By Steve Petersen
For the first part of the show, Dr. Sharon Preves, sociologist and professor, discussed her research of intersex individuals. Sharon first defined terms, such as "intersex," "hermaphrodite," and "transgender," then explained how and why she became involved in this research. Sharon next explained the cause for negative stigma of intersex individuals, including the religious views of people who do not fit easily into the male/female binary. Sharon noted the strong drive that society has to pigeonhole everyone - even fetuses - into one of two genders. She discussed the evolution of outlying conditions in Western civilization: from sin, to crime, to medicalization. Sharon then explained the excessive intrusion of the medical world and its treatment of intersexuality as an emergency requiring "correction."
Read more: Atheists Talk TV Program Review: May 2013
By Grant Steves
The following is a transcript of the speech written by Grant Steves and delivered by James Barri at the State Capital during the Day of Reason
The Pledge of Allegiance is described as an oath, a national prayer, and a statement that elevates the government and flag to religious icons. Its major supporters have been clergy, religious and patriotic groups.
Francis Bellamy, who composed the original Pledge of allegiance in 1892, had these thoughts about it: The true reason for allegiance to the flag is the ‘republic for which it stands’. . . . And what does that vast thing, the Republic mean? It is the concise political word for the Nation—the one nation which the civil war was fought to prove. To make that one nation idea clear, we must specify that it is indivisible.
Read more: Day of Reason Speech: One Nation Indivisible
By Blake Page
When most of us think of the roots of free thought communities in the United States, we recall Madalyn O’Hair and the 1960’s. In his book An Infidel Body-Snatcher and the Fruits of his Philosophy, Dan Allosso shatters that misconception by detailing the life of Dr. Charles Knowlton, a physician who championed women’s rights in the early nineteenth century. While the book is a fascinating topic in itself, much of Dan’s presentation at our May Meeting addressed how a growing acceptance of free thought allowed Dr. Knowlton to contribute to the advancement of women’s rights and empiricism in medicine.
Read more: May Meeting Review
By Jack Caravela
Since 2006, Minnesota Atheists members and supporters have gathered at the state capitol building on the first Thursday in May to celebrate the annual Day of Reason. Begun as a response to the federal and state supported Day of Prayer, an annual abuse of the U.S. Constitution that was officially endorsed this year through proclamations by both Governor Dayton and President Obama, we have been proud to assemble in the Rotunda while those who seek to perpetuate the myth of America as a nation founded on religious beliefs congregate outside.
Read more: MN Atheists Stand United for 8th Annual Day of Reason
By Eric Jayne
There’s been a lot of excitement about NBA Center Jason Collins coming out publicly as gay. Even though he’s a mediocre basketball player, Collins will be forever remembered as the first male professional athlete from one of the big four leagues (National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, and Major League Baseball) to come out as gay while still active. Thanks to increased tolerance for the LGBT community, Collins has been celebrated by his coach, teammates, fans, and NBA Commissioner David Stern for coming out.
This has been an exciting and significant moment for the LGBT community, but as an atheist I can’t help but wonder how exciting and significant it would also be for a professional athlete to come out as an atheist. With all of the intermingling elements between religion and sports these days (7th inning God Bless America renditions, locker room bible study, and routine Jesus invocations before, during, and after gameplay, for example) there might be far less acceptance for an out-of-the-closet atheist than for an out-of-the-closet gay man.
Read more: Root Root Root for the Atheists!