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Merry, Merry Christmas!

Crystalby Crystal Dervetski

I am one Atheist who is absolutely not involved in any kind of war on Christmas. I personally enjoy the holiday season very much and am very involved in spreading holiday joy!

Why do I love Christmas even though I consider myself a militant atheist? Most of all, I'd say it's because the glow of loving all humans is such a great feeling, and around the holiday season there seems to be so much of this. I do my part to get and give that glow at all times of the year. It seems like such a waste when people are only giving and loving during the holidays.

I don't really believe the war on Christmas exists. Even if it did, we would never be able to win the battle; it would be as futile as the war on drugs. I think certain religious groups, who somehow feel threatened by the idea that there may be other notions of the holidays or what they mean, have invented the war on Christmas as part of their great persecution myth.

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A Cold Slap of Reality

proph8.jpgby Robin Anderson

Many of us undoubtedly celebrated the winnings of certain candidates on Election Day. It was a long time coming.

But, come morning, a cold slap of reality came with the new day. In three states, voters approved constitutional amendments banning same sex marriage. And one of them, Proposition 8, approved in California, stripped same-sex couples of the rights granted them judicially. 

Voters decided not only to strip these couples of their rights, but by enshrining this discrimination into their constitution, sent a message to gay and lesbian people in California and the country:  You are not full citizens.  We don't respect your lives or your loves.  In other words, these people threw lesbians and gays under the bus.  "To hell with you," this vote said, "we don't care." 

What really stings about this loss was the fact that it was primarily religious and racial minorities-who should have had empathy with a fellow, discriminated-against minority-who were primarily responsible for this defeat. 

The major donor in the campaign to strip gay and lesbian people of their rights was, of course, a church; in this case, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  The Mormons spent, by some accounts, 20 million dollars to get this amendment passed.  How ironic that a minority, who had experienced religious persecution, and are still victims of it, used their financial clout to inflict discrimination on another. 

And whom did they woo in their quest to legislate discrimination?

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"Christ the Magician" Explains His Tricks

christ_the_magician.jpgby Vic Tanner


Recently an ancient bowl with the engraving, "DIA CHRSTOU O GOISTAIS," or "Christ the Magician" was found at a sunken archaeological site off the coast of Alexandria. Most intriguing wasn't the bowl itself, but a collection of scrolls that were found near it. Once translated, it was found that the scrolls contained the words of none other than Jesus himself. However, the text is not a religious statement as one might expect. Rather, it was a commentary on stage magic. As it turns out, Christ was not only a magician but perhaps the world's first magician to break the sacred magicians' code by revealing his secrets. This ancient "Magic's Greatest Secrets Revealed" is giving a newfound insight into the New Testament and the miracles reported within it.

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Sunsara Taylor at U of MN on "Away With All Gods"

away_with_all_gods.jpgby Bjorn Watland


On a crisp November evening at the University of Minnesota, a surprisingly large crowd gathered in a basement auditorium to hear from Sunsara Taylor, an unapologetic Revolutionary Communist and militant atheist.  Hearing the views of a communist isn't as shocking as it may be in other arenas of the public; however, it isn't often that a communist will admit that they're also an atheist.  Taylor is not ashamed of either her Revolutionary Communism, or her atheism, as she presented Bob Avakian's book, Away With All Gods.

Taylor's presentation began with a description of the horrors that await readers of the bible.  "I wouldn't give this book to young children to read," Taylor said.  She called the bible, "the most blood-thirsty book," mentioning specifics such as the practice of stoning women who were not virgins on their wedding night; God commanding soldiers to kill children, men, and women who have known a man, but to leave the virgins for themselves; and the series of plagues sent by God.

Taylor claimed that the New and Old Testaments can not be separated from each other, as some more progressive Christians try to do.  Jesus is often separated from the horrors of the Old Testament, however, by what basis would you consider Jesus to the divine without fulfillment of the prophecies found within the Old Testament?  "Jesus is not someone you would want to follow or should follow," Taylor exclaimed.  "He didn't end slavery; instead he taught how slaves should be obedient to their masters.  He didn't stop patriarchy.  He continued to preach that disease and illness are caused by sin."

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Minnesota Atheists Nominations and Elections

Nominations for the Minnesota Atheists board of directors will occur at our January 18, 2009 meeting at the Roseville Library and elections will be held at our February 15, 2009 meeting. Nominations will open and close at the January 18 meeting. We will publish and mail candidates' statements prior to the February 15 meeting elections.

There are nine positions to fill, elected in the following order: President, Associate President, Chair, Associate Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, and three Directors-at-Large. Our bylaws provide that anyone who runs for one position and loses may run again for any other position that has not yet been elected.

Some incumbents will be running for reelection but there will also be some vacant seats. All terms are for one year. Now is your chance to step forward and help guide Minnesota Atheists!

Candidates for all but the three director-at-large positions must have been members of Minnesota Atheists for at least one year as of the time they assume office, March 1, 2009. Candidates for the three director-at-large positions must have members for six months.

You must be nominated by another Minnesota Atheists member. You cannot nominate yourself. You need not be present to be nominated. (If you wish to nominate someone not at the January 18 meeting, please check beforehand to make sure that person is willing to serve if elected.)

Nominees should send candidate's statements (up to 150 words) to the MNA newsletter editors editor@mnatheists.org by January 24, 2009. We would also like to have a jpg headshot of each candidate.

For more information, contact the editorial staff at editor@mnatheists.org.

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