Cancel My Subscription to the Resurrection

By Eric Jayne

eric.mug.1One week after 2013 arrived, my dad called and said he began receiving hospice care for congestive heart failure. I went to Iowa to visit him two days later. When I got there he was lying in his bed, struggling to breathe because his heart was having trouble pumping oxygenated blood. We talked a little about his health and how the weather was during my 4-hour drive, and then we reminisced about some distant shared memories. When dinner time came Dad took me up on my offer to bring him a beer and an enchilada from one of our favorite local restaurants. After enjoying our feast the nurses and staff came in to administer pain meds and adjust his large, heavy body the way he requested. He thanked me for dinner then proceeded to fall sleep. I gave him a hug and began my journey back home. I received a call from my stepmother just after midnight the next night. She tearfully reported that Dad died a few minutes ago.


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President's Column: Atheist and Humanists Together?

By August Berkshire

august headA personal long-term goal has been to persuade enough members of each group that Minnesota Atheists should merge with the Humanists of Minnesota.

The roots of our groups started independently, and with no knowledge of each other, in the mid-1980s. Back then it made more sense to have two groups. Atheists (inspired by Madalyn Murray O’Hair) were viewed as quite militant. There was also the false equivalency of atheism with communism and being unAmerican. Consequently, many humanists were afraid of publicly using the word “atheist.” Moreover, humanists wanted a group that represented more than what they were against (belief in the supernatural).


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Fun Myths about Evolution Explored

Sehoya CotnerIn honor of Charles Darwin's birth month, our February speaker will be Sehoya Cotner, who will discuss "Fun Myths About Evolution Explored." 

Evolution is among the most contentious topics in our society, in part due to key misconceptions about the theory. Some of these are iconic (humans evolved from chimpanzees, survival of the fittest), some more esoteric (evolution is a belief system, Darwin discovered evolution, evolution is a random process). We'll discuss evolution itself, some key misconceptions, and potential negative consequences of falling victim to evolutionary myths.


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2014 All-Star Conference & Atheist Baseball in St. Paul

mna conf 2014 small2014 Atheist Game and All Star Conference (July 11-12, 2014)

Friday, July 11 - St. Paul Saints are secularized to the Mr. Paul Aints for the third year in a row! It’s called the Night of Unbelievable Fun: The 3rd Strike sponsored by MN Atheists and Freedom From Religion Foundation. Game time is 7pm at Midway Stadium. Tailgating begins at 4pm in the parking lot!

Saturday, July 12All-Star Conference presented by MN Atheists and Humanists of MN
Starring: Susan Jacoby, PZ Myers, Rebecca Watson, James Croft, and more!
RiverCentre, 175 W Kellogg Blvd, Saint Paul, MN


atheist game logo1While Minneapolis gets ready for the MLB All-Star game at Target Field, atheists will be secularizing the neighboring city of St. Paul starting with the city's minor league baseball team at Midway Stadium. For the third year in a row the St. Paul Saints will become the Mr. Paul Aints. There will again be atheist-themed entertainment and player-worn Mr. Paul Aints jerseys which will be auctioned during the game. The winless Aints will be going for their first ever win against the Kansas City T-Bones. Game time is 7pm on Friday, July 11. Tailgating begins at 4pm in the parking lot. Ticket packages for our group are available at (password: atheists). 

You can win the opportunity to throw out the first ceremonial pitch!

Stick around the secularized city of St. Mr. Paul on Saturday, July 12 because the All-Star Conference, sponsored by Minnesota Atheists and Humanists of Minnesota, will be held at the RiverCentre on the west end of downtown.


Confirmed speakers on a growing list includes: 

2014susanSusan Jacoby - Best-selling author, scholar, and former Washington Post reporter. Her work has explored law, religion, medicine, aging, women's rights, and political dissent. Her most recent book about Robert Ingersoll was made available in paperback in February.


2014rebeccaRebecca Watson - Skeptical female activist and founder of the Skepchick blog. She is a popular speaker around the world on topics about atheism, feminism, skepticism, and science.


2014pzPZ Myers - Associate Professor of Biology at the University of Minnesota in Morris. He is the author of the world-famous science-atheist blog Pharyngula, which can be found on Freethought Blogs and Science Blogs. His recently published book is titled The Happy Atheist.


debbie goddard2Debbie Goddard - Director of African Americans for Humanism, a program of the Council for Secular Humanism, and the director of Outreach at the Center for Inquiry–Transnational in Amherst, NY. She has participated in local freethought and LGBT groups in the Philadelphia area and helped organize and support campus groups internationally as a student volunteer. 

dan barker1Dan Barker - Dan served as an associate pastor in three churches, and was a protestant missionary in Mexico. He preached the Christian religion for 19 years before he publicly came out as an atheist in 1984. Dan has been a strong advocate of church/state separation ever since. He’s the author of several freethought books and is currently the co-president of Freedom From Religion Foundation. 

lizElizabeth Ess - After dropping out of assassin school, Elizabeth Ess started doing standup comedy. She's brought her fun, punchy & sometimes dark humor all over the Midwest and the West Coast. She's performed at the San Diego Comedy Festival, Laughfest, and events hosted by Twin Cities Public Television and the Out Twin Cities Film Festival. She writes sketch comedy for Fearless Comedy Productions and has acted in comedy shows at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. She also contributed to the Atheist Voices of Minnesota book. Her urge to kill is still rising.

(Due to a scheduling conflict, James Croft will not be attending the conference. Local atheist and comedian Elizabeth Ess will bring some of her standup comedy to our conference to make up for James' absence.)


 2014 All-Star Freethought Conference Schedule 

  • 8:00am - Registration, Merchandise Sales, and Silent Auction Open
  • 9:00-9:15 - Welcome
  • 9:15-10:15 - PZ Myers: “God in a Box: Providing Answers while Dissolving the God-of-the-Gaps through Science
  • 10:15-10:30 - Break
  • 10:30-11:20 - First workshop session (Pick 1 of 3 choices)*
  • 11:20-11:30 - Break
  • 11:30-12:30pm - Second workshop session (Pick 1 of 3 choices)*
  • 12:30-1:45 - Lunch (prepaid or on your own)
  • 1:45-2:45 - Debbie Goddard: “The Science of Change: Evidence-Based Methods for Effective Activism
  • 2:45-3:00 - Break
  • 3:00-4:00 - Rebecca WatsonTalk is TBD
  • 4:00-4:15 - Break
  • 4:15-5:15 - Susan Jacoby: “Where Are You, Robert Ingersoll, Now That We Need You?: The Great Agnostic and the Golden Age of Freethought
  • 5:15-5:30 - Break
  • 5:30-6:30 - Dan Barker: “Life-Driven Purpose: How an Atheist Finds Meaning
  • 6:30-7:45 - Dinner (prepaid or on your own)
    • 7:15-7:45 - Book Signings
    • 7:30 - Bids for Silent Auction End
  • 7:45-7:55 - Announcements
  • 7:55-8:30 - Elizabeth Ess comedy break
  • 8:30-9:00 - Dan Barker performance

*Here's the list of morning workshops:

First Session:

Rationally Reading Science News (Stephanie Zvan) - We’re about to cure cancer, have discovered a miracle berry, and confirmed all your prejudices. What should you watch for when you’re reading science news? What are the tells of sensationalist reporting?

Ethical Eating (Audrey Kingstrom) - Explore the multi-faceted moral dimensions of our industrial food system and one’s personal food choices. In a no-guilt approach to evaluating one’s eating habits, we’ll consider ways to make incremental changes to our diets to better reflect humanist values.

How Do We Manage Establishment Clause Violations (Dan Barker) - So you’ve found prayer in your schools or your city council. What can you do to handle it on your own, and when do you want to call in the big guns?

Second Session:

Fairy princesses, Hobbits, and the Easter Bunny (Scott Lohman) - Sooner or later, every discussion about atheist parenting comes around to “the Santa question.” Let’s address the topic of fantasy in our children’s lives more broadly.

Expressing your Freethinking Identity in the Workplace (Debbie Goddard) - Your co-workers wear necklaces featuring a crucifix so you begin wearing your scarlet “A” lapel pin. How will you respond when your co-worker(s) ask you what your pin means? How to respond to religious-themed emails getting forwarded to your Outlook email. Should you remove that Darwin fish from your car?

Making Better Atheist Arguments (August Berkshire) - It may not be possible to make a good argument for the
existence of gods, but it’s certainly possible to make bad ones for their nonexistence. Bring your own favorite bad atheist argument or pick one that will be supplied.



The conference will also feature a silent auction, meals, autographs, books, networking, and more!


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