No babies were eaten at the Mr. Paul Aints Game last night, despite the fact that the place was thick with Atheists. It was my first Saint Paul Saints game, though I’ve been planning to get to one forever. The Saints, called the Aints for this particular “Evening of Unbelievable Fun” (in association with the Minnesota Atheists) played very well and lost by only one point against a team from Texas which had actually (apparently) considered not coming to the game because of the co-sponsorship by atheists.

I personally would like to thank the Saints for having this co-sponsored game. I hope we can do it again. Eventually, it might become normal seeming for non-Atheists to exist in the same city with Atheists. There are a lot of us, after all. There are more non-believers in Minnesota than there are Jews, Muslims, Gay People and all kinds of other groups. And we are one of the fastest growing groups in the country.

And now we shall pause for a small experiment. The following text is from Joe Soucheray’s commentary on this game, published a few weeks ago, in which he bitterly decried having an Atheists Night at Midway Stadium. However, I’ve changed the text to make a parody of it. Instead of some guy who claims to be religious complaining about Athesits, I’ve shifted the writer to be a Christian (which he is anyway) complaining about the ball team having a night together with The Jews. Read through it and substitute “Jew” with “Black Folk” or “Arabs” or “Democrats” or “Special Needs Children” or whatever you want, and see how it feels for ya. Continue reading

This issue, for various reasons, is on my mind lately, and a current news story focuses the question. The Center for Inquiry has issued a statement urging the “Obama Administration Not To Retreat Any Further on HHS Regulation.” This pertains to the recent dustup over reproductive health services (in particular birth control).

From the CFI:

On Friday, Feb. 10, the Obama Administration announced that it would continue to require health insurance providers and organizations providing health care plans to cover preventive health services, such as birth control, without charging a co-payment. However, it indicated that it would allow religiously affiliated employers not to offer contraceptive coverage directly—although their insurers would still have to offer such coverage.

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is pleased that the Obama Administration has continued to hold firm to the principle that employees must have access to contraceptive services as part of any employer-sponsored health plan and has decided to keep in place the substance of guidelines that require health insurance providers and organizations providing health care plans to cover preventive health services without charging a co-payment. …

With regards to Advocasy, the CFI makes this statement about itself: “The Center for Inquiry advocates for science, reason, freedom of inquiry and humanist values…” and does so via a number of programs, and the mission of the CFI is stated as “…to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.

Here are my questoins: Is something like funding of birth control a political issue? Is it the proper role of an organization like CFI to engage in political issues, and if so, is there some subset of issues they should leave alone vs. focus on? What about other organizations with a somewhat different mission, such as JREF?

In short, do Secular Humanism, Skepticism, other Secular movements or groups, or Atheism have a Political Agenda? Are these movements politically agnostic? Are the goals and philsophies of these organizaitons incompatible with certain political orientations?

Why do I ask? Because in a few weeks I’m going to be engaged in a debate about this topic and I’d like to know what you think about it.

… if House bill 1148, introduced by Republican Jerry Bergen is passed into law. It is only in the pre-file stage,but it will be taken up in the upcoming 2012 session of the New Hampshire legislature.

Specifically, the bill says: Continue reading

This time, at the lawn in front of the Leesburg County Court House in Virginia:

Beside a Christmas tree and creche sits a large banner with a nativity scene in which baby Jesus has been replaced by a plate of spaghetti with googly eyes. A crowd that includes pirates and gnomes surrounds Jesus. At the bottom its message reads “Touched by an Angelhair.” The scene is the work of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monsters.

Near the courthouse fence is another display whose sign reads ”Greetings From Your Friendly Local Atheists.” It’s message is about celebrating the Constitution and honoring the separation of church and state.

Elsewhere on the lawn, a skeleton in a Santa suit hangs on a cross.


They killed Santa? Continue reading

David Greenberg has an Op-Ed at the LA Times asking this question. It reminded me that I used to get a Christmas card, or at least a Holiday card, from Bill Clinton every year, but George Bush never sent me one. Barack Obama hasn’t either, but Al Franken does. Of course, since I personally put Al Franken in the Senate, he may feel an obligation.
Continue reading

Apparently, Barack Obama gave a very nice Thanksgiving Address but failed to pander to Christian Fundamentalists. Some of them are now calling for his death on a Fox ‘News’ web site. Even more astonishing is the fact that Fox ‘News’ is allowing these comments to remain on their site. Continue reading

Short version of the story: Some Ohio Atheists had arranged to have a couple of “god is not real” billboards put up, raised the money, got the artwork and mockups done, the whole nine yards. Then, at the last second Lind Media company decided that Atheistic Billboards would be wrong, so they pulled out.

Documentation, including an admission from Maura Siegenthaler, Vice President of Lind Media Company, which is on North Main Street in Mansfield, Ohio, that they felt “… the inflammatory nature of the proposed displays would no doubt be considered offensive to much of the community and would be harmful to Lind’s community reputation and goodwill” is HERE on the Mid Ohio Atheists site.

If you are a company that uses billboards, consider the possibility that using Lind Media is not a good idea. I for one, if I see a Lind Media tag on a billboard, will instantly launch a personal boycott of that product no matter what it is. If you own or work in a decision making capacity for a company that uses billboards, and you are a free thinker or simply believe in free speech and open dialog rather than crushing opinions you don’t agree with and silencing those that think differently than you do, then you might consider avoiding Lind Media Company entirely.

If you live in the region where Lind Media Company works, and you know of any of their billboards, have a look and let us know what companies are advertising on them! We can write some letters, raise a little dust.

By the time you read this it may be a few days old …

The Caudal Lure has found a blog written by a pastor who seems to be advocating for a registry of atheists. This would apparently be similar to the registries for abortion providers, which are designed to give activists information necessary to harass them, send them nasty notes, let the air out of their tires, shoot them to death, and so on and so forth. Caudal Lure seems to have access to the blog post, which is hidden behind an “invite only” wall, and found this:

“Registering atheists like Richard Dawkins would at least let people know who – and WHERE – they reside.

“Why do many atheists hold a hatred toward a creator they say doesn’t exist? How can you hate something you claim doesn’t exist?”

“Brothers and Sisters , I have been seriously considering forming a ( Christian ) grassroots type of organization to be named “The Christian National Registry of Atheists” or something similar . I mean , think about it . There are already National Registrys for convicted sex offenders , ex-convicts , terrorist cells , hate groups like the KKK , skinheads , radical Islamists , etc.. “

You probably can’t see the original blog post, but you can check out Caudal Lure’s documentation of it, and try the link provided there to see if it will work for you.