By Eric Jayne
When I joined the Minnesota Atheists board three years ago, I wanted to increase our community outreach and volunteer efforts because I know how much cash-strapped nonprofits rely on donations and volunteer labor to address the growing needs within their service areas. I also wanted there to be a safe and welcoming outlet for atheists who were interested in collectively helping under the atheist banner while enhancing their freethinking identity with kindness and compassion. Having collaborated with several secular and faith-based organizations in my professional life as a licensed community social worker, and participated in many Minnesota Atheists volunteer events, I feel fully confident in branding our atheist volunteers as some of the most genuine, accepting, and helpful in the Twin Cities.
Read more: President's Column - Assembling Helpful Freethinking Support
By Rebecca Chesin
You may have heard some of the buzz about Sunday Assembly as an “atheist congregation” that’s popping up in cities around the world. While it’s true that Sunday Assembly gatherings are a-theist (without gods), Sunday Assembly does not actively address the question of belief or disbelief. Rather, as one member of the local planning group put it, it is apatheist—religion is simply not present in, nor relevant to, the content of meetings. The focus of Sunday Assembly is neatly summed up by its motto: live better, help often, wonder more.
Read more: Sunday Assembly Forming in Twin Cities
Sehoya Cotner is a professor of biology at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests include evolution education for the non-scientist and using sex to teach evolution.
In an interview with Specimen Magazine, Dr. Cotner said:
It’s clear that we have a big science problem in our country. . . . I don’t think it’s exclusively a U.S. phenomenon. . . . There is non-science everywhere. There is pseudo-science or creationism in place of evolution. I don’t care how enlightened we think the country is.
Read more: Are We Still Evolving? MN Atheists presents Sehoya Cotner at February Meeting
By Eric Jayne
It’s been another great year for the Minnesota Atheists! Since January 2013 we’ve added over 400 members on our Meetup site and held over 200 events in the Twin Cities area. Our paid membership has increased by more than 10 percent, which brings us up to almost 250 paid members—each of whom plays an integral role in helping us finance our endeavors and administrative costs. With all of the exciting stuff we have planned for 2014, I don’t see any reason why we can’t expect to get our Meetup membership to over 2000 by the end of the year, and more importantly, our paid membership to over 300. Before we look at the exciting stuff 2014 has in store, let’s briefly review 2013.
Read more: President's Column: 2014 Will Be An Unbelievable Year With Your Help
By Lewis Campbell
Book Review: The Messiah Game: A Comedy of Terrors, Part I by Tom Flynn. See Sharp Press.
In a far distant future, humans have colonized 42,000 planets in the Milky Way galaxy through a process that is no longer remembered. Only 2,000 of these planets have technologically advanced civilizations. On the other 40,000, people live in essentially neolithic conditions. These planets are designated as Enclave planets and are protected by law from the introduction of outside technology. They constitute a sort of wilderness area for the galaxy.
Read more: James Bond Meets Darth Vader