News and Notes

By Geroge Kane

george head smallThe Romney campaign insists that the 2012 presidential election will be a referendum on Obama’s handling of the economy, but the religious right is not sitting it out. In the first post-Citizen’s United presidential campaign, its political organizations are planning campaign spending that will dwarf their efforts in every previous election.

The Faith and Freedom Coalition, led by Ralph Reed, the first Executive Director of the Christian Coalition, has budgeted $10 million for a major 2012 election push to turn out the religious right. This coalition boasts 500,000 members, and chapters in 30 states. In August it mailed out four million voter registration cards to new evangelical and Catholic voters.

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Mr. Paul Aints and Regional Atheist Conference Thank You's

It takes many people to pull off two successful back-to-back events like we did. Minnesota Atheists would like to thank the following people for their help with our Mr. Paul Aints baseball game and Regional Atheist Conference. So, thank you to:

Eric Jayne for being the main organizer of the Aints game, the Aints tailgate party, the Aints jerseys, and the post-conference pub crawl. Also for help with the conference, especially choosing the hotel and meals.

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September 16: A Date with the Authors

avmMinnesota Atheists’ monthly meetings will begin again starting on Sunday, September 16. The much anticipated book, Atheist Voices of Minnesota (published by Freethought House), was just officially released late last month! To celebrate this very special occasion, 16 of the 36 contributors will briefly present their own personal stories by reading excerpts of their writings from the book.

Here is a list of the 16 presenting authors in alphabetical order: Norman Barrett Wiik, Beth Becker, Ryan Benson, August Berkshire, Jill Carlson, Justin Chase, Kori Hennessy, Michelle Huber, Eric Jayne, PZ Myers, Robin Raianiemi, Elizabeth Stiras, Todd Torkelson, James Zimmerman, and Stephanie Zvan.

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Minnesota Atheists Hit a Home Run!

teresa.amanda.daveBy Eric Jayne

After months and months of planning, the Minnesota Atheists successfully pulled out big win for atheist outreach by sponsoring a professional baseball game in St. Paul.

The St. Paul Saints—one of 13 teams in the league of American Association of Independent Baseball—became the Mr. Paul Aints on Friday, August 10. Every player on the team wore specially designed jerseys that closely resembled their usual jerseys except for the slight adjustment in the logo.  Instead of “St. Paul” the jerseys read “Mr. Paul” and instead of “Saints” the special jerseys read “Aints” spelled with the atheist scarlet “A” but in team color blue.

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Book Review: Atheist Voices of Minnesota

avmBy Nathan Curland

When I was first offered a copy of Atheist Voices of Minnesota to review I was less than intrigued. After all, I knew plenty of atheists and had heard many stories of miserable childhoods and escape from religion, so reading 36 variations on this theme seemed a bit less than stimulating.

Boy was I wrong.

From the moment I started reading, I was totally absorbed by the 36 individual narratives of the backgrounds and journeys of these people, some that I knew, many that I have heard of, and others that are (regrettably) still strangers. Their stories are unique and compelling. Many, you will find, hit close to your ‘home’. Did you ever have to fib to be able to do something at your church/synagogue? Or realize that your parents were just going through the motions and you were following in their footsteps? Or maybe just going to a university opened your eyes? Maybe you are gay and religion was not helping you. It’s all here.

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