Great Plains Chapter - Americans United For Separation of Church and State

Second Annual Meeting (2010)

Friday, September 10, 2010

On September 10th a crowd of over 130 people packed the auditorium at Exploration Place to hear film maker and author, Dr.Randy Olson discuss his new book, "Don't Be Such A Scientist" in how to communicate more effectively the important issues facing the scientific community such as global warming to evolution.

The evening was called to order with a brief business meeting to approve new members to the 2010-2011 Great Plains Board and review the accomplishments of the 2009-2010 year. At the conclusion of the business meeting Dr. Olson presented a PowerPoint presentation with a lively Q & A following his talk. Many audience members expressed frustration that hard science is always on the defense next to bogus and shallow arguments from organizations and people whose agenda is suspect. Another comment from the audience was the constant amount of misinformation spread in the mainstream media confusing the public about important and critical issues of science such as global warming and evolution. Many audience members believe there is still a real threat to replace hard science with pseudo science in the public schools and the concern about how this would affect our national security and technologies in the years to come if we do not have a strong scientific base in America's schools.

When asked about the large turnout and support for the new chapter, president Vickie Sandell Stangl responded: "I'm thrilled about the evening. I think tonight demonstrates how much the local chapter is growing and the number of people not only in Wichita but the surrounding area are interested in speaking out about protecting the separation of church and state. We have so much to do in this community. Unfortunately, violations are taking place so frequently it is difficult to keep up with the groups or individuals who are actively working to demolish the wall protecting everyone's religious liberties and freedom of conscience. I don't think there is a more important or more critical issue facing America today than standing up to those who refuse to support our secular constitution. The Religious Right can try to rewrite history but they can't erase the fact that the founders did not elevate or require religious dogma be included in the constitution. No amount of reinterpreting history can change this fact."

Randy Olson came to town with his amazing mother Harriette Olson, better known as "Muffy Moose". In a private reception and fundraiser for AU at the home of Dr. Robert Stangl and Vickie Stangl, Mr. Olson and his famous mother regaled the guests with a wonderful presentation via the wonders of power point to present the story of Olson's mother's life.

Muffy's stories and memories of W.W. II enthralled everyone. Harriette Olson is descended from Chief Justice John Marshall, and her father was General Marshall, under General MacArthur . As a young woman, Muffy was on Corregidor Island before she was evacuated as the Japanese were advancing. She told how her only brother was lost at sea, and what her life was like in the states during and after the war. It was an unforgettable night with Muffy Moose. Everyone felt richer for having the chance to meet andhear Muffy's amazing life story.