James Zimmerman to speak at October MN Atheists Meeting in Apple Valley
The October meeting of Minnesota Atheists will feature James Zimmerman discussing his new book Deliverance at Hand! Much of Zimmerman’s book takes place in Apple Valley which is partly why we selected this location.
James is a member of the Minnesota Atheists Editorial Board and a former editor of The Minnesota Atheist newsletter.He is a frequent host and guest of the Atheists Talk television show. His writing has appeared in The Minnesota Atheist, The Humanist, Free Inquiry, and American Atheist. His essay “Losing My Head” appears in the book Atheist Voices of Minnesota, which he helped edit.
Deliverance at Hand! recounts James’ life as a loyal, zealous Jehovah’s Witness and his subsequent defection from that faith. James will compare the Witnesses with other religions, discuss the Witnesses’ claimed evidence for believing that we’re living in the last days, explain what nonbelievers often get wrong about the religion, and reveal some little-known aspects of the Witnesses’ religion. He will also shed some light on the Witnesses’ policy of shunning former members, citing examples from his own life. A question-and-answer session will follow.
Here is a passage from the book:
One morning, no one else showed up for service. There were seven other regular pioneers in the congregation, plus auxiliary pioneers, not to mention the assorted publishers, but not a single person showed up. I was baffled. I didn’t know that sort of thing ever happened. Not a single person in the entire congregation could find the time to do this most important work? So I just sat there. As if holding my own private meeting, I thumbed through the Watchtower. I said a prayer. Then I went home. I had nothing to do. I was discouraged. This occurred eleven times that year. On another occasion, after we stopped for lunch, one of the sisters in our group was nowhere to be found. At first, we assumed she was using the ladies’ room, but then five minutes turned into fifteen. Finally, after thirty-three minutes, she trotted out of the adjacent grocery store with a cart of groceries. That evening, I told my parents how ridiculous that was.
“Stuff like that happens from time to time,” my mom said. “I don’t like it either.” My dad said that if that happens again, I should offer magazines to the people in the parking lot to keep my time going.
That was the thing about pioneering: you had to keep your time going.
The October Minnesota Atheists meeting will be held at the Apple Valley Community Center, 14603 Hayes Road, Apple Valley, on October 20th. The meeting will follow our usual schedule:
1:00-1:15pm – Informal Gathering Time
1:15-1:45pm – Business Meeting
1:45-2:00pm – Break
2:00-3:30pm – Presentation by James Zimmerman
4:00pm – Dinner at Rascal’s Bar & Grill
You may attend any part of the meeting you wish. At 4:00pm there will be an optional dinner at Rascal’s Bar & Grill, 7721 147th Street West, Apple Valley.