Re: [mnatheists] New Meetup: Blasphemy Day Happy Hour - Uptown Bar and Cafe - 6:00 p.m. Wed Sep 30

From: Matthew R.
Sent on: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 12:44 AM
THANK YOU, Lisa.? I certainly appreciate your response.
--Matthew

On Tue, Sep 22, 2009 at 12:42 AM, Lisa E <[address removed]> wrote:
Brilliant points, Matthew and Scott!
These are the exact kinds of thoughts and examples of action that ought to be posed, whether or not this particular group decides to act on them.?
If such events come to fruition, please do alert me - sounds like very balanced responses to everyday American life.... for the other half.
Best,
Lisa Erickson
[address removed]


From: [address removed]
Subject: Fw: [mnatheists] New Meetup: Blasphemy Day Happy Hour - Uptown Bar and Cafe - 6:00 p.m. Wed Sep 30

To: [address removed]
Date: Mon, 21 Sep[masked]:37:04 -0400


"The objective of International Blasphemy Day," Bjorn asserts in starting this discussion, "is to open up all religious beliefs to the same level of free inquiry, discussion and criticism to which all other areas of academic interest are subjected." This Day and its objective are certainly something atheists of all stripes can support and celebrate. But how best can we support and celebrate them?

The first and quietest, most internal way would be to gather among ourselves, perhaps in a bar during happy hour, to lift a toast to the Day; to the First Amendment; to blasphemy as an activity for others, perhaps; and, most important, to ourselves. We are, after all, by definition blasphemers. This, although narrow, would be welcoming for those who sometimes feel a little shell-shocked by the reactions of their neighbors to their beliefs.

The second would be to take the Day beyond our organization and out of our community to the general public, many of whom, despite their democratic preferences, couldn't support such a day. We could organize a public forum on the importance of the First Amendment and of free inquiry, discussion, and criticism; as well as the dangers of violence in response to such practices. In order to engage as wide an audience as possible, we would soft-pedal our own beliefs and criticisms. We wouldn't display posters of religious persons important to others. We would be model citizens.

The third would be to go out and actively blaspheme. How better to support and celebrate the objective than to exemplify it? We would probably have to go in small groups -- guerrilla blasphemers, so to speak -- so that we could set up quickly with our soapboxes and handouts and disperse just as quickly if the crowds began to get ugly. There are, of course, more incendiary ways to blaspheme, and we would proscribe the use of profanity, for example, to describe Mohammed. I think we could expect a strong reaction (certainly in light of the reaction by our own officers to Matthew's suggestion to actively blaspheme), especially if we chose a location near a major fundamentalist organization, and we might even be courting arrest, despite the First Amendment. We might also make the evening news if we chose the right time, and the name of our organization could be on the lips of many believers, who might not be willing to proscribe the use of profanity.

I don't propose, I merely ask. At the very least, I suggest that the objective of International Blasphemy Day, and how best to support and celebrate it, be among to topics at the Uptown Bar and Cafe, along with, e.g., football (and baseball -- Go Twins!). I appreciate your attention.
?
The codger in the corner,
Scott Jackson
[address removed]


----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Matthew Richardson <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Monday, September 21,[masked]:53:17 PM
Subject: Re: [mnatheists] New Meetup: Blasphemy Day Happy Hour - Uptown Bar and Cafe - 6:00 p.m. Wed Sep 30

Hello Bjorn
?? Thank you for your response.? I appreciated it.
--Matthew

On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 1:40 PM, Bjorn Watland <[address removed]> wrote:
Matthew,

Where I have seen positive growth for our organization, it has come from providing a welcoming community for atheists.? We have done this through the diversity of events we host, including events which focus on religion, to those which have nothing to do with atheism or religion.

I take offense to comparing the outreach efforts of Minnesota Atheists with the decision of the Yale University Press to exclude the cartoon of Mohammad from the book "The 12 Cartoons Which Shook the World."? It is not dictated in our mission to carry out a campaign you prescribe and that has nothing to do with "Political Correctness," but has everything to do with the focus of our organization.? Our mission is to build a welcoming community for atheists, educate the public about atheism and to support the strict separation of church and state.

If you feel that providing buttons and posters depicting Mohammad would support our mission, I am welcome to hear your reasoning.? You should know, that Minnesota Atheists did publish the cartoons in our newsletter after the violence erupted over their publication, however, I do not see a need to make Mohammad with a bomb a focus of our outreach efforts.

Also keep in mind that Minnesota Atheists is not the only atheist organization in the state.? I strongly suggest that you contact Atheists for Human Rights, the Humanists of Minnesota, Minneapolis Skeptics, or Campus Atheists, Skeptics and Humanists with your ideas.? If none of them are willing to do what you ask, you may be in a good position to start your own organization with your own particular mission in mind.

Bjorn Watland
President, Minnesota Atheists


On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 1:00 PM, Crystal Dervetski <[address removed]> wrote:
We don't have any signs with any pictures of god(s) or religious figures on them.?
?
We are atheists.? To be a member of such a large organization means that the first thing that brings us together is our atheism.? Any other political or social opinions we hold must be secondary in order for a group with such a general purpose and/or large membership?to succeed.
?
Also, please be aware that when you send messages from Meet Up, you are not anonymous if you have published your whole name?on the?Meet Up website/your Meet Up account- just for future reference.
?
I hope everyone has a Happy Blasphemy Day!
?
Thanks,

Crystal D.

Sunny Skeptic

?Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction? -Antoine de Saint-Exupery



?

Subject: Re: [mnatheists] New Meetup: Blasphemy Day Happy Hour - Uptown Bar and Cafe - 6:00 p.m. Wed Sep 30
From: [address removed]
To: [address removed]
Date: Mon, 21 Sep[masked]:40:36 -0400


Hello fellow atheists:

How do MNA atheists compare with executives of Yale University Press?? Do we also tip-toe around the Muslims of Minneapolis by not carrying any photos of Muhammad out of fear of sparking violence against us or around us??? For the parades we participate in, do we dare carry a large poster of Muhammad with a bomb in his turban?

Do we have any buttons with Muhammad's image on them?? Do we have any posters with Muhammad's image??? If we don't, then I would assume that we're no better than Yale Univ. Press and all other intimidated Americans.??? Oh, I almost forgot: We have an excuse not to, because we're Politically Correct, Positive Atheists.?? We don't want to antagonize our oppressors.
--Anonymous

On Mon, Sep 21, 2009 at 12:12 PM, Bjorn Watland <[address removed]> wrote:
Announcing a new Meetup for Minnesota Atheists Meetup Group!

What: Blasphemy Day Happy Hour - Uptown Bar and Cafe - 6:00 p.m. Wed Sep 30

When: September 30,[masked]:00 PM

Where:
Uptown Bar
3018 E Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408
[masked]

Blasphemy Day takes place on September 30th, which also happens during Banned Book Week, a project with similar goals, to support free speech.

The objective of International Blasphemy Day is to open up all religious beliefs to the same level of free inquiry, discussion and criticism to which all other areas of academic interest are subjected.

Why September 30? The last day in September is the anniversary of the original publication of Danish cartoons in 2005 depicting the prophet Muhammad's face. Any visual depiction of Muhammad is considered a grave offense under Islamic law.

The fury which arose within the Islamic community following this publication led to massive riots, attacks on foreign embassies and deaths.

The newspapers which chose to publish these cartoons were in many cases blamed for the outpouring of violence which followed. This unfortunate yet inevitable sequence of events clearly demonstrated a dangerous misconception that had piggy-backed into the 21st century on the shoulders of ignorance, fear and apathy, that all religious beliefs and ideas deserve respect and are beyond criticism or satire.

International Blasphemy Day is a movement, not just a day, to remind the world that religion should never again be beyond open and honest discussion or reproach. Our future depends on it.

To celebrate Blasphemy Day, we will be holding a for real Happy Hour at a for real bar, the
Uptown Bar and Cafe in Minneapolis. Look for our table sign. There are several good happy hour specials on drinks and bar food.

Since it is Blasphemy Day, all topics are on the table: religion, science, football, reality tv, Dr. Who, school, babies, anything goes!

Learn more here:
http://www.meetup.com/minnesota-atheists/calendar/11427417/




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