American Atheists Minnesota Conference on September 19th
A sure sign that the summer is over is the return of our monthly meetings. In September, however, we will have only a business meeting, from noon to 12:45. We are ceding the floor for the rest of the afternoon to American Atheists for their Minnesota Conference, presented by their state director, Randall Tigue.
Five speakers headline the conference:
GEORGE ERICKSON is one of our freethought community’s best known activists. He lives in Eveleth, Minnesota, the base from which he travels the Arctic in his bush plane, the Tundra Cub. He has written several proscience travel books, one of which, True North: Exploring the Great Wilderness by Bush Plane, was a bestseller in Canada. See page 7 for a review of his most recent book, Eyes Wide Open. He will speak on “Science, Faith and our Global Environment.”
CECIL BOTHWELL is the atheist councilmember in Asheville, North Carolina, who was under attack there for being an atheist. Religious bigots tried to have him removed from office but, thanks to the U.S. Constitution, it was not possible. The Secular Coalition for America has named Bothwell one of four national Secular American Leaders. He has written a book critical of evangelist Billy Graham, so he doesn’t mind being a truthful troublemaker in the Deep South. His speech topic is “We’re All in this Together: Faith and Reason and Their Consequences.”
CRYSTAL DERVETSKI, “The Sunny Skeptic” from Waseca, Minnesota, is a dynamic organizer of meetups for younger freethinkers and is the face of the future of atheism. She will talk about “How to Work with Woo Thinking without Losing Touch with Reality.” (Woo is shorthand for pseudoscientific/ anti-scientific ideas.)
LAVANAM is a director of social work at the Atheist Centre in Vijayawada, India. He is a son of Gora and Saraswathi, founders of Atheist Centre. He has spent his life doing social reform projects, such as breaking down caste divisions and establishing criminal reform projects. Lavanam will speak on “Who Can Save the Future? Finding Safety in Community in a Complex World.”
DR. WILLIAM “BILL” VAN DRUTEN will come from Duluth, Minnesota, to add some humor to the conference. He attracted attention a few years ago by opposing Catholic-secular hospital mergers in Duluth — mergers which forced all staff and patients to adhere to Catholic doctrine regarding medical care. He also was the leading campaigner to get a Ten Commandments monument off the Duluth City Hall lawn. He will speak about “The Day Our Play Group Got Redirected.”
IF YOU GO
What: Minnesota Atheists Monthly Meeting followed by American Atheists Minnesota Conference
Where: Southdale Regional Library, 70th & York, Edina
When: Sunday, September 19, MNA Meeting begins at noon, American Atheists Conference will be from 12:45 to 5:00 p.m.