"Blue Laws" in Minnesota on their way out?

Liquor stores hate them.  Car sales people love them.  'Blue Laws' are laws used to govern certain moral standards, and are usually in reference to laws prohibiting actions on Sunday.  Most of these 'Blue Laws' around the country have been overturned, declared unconstitutional, or are left unenforced.  Minnesota is one of the few states which prohibit the sale of liquor on Sundays, except for 3.2 beer.  Try buying a car in Minnesota on a Sunday and you'll be out of luck.  Employees love the day off, and are fearful of the day when you can buy are car any day of the week.  There is now a bill, H.F. 3681,  with bipartisan support to remove these prohibitions against operating businesses on Sunday by Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, and co-authored by Rep. Chris DeLaForest, R-Andover.  Kahn doesn't believe the bill will get out of committee, but is there, "to let people know these silly laws exist."  I, for one, would rather get rid of silly laws.  If you support the bill, contact your state representative.  You can read more at Minnesota Monitor

A Lobbyist on Atheism

No, not Lori Lipman Brown of the Secular Coalition for America in Washington D.C., Jennifer Lange is a lobbyist in Albany, New York.  She's a part time lobbyist for the Institute for Humanist Studies.  She fights for the rights on nonbelievers in New York, including seperation of church and state issues.

From the New York Times article:  “It’s not like I’m coming from Save the Children or something everybody’s in favor of,” Ms. Lange, 32, put it in an interview. “When you say you’re an atheist, people think of negative values, of heathens. People feel that we’re antireligious. I’m not trying to change anyone’s religion. I don’t even want to talk religion or the Bible when I’m lobbying. I want to stay focused on state policy and finding the places we can make common cause.”

Let's hope the work of Lange and Brown inspires more organizations to support lobbying efforts to protect the rights of nonbelievers.


The Evolution of Morality

Matthew Richardson interviews Dr. Grant Steves about the evolution of morality and reviews Moral Minds by Mark D. Hauser.   This program is part of our Atheists Talk Cable TV program.  To keep quality programs like these in production, consider making a donation.


That's a Foul: Female Referee Prohibited From Officiating Boys Game

In St. Mary's Kansas, a woman was told by St. Mary's Academy that she could not officiate a boys basketball game because the school believes that women should not have a position of authority over men and boys.  Michelle Campbell was prohibited from officiating at St. Mary's Academy, which is owned and operated by the Society of St. Pius X.  The SSPX was founded by French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1970.  He was later excommunicated by the Pope in 1988 for consecrating four members as bishops. 
The SSPX also believes it is immoral to perform any abortion, even to save the life of the woman, be an organ donor, sterilization in men and women, for any Catholic nurse or doctor to ever deliver or prescribe any form of birth control, lend money for interest, buying or selling anything on Sunday, drink soft drinks, a wife to refuse fulfillment of the "marriage debt," and perform jazz, rock, or gospel music for money.  The Kansas State High School Activities Association can not force the school to change its policy, and it is asking for a written policy indicating the practice of prohibiting women referees at boys events.  However, if it does have a policy, the Association could take away the Academy's ability to play against member schools.  You can read the story here. You can read more about the SSPX at their website here.

Happy Darwin Day 2008!

drwndy05.jpgFebruary 12 marks the 199th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth.  The Guardian has an excellent site for On the Origin of Species and is a good way to spend your Darwin Day.  This year, the Institute for Humanist Studies in charge of DarwinDay.org and in promoting various events around the world.  You can check out their website for events in your area, learn about evolution, and explore the life of Charles Darwin.  Minnesota Atheists' event for this year has come and gone, but now is a great time to think of ideas for next year, the 200th anniversary.  Who should we have as speakers?  Where should it be held?  How would you promote it?  What is the best way for supporters of evolution to be heard, both atheist and theist?  You can post your ideas in the Events section of our Forum.  While you are patiently waiting for next year, why not read this book from the National Academy of Sciences entitled Science, Evolution, and Creationism.  It's a free download, and you can buy a physical copy from their site as well.

Author Login