts to end child marriage at community, local, national and global levels.

God Loves Uganda explores the role of the American evangelical movement in Uganda, where American missionaries have been credited with both creating schools and hospitals and promoting dangerous religious bigotry.  The film follows evangelical leaders in America and Uganda along with politicians and missionaries as they attempt the task of eliminating “sexual sin” and converting Ugandans to fundamentalist Christianity.

EarthCorps is a local restoration organization based out of Sand Point in Seattle, WA.  They are affiliated with AmeriCorps whose mission is to provide young Americans with jobs and training.  I recently just completed a year long volunteer service at EarthCorps.  My job included, removing invasive plants to the Northwest, planting natives, educating local communities on ecology and overall improving Seattle's Urban Parks.
I owe a lot of new skills to EarthCorps and I hope to give back in what way I can.  If you have any questions about EarthCorps, please feel free to ask.

Part of EarthCorps's mission is to invite international participates to learn about ecology and non-profit in the United States.  International participates stayed with us for six months out of the year.  During that time, I got to know a young man from Haiti.  He currently runs an orphanage with his mother and they are raising 14 children.  Most of these children lost their parents through the latest earthquake.  Raising children is expensive and any help you can give would be greatly appreciated.

I'd like to add quotations to "polar vortex" since the title does not allow me to.  The term was invited by the media and has no scientific definition.  And it's the media that has also started this look how cold it is - global warming must be fake nonsense.  I feel a little compelled  to talk about how that statement is wrong.  My job and education deal with ecological restoration and community outreach for starters.  Also, my favorite entertainment sources have been frequently making jokes about it.  For example:

First off, the "controversy" of global warming legitimacy is mainly an American phenomenon.  It is mostly perpetuated by politicians, media, and business affected by measures to reduce carbon emissions.

American Association of Science (AAAS): The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

How political polarization became part of this particular environmental issue is its own topic of study.  The point being that the controversy is purely political.

Sage Journals: Where Does Political Polarization Come From?  Locating Polarization Within the U.S. Climate Change Debate.

Scientific consensus does not dispute the fact that current global warming trends are most likely caused by human activities.  Yes, scientific consensus can be wrong.  The history of science shows hundreds of theories which have either been updated or proven false by the availability of new information.  New information that may be available due to new technology, experiment, or whatever consideration.  That is why it is correct to say most likely due to human activities and not definitely due to human activities.  This is true of every theory, even the ones that seem a given like the Theory of Gravity.  It is also true of those who incorrectly say (in more ways than one) that global warming is definitely not happening.

The problem with presenting "both sides."

The problem with news organizations is generally they want to present both sides of the debate.  That's all well and good until they pair an educated expert with someone who just has an opinion.  Such as, have a doctor debate with someone who believes vaccines are harmful.  By giving equal attention to the person who thinks vaccines are harmful, you make that person appear to have credibility.  It's called media bias and it's why news organizations very often misrepresent science.

Flashing titles is another tool used by media to manipulate opinion.  Consider that less than 1% of scientists think that evolution is false.  The scientific consensus agrees that the Theory of Evolution is accurate.  A news organization may find a scientist in that <1% and pair him/her with someone in the scientific consensus.  They may both have equal titles and viewers are left believing that evolution is disputed amongst scientists.  That is why it is an appeal to authority fallacy to say," I don't think evolution is true and I know of a scientist who thinks so as well."  A title is not credibility.  

However, it is not an appeal to authority fallacy to say that because there is scientific consensus, a theory is likely true.  Whereas a title does not give a scientist credibility, his or her work and past accomplishments does.  It is generally more logical to take advice from a plumber who has been in the field for over 25 years over one who has just started yesterday.  Because no single scientist in a lifetime can receive all related science education, work in all scientific fields, and research everything...we rely on the accumulative effort of the entire scientific community.  If you conducted a test with the hypothesis that cats always land on their feet and the results were 99/100 cat landed on feet vs 1/100 cat did not, you would not conclude that it is uncertain if a cat will land on its feet or not.  Similar to scientific consensus, 100% of scientists conducted experiments and research on the topic of global warming and climate change.  97%, in a variety of circumstances, concluded that this man-made phenomenon is happening.  Whereas, 3% disagree or have other conclusions.  That 3% are not necessarily invalidated by the 97%.  However, similar to how we would agree that a cat will land on its feet because 99/100 it did, we agree that global warming is occurring because 97% of experts agree.  If you're scientifically inclined, it's easy to do a little research and find out why those experts agree.

Playing on word choice: Climate Change vs Global Warming

Why do sometimes people say global warming and other times people say climate change?  What is the difference between the two?  Contrary to popular belief, the term Climate Change was not invented by liberals because the term Global Warming looks inaccurate.  Both terms have a long history of use.  "Climate Change" appeared in Gilbert Plass, The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climate Change in 1956.  Although both are often used interchangeable, they technically have different definitions.

Global Warming refers to the overall rise in temperature experienced globally.  Although there are ups and downs lasting decades on the graph above, overall temperatures have been increasing.

Climate change in contrast refers to the more local climate zones.  The climate of those living on the equator is not the same as the climate of those living in Canada.  Climate change is affected by global warming.  Each climate reacts differently.  The general understanding is that global warming will cause more extreme weather events similar to the "polar vortex" we are experiencing now.  The "polar vortex" is an example of climate change, not global warming.  

Now imagine bias media using the term global warming in light of the "polar vortex."  Their word choice makes the theory seem unlikely.

"In public discourse and survey research, global climate change is sometimes referred to as “global warming” and sometimes as “climate change.” An analysis of web sites of conservative and liberal think tanks suggests that conservatives prefer to use the term “global warming” whereas liberals prefer “climate change.” A question wording experiment (N = 2267) illustrates the power of these frames: Republicans were less likely to endorse that the phenomenon is real when it was referred to as “global warming” (44.0%) rather than “climate change” (60.2%), whereas Democrats were unaffected by question wording (86.9% vs. 86.4%). As a result, the partisan divide on the issue dropped from 42.9 percentage points under a “global warming” frame to 26.2 percentage points under a “climate change” frame. Theoretical and methodological implications are discussed."

Oxford Journals: “Global warming” or “climate change”?  Whether the planet is warming depends on question wording

Global warming states that weather events will become more extreme, not that everything will get hot.

Is the "polar vortex," or more accurately, 2014 North American cold wave, a result of global warming?  I don't know.  Nobody can really say for sure yet because it just happened.  Everyone is just speculating right now so I will too by shamelessly quoting wiki which says,

"This phenomenon can be understood to result from the rapid melting of polar sea ice, which replaces white, reflective ice with dark, absorbent open water (i.e., the albedo of this region has decreased). As a result, the region has heated up faster than other parts of the globe. With the lack of a sufficient temperature difference between Arctic and southern regions to drive jet stream winds, the jet stream may have become weaker and more variable in its course, allowing cold air usually confined to the poles to reach further into the mid latitudes."

-Wetzel, G; Oelhaf, H.; Kirner, O.; Friedl-Vallon, F.; Ruhnke, R. (2012). "Diurnal variations of reactive chlorine and nitrogen oxides observed by MIPAS-B inside the January 2010 Arctic vortex". Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 12 (14): 6581–6592.

Weng, H. (2012). "Impacts of multi-scale solar activity on climate. Part I: Atmospheric circulation patterns and climate extremes". Advances in Atmospheric Sciences 29 (4): 867–886. doi:10.1007/s00376-012-1238-1.

Lue, J.-M.; Kim, S.-J.; Abe-Ouchi, A.; Yu, Y.; Ohgaito, R. (2010). "Arctic Oscillation during the Mid-Holocene and Last Glacial Maximum from PMIP2 Coupled Model Simulations". Journal of Climate 23 (14): 3792–3813. doi:10.1175/2010JCLI3331.1.

Zielinski, G.; Mershon, G. (1997). "Paleoenvironmental implications of the insoluble microparticle record in the GISP2 (Greenland) ice core during the rapidly changing climate of the Pleistocene-Holocene transition". Bulletin of the Geological Society of America 109 (5): 547–559. doi:10.1130/0016-7606.

Don't let your political sides muddle this rather ordinary environmental issue.  Politicians have the longest history of being lairs.  A political party does not possibility have the same track record of integrity as the scientific community.   Don't let someone just get away with throwing a title out there either.  "Do kittens love to be thrown?  YES!" says the man with a PHD!  Whereas an entire community of cat owners suggest not throwing your kitten.  Last but not least, just because it's cold where you live doesn't mean global warming isn't happening.