By Bill Lehto
Inventing Jesus: The New Testament Narrative as Fiction, by Paul Gabel
©2012, Paul Gabel
In Inventing Jesus, Paul Gabel, a history teacher, argues that Jesus was an entirely fictional character, with no historical basis, having been completely invented by the writer of the Gospel of Mark. The book is 700 pages long, and covers a lot of ground. Gabel is a good writer, and some of his sections provide succinct and balanced summaries of critical thinking on particular topics: his sections on feminism in biblical studies and on the debate over whether Jesus was apocalyptic are good examples. But these sections are just asides to his main augment about the historicity of Jesus.
Read more: Book Review: Inventing Jesus
By Eric Jayne
If you are thumbing through this month’s newsletter looking for the President’s Column, you’re not going to find it. Since August was busy with other adventures, including a debate with theists in Canada, I agreed to fill in with an “Associate President’s Column.” I’m going to use this platform to make a public confession followed by a plea for help.
First, the confession: I’ve been regularly attending church lately and I’ve been joining others in prayer. That’s right; the associate president of the Minnesota Atheists has been going to church…a lot! It’s a little bit of a personal existential crisis but before you demand a recall election, please allow me to explain.
Read more: Associate President's Column: Help!
By George Erickson
Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt,
by Herb Silverman
If a man is going to publish his life story, he had best take the precaution of leading an interesting life first. Or at least to being a very funny writer or of lacing his pages with wittily unconventional wisdom. Or even being just an exceptionally nice person. Fortunately, Herb Silverman ticks all these boxes, and more.
With these words, Dr. Richard Dawkins, yes, the Richard Dawkins, began the foreword to Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt, and Herb deserves every word.
Read more: Book Review: Candidate Without a Prayer
From noon to 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, May third, Minnesota Atheists hosted the annual Day of Reason rally inside the Minnesota State Capitol Rotunda. This is the seventh year that we have held this celebration of the separation of state and church to protest the Day of Prayer event held at the same time outside on the Capitol steps.
There are many ways in which the separation of state and church is violated, and this year we focused on the denial of equal rights to gays and lesbians, especially when it comes to civil marriage.
Read more: The Day of Reason
Minnesota Atheists is once again teaming up with American Atheists, this time to sponsor a Regional Atheist Conference and an Atheist Baseball Game in August. Minnesota Atheists is a Local Partner of American Atheists. Our last venture together was the billboards we put up in January.
Atheist Baseball Game
On Friday, August 10, 7:00 p.m., we will sponsor a St. Paul Saints baseball game at Midway Stadium, 1771 Energy Park Drive, St. Paul. Arrive early at 5:00 p.m. for a tailgate party in the parking lot.
Our banners will hang in the stadium and we will rename the team the "Mr. Paul Aints." The team will wear Mr. Paul Aints jerseys during the game, which will be auctioned off as a fundraiser for us. You may also order in advance a custom Mr. Paul Aints jersey with your name and a number on the back for $69 by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more: 2012 Regional Atheist Conference & Atheist Baseball Game