Celebration of David Irwin's Life & Legacy

The Quatrefoil Library will honor its co-founder at a party at the Library on May 16, 2009, 6-9pm. Help to continue a dream come true along with his co-founder, Dick Hewetson. There will be wine, hors d'oeuvers, and music by a jazz trio.

David was a book collector, who, along with Dick Hewetson, had a vision of opening a GLBT Library for our community.  His tireless efforts have succeeded and the Quatrefoil is open and doing business with more material than ever before!

David was a founding and Life Member of Minnesota Atheists as well as a truly inspiring person.

Quatrefoil Library
1619 Dayton Ave.
St Paul MN 55104

To help continue David's lasting legacy, contributions to the new Irwin Fund, supporting the Library, are appreciated.



Can you be moral without heaven and hell?

By Bjorn Watland
Do people behave better the older they get, because they fear "Judgement Day?"  Are the problems of our economy due to actions made by people who believe there is no heaven or hell?  David Lebedoff seems to think so in his opinion piece at the Star Tribune.
The reaction from Minnesota Atheists should not be surprising.  Of course I think that people can and do behave well, regardless of whether they fear a punishment prescribed by theology.  In fact, I think it is more noble to act irregardless of such demands and to make choices based on principle rather than dogma.
I reject the claim that most of the decisions which have been made about our economy have been made by people who do not believe in a heaven or hell based on polling which indicate that atheists and people who do not believe in heaven or hell are in a minority status in this country.  Our government is a secular government, but we are a diverse nation, full of decision makers who are believers and non believers.
Our current economic situation needs level headed, rational thinking, and not attempts to associate George Orwellian thinking to blame those who choose to reason in the natural world with all of its problems without regard to a supernatural concept of eternal punishment or reward.
As an atheist, I am offended by Mr. Lebedoff's claim and could counter that, using his reasoning, we should fear any attempts to accelerate tensions in Israel in order to bring about the Apocalypse.  Apocalyptic thinking could be blamed for ignoring the current economic crisis, as well as impending environmental problems for our planet, because it is all a part of the End Times.
If you find Mr. Lebedoff's claim compelling, consider what doors his theory opens.  What a waste of resources to sling mud over each other's views on theology when what is called for is cool headed reasoning.  Minnesota Atheists and those who do not believe in eternal punishment or reward will not stand to be discriminated against so broadly for the world's troubles.

Flying Spaghetti Monster Dinner Fundraiser All You Can Eat $6.66 Mar 29 4 to 7 p.m.

flying_spaghetti_monster_2.jpgCome bring your pirate hat, or arrive as ye be!  Minnesota Atheists will be honoring that great noodly deity, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, by dining on noodles prepared in His image.  There will be salad, bread, noodles and sauces galore, including vegetarian and vegan options.  We will also have dessert and drinks.  If you are interested in helping out by bringing a sauce to share, or some other booty, we'll take yer treasures if you comment below.

We'll be crewing up in the Party Room at the Larpenteur Estates on March 29 at 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.  Sail in when you can, deport when you must.  Bus route 61 will get you there.  Just park behind the complex, and follow the signs to the Party Room to take part in the spoils.  Bring a donation of at least $6.66, and you can eat all you please.

March 29 4 to 7 p.m.
Larpenteur Estates
1276 Larpenteur Ave. W.
Saint Paul, MN 55113

The Humanism of Star Trek - Mar 15 - 1 to 4 p.m. Southdale Library

scott_lohman_head.jpgScott Lohman, President of the Humanists of Minnesota, has found an appreciation for a certain low budget science fiction television show from the 1960s. Lohman learned out about the Humanists of Minnesota through a table the group had at a Star Trek convention. Since then, he has been able to live long and prosper by learning more about Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and the Humanist principles present in the show. Star Trek, like many science fiction shows, has more freedom to express ideas that are outside of popular culture and can be used to raise awareness in ways other genres cannot. Lohman will be explaining the Humanism of Star Trek through his research, as well as viewing clips to express this unique method of presenting the Humanist message. We invite all fans of humanism, atheism, free-thought and science fiction to boldly go.

MNA Meeting on
Sunday March 15,
Southdale Library
7001 York Ave. South
Edina, MN 55435
1:00-1:15 p.m. - Social time.
1:15-1:45 p.m. - Business Meeting.
1:45-2:00 p.m. - Break.
2:00-3:00 p.m. - Program
3:00-3:30 p.m. - Social Time.
4:00 p.m. -- Dinner at Q.Cumbers.

Thank You For Being Interested in Us

Special Thanks All Around

I would like to thank everyone who helped make Richard Dawkins' lecture, "The Purpose of Purpose," a success for Minnesota Atheists.  Campus Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists could not have arranged or promoted an event as large as this lecture was without the support of Minnesota Atheists, and I'd like to thank people who helped in ways great and small.  I'd like to thank people who took their time and paper to flyer for the event in coffee shops and libraries around the state, including George Kane, Crystal Dervetski, Vic Tanner, and Jeannette Watland.  It'd like to thank the crew of the Atheists Talk Radio Show for putting out the good word, including Mike Haubrich, Stephanie Zvan and the entire Radio Show Committee.  I'd like to thank Grant Steves and Jack Caravela for organizing interesting events to tell people about at the table, including Newbie Nights, the Watchmen Meal and Reel, and How to Debate.  I'd also like to thank Scott Lohman and the Humanists of Minnesota for providing our next big event, the Humanism of Star Trek on March 15 at 2 p.m. at the Southdale Public Library.  I'd like to thank Mike Haubrich, Jeannette Watland, August Berkshire and Jack Caravela for talking to curious people at the table.  If I am forgetting anyone, I apologize, but your help is appreciated.

I'd also like to thank everyone who took the time and money required to be present at the event, including members from groups far away, like the Iowa Secularists, Rochester Area Freethinkers, Central Minnesota Friends Free of Theism, Campus Atheists and Agnostics at Minnesota State University, and Lake Superior Freethinkers.  If you are not part of a local freethought organization, consider participating or becoming a member.  The more people come out in support together, the faster our collective goals will be reached.

About Minnesota Atheists

Minnesota Atheists is the state's largest and most active atheist organization.  We are a 501(c)3 Not-For-Profit Educational Organization.  We can't do what we do without dedicated, generous support from many people.  Because of volunteers, we can produce a weekly radio show, monthly cable show, monthly newsletter, make presentations to schools about atheism, and offer monthly meetings to the public.  Our mission is simple, provide a welcoming community for atheists, educate the public about atheism, and support the separation of state and church.  If you like what we're doing, consider the many ways you can be a part of this exciting group!

How to Get Involved

Join Meetup

Meetup.com is the best way to stay in touch with other Minnesota Atheists.  It's free to sign up and you can RSVP for events, get notified when new events are announced, see pictures of who is going to be at which events, and talk about what ever interests you on our discussion board.  The best way to participate is to actually show up at events.  Feel free to jump into any event, even if you don't know anyone.  We're a pretty friendly group.

Sign Up for Our Emails

"If you are interested in us, we are interested in you," is a slogan we use on our radio show and cable TV show.  The more we know about you, the better we can make the organization.  If you update your profile with your address, we can choose locations for events closer to where you live.  We can also send you special announcements from Minnesota Atheists.  If you are interested in volunteering, you can let us know through your profile as well.  If you have a website, we want to know that too!  Please sign up for our emails here.

Write an Article

Minnesota Atheists publish a newsletter once a month.  If you'd like to try your hand at atheist journalism, contact our editor, James Zimmerman, at editor@mnatheists.org.

Work With Our Media

Minnesota Atheists produce a weekly radio show on AM950 KTNF as well as a monthly cable TV show.  We are also working on improving our website.  If you have any experience working with a Joomla, or Drupal framework, your help would be most appreciated.  If you'd like to get involved in any program, send an email to web@mnatheists,.org, and you'll be put in contact with either producer.

Offer Suggestions

While Minnesota Atheists can't do everything our members suggest, we wouldn't be so innovative without input from people like you.  Send me an email at pres@mnatheists.org with your thoughts.

Become a Member

Membership in Minnesota Atheists includes voting rights and if you elect, a mailed paper newsletter.  It isn't much, but we make every dollar of your membership count!

Wear a T-Shirt

For any general donation over $12, you can receive a t-shirt as a gift.  Wear it out in public, wear it proudly!

Final Thanks

Whether you attended the lecture by Richard Dawkins, or not.  Whether you are a member of a freethought organization, or not.  Thank you for being interested in Minnesota Atheists.

Dr. Richard Dawkins, Campus Atheists, Skeptics and Humanists, SSA, CFI, Hillel, PZ Myers, the Department of Anthropology at the U of MN and Minnesota Atheists, including the leadership, both past a present, deserve many thanks for pulling off one very interesting evening.

Also, thanks to people who just signed up to receive email at the event.  This is your first step toward becoming part of a dynamic freethought organization.  As members past and present will tell you, Minnesota Atheists works!

Bjorn Watland
President, Minnesota Atheists

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