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Saints drop "s" and become Aints for atheist game

(RNS) For one hot August night, the St. Paul Saints, a Minnesota minor league baseball team, will become the “Mr. Paul Aints” in a game sponsored by a local atheist group.



Dubbed “A Night of Unbelievable Fun,” the Aug. 10 game against the Amarillo Sox will include an auction of players’ special “Aints” jerseys, fireworks and a ceremonial first pitch by David Silverman, president of American Atheists.

The letter “S” in all Saints signs and logos around the stadium will be covered, and there are planned references to Big Foot, UFOs and other targets of the skeptical community, team officials said.

“We want to show that atheists can have fun,” said August Berkshire, president of Minnesota Atheists, which is sponsoring the event with American Atheists a day before its regional conference in downtown St. Paul.

“We picked the name not as a political statement, but just as something that was fun,” Berkshire said. “We thought everybody ain’t got a belief in something so it was a word everybody could relate to. Obviously, we ain’t got a belief in God.”

One atheist blogger wondered if the seventh inning stretch would include the singing of “Dog Bless America.”

Saints General Manager Derek Sharrer told The Associated Press the team has “no intention of mocking or making fun of anyone’s faith.”

The Saints have hosted several religiously themed events before, including Christian concerts and a Jewish Heritage Night. It would be “hypocritical” to tell the atheists no, Sharrer said.

The team, which is partly owned by actor Bill Murray, has a history of unusual promotions and events. The team’s mascots are two pigs named Kim Lardashian and Kris Hamphries who carry baseballs to the umpires.

Nor is this the Saints’ first dip into the religion and science debate. In 2010, the team gave away a rotating Cro-Magnon/Charles Darwin bobblehead doll to salute the 150th anniversary of the publication of Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species.”

Story from Kimberly Winston at RNS

[Editorial] Atheism, Feminism and Ego

In our quiet little corner of the internet, we've been happily posting about the world around us without much anger or ire for our fellow atheists, agnostics or skeptics. We post about the wrongs of the many religions of the world, the great accomplishments of humanity, the politics of the United States and Europe. Sometimes we share our personal lives. Our hopes, our fears, our losses.

Some of us are ardent atheists, who voraciously read blogs, forums and news sites always looking for things that will make our day or give us reason to rage. Others are content to live their lives, free of the drama, with an occasional foray into online activism or vocal support for atheist endeavors. And there are those that put their feet on the ground, outside the internet, and actually get their hands dirty, helping to put a positive face on the atheism community. There are probably those that are a combination of some or all of these types.

We've been relatively happy. Atheism has been talked about more openly, in this country at least, more than any other time in history. We do care. We can be good without a god. But, this week something happened that may change this. For those of you here that haven't seen this headline, I'll link it, then try to explain it's genesis. Please take the time to read the article first.

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Secular Coalition for American to begin lobbying

A national atheist group plans to organize a lobbying group in Tennessee to advocate for stronger separation of church and state.

The Washington, D.C.-based Secular Coalition for America announced plans Tuesday to set up a local chapter aimed at giving local atheists more political clout.

It's part of an effort to organize coalition chapters in all 50 states.

"There are 40 million Americans who don't identify with any religion, but our political influence has been limited because we have not been organized," said Edwina Rogers, executive director of the coalition, in an email Monday. "This year, that changes."

he coalition, made up of 11 atheist and secular humanist groups, has focused on federal lobbying in the past. Now it is concerned about state laws, like the so-called "Monkey Bill" in Tennessee that allows teachers to question evolution.

Critics see the bill, which was passed earlier this year, as an excuse to teach creationism.

Laura Anderson Youngblood, communications manager for the Secular Coalition, said the first step in Tennessee is an organizational meeting with potential members, to be held by conference call on Tuesday.

More at WBIR News

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Secularists raising money to fight Leukemia

The Foundation Beyond Belief is partnering with The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for their Light the Night Walks which will raise funds and awareness.

Read the full article at examiner.com

[Video]Phil Ferguson: Breaking the Cycle of Religion



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