This “ain’t” no lazy summer for Minnesota Atheists


The crack of a baseball bat, the shuffling of notes at a podium, and the thud of canned yams into a cardboard box—it’s been a busy month for Minnesota Atheists, one of our Volunteers Beyond Belief teams.

Emergency Foodshelf NetworkFirst, the godless givers showed up to the Emergency Foodshelf Network, and in a two-hour shift, packed 4,387 pounds of food and 66 bags of rice—enough for 556 people. Since then, the boxes have been distributed to various food banks in the area. EFN is a secular nonprofit that relies heavily on partnerships and volunteers to operate, and in this case, move more than two tons of food. “It was hard work,” commented one volunteer from MN Atheists, “but worth it.”

Ten days later, the group had a weekend to remember—starting with a quintessentially American ball game. This particular ball game was especially close to the American tradition because it was secular—the St. Paul Saints, a minor-league baseball team, temporarily renamed themselves the Mr. Paul “Aints” for a benefit game. Aints jerseys were available for pre-order, and those worn by the players were auctioned off, in part to benefit Volunteers Beyond Belief.

Mr. Paul AintsAmerican Atheists president Dave Silverman (who also threw out the first pitch) described the entire event as surreal, and complimented the sense of humor on the part of the team, who wore different jerseys and covered every S in the Saints signage.

The following day, American Atheists held their regional conference, featuring speakers such as PZ Myers, Ayanna Watson, and Teresa MacBain. The conference was open to anyone in the area and included opportunities to eat and go for drinks with other attendees.

Upcoming events from this VBB team include a family-oriented Freethought Picnic, regular book club meetings, and board game nights. How does your group stay active and promote community?