(I’m warning everybody: This will probably insult, well, just about everybody.- jm)

February 29, 2015

Greetings Colleagues! and welcome to the 2015 membership year.

You’ve probably noticed our new association name and logo. Normally we would have made up some test samples and asked our membership for feedback, but as we were all a bit, perhaps stunned is not too strong a word to use here, by the House Subcommittee’s declaration, we were compelled to act with what might seem undue haste.

For those of you who haven’t heard the news!  Petitions were heard and validated from both the American Atheists’ Activist Association in the Humanities (AAAAH) and the Family Association of Parents’ Religious Rights in Higher Education (FAPRRITHE).  The joint Council determined that AAAAH had a constitutional right to insist that science, and science alone, be taught in science classes. FAPRRITHE countered then that any classes involving or discussing religion be classified as “Religious Studies” and thus could not be taught in a way that undermined the authenticity of any stated “Religious Theory.”  After fifteen of our highest-ranking members testified as the the definition of “metaphysical philosophy,” some being called twice to assure that each House Member understood and could spell all the words, it was determined by the Council, the AAAAH representatives and the FAPRRITHE representatives that there was no place for — indeed, no purpose to — secular metaphysics in higher education the the United States of America.  The AAAAH representative issued a stirring statement that “science has finally triumphed over metaphysical superstition” and the FAPRRITHE representatives were gratified that “pagan secular humanism” had been eliminated from the curriculum “to which we subject our impressionable young people, the leaders of Tomorrow’s America.”  The Subcommittee chairman praised the two groups’ collaboration, noting that “the only thing these two groups absolutely agreed upon was that there is simply no use for philosophy in America” and that rarely had he had the opportunity to act “in accordance with so overwhelming a majority of American opinion.”

We met in our basement offices in Philadelphia the next day to vote on the name change.  We hope you are satisfied with the decision, and that it will continue to serve you, the membership, well.

Perhaps it is not necessary to add that our Summer Workshop Series has been cancelled for 2015.  We of course hope that this change does not affect you in personal finances, as we can understand how your institutions’ Departments (we await confirmation for the official name change from each of our associated member institutions) might not wish to reimburse any incurred expenses.  We have arranged three hotline numbers for you to call should you need to request a refund for convention fees or travel expenses.  For those who were scheduled to attend Session A (formerly Biblical Hermeneutics) please call (609) 555-1111; for Session B (formerly Platonic and Greek Religious Thought) call (609) 555-1112; and Session C (Existentialism and Ontology) call (609) 555-1113.

We on the Conference Committee would like to extend thanks, and further apology for the inconvenience, to those who submitted such well-written proposals to our Call for Papers. We have taken the liberty of having some of the abstracts translated into German and sending them along to our colleagues in Munich to see if they might not be suitable for their 2016 World Conference, although again we can anticipate that there might be financial difficulties associated with the cost of attending, along with the added burden of you each needing to learn German in just under a year and a half.

On a personal note, let me say that the support and understanding of the officers, committee leaders, and members at large has been wholeheartedly appreciated throughout this transition process. I am impressed with your professionalism and inspired by your willing aid. I am moved to quote from (REDACTED)  when he said, “(REDACTED).”

So again, welcome to the new year!  Please make use of our updated Membership Directory (link to webpage listed below) to keep in touch with one another, as we can anticipate that your institutions, the local churches, the PTA, the production staff at COSMOS, the new association of Bill Nye and Ken Ham Against Metaphysics, the entire staff of the National Institute for Sciences, the editors of the National Review, and the Salvation Army might be more enthusiastic than judicious when applying the new rules regarding our approved speech patterns. Which brings to mind another number you might wish to note: (609) 555-9999, or, as we have taken to calling it here, the “Emergency Bill Maher” number.  If anyone in our association is approached by either an astrophysicist, ethnobiologist or other scientist, an atheist, a minister, or a parent and that member feels in any way intimidated, he or she should feel free to call. Your safety is of paramount importance to us and so the line is fully anonymous. Our professional counselors will provide you with step-by-step instructions to avoid violating the statues both against Polluting the Sciences With Mystical, Spiritual, Transcendent or Other New-Agey Crap (I do believe the Subcommittee is working on an acronym for that, as it is rather unwieldy) as well as the Anti-Defamation Act Regarding Use of The Word of The Lord. We are, as always, here to help.

May God/Logical Positivism bless you and keep you.