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Next Stop America: An Update

September 20th, 2011 by Madeleine

On 8 November, about 7 weeks from now, Matt and I will board a plane heading to the United States of America. Whilst there we will attend 5 major conferences and, between us, speak at 4 of them. We view this as an opportunity to serve God and the body of Christ, contribute to our fields, learn and grow, meet people, make friends, network, pursue employment options, publication options and represent New Zealand and we are really excited and humbled to have been invited.

It is a real challenge for us to get there in terms of finance, my pain disability and the logistics of leaving our children for two weeks but we are determined to find a way. Our teens have stepped up and reassured us they can hold the fort and family and friends will back them up. I continue to work furiously at physical rehab to continue my snail’s pace gradual improvements, we have planned in rests and other pain management tactics. We have fantastic friends who have so far donated us $2,233 towards our goal and other friends who have offered us accommodations within the US that cover the bulk of our time there.

Will give Apologetics, Law and Philosophy papers for food, lodging & transportOne of the things we are keen to do is to pick up a few more speaking events – be it in the form of faculty seminars, campus lectures, church and community talks – we don’t mind. We do not charge speaking fees, it is not really the New Zealand thing to do and we want to make sure that we are accessible but we do accept koha – donations towards the costs of our trip would be much appreciated.

To that end, whilst we have booked our flights to and from the US and we are locked in to the various conferences we are speaking at/attending we have tried to keep the remainder of our time in the US flexible meaning that we have not yet booked our internal flights and train tickets so that we can stay a few days longer in Indiana or head to San Francisco early or perhaps go somewhere else. We are going to need to book those tickets soon though or the prices will climb too high so if you are keen to organise something contact us.

Our Itinerary

8 Nov – Los Angeles
Staying at least 1 night for a pain rest
9 Nov -
10 Nov – South Bend, Indiana
“Confronting the Challenge of Secularism” Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture begins in the evening.
11 Nov – South Bend, Indiana
“Confronting the Challenge of Secularism” Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture – all day
12 Nov – South Bend, Indiana
Madeleine’s paper “No Privileges, No Penalties” and the De-Privileging of Secularism” at Confronting the Challenge of Secularism” Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture.
13 Nov – ?
14 Nov – ?
15 Nov – ?
16 Nov – San Francisco
Annual Meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society and Matt’s paper “Can Traditional Theism Provide an Adequate Foundation for Morality? A Reply to Walter Sinnott-Armstrong‘s Critique of William Lane Craig?” to the Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Philosophical Society.
17 Nov – San Francisco
Annual Meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Evangelical Philosophical Society and the Evangelical Philosophical Society Apologetics Conference.
18 Nov – San Francisco
Annual Meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Evangelical Philosophical Society and the Evangelical Philosophical Society Apologetics Conference.
19 Nov – San Francisco
Matt’s paper “Can God Command Evil? The Problem of Apparently Immoral Commands” at the Evangelical Philosophical Society Apologetics Conference and Matt and Madeleine’s paper “Blogging a Short-Cut to Peer Review: How to do it Effectively” the Annual Meeting of the Society for Biblical Literature.
20 Nov – San Francisco
Annual Meeting of the Society for Biblical Literature  (we’re flexible)
21 Nov – San Francisco
Annual Meeting of the Society for Biblical Literature (we’re flexible during the day but are flying home in the evening.
22 Nov – will be consumed by flying over the international date zone
23 Nov – Brisbane
From 8:00 am we have 10.5 hours of stopover time to kill (please only consider using Matt here)

Costs
(In NZ Dollars for both of us) 

Airfares to and from the US: $2,946.50
Internal flights: $648.38
Internal train tickets: $83.19
Conference Fees:

Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture (includes meals): $309.30
Evangelical Theological Society & Evangelical Philosophical Society: $37.12
Evangelical Philosophical Society Apologetics: Free
Society for Biblical Literature: $408.28
*TOTAL: $4432.77
Less money raised: $2,233
*Target still to raise: $2199.77

We have a few fundraising ventures planned here in Auckland which we will announce soon (if you are New Zealand based and think you could help us there let us know) but we are confident we’ll get there. If you feel so inclined you can donate via PayPal in our sidebar or using one of the options on our Support page. If you can’t donate can you Tweet? Link? Like? Share? Someone else might see this who can :-)

Oh and because we get asked it by everyone: the reason we have to pay to attend all but 1 conference we are speaking at is because most speakers are established academics at institutions whose institutions pay for them so the practice is for each professional organisation to charge fees – although we do get a discount for being speakers, attendees who are not speaking pay more. The EPS Apologetics Society is an exception – they granted both of us free entry because Matt is speaking, aren’t they nice?

* We have not yet priced accommodation in Los Angeles, transfers within San Francisco and we do not yet know how long we can couch surf for and where we might need to pay for a few nights accommodation. Then there is food. The goal is to keep the total costs under $5,000.

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10 responses so far ↓

  • What do you have planned for the 13th to the 15th of November?

  • Nothing concrete at the moment. We are open to suggestion.

  • “Confronting the Challenge of Secularism”

    Otherwise known as Confronting Rational People Who Refuse to Allow their Minds to descend into the Cro Magnon lunacy of religious belief which demands that you believe that some asinine, vile, sickening, revolting,disgusting human sacrifice in the ancient Middle East desert two thousand years ago was ordained by the astonishing invisible man in the sky to atone for the terrible behavior of his own creation, which he was apparently too inept to design properly, and too ignorant to know that our behavior would be so atrocious as to need some disgusting blood sacrifice to rectify. (Blood sacrifice!!!???? Are you kidding me? BLOOD SACRIFICE!!!?????)

    And what a true shame that you seem to think it worthy of praise that you spend your adult lives spreading the superstitious lunacy of Christian doctrine to as many deluded nutbags as your bank account will allow. It is not noble to attempt to brainwash gullible humans, particularly children, with the asinine horse manure that equates some grotesque, disgusting blood sacrifice to an act of love from some celestial fairy in the sky.

    A Nobel prize awaits the person who can unlock the puzzle of how any person in modern times can believe in the absolute stupifying Neanderthal nuttery of Christianity and still refer to themselves as sane and rational.

    You are more than welcome to allow your minds to be enslaved by the Stone Age garbage of religion, but to spend your precious and short time on this earth spreading this deluded nuttery to young people is beyond vile.

    Oh, and I just recently read about this wonderful little virus called CMV.
    It passes from mother to child in utero, causing the child to eventually become paralyzed, deaf, and suffer from seizures. And then die.
    I thought you might want to praise your Jesus for the loving kindness that he shows these children, and millions of others like them. Praise Jeezus!!!!!!!!

  • Truthoverfaith when you have some actual arguments to back your position up with, as opposed to a pejorative terms and insults, let me know.

  • “What do you have planned for the 13th to the 15th of November?”

    I live one hour away to the east. One hour. You’re in my neighborhood. ;-)

    Is there any Christian group out there who can offer us a forum for a debate? Email me, let’s talk.

  • John we are keen and would love to meet you anyway!
    I have begun putting the word out – we’ll see if anyone can help.
    I’ll email you shortly.

  • Will you be getting a ‘like’ button on this blog? Such as the one on Glenno’s? I want to ‘like’ Truthoverfaith’s comment, it was awesome.

  • Just tweeted your post – you will be very busy on your trip to the US.

  • [...] As you all know, Matt and I are going to the US to speak at 4 conferences in November. John W. Loftus is aware of this and in a comment on this blog has suggested a debate between himself and Matt during the 3 days we have spare between conferences – ideally for us 14 Nov. We have had some email discussion with him about this including agreeing that the topic for debate will be something around Loftus’ Outsider Test for Faith, maybe, “Is Christianity True?” or something like that. [...]

  • [...] As you all know, Matt and I are going to the US to speak at 4 conferences in November. John W. Loftus is aware of this and in a comment on this blog has suggested a debate between himself and Matt during the 3 days we have spare between conferences — ideally for us 14 Nov. We have had some email discussion with him about this including agreeing that the topic for debate will be something around Loftus’ Outsider Test for Faith, maybe, “Is Christianity True?” or something like that. [...]