Freethinkers Don't Drink Tea

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By Eric Jayne
Note: Editorial; Eric Jayne’s opinion does not necessarily reflect that of Minnesota Atheists. -ed.

We are freethinking atheists because we are not persuaded by the extraordinary theistic claims that go against the laws of nature. We also reject religion (theistic or political) for its rigid control and fear-based mind-manipulation that shields and fosters a particular belief system.

We freethinking atheists are skeptical about all unfalsifiable claims and we question beliefs, think critically about ideas, and seek out accurate information for a clear understanding of our world—past, present, and future. We are not beholden to personalities or ideologies. Our philosophies and viewpoints are always vulnerable to reason and evidence because it is with reason and evidence that our loyalty rests. It is because of these qualities that we freethinking atheists, no matter how fiscally conservative we might be, reject the recent neo-political religion known as the “Tea Party.”

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News and Notes

By George Kane

george_head_small.jpgI've noticed that Christians seem to have a particular difficulty with the names of atheist organizations. When I debated at a Catholic men's club, I was introduced as the representative of The Atheist Society. I have heard August Berkshire mentioned on a Christian radio station as the president of "the local chapter of Minnesota Atheists."

But the most persistent problems seem to be those plaguing Jay and Jordan Sekulow, the father/son duo that heads The American Center for Law and Justice. Each has a weekday radio show, and each has for many days in a row referred to American Atheists as the American Atheist Association. That sounds like a minor, harmless slip-up, but it is used too often and too consistently to be accidental. Every day they quote from American Atheists' legal briefs and web site. How can they avoid noticing the organization's name?

They do seem to like the name "Freedom from Religion Foundation." In fact, they like it so much that they always refer to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation as "The Military Freedom from Religion Foundation." I have decided that in the future, I will always refer to their organization as "The Law and Justice League of America." I just hope I do not get sued by DC Comics.

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July Cable Show Report

By Steve Petersen

july 11 cableIn July, we recorded a two-part program on deism. James Zimmerman headed up a discussion with Ryan Sutter exploring the origins of deism and its basic ideology. Sutter explained the impact scientists and philosophers, such as Isaac Newton and John Locke, had upon the religiosity of the early eighteenth century. He explained why deism was adopted so readily in America, and how the Puritanical bend of colonial religious leaders even lent itself to opening the way for deism.

During the second part of the program, Sutter and Zimmerman continued their discussion by focusing on Kerry Walters' new book Revolutionary Deists. They provided brief overviews of some of the deists sketched in the book including Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine) and offered their criticisms of the book's concluding arguments.

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President's Column: Welcome Back!

august_head.jpgWelcome back from summer vacation! We hope you were able to enjoy at least one of our picnics. We have a number of events and opportunities to report on this month.

We are very excited to have Greta Christina kick off our fall schedule of speakers. She'll be followed next month by Hector Avalos, making his sixth annual visit to our group. In baseball, Reggie Jackson used to be known as "Mr. October," but Hector now owns that title for us. Please support us with your new or renewed membership and donations, so we can continue to bring in world-class atheist speakers such as these two people.

A fundraiser for our Legal Fund will occur on Oct. 9. As we reported last month, we have filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of three same-sex couples who are suing for the right to get married in Minnesota. (Actually, they have already been legally married in other states and are seeking to have their marriages recognized in Minnesota.) We anticipate our costs to eventually be $5,000 and wish to pay for this out of new money and not dip into our treasury. An excellent story about the case and our brief appeared in the on-line journal The Minnesota Independent.

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Angry Atheists?

greta_christina.jpgWhy are you atheists so angry? The atheist movement is often accused of being driven by anger. What are so many atheists so angry about? Is this anger legitimate? Do the firebrands and diplomats in our community deal differently with this anger – and how can those differences be resolved? And can anger be an effective force behind a movement for social change? Join us as we resume our monthly meetings on Sunday, September 18, with our special guest speaker Greta Christina, who will address these and other questions.
 
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