David Brooks recently wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times about what he views as the perils of secularism. Several media outlets, including the Minneapolis Star Tribune, picked up his article. The president of Minnesota Atheists had a rebuttal published in the Sunday, February 8 edition of the Star Tribune. Two other rebuttals were also written by Minnesota Atheists board officers: Stephanie Zvan (associate president) and August Berkshire (director-at-large). All three rebuttals are printed below.
Read more: Secularism: Minnesota Atheists Responds to David Brooks
By Eric Jayne
Minnesota Atheists recently received a nice thank you letter from Children’s Hospital of Minnesota after we donated two carloads of toys and other gifts to benefit hospital patients and their families as part of our comprehensive War on Christmas campaign. The letter starts off with a standard greeting, and, is in all other parts a standard thank you letter—all other parts except for one. The second paragraph opens with the following line: Please accept our heartfelt appreciation of your generous gift given in memory of not believing in Jesus to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.
Read more: Children's Hospital of MN Offers MN Atheists a Distinctive Thanks
Minnesota Atheists is doing something different with our summer conference this year. We've teamed up with Campus Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists and Secular Woman to bring you a conference by activists and for activists, the Secular Women Work Conference. Tickets are on sale now. Here's the press release we sent out in the past few days.
Minneapolis, MN – Several atheist groups are coming together to launch an ambitious new conference for activists, and they're using Kickstarter to make it possible. The Secular Women Work conference will be held in Minneapolis this August 21–23 and features accomplished activists Lauren Lane, co-founder of Skepticon; Mandisa Thomas, founder of Black Nonbelievers, Inc.; and Desiree Schell, union organizer and host of Science for the People. Come August, the conference will feature a full slate of exclusively women and genderqueer speakers.
Read more: Announcing the Secular Women Work Conference
Over this past summer there was quite a bit of talk about abortion clinics and the people who oppose them. This was due in large part to the U.S. Supreme Court case McCullen v. Coakley. In that case the justices ruled that a Massachusetts law which makes it a crime to stand on a public road or sidewalk within thirty-five feet of a reproductive health care facility violates the First Amendment.
Read more: January Business Meeting: Reproductive Justice Activism
By Grant Steves
Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (Sam Harris) - 256 pages; Simon & Schuster (September 9, 2014)
Sam Harris appears to be a contradiction. Can you be an atheist and be spiritual? Harris has, through his past books and debates, established himself as an atheist. However, people sometimes stray into eccentric choices. This new book by Harris raises that question. The word ‘atheist’ has controversy attached to it, so having controversial terms should not deter an atheist. Perhaps you need to let Harris make his point, evaluate his argument with an open mind, and then make your decision.
Read more: Book Review: Waking Up by Sam Harris