By Eric Jayne
A favorite TV show from my youth was ALF. The popular NBC sitcom, which ran from 1986 to 1990, was about a three-feet tall furry, wisecracking Alien Life Form (“ALF”) who crash landed his spaceship in a suburban family’s backyard garage. The family protects ALF from the military and nosy neighbors throughout the series while ALF tries to make sense of life on earth.
One of my favorite scenes from the show is where the family patriarch, Willie, clears up confusion about a $10,000 balloon payment being for their home mortgage and not for an actual balloon. He also helped ALF understand that they are not selling their garage as they prepared for a garage sale. “So you understand what a balloon payment is?” Willie asks ALF. “Yeah”, responds ALF. “And you know what a garage sale is?” asked Willie. After ALF confirms that he does he asks “Now can you explain secular humanism again?” To which Willie says “No”. Here's a YouTube link to the full episode (the scene happens in the first 3 minutes with the opening credits wedged between the exchange).
Read more: President's Column: Why I'm Not a Secular Humanist
By George Francis Kane
It is back-to-school time. That means a new round of battles over the separation of church and state, against people who want to use the public schools to turn the students into good little Christians.
Read more: News and Notes - October 2014
Ben Blanchard recently returned from a year abroad. He was one of the first participants of the Pathfinders Project, which, according to its website, is a yearlong international service trip sponsored by Foundation Beyond Belief, a nonprofit created to focus, encourage, and demonstrate humanist generosity and compassion. Through Pathfinders Project, humanist volunteers (the Pathfinders) are supporting clean water, education, human rights, and environmental conservation work around the globe.
Read more: October Public Meeting: Pathfinders Project with Ben Blanchard
By Eric Jayne
Fun is good. That is the mantra of Mike Veeck who co-owns the local minor league St. Paul Saints baseball team along with “team psychologist” Bill Murray. Thanks to the support and feedback from members and board officers the Minnesota Atheists offered a heaping amount of summer fun for the third year in a row by re-branding the St. Paul Saints baseball team to the secularized “Mr. Paul Aints”. We also co-sponsored another regional conference—this time with the Humanists of Minnesota.
Read more: President’s Column: Fun Ain't Free
Grant Steves is a past member and chair of the board of directors as well as host for the Atheists Talk program on both cable and radio. He has presented several lectures to Minnesota Atheists, including one on cults and fundamentalism and another titled “Ethics: Science or religion – Which has the Answer?” Grant has also been a regular speaker at our Day of Reason annual event at the Minnesota Capitol. His presentations are always very organized and thought-provoking, and generate vigorous discussion.
Read more: Public Meeting: Relevance of Religion for Atheists