Speaker: Richard Blaine
Main Talk: I Do Not Follow
Richard Blaine will discuss his soon to be published book Oh the Humanity!, a book that should have been published two years ago, but due to being shy about admitting to the world that he doesn't believe in God anymore, he let it sit alone on his hard drive. In fact, this presentation at Oasis marks his actual coming out as an "atheist," although he prefers the term human. He refers to everything besides being atheist as human++. Alas, he is "coming out" as a mere human.
But seriously, as a professional touring musician who later turned into a "Christ follower," Richard was then a professional Christian (musician) for about 20 years. His book explains how that all changed based on a simple change in belief.
In addition, he became a member of The Clergy Project, an organization he became aware of through his research for the book, that provides support for Christian professionals who no longer believe in any supernatural God figure. Non-theist is the preferred term.
Richard has been a friend of Houston Oasis since 2019, having lunch with the folks after service when possible, until COVID changed that.
Musician: Ermelinda Cuellar Jazz
Richard Blaine studied jazz at one of the finest schools in the country, then called NTSU in Denton Texas. He toured the US as a sideman before becoming a Christian. He has since become a co-founder of an Online Services company while still playing Christian music on the side. He is the author of Oh the Humanity!, and the host of an Anchorfm podcast of the same name. He is also known as a jazz reviewer, having worked for About.com as their Jazz columnist, and later for allaboutjazz.com. He hopes to revive his old website Modernjazz.com one of these days.
Ermelinda Cuellar is a jazz singer in Houston. She does jazz standards from the Great American Song Book that would be swing, ballads, bossa nova, latin tunes and some pop tunes thrown in for the mix. Her voice has been described as smooth, playful and heartfelt. Singers she has been compared too are Ella Fitzgerald, Anita O'Day and Diana Krall.
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