On Tuesday, September 28th, the Pew Forum reported in an executive summary that “atheists agnostics, Jews and Mormons are among the highest-scoring groups on a new survey of religious knowledge, outperforming evangelical Protestants, mainline Protestants and Catholics on questions about the core teachings, history and leading figures of major world religions.” Out of 32 questions asked to a random sampling of people via landline and cellular phone, those who identified as atheist or agnostic correctly answered an average of 20.9 questions. Jews were not far behind at 20.5. Hispanic Catholics averaged the lowest, at 11.6. The summary also reported that atheists and agnostics “do particularly well on questions about the role of religion in public life, including a question about what the U.S. Constitution says about religion.”
Read more: The Pew Forum U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey
On Saturday, October 30 a Rally to Restore Sanity
will be held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
There will also be a March to Keep Fear Alive
held at the same place at
the same time. Both events (the latter one satirically mocking Glenn
Beck's recent "tea party" rally) are being held for those of us who have
grown tired of the anti-intellectual, hyperbolic shouting that seems to
be drowning out reasonable discourse. Examples of national insanity
include policymakers proudly attacking and stifling science while
embracing ancient Mediterranean folklore; also, ideological activists
invoking popularly accepted hateful religious indoctrination that deny
equal treatment to gays and lesbians.
Read more: Celebrate Sanity and Reason with a De-Baptism on October 30 in Eagan, MN
Minnesota Atheists denounces the Minnesota Catholic Conference for mailing 400,000 DVDs to the homes of Catholics as a clear intent to influence the upcoming state elections. The videos, which feature John Nienstedt, Archbishop of Minneapolis and St. Paul, call for Catholics to take political action to demand an amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution to restrict marriage to opposite-sex couples.
Read more: Minnesota Atheists Denounce Minnesota Catholic Conference
By George Kane
Federal Court Finds California’s Proposition 8 Unconstitutional
Federal District Court Judge Vaughn Walker’s ruling in Perry v. Schwarzenegger
early in August that overturned California’s Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment that defined marriage as a union between “a man and a woman,” set off a predictable storm of outrage from the religious right. Tony Perkins, the President of the Family Research Council, complained on CBS’ Face the Nation
that Judge Walker should have recused himself because he is “openly homosexual.”
Read more: News and Notes
By Steve Petersen
For the month of July, Grant Steves conducted two interviews, one with James Zimmerman (see photo at left) on Religion’s Use of Science and the second was with Matthew Richardson on Religion and the US Drug Policy. For the month of August, George Kane interviewed Randall Tigue (see photo below), American Atheists Minnesota State director on American Atheists in Minnesota. All programs can be viewed on cable television (see schedule) or on our podcast via iTunes. I would like to thank Jack Richter for sponsoring our programs for the past several years in St. Cloud. Jack is no longer able to do this and if you live in the St. Cloud area and would like to be the sponsor, please let me know.
Read more: July and August Cable Report