Almost one year after state lawmakers passed the Marriage Amendment Bill, and just days after the house and senate passed the Voter ID Bill, it appears that Minnesota voters will be asked to approve a third constitution-altering ballot measure.
Lawmakers in both chambers rapidly worked out a narrow vote over the weekend to pass a traditional clothing bill. Like the marriage and voter ID bills, this will bypass the governor by being put on the November ballot for voters to decide. If voters approve the bill it will be illegal for women to wear pants (including blue jeans) and men to wear dresses (including kilts).
Additionally, the proposed clothing amendment will ban the manufacturing, selling, possession, and wearing of clothing made from blended fabrics.Add a comment
Can you name a famous black atheist other than Neil deGrasse Tyson? There is a stereotype that all (or nearly all) African Americans believe in the existence of a god. Our April speaker will be pleased to dispel this notion.
Ayanna Watson, the founder and president of Black Atheists of America, headquartered in New York City, will educate us about “Famous Black Free-thinkers,” with a special emphasis on the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s-1930s. Even if you’re familiar with some of the leaders from that remarkable time period, you might still be surprised and delighted at how many of them had doubts about the existence of a god and criticized religion.Add a comment
By George Kane
Separation of Church and State was back on the front page when the Department of Health and Human Services announced the employer mandates for the rollout of the new health insurance reform. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops screamed that the rules violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment by forcing the Catholic Church to pay for coverage for contraceptives.
Their claim was debatable, but in an election year the Republican presidential candidates were quick to denounce Barack Obama for declaring war on the Catholic Church. Under Obama’s plan, the Church itself was given an exemption from the requirement to provide health insurance to employees that includes, without copayment, preventive reproductive services. That exemption was not applied, however, to the businesses operated by the Church, such as hospitals, universities and charities.Add a comment
By Eric Jayne
The first ever foray into billboards for the Minnesota Atheists turned out to be a success that exceeded expectations in many respects except one: generating donations for other Minnesota Atheists campaigns. But before I get into that, let’s celebrate some of the successes that came from our billboards.
The goal was to promote and reach out to local freethinkers and make them aware of our organization. We wanted to do this with a clever design and a positive, pithy message that the majority of atheists could get behind. Add a comment
By Steve Petersen
In February, we recorded two episodes for our TV show.
With the anti-marriage constitutional amendment proposal appearing on the ballot this November, there has never been a better time to discuss the state of GLBT rights in Minnesota. In the first episode, host James Zimmerman interviewed GLBT activist Arthur Schultz on the ballot measure, including the exact wording and what will change if the measure passes or fails. Schultz offered reasons why atheists, agnostics, Humanists, and other freethinkers should be concerned about the rights and freedoms of the GLBT community regardless of whether they themselves are gay or lesbian. Arthur noted that the current legislative bias against the GLBT community has its roots in religion, and he offered rebuttals to common objections to GLBT rights. After giving details about the GLBT population in Minnesota, Schultz provided resources for how freethinkers can assist in the cause and learn more.Add a comment