August Berkshire wrote and read this tribute at the memorial for Robert Nienkerk on June 29, 2015.
Nature just provided us with a brief rainstorm, so we would all have something that Bob would have appreciated: nice clean cars!
In early 1984, Madalyn Murray O’Hair and Jon Murray came to the Twin Cities, on their second or third attempt to try to form a chapter of American Atheists here. This time it worked, and a bunch of us, including Bob & Marilyn Nienkerk, started the Twin Cities Chapter of American Atheists, which became Minnesota Atheists seven years later.
By Stephanie Zvan
On May 4, U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen dismissed a lawsuit filed on behalf of Atheists for Human Rights as moot. The suit was filed when a marriage officiant certified by AFHR had their filing of that certificate rejected by Washington County on the basis that atheists were not among the groups authorized as marriage officiants under Minnesota law. Ericksen dismissed the suit when Washington County reversed its decision and declared it should have accepted AFHR’s certificate at the start.
By James Zimmerman
Recently, I had the opportunity to attend and present at the National Conference of Undergraduate Research, held at Eastern Washington University (near Spokane). My presentation was in the History discipline, and I made an effort to support and attend other History presentations.
By Eric Jayne
A group from Minnesota Atheists visited the Church of Scientology this past Memorial Day weekend. It was the second time we toured their building after first visiting shortly after it opened in 2011. Just like last time, the church members were hospitable, but a little unclear.
It was initially discouraging when the state of Indiana passed their discriminatory Religious Restoration Act. The law gave religiously faithful people increased power and special privilege which was used to legally justify refusal of service to gays, lesbians, and genderqueer people. Discouragement didn’t last long though since the response in Indiana and the rest of the nation was quick and mostly condemning. It validated my confidence in the United States trending toward irreligious, secularism.
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