President's Column: Atheism Plus Humanism

By August Berkshire

august headWhen we began as the Twin Cities Chapter of American Atheists in 1984, and when we became Minnesota Atheists in 1991, we chose the word “Atheists” for three reasons. First, it is an accurate description of who we are. Second, we did not want to choose a more euphemistic word, such as “freethinker” because, in defining it, we would eventually have to admit we were atheists. We felt it was far better to start off with the truth than to hide behind another word. And finally, we chose “Atheists” because it was inclusive. For example, you could belong to any political party and still be an atheist.

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An Atheist Response to Sandy Hook

By Eric Jayne

eric.mug.1 origEven though the world didn’t come to an end last year, 2012 concluded with a horrible tragedy in Connecticut that deeply disturbed people all around the world. I was so personally distraught from following the events through news reports that I had to reach for my tissues while trying to concentrate with work.

The appeals to God and calls for prayer immediately spread through social and mainstream media. The shooter and his actions were described as “evil” while the young victims were claimed to now be “angels”. Not only are these descriptions inaccurate, but they severely hinder progress to solutions.

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News and Notes

By George Kane

george head smallA sad result of November’s election was the loss by Congressman Peter Stark, a Democrat from the southern region of the San Francisco Bay Area, ending a 40-year stint. As every avid secularist in America knew, Stark was Congress’ only professed non-believer in a supernatural god. That role will now be filled by Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who is also an out-of-the-closet bisexual. In Wisconsin, Tammy Baldwin won election to the Senate, defeating former Governor Tommy Thompson. Baldwin, an open lesbian, is one of several freshman legislators who refuse to state their religious affiliation.

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Victory Declared in War on Christmas!

By August Berkshire

august headChristmas continues to become more diluted and secularized. Consider the following:

• Jewish and Muslim holidays have retained their religious meaning precisely because their followers have not tried to foist them on the rest of the public.

• People are becoming more aware of the pagan origins of Christmas.

• The percentage of Americans who are Christian continues to decline. With the increase in atheists and Muslims, polite Americans do their best not to alienate others with sectarian words like “Christmas”.

• Competing celebrations are becoming more visible, such as Chanukah, Kwanzaa, and Solstice parties.

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Public Meeting - "Reproductive Justice" & Board Nominations

KelliClementBy Heather Hegi

This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade ruling. Reverend Kelli Clement will be speaking at the upcoming Minnesota Atheists’ monthly meeting to discuss the importance and subsequent impact of this ruling.

Rev. Clement is the Executive Director of the Minnesota Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. A Unitarian Universalist, she is a graduate of 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. Kelli lives with husband Mike in south Minneapolis.

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