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Hi. Thanks for checking it out. The basic info on SOAR is this: SOAR is the title I have given to the little print publication I created. Why print? Mainly because several people have told me that although they love having their computer for writing and researching the web, they really hate to have to read large amounts of text from the screen. I tend to agree with that. Other reasons.
The premier issue of SOAR was mailed out in August '99, and has been successfully published monthly since then. The next issue will be Vol. 2, No. 7 - July 2000. I try to have each issue mailed by the fifth of the month. It is a small monthly magazine (approximately 16 - 20 pages [sometimes bigger!]) of articles, letters, humor, poetry and information of all sorts that may be of interest to the person who considers him or her self to be a freethinker. What's a freethinker?
SOAR needs YOU! SOAR combines articles and items of fact, with the personal opinions of any readers who care to offer comment. There is NO TOPIC that is off limits in SOAR. We cover everything from anarchy to zoology. It is sometimes said that there are at least three things one simply does NOT discuss in polite society: politics, religion and sex. SOAR has never (yet) been accused of being "polite society." If you have an opinion on any of the issues of the day, the "BIG Questions" of life, religion, politics, economics, sexuality, etc., and are willing to share it with others, send it in. Handwritten (if it's legible), typed, email, Word format; I'll take almost anything I can read.
SOAR will succeed or fail based entirely on the response it gets from the public (and so far it's been more positive than not). I would gladly offer it free of charge if I were able, but I am very poor and cannot afford to do so. This is NOT an attempt to make money for myself. I only hope to get enough subscription money to cover the actual costs of production and distribution.
Also, although SOAR will never intentionally offend anyone, some issues MAY contain language and/or graphic images which some people may find offensive. If you are easily offended you probably should refrain from reading it.
My purpose in publishing SOAR is to offer all those interested a CIVIL forum in which to teach, learn, express opinion, and generally to foster more communication between people. I will certainly welcome and carefully consider all reader input. Go here for a sample of recently included material.
Think you're up to SOARing with us? If you're a little squeamish you can send me a buck which will get you a copy of the most current issue.
If you're bold and like to try new things, send me $20 which will get you a one-year (12 issues) subscription.
You want back issues? Hey they're only a buck each, or 5 for $3!
The most common definition these days seems to be the one used by the FFRF. I basically replace the word "religion" in their definition with the words "all areas." My definition of "freethinker" is:
"One who applies critical thinking and logic to ALL AREAS of human experience; rejects supernatural and authoritarian beliefs; values rational and scientific inquiry, individual freedom and responsibility, and recognizes the need for tolerance and cooperation."
Why do I place such emphasis on this? Because during the past year I have discovered, to my surprise and disappointment, that some people who call themselves freethinkers, do not have a very "freethinking" attitude at all once the subject matter gets aways from church/state separation issues. I'm sure you all know there are some people who are so obsessed by their religious dogma that civil discussion and/or debate with them on the issue is impossible. One would think (I did) that those who call themselves freethinkers would be a little more open minded about things, at least be willing to listen to a different point of view and maybe debate the relative merits of the idea or opinion. Sadly, some alleged "freethinkers" are so bound by political and/or social dogmas that they are as impossible to reason with as the rabidly religious.
I seem to be just naturally a writer and editor (of what quality you may judge). After being the editor of a group newsletter for almost three years and it suddenly being discontinued, I felt the need to continue in some way - hence SOAR.
"...I meant to write earlier about SOAR, it's pretty fucking awesome. ...you have some really, um, controversial topics that even freethinkers might find disturbing, but hey, I love 'em even though I don't fully agree. I just thought it was great that you could bring them up without worrying about popular opinion. ...you have some kinda "out there" ideas, as far as I see it, but at least you have ideas! And well thought out I must add. Keep up the good work, I can't wait for this month's issue. ...I recently was banned from seeing a friend because her parents saw my page, and now think I'm evil. They barely even know me and already judge me - people can be such assholes!"
Aaron Chapman - Garland, Texas
"I just received your excellent publication today. It's terrific! ... Here's my subscriber's fee and a donation to help in your success with this publication."
"Temy Beal is one of the truest freethinkers ever. I, the Christian, could not respect him more. With freethought at the base, as a conviction, theists and atheists can learn to live together harmoniously. It is a pleasure to have made his acquaintance. I hope to graduate to friend."
"G. Zeinelde Jordan has been winning friends and influencing people, and, well kinda sorta vice-versa with 'Birth and Death of an Atheist.' As expected, SOAR publisher Temy Beal received complaints for printing it in its six-page entirety (beginning on the front page). One Jordan foe wrote, 'How come Mr. Jordan gets front page and so many pages? Hey, I'd give my eye teeth for that!!' Jordan has been assured of space to respond in SOAR to the over 12 columns of reponses to 'Birth and Death of an Atheist.' Beal stuck to 'both barrels' of his guns, pointing them not only at Jordan's article but at his readers; to ensure his freethought newsletter will encompass all positions, he started 'Ye Olde Debate Pages,' inviting comments from both sides."
Temy, I don't know how you do it, but SOAR remains lively throughout and a pure pleasure to read. I esp. like your honest commentary on whatever strikes your eye, so always include that, even just a sort of running record of what is going on, how you see events unfolding, etc. You are a "natural" writer, though I also know you have worked at it, and have developed your craft well.
Soar, for there are no ceilings on our thoughts.
The fear and guilt they taught us as small tots.
Once crusted over, hard as any scab,
Held tight against the demons' constant jab.
But, I broke through the hardened scab one day.
The tight bonds of religion dropped away.
At last the joys of reason flooded in,
No more a need for salvation from sin.
The sin was just not knowing how to think.
My head would hit the cap so thoughts would sink.
I soar and they can never stop me now.
This atheist they don't want anyhow!
Dorothy B. Thompson - Bandon, Oregon
Bob Truett - Vandiver, Alabama
[Get info on The Natural Way. -ed.]
"Great publication. Glad I subscribed. Please send #1 and #2 before the religious deluge at Thanksgiving begins."
Just finished reading 4th issue of SOAR. Very good. Glad to see you are hard at work. Keep up the excellent work. Enclosed is a check for $500 to cover subscriptions for 5 years, cost of 3 back issues, plus a kickoff donation."
"Dear Mr Beal,
Spectacular magazine! You will not find such courage and honesty in the yellow press! Finally an editor with intellect! Your views mirror mine, and many others', exactly. "The Sexual Need of Pubescent Males" was particularly important I thought. The main point certainly rings true in my own experience, however I think the speculation on homosexuality was a little irrelevant. Desmond Morris in his book The Human Zoo identifies imprinting as important to sexuality. Freedom of choice is the imperative in all things. Legalized prostitution would be a great choice to have. Relief, what a marvelous choice! Keep up the good work! ...You are a rebel without a pause, my friend!
Onward toward Revolution,