2013.06 News: Progress on Gay Rights

With yesterday's Supreme Court decisions striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and California's Proposition 8 (which reversed a law permitting gay marriage in that state), America has moved one step closer to freeing itself from the tyranny of mindless religion and superstitious religious prejudice.

Congratulations to all our gay brothers and sisters in the struggle. More work remains to be done, but this is a huge step, and perhaps one day even atheists will be viewed as full-fledged American citizens as well.


In case there was any doubt where opponents of gay marriage are coming from, here's a direct quotation from Wisconsin Republican State Senator Glenn Grothman, appearing on WISC-TV to react to yesterday's rulings:

They’ve [the people of Wisconsin have] spoken and of course our laws aren’t going to change. Nevertheless, I think it does have an impact in that insofar as we want to have a great opinion of America, the fact that our U.S. Supreme Court is outright hostile to and almost mocking the idea that laws that have a religious basis or that are supported by religious people or give negative motivations to religious people [sic] to pass these laws is scary for all of us. You can’t say that because we live in Wisconsin we shouldn’t be worried about this law. We should be scared to death of the type of people we have on our Supreme Court.


2013.06 Feature: Atheist Church

Greg Epstein, the humanist chaplain at Harvard University, thinks that Christians have had at least one good idea: church. He thinks it feeds a natural human hunger for community. CNN.com took a look inside one of their services in this article.


2013.06 Humor: 10 Reasons To Fear Atheists

Being plugged in to several atheist mailing lists is a good way to encounter the occasional little gem of humor, like this posting from the Naked Pastor on 10 Reasons To Be Afraid of Atheists.


2013.06 History: 50 Years after Schempp

Bob Seidensticker, author of the excellent Cross Examined blog, points out in today's essay that it's the 50th anniversary of the US Supreme Court decision in Abington v. Schempp, which prohibited Bible readings in public schools.

The school child in whose name the case was initiated was Ellery Schempp, who was a featured speaker at Madison's inaugural Freethought Festival 2 years ago. He subsequently devoted much of his life to promoting separation of church and state.


2013.06 News: Summer Solstice Potluck

Some of AAW's most active members are also affiliated with SWiFT (Southeastern Wisconsin FreeThinkers, active in the Milwaukee-Racine-Kenosha area), and they have kindly extended this invitation to all atheists and agnostics within sound of this keyboard.

Please join us for a fun afternoon to celebrate the Summer Solstice with food, boat rides, engaging discussion and more.

Summer Solstice Potluck • 2013 June 22 (Saturday) • 1:00 PM
Idle Isle ParkLittle Muskego Lake • Muskego

Look for the SWiFT Sign
Fun for the Entire Family • Children Welcome
$4 per Vehicle for Parking • $7 Launch Fee per Boat

Please bring a picnic dish to share. SWiFT will provide soda, plates, cups, utensils, and charcoal for the barbecue. Don’t forget sunscreen, lawn chairs, frisbees, picnic games, etc.

This is a wonderful opportunity to meet new friends in a relaxed setting Sit back, relax, have engaging dialog with other freethinkers, go for a boat ride, have fun!

Last year was a huge success. Please join us and make this year even better!


2013.06 Tip: Secular Celebrant in Madison

This information was provided by Carol Smith:

Need a Secular Celebrant?

Scott McAndrew is a Court Commissioner for Dane County, Wisconsin, located in Madison. He is authorized under the laws of the State of Wisconsin to perform wedding ceremonies and seeks to afford those without religious affiliation the opportunity to participate in weddings and other formal ceremonies with a format and content of their own choosing.

Scott and his family are enthusiastic supporters of the Center for Inquiry and the secular humanist community. In his spare time, Scott enjoys spending time with his wife and three boys and is an avid distance runner, music fan, and rock musician.

Scott McAndrew
Email: scott549@yahoo.com
Phone: 608-259-0549

source: Find a Secular Celebrant

Shortly thereafter, LaVada Rooks chimed in with this:

My husband, Jerod Luening, is also able to perform secular marriages here in Southeast Wisconsin.
Call 414-477-7206


2013.06 News: Unfriendly Dildoes Coming to Wisconsin Women

At 8 am this morning, Republicans rammed a mandatory ultrasound bill through the Wisconsin Senate, requiring women seeking an abortion to submit to a medically unnecessary vaginal probe. While this would be an outrageous invasion of bodily integrity for any woman, it's particularly egregious for one class of women most inclined to seek abortions in the first place, namely those who've already been raped once.

Make no mistake: This legalized assault on Wisconsin women has its roots in religious superstition — namely the utterly evidence-free doctrine of the human soul — and is a step on the road to theocracy if we let them get away with it.

Open for Business

After over a quarter century of existence, Atheists and Agnostics of Wisconsin finally has its own blog, and you're looking at it. Here we hope to keep up with news of interest to atheists and agnostics in the Badger State. Your attention and participation are invited, regardless of your religious or philosophical leanings.