Oh God!

By Nicole Helget

Nicole Helget is a writer and teacher from the Mankato area. Here, she offers her witty perspective on Jesus, religion, and belief. -ed.

I like Jesus. I imagine he was the kind of guy I would enjoy hanging out with. And I think he’d probably be happy to chill with me. Honestly, if Jesus descended on a cloud today (or, more likely, emerged out of a spacetime shortcut) was hungry, and needed a place to crash for an evening, I believe he’d choose hanging at my house over hanging with some of the priests or preachers we've got around here. I don’t think Jesus would be down with the peacocked nature of their holiness, their sanctimonious robes, the showboating collars, the cries for more and more money and whatnot. Some of these guys should just walk around with floating neon signs above their heads that flash "I'm Here!" and be able to swipe credit cards between their thumb and pointer finger. What would Jesus do if he walked into a church where a bedazzled bishop was holding court? Laugh? Get pissed? Look around and hope he’s in the wrong place? Ask, “Seriously? Looks like I'm going to have to do that crucifixion number all over again.”
 
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News and Notes

By George Kane

george_head_small.jpgAt the end of April, the Washington Post published an article by two sociologists that provided many useful facts that argue that atheists are socially well-adjusted by comparison to god-believers:

On numerous respected measures of societal success — rates of poverty, teenage pregnancy, abortion, sexually transmitted diseases, obesity, drug use and crime, as well as economics — high levels of secularity are consistently correlated with positive outcomes in first-world nations. None of the secular advanced democracies suffers from the combined social ills seen here in Christian America.
 
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March with Us in the Pride Parade

gay_pride1.jpgThere is currently a hostile attempt to alter our secular state Constitution with a narrow religious amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Consequently, this pride parade and festival could be one of the most active yet. Come show your support for separation of government and religion, and protecting Minnesota’s Constitution from religious intolerance. Remember that a victory by any group marginalized by religious dogma is a victory for us all.

Join us as we march in the annual Twin Cities GLBT Pride Parade. We'll meet up around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 26 near 3rd St South and 3rd Ave South in Minneapolis. Come wearing your Minnesota Atheists t-shirt, or march with us to get your own! We welcome members of all freethought groups to march with us (though parade rules will only allow our Minnesota Atheists sign).

We’ll be staffing a booth in Loring Park in Minneapolis on Saturday the 25th from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday the 26th from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. If you wouldd like to volunteer, please contact Steve Petersen at achair@ mnatheists.org or Eric Jayne at dir2@mnatheists.org.

If you can't make it to the parade or volunteer, stop by the booth to say hello. We are usually located at the southern end of the park, near all of the church booths (but we're much more popular).
 
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Do You Have a Unique Story to Tell?

 
Dear Minnesota Atheists,
 
You are invited to submit a paper for possible inclusion in a new book scheduled to be published in late 2012. The book, with the working title Atheist Voices of Minnesota, will be a collection of primarily autobiographical writings from atheists living in or who are from Minnesota. All proceeds from the sale of this book will benefit Minnesota Atheists, a 501c3 nonprofit organization.
 
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