Update: See August's talk on YouTube now
August Berkshire, past president of Minnesota Atheists, will be speaking at our October membership meeting at the Great River Library in St. Cloud on Monday, October 21st. The program will be presented in the Mississippi Room of the library at 7:00 pm. The admission is free and the event is open to everyone who would like to attend.
Berkshire's program is entitled "The Illusion that Free Will is not an Illusion." He will discuss the ramifications of a natural universe without gods or free will, in which evolution shapes our thoughts and actions. Is life worth living? Can we avoid fatalism? What does this say about ethics, cooperation, altruism, responsibility, justice, revenge, punishment, rehabilitation, praise, blame, hate and love? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic about the future?
August Berkshire is not only a past president of Minnesota Atheists, he's a past vice-president of Atheist Alliance International and is on the speakers bureau for the Secular Student Alliance. He has been an atheist activist since 1984 and is the author of numerous pamphlets. He is the owner of the ATHEIST car license plate for Minnesota and is proud to be listed in the reference book "Who's Who in Hell".
We hope to see you there!
We're participating in this year's St. Cloud Pride in the Park on Saturday, September 21st at Lake George. We'll be sponsoring an information booth in conjunction with the Minnesota Atheists and we could use a few volunteers to take a two-hour shift for us; 10-12, 12-2 or 2-4.
We'll cover the set-up and take-down of everything. All you have to do is smile nicely and answer any questions folks might have about us or our organizations. We'll have flyers and brochures available and have CMF t-shirts and window clings available for sale. If you'd like to help, sign up here.
It's a wonderful St. Cloud event and well worth attending, even if you don't want to volunteer to spend a little time with us. Just be sure to stop by and say hi.
When I saw the billboard near St. Joseph the other day, "With atheism, there is no hope, only despair," I couldn't help but wonder what made this person think their actions would make this world in any way a better place to live.
First, it expresses a complete lack of understanding of, or tolerance for those around the world who view life through rational, rather than spiritual eyes.
If there is no promise of an afterlife, it only makes the life we have that much more precious to us.
Monday, May 13, 2013, 7 pm
St. Cloud Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (map)
Long-time Minnesota activist and atheist Marie Alena Castle will be introducing her newly released book, "Culture Wars: The Threat to Your Family and Your Freedom", at a special program sponsored by the Central Minnesota Freethinkers on Monday, May 13th. The program will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall, 3226 Maine Prairie Rd., St. Cloud at 7:00 pm and is free and open to everyone who wishes to attend.
Her new book looks at the Constitutional ideal of the Separation of Church and State and the reality of the many laws in our Country that are based on clearly religious concepts. These include things like laws prohibiting both contraception and abortions, limits on reality-based sex education in schools and bans against stem-cell research. Suicides are prohibited no matter how horribly a person may be suffering. There are Bible readings and prayers sessions held in public schools and Creationism is taught in many places as a legitimate alternative to Evolution. There are laws against same-sex marriage and laws actually criminalizing homosexuality. Books are banned, religious organizations are given special tax preferences and in some places atheists are not allowed to run for political office. There are even still laws on the books prohibiting liquor sales on Sundays.
Central Minnesota Freethinkers hosted Grant Steves, who gave a talk entitled "How Religion Influences Worldviews". Grant is a former Board member of Minnesota Atheists and a past chairperson. He served as host for the Minnesota Atheists television show Atheists Talk and has been interviewed on the Minnesota Atheists radio show. He has contributed articles and reviewed books for the Minnesota Atheists newsletter.
In the past, he has lectured on cults and fundamentalism. Grant has also delivered speeches at the Day of Reason. Grant holds a Doctorate in Theology, is a retired public school educator, debate coach.
After the great success of our coffee socials, we've decided to bring a new event into the mix. The second Tuesday evening after each coffee social is Freethinkers Night Out!
The April event will be held at La Casita in Waite Park on Tuesday the 23rd from 6-7:30. Of course, you're free to come earlier or stay later. We expect the same fun, invigorating conversation and laughter we always have. Plus beer.
See you then!
Beth Ann Erickson interviews Doug Petersen of the Central Minnesota Freethinkers for Incongruent Elements.