President’s Column: Welcome Back!

Published by MNA on

By August Berkshire

Headshot of August Berkshire, smiling.

Welcome back from summer vacation! We hope you were able to enjoy at least one of our picnics. We have a number of events and opportunities to report on this month.

We are very excited to have Greta Christina kick off our fall schedule of speakers. She’ll be followed next month by Hector Avalos, making his sixth annual visit to our group. In baseball, Reggie Jackson used to be known as “Mr. October,” but Hector now owns that title for us. Please support us with your new or renewed membership and donations, so we can continue to bring in world-class atheist speakers such as these two people.

A fundraiser for our Legal Fund will occur on Oct. 9. As we reported last month, we have filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of three same-sex couples who are suing for the right to get married in Minnesota. (Actually, they have already been legally married in other states and are seeking to have their marriages recognized in Minnesota.) We anticipate our costs to eventually be $5,000 and wish to pay for this out of new money and not dip into our treasury. An excellent story about the case and our brief appeared in the on-line journal The Minnesota Independent.

After many months of heroic service, almost single-handedly planning and running our Atheists Talk radio program, Mike Haubrich is taking a break. He’ll still be helping out occasionally, but we are pleased to announce that scheduling duties have been taken over by Carl Hancock and hosting will mainly be handled by Stephanie Zvan and Brianne Bilyeu. Scott Lohman of the Humanists of Minnesota will continue to be a regular interviewer and host, as needed. 

We continue to seek submissions for our book project, tentatively titled Atheist Voices of Minnesota. The deadline is Sept. 30, 2011.

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) has produced a very nice, one-minute long “Living Without Religion” video (see:  We are looking for someone to produce a similar 30 or 60 second video for us. If you’re interested, please contact us at (612) 588-7031 or

Our Public Relations Committee is looking for someone to volunteer to submit notices of our activities to press and web events calendars. If interested, please contact our Public Relations Officer, Emily Matejcek, at Emily.Matejcek@

Finally, we’d like to plug the “Project 42 Freethought Convention” being hosted by the Red River Freethinkers, Sept. 23-25, 2011 in Fargo, ND. It will feature speakers such as PZ Myers, Michael Shermer, Robert Price, and Richard Carrier. For more information visit