Moral High Ground
public forums
March 2008 Public Forum
Arvonne Fraser
Arvonne Fraser
Author, Activist

Author of "She's no Lady

Our speaker, Arvonne Fraser, is a well known leader in the movement to achieve equal rights and opportunities for women. She has had a large impact on freeing women from the religion-based restrictions that denied them equality of rights and opportunities for centuries. Among many other leadership roles, she is a Senior Fellow Emerita, Univ. of Minn. Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, was U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (1993-4) and has been a member of various U.S. delegations to UN world conferences.

Arvonne currently focuses on writing and community activism. Her current book is a memoir, She's No Lady: Politics, Family and International Feminism. In 2004 she wrote Developing Power: How Women Transformed International Development, a book of memoirs by 27 women leaders from around the world. Her article, "Becoming Human: the origins and development of women's human rights," published in Human Rights Quarterly in November, 1999, is the lead chapter in Gender and Human Rights: a global perspective, published in 2001

Total Time 57:26 min
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November 2007 Public Forum
Dan Barker

Dan's speech, "Beyond Iraq: The Threat to Freedom of an Imperial Presidency," was about recent lawsuits supported by the Bush administration whose purpose was to undermine state-church separation and decrease the legal ability of citizens to protect it.

The most recent case, which FFRF lost (thanks to a Supreme Court now dominated by religious-right Catholic Justices), was Hein vs. Freedom From Religion Foundation. The Court ruled that the President can use discretionary funds allocated to him by Congress to support religious activities if he so chooses and that citizens have no standing to challenge that.

Total Time 57:26 min
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July 2007 Public Forum
Keith Ellison
Keith Ellison
US Representative

The first Muslim elected to the US congress.

See his website

Rep. Keith Ellison made our 8 July public forum a great success! It was a genuine public forum in terms of audience participation and the best turnout ever, although audience size has been building as the series continues. Large audience . . . lots of give and take . . . lively discussion of substantive civic issues. It was all we have hoped our forums could be.

A reporter from the Star Tribune, Mike Kaszuba, was there. He wrote a very good article that appeared in the 9 July paper on page B2. It was headed "Atheists applaud Ellison's views on Cheney, Libby, 9/11" and subheaded "'You'll always find this Muslim standing up for your right to be atheists,' he told the group."

Total Time 57:26 min
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May 2007 Public Forum

Dr. Robert Price
Dr. Robert M. Price
Professor of Biblical Criticism
Editor of The Journal of Higher Criticism
Memeber of The Jesus Project
Author of many books on Biblical Criticism
See his website

Underscoring this year's forum theme, "One Nation Indivisible," Dr. Price's topic "Moses and Madison: The Bible and Political Mythology", is about the role of religion in public life. Dr. Price will show how the Bible is an ancient document inapplicable to the modern world and that we neither do nor should base our laws on it. Dr. Price is Professor of Biblical Criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute as well as the editor of The Journal of Higher Criticism. He is also a member of The Jesus Project (a scholarly study of the New Testament, investigating whether Jesus ever existed as an historical person) and author of several books.Dr. Price also appeared in Brian Flemming's film,The God Who Wasn't There.

To see our flyer for the May Public Forum,CLICK HERE!.

Total Time 76:16 min

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March 2007 Public Forum

Andy Dawkins Former MN Representative Andy Dawkins talks to us about legislation concerning civic projects. These include laws for custody, the Youth Works Program and housing issues.

Total Time 60:00 min

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November 2006 Public Forum

Dr. Michael Newdow Michael Newdow, the atheist that brought the "under god" in the pledge suit to the US Supreme court will speak on Sunday, November 12th. It will be at the large Southdale Regional Library in Edina from 1 to 2 PM. As always, this will be a free event for the public as we try to build awareness of the importance of maintaining a secular government.

Total Time 62:08 min

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September 2006 Forum

Susan Sackett

Susan Sackett
Author of
Inside Trek:
My secret life with
Gene Roddenberry

Susan Sackett was for 17 years the personal executive assistant to Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry. She is the author of INSIDE TREK: My secret life with Gene Roddenberry. Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Star Trek, Ms. Sackett will describe the secular philosophy that informed the Star Trek saga and discuss its relevance to the rise of religious extremism today. We were not able to video tape the forum, however Susan was kind enough to do the following video with us while she was here!
Visit her website at Insidetrek.com

Total Time 24:21 min

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July 2006 Public Forum

PZ Myers

PZ Myers
Associate Biology Professor
University of Minnesota

Dr. Myers explains 2 discovories in the first week of April in 2006. These are very important to science but deemed "Piddling" by creationists. They are "Tiktaalik roseae" (an intermediary fossil between fish and tetrapod) and the early receptor for steroid hormones. The best way to view these is to also load the presentation file (pdf) and follow the slides with the video/audio.

Total Time 58:38 min

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June Public Forum

Barry Lynn

Rev. Barry Lynn
Executive Director
Americans United for
Chruch and State

We started off our series of free Public Forums on the importance of maintaining a Secular Government at the new Downtown Public Library in Minneapolis on Wednesday June 14th and Thursday June 15th at the Landmark Center in St. Paul. Click on the picture of Rev. Lynn for an audio of this forum.

Total Time 43:04 min

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