By August Berkshire
A 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).Add a comment
In 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.Add a comment
Minnesota Atheists Presents: A Night of Unbelievable Fun - The Second Coming
Mr. Paul Aints vs. Sioux City Explorers
Friday, August 9, 2013 (5pm tailgating, 7pm game time)
Midway Stadium, St. Mr. Paul, MN
Minnesota Atheists/American Atheists Regional Conference
Saturday, August 10, 2013 (8:30am to 8:30pm)
Ramada Plaza 1330 Industrial Blvd NE, Minneapolis, MN
Lodging at the hotel is available for our attendees for only $89/night plus tax.
MR. PAUL AINTS TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE at SAINTSGROUPS.com
Enter the password "atheists" (after the Captcha screen) for your special ticket package with the rest of the group!
The two ticket options are:
$21 - Infield Reserved (or Infidel Reserved) + limited edition Mr. Paul or Ms. Paula Aints hat ($29 value)
$10 - Outfield General Admission + hot dog + soda ($11 value)
For the conference our headline speaker, Annie Laurie Gaylor, will talk about The Religious War on Women. Gaylor is a founding mother of modern atheist feminism. She is co-founder and co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and author of Women without Superstition and Woe to the Women: The Bible Tells Me So.
Our other prodigious speakers include:
Hector Avalos, a professor of Religious Studies at Iowa State University in Ames, IA. He is the author of Fighting Words: The Origins of Religious Violence and The End of Biblical Studies. His next book is tentatively titled The Bad Jesus.
Greta Christina, the author of the sex-atheist blog Greta Christina's Blog on Freethought Blogs. She is a frequent contributor to AlterNet and the author of Why Are You Atheists So Angry?: 99 Things that Piss Off the Godless. She received the 2013 LGBT Humanist Pride Award from the American Humanist Association
Amanda Knief, a lawyer and the Managing Director at American Atheists. She has previously served in the leadership of the American Humanist Association and the Secular Coalition for America. She is the author of The Citizen Lobbyist: A How-to Manual for Making Your Voice Heard in Government.
PZ Myers, an 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 soon-to-be published book is titled The Happy Atheist and it will be available at our conference before it's released to the public, plus PZ will be availble to sign copies! He will not be providing a lecture, but he will be joined by Kelli Clement (a Unitarian Universalist minister) on an All-Star panel discussion to debate "Atheism and Religion: Confrontation or Accommodation"
Kelli Clement, a Unitarian Universalist minister and is the Executive Director of the Minnesota Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. She graduated from United Theological Seminary where she was the coordinator of Seminarians for Choice, and is a part of the national speakers bureau of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project.
In addition to the speaker presentations and All-Star panel discussion we are also offering workshops in the morning in which you will have the opportunity to select two of the eight 40-minute sessions--one from Session #1 and one from Session #2.
Workshop Session #1
Keeping Science Secular in Public Schools by Greg Laden - We will examine organized efforts to insert religion in public school science class and the effects this has on learning in the classroom. We'll examine the role of citizens, teachers, and administrators in addressing this issue, and look at effective strategies for keeping science secular in the public school classroom given the current legal climate and the realities of how schools are run.
Answering Your Child's Difficult Questions and How to Teach Religious Literacy by Jill Carlson, Eric Jayne, and James Zimmerman - Children are naturally inquisitive and they rarely hesitate to talk about their ideas with their peers and parents. Three atheist parents will explore how to respond when your child asks why we don't go to church like their friends or why we don't believe in God like their friends.
Atheism and Animals: Making the Connection by Rohit Ravindran and Kim Socha - Secularism is rising as an acceptable alternative to God-based views of reality. What does this mean for nonhuman animals? Rohit Ravindran and Kim Socha will explore what a lack of human divinity and the acknowledgement of humans as animals means for other creatures with whom we share this time on Earth.
Atheism and Mental Health by Cliff Buhl - This workshop will explore the psychological effects atheism has on individuals. We will review available research on the effects an atheist world view may have on an individual's functioning and discuss a preliminary study focused on exploring how individual atheists view themselves and their relationships with others, deal with bias, and manage existential questions.
Workshop Session #2
Arguing on Behalf of Science by Greg Laden - Evolution, climate science, science-based medicine, and other scientific fields are often under attack from religious quarters. What are the most effective ways to argue on behalf of science, even science that is uncertain, as a citizen, teacher, parent, neighbor, or relative visiting the cousins for Easter? We'll focus on evolution and climate science, but bring your own stories and ideas in other areas if you like.
Dealing with Religious Relatives while Raising Freethinking Children by Jill Carlson, Eric Jayne, and James Zimmerman - You're trying to raise a critical-thinking child free from the indoctrination of religion, but some of your relatives disapprove or don't know about your godless parenting. In this workshop we'll discuss strategies for dealing with relatives, friends, and other elements that challenge your parenting.
Addiction, Recovery, and the Meaning of Life: An Atheist's Perspective by Susan Campion - Ms. Campion is a State of Minnesota Gambling Treatment Provider, National Certified Gambling Counselor II, and a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor.
Treatment for addiction in Minnesota often involves reference to a higher power. This is a civil rights issue as nonreligious clients entering treatment often are discriminated against. The discussion will include recovery relationship with a higher power in lieu of spirituality, including recovery within a twelve-step program.
Dealing with Shame by Stephanie Zvan - Shame has its uses, but religions frequently abuse shame as a method of control. Come talk about what kinds of irrational shame religions and religious societies impose on us and how we can loosen shame's hold on our lives.
There is an EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT if you register for the conference by JULY 31! You will receive a BONUS 10 PERCENT DISCOUNT BY BEING OR BECOMING A MEMBER OF MINNESOTA ATHEISTS!
Convention Early Bird Price (On or Before July 31, 2013)
$60 - Full Package (speakers, lunch*, and dinner**)
$30 - Speakers Only
$10 - Students (25 and under with ID)
Convention Regular Price (non-early bird) (After July 31, 2013)
$75 Full Package (speakers, lunch*, and dinner**)
$40 - Speakers Only
$10 Students (25 and under with ID)
*Lunch can be added to your admission price for $20. Options are:
**Dinner can be added to your admission price for $30. Options are:
Here is the conference schedule:
9:15-10:15 Hector Avalos: "How Archaeology Killed Biblical History"
10:30-12:00pm Breakout Sessions & Workshops
12:15-1:30 Lunch (Prepaid or on your own)
1:45-2:45 Greta Christina: "Coming Out: How To Do It, How to Help Each Other Do It, And Why?"
2:45-3:45 Amanda Knief: "Ten Legal Issues Atheists Need to Know"
4:00-5:30 Annie Laurie Gaylor: "The Religious War on Women"
5:30-6:00 Break, Silent Auction, Book Signing
6:00-7:15 Dinner (Prepaid or on your own)
7:30-9:00 All-Star Panel Discussion: Atheism and Religion: Confrontation or Accommodation - Annie Laurie Gaylor, Hector Avalos, Greta Christina, Amanda Knief, PZ Myers, and Kelli Clement. Moderated by Stephanie Zvan (Author of Almost Diamonds blog on Freethought Blogs).
Like last year, this year's conference will be the day after our sponsored professional baseball game in St.Mr. Paul. The St. Paul Saints will become the Mr. Paul Aints during their game against the Sioux City Explorers on Friday, August 9th. The game will be followed by a fireworks display. Tickets to the Mr. Paul Aints game are available at SAINTSGROUPS.com (password is "atheists" after captcha screen). Packages include General Admission in the outfield and premium Infield (or Infidel) seating. Everyone who opts for the Infidel seats will receive a FREE, limited edition Mr. Paul or Ms. Paula Aints hat. If you can't make the game, we have hats available for sale at our online store. Mr. Paul and Ms. Paula Aints t-shirts are also available for sale for $15 each or 2 for $25. You may even mix and match a T-Shirt/Baseball Cap combo.
This year's Mr. Paul Aints logo features the scarlet letter Atheist "A". The Mr. Paul Aints jerseys that the baseball players wear will be aucitoned off at the end of the game. You can get your own official Mr. Paul Aints jersey personalized (name and number) for $69! The jersey orders MUST BE PLACED BY JULY 22. Like the Mr. Paul Aints t-shirts and hats, the jerseys are available at our online store.
We are ready to accept registration for the conference. Hurry and sign up now! Minnesota Atheists members qualify for a 10 percent discount for the conference and Aints merchandise! You can verify your membership by emailing us at email@example.com
If you are not currently a member, you can become a member (or renew your membership) online.
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Damned Good Company
by Luis Granados, 382 pages
Humanist Press, ©2012
In Damned Good Company, part-time historian and religion student Luis Granados takes readers across continents and centuries to find fascinating tales of fellow humans who bucked the religious trends of their day.Add a comment
Ninety-five people attended the 13th annual winter solstice celebration held by Minnesota Atheists and the Humanists of Minnesota on December 16th. For the first time, the event was held at Jimmy’s Event Center in Vadnais Heights. After a banquet dinner, the Freethought Band led off the entertainment, joined by singer Tracie Hodgdon. George Kane and Laura Hutt presented a comic dialogue as George Burns and Gracie Allen.Add a comment