President’s Column: Freethought Cooperation

Published by MNA on

By August Berkshire

Headshot of August Berkshire, smiling.

Cooperation among atheist and humanist groups of goodwill is always an admirable goal. For many years Minnesota Atheists has been a leader in this area. In just this year, we have worked cooperatively with the following groups:

Humanists of Minnesota – Ongoing co-hosting of summer picnics and the winter solstice party. Making their group’s brochures available at festivals at which we have tables. Working cooperatively on our Atheists Talk radio show. Working together on the local appearance of speakers Sean Faircloth and George Erickson.

Campus Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists (CASH) – Ongoing co-hosting of summer picnics. Providing pamphlets on atheism for them to distribute to fellow students. Sharing a speaker this November.

Camp Quest of Minnesota – Providing volunteers and donations. Making their group’s brochures available at festivals at which we have tables.

Or Emet (Society for Humanistic Judaism) – Providing a speaker for one of their meetings.

Friends Free of Theism [St. Cloud] – Working together on our Adopt-A-Highway cleanup in Rice. Sharing a booth at the St. Cloud Gay Pride event.

Secular Student Alliance [SCSU, St. Cloud] – Providing pamphlets on atheism for them to distribute to fellow students. Providing a debater for a debate that attracted about 1000 people.

Rochester Area Freethinkers – Sharing a booth at the Rochester Gay Pride event. Providing a speaker for their upcoming December meeting.

Red River Freethinkers [Fargo] – Providing speakers for their recent regional conference.

Atheists, Agnostics, and Secular Humanists [NDSU, Fargo] – Providing a speaker for one of their meetings. Providing pamphlets on atheism for them to distribute to fellow students.

Lake Superior Freethinkers [Duluth] – Sharing a booth at the Duluth-Superior Gay Pride event. Providing a speaker for their upcoming November meeting.

Student Skeptic Society [UMD, Duluth] – Providing a debater for a debate that will occur in December.

La Crosse Area Freethought Society – Sharing a booth at the La Crosse Gay Pride event. Providing pamphlets on atheism for them to distribute. Providing a PowerPoint presentation on atheism that they can use themselves at schools.

Secular Student Society [UW, La Crosse] – Providing a speaker for one of their meetings. Providing a debater for a debate that will occur in November.
American Humanist Association – Providing speakers for their national convention.

Atheist Alliance International – Providing speakers for their national convention. Conducting a joint membership mailing.

Foundation Beyond Belief – Becoming a founding Partner.

Our Speakers Bureau, chaired by Laura Hutt, is working on even more outreach.

In addition to the above-mentioned specific help that Minnesota Atheists offers other atheist and humanist groups, our Atheist Weekly E-mail, edited by George Kane, advertises freethought events throughout Minnesota and the border cities of Fargo and La Crosse.

At most of the festivals at which we have tables and booths, we not only offer pamphlets from Minnesota Atheists but also from the Humanists of Minnesota, Camp Quest, Foundation Beyond Belief, Secular Coalition for America, Secular Student Alliance, American Atheists, Atheist Alliance International, Freedom From Religion Foundation, and the American Humanist Association.

Minnesota Atheists is officially affiliated with American Atheists, Atheist Alliance International, American Humanist Association, Center for Inquiry, Foundation Beyond Belief, and the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU). (We are not eligible to become a chapter of Freedom From Religion Foundation but we have a great relationship with them.)

By supporting Minnesota Atheists you help support atheism throughout the state, nation, and world. Talk about a Big Bang for your buck!

Overlap in membership and economies of scale suggest that mergers might benefit our movement. On the other hand, we’re all familiar with the adage that organizing atheists is like herding cats. Only time will tell, but Minnesota Atheists remains open to such discussions.


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