Check out our signature activity, our Moral High Ground Fund,
the only one in the country, to help poor women pay for abortions,
and to support gays and other groups victimized by religion-based laws.
Check out our list of donor premiums!
No trinkets, mugs, or t-shirts — just things to satisfy your mind.
The Moral Atheist
November-December 2014

AFHR Files Lawsuit to End "Any Fake Atheist Church Will Do, But No Honest
Atheists Are Allowed" Discrimination in Marriage Statutes

(p. 4 of the newsletter)


The Nov-Dec issue of The Moral Atheist is being distributed by email and postal mail. This issue is especially informative. If you want the complete magazine by PDF or postal mail, just contact us at Communications Director or call (612) 529-1200. We are a unique atheist organization with an approach to the religion problem different from all the others.

Below is our AFHR Report from the Nov-Dec issue. It will give you an idea of what we are like. We invite you to join us.

AFHR Report
MarieAlena, Communications Director


The cover story in this issue is about our lawsuit to end the discrimination, fakery and flim-flam in Minnesota's marriage statutes, where "clergy" includes any phony online "church." These are set up by atheists as an IRS-acceptable end-run around court-or-clergy-specific statutes. As long as you call your group a church, it is one, no matter how transparently it is not. We seek only the right and freedom to be honest and not have to resort to gaming the system to solemnize marriages within our community.

Please consider donating to our legal fund. We have to pay our costs up front but will be reimbursed if we win. That's IF! Although we have what appears to be a slam dunk case, our cover story shows how courts can say black is white with a straight face to preserve the sacred cow status of religion. Read the article. You won't know whether to laugh or cry at the way courts twist reality every which way to defer to religion.



On September 18, Paul Craven and I attended the LGBT scholarship awards event sponsored by PhilanthroFund (PFund), an LGBT support organization. AFHR is a donor. Our recipient was Jessy Hegland, pictured (see her letter on p. 18). She was the featured speaker at the event. PFund is part of our Moral High Ground project. We are the only atheist group to do this and the only PFund donor that has done this every year since 2002 (the year AFHR organized).

We will soon distribute our 2014 MHG grants. Our budget is only $2,500 but at least we do something. All recipients are victims of religion-based laws. Besides PFund, these include CHILD (see our Solstice flyer on p. 15). They fight a lonely battle. The Children's Defense Fund will not support them and neither will Americans United for Separation of Church and State. Why? It requires outlawing faith healing that involves children and exposes them to suffering and death from denial of medical care. Neither liberal nor conservative legislators will interfere with "deeply held religious beliefs." And so they get exemptions in most states. No legislator thinks to ask these people what they intend to do that they need an exemption from prosecution.

Another MHG recipient is Final Exit Network (FEN). They don't get much support either. (AARP won't let them have a booth at their expositions.) But die we all must, and the law requires us to suffer rather than allow us to have help in dying. FEN constantly faces prosecution for telling hopelessly ill people — who ask for help — how they can end their lives with dignity. FEN has been winning but it costs a fortune to fight through the legal system, and so we help.

We help four abortion clinics with MHG funds. They are in states where clinic doctors and staff have been murdered, bullet proof vests are required, doctors fly in from other states by secret ever-changing routes, security measures surpass those at the White House, and laws require clinics to be outfitted like a hospital at an expense that has put many out of business. Some states have only one clinic. It is terrorism full-on, yet law enforcement does nothing about it and the Supreme Court keeps making matters worse, most recently removing the protective barrier that has kept "pro-life" harassment of patients at a distance. Women are considered property after all, the community's breeding stock, with no right to make their own decisions on a matter that is profoundly no one else's business.

We are proud of our MHG project but there is reason to be sad that MHG is not a national effort involving all freethought groups so more can be done. But some say these are "not atheist issues." Really?! How could they not be?



Go to and register to donate to Atheists For Human Rights. 1) A % of what you spend will be rebated into the AFHR checking account. 2) Amazon's prices are generally lower than others'. 3) If you have a credit card with rewards points you save there too. Win win win!



Scott Muir and Ron Kroll have been organizing our highway cleanup in Lakeville since 2005. Now Dick Segers and Paul Craven are taking over. We always get positive responses from the public. ("Good job, thank you" is common.) Thanks to Scott and Ron for doing this for so long and so well and to Dick and Paul for taking it over.



We have stopped offering CDs and DVDs. Instead, we added another booklet: With a Skeptical Eye: Poems of Irreligion by Stephen Van Eck (see p. 22). Here's a sample:


It was another time and another place,

Some think that it was another race

That perfected the poison that plagues us still.

A curious mixture of venom and bile,

Half carrot, half stick, all cunning and guile;

In the proper dose it suppresses the will,

Creating the cravens that enrich an elite,

Endowing their masters with glory and gain.

To addicts the poison will start to taste sweet,

But in larger amount it renders insane.

Now from that other time and place

Arose an ordeal that we all would face,

For the poison, now carefully altered, could spread,

And it's backfired badly on those who contrived it.

And though an antidote has been derived,

It's clear we prefer to be poisoned instead.

Below is the Table of Contents of the Nov-Dec newsletter:

3AFHR Report. MarieAlena, Communications Director
4The AFHR Lawsuit and the Alice in Wonderland Nature of Court Rulings, Part 1.   MarieAlena Castle
6Part 2: How Court Approval of Online "Churches" Discredits All Religion.   MarieAlena Castle
8The Future is Here! Former Churches Get New Lives in Pittsburgh.
Dan Eldridge
9Metaphors (Part 1).
10Thou Shalt Not Make Pious Cornball.   Stephen Van Eck
11... And Yes, There is TV.   Further comments by MarieAlena Castle
12CHRISTIANITY IN ITS OWN WORDS. "Help! I'm Being Repressed!"
Part 1 of 8.
   William Sierichs Jr.
15Winter Solstice Party.
16WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE? An Oily Piece of Crap for All Seasons.   Bill van Druten
BACK COVER: Natural Disasters and Unnatural Beliefs: The Prayer Delusion.
ArticlesTop of Page
About UsTop of Page

Atheists For Human Rights is a national, ethics-driven organization upholding an atheism that is confidently held, morally active, and vigorously opposes religions that are politically and socially predatory or harm innocent people.

  • We are committed to making atheism visible in the community as a rational, responsible voice for secular morality.
  • We sponsor well-advertised public forums regularly with well known speakers on topics related to the common good and maintaining a secular government.
  • We run high-visibility "bold & proud" ads for our activities in mainstream newspapers and on radio.
  • We produce atheist videos for our website video outreach project and also make them available on CDs.
  • We submit letters and commentary articles to the media that are frequently accepted.
  • We meet with media people to discuss our concerns and encourage fair and balanced coverage of atheism.
  • We meet with public officials to make them aware of the secular community and express our concerns about the intrusion of religion into legislative action and to stress the importance of state-church separation.
  • We wrote a proclamation declaring 4 July 2002, "Indivisible Day," which was signed by Gov. Ventura on our behalf, causing an uproar by "Christian nation" fundamentalists that was front-page news in the St. Paul and Minneapolis papers.
  • Our visibility generates invitations to debate religious-right radio talk show hosts on their political/social agenda and state-church separation.
  • We are unique among atheist organizations in that, as a matter of official policy, we oppose the religious right's assaults on our freedoms and come to the aid of its victims. We do this with reason, civility, pride, and a passion for truth and justice.
  • We provide a strong and effective voice for human rights within the atheist community and are developing a national network of citizens who seek the social and political right to be religion-free. We walk the talk. Our board consists of activists willing to help with the tasks of our organization. Our bylaws impose a high level of ethical standards. We operate openly and honestly at all times.
  • Membership is open to all who reject supernatural beliefs and support the principles and policies of this organization. We thrive on new ideas and welcome everyone who shares our goals.
Our Philosophy
Atheism accepts the natural world as all there is. To live without god beliefs is intellectually stimulating. To find one's own purpose and be responsible for one's own life is exciting. To be free of the imagined surveillance of good and evil spirits is liberating. To seek a peaceful world through work and friendship and civic action is life-affirming.
-- MarieAlena Castle, March 1994
It is the role of unbelievers to force religions to be benign.
-- Martin Marty, Lutheran theologian, Minneapolis MN, 28 April 1998
Let us become post-religious, post-national Universal Humans.
-- Lavanam, Atheist Centre, India

Moral High Ground Project

The Moral High Ground project has chosen the following funds to provide support and protection for these groups and to counter the efforts of religious zealots to impose their religious doctrines through law (other funding mechanisms may be added as resources increase):

Philanthrofund scholarship

Like the other Moral High Ground funding projects, it is unique in the freethought community. Each year since 2002 AFHR has donated $500 to be awarded to a GLBT openly atheist student at Pfund's major awards ceremony. This has created visibility and respect for AFHR within the GLBT community.

Grants to poor women to help pay for abortions

At least $200 each is given annually to funds such as the Women's Medical Fund, administered by Anne Nicol Gaylor from Freedom From Religion Foundation in Madison, Wisconsin, and through the North Dakota WIN (Women In Need) Abortion Access Fund, administered by the Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo. These funds serve poor women in areas where religion-generated abortion laws are irrationally restrictive and punitive.

Support for physician aid in dying

As opportunities arise, we support efforts by physician-aid-in-dying organizations so the terminally ill who want to die with dignity on their own terms have the legal right to do so.

Protection for children harmed by faith healing

As opportunities arise, we support the efforts of CHILD (Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty) to protect children from harm where state laws define faith healing as healthcare and exempt parents from prosecution when they allow children to die by substituting prayer for medical care.

Outreach Activities

Atheists for Human Rights is focused primarily on reaching out to the public in morally active ways to advance the atheistic worldview.

Charitable Outreach

We donate to secular charities that help young people and the homeless.

Highway Cleanup

In 2005 we took on an Adopt-A-Highway cleanup project. The work is done three times a year in spring, summer and fall. Large highway signs identify AFHR as the cleanup crew for a 4-mile stretch of highway in Lakeville that passes many churches.

Minnesota Alliance Of Peacemakers

We joined MAP and have participated in several of their events urging peaceful solutions to world conflicts. MAP is a coalition of churches and secular organizations working together in the cause of peace.

Interfaith Dialogue

AFHR is represented by invitation at regular interfaith gatherings hosted by Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, to find common ground in our common humanity to address the causes of social conflict and stress.

Speakers Bureau

Since 2004, about three times a year, we have been invited to give presentations on atheism to educational and social service agencies for their diversity training programs. Videos of all speakers here.

Fireside Chats

These monthly discussions about atheist issues are occasions for socializing as well as developing ideas for further activism.

Public Forums

This major outreach project was begun in June 2006 and continues. The purpose is to show the public how atheists support our constitutional freedoms, seek rational solutions to issues of civic concern, and promote the common good. These events are heavily advertised in local newspapers and on Air America radio.


As usual, we offer 3 free issues of
The Moral Atheist full 24-page magazine, by postal or email, so you get a good idea of what we are all about.

Just send your postal or email contact info to: Communications Director

Welcome to the Hub of Atheism!


Atheists For Human Rights has a geodesic dome as its headquarters. This unique architecture was developed by Buckminster ("Bucky") Fuller (1895-1983), an atheist, architect, environmentalist, and inventor. His ambition was to use science to help solve human problems and to find ways to do more with less.

The tragic death of his young daughter inspired him to find "what a single individual can contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity." The epitaph on Fuller's tombstone says, "Call me trimtab," referring to a small but critical aircraft part that holds a stabilizing component in position.

Much of Fuller's philosophy is expressed in the goals and strivings of Atheists For Human Rights.

Contact UsTop of Page

The Hub of Atheism
5146 Newton Ave. N.
Minneapolis MN 55430-3459

If you need directions,

or email: Communications Director.


Letters and articles are welcome!


Leave us a voicemail by calling:



Phone messages may be used
on our website.

The Hub CalendarTop of Page

If you are not a regular attendee, call to find out if the schedule has changed.


5:00 to 6:30 PM
Happy Hour

Ol' Mexico Restaurant, on Lexington, two blocks north of Larpenteur, Roseville.
Call Paul Craven, 763-788-8918.


1st Tuesdays
11:30 AM
Lunch Social

Old Country Buffet, County Road. B2, (east of Fairview). Roseville.
Bob & Marilyn Nienkerk, 612-866-6200.


1st & 3rd Mondays
6:30 PM

Larpenteur Estates party room, 1276 Larpenteur Ave. W., St. Paul.
George Kane, 651-488-8225.


3rd Wednesdays
11:30 AM
Charley French Memorial Lunch

Dragon House restaurant, 3970 Central Ave. NE, Columbia Heights.
Private room.
Bill Volna, 612-781-1420 or 1322.


3rd Fridays
6-9+ PM.
Hub of Atheism, 5146 Newton Ave. N., Minneapolis
Call (612) 588-1597 or
email Communications Director

Always free food and beverages.

21 November
November 2nd is the "Day of the Dead" for Catholics so our DVD will be "Not Forgotten." It's about the evil effects of a belief that the Goddess of Death helps those who seek revenge. Very good. Quite graphic.

NO FIRESIDE CHAT IN DECEMBER. We celebrate the winter solstice at a party on Saturday, 20 December. See flyer, p. 15.


Twin Cities Meetups
Email Scott Muir, Video Manager
Or visit Twin Cities Atheists

Southern Minnesota Meetups
Email Crystal Dervetski



Local: Ad hoc discussions at social events.
National: Announcements and discussions on AFHRbod Yahoo Groups, first 10 days of the month. To get on the list, just give us your email address. Significant issues discussed are covered in The Moral Atheist for reader feedback. It's all open. Decisions, if needed, are formed by consensus if possible.



Our videos are played in Minneapolis and St. Paul on public access stations.
In Minneapolis, they are on MTN Ch. 75 at 7:30 PM. Mondays and other "fill-in" times.
In St. Paul, they are on SPNN Ch 15 at 6 PM; Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 1 AM and 11 AM.
Thanks to Paul Craven for handling this.



American Freethought


Americans United for Separation of Church and State


Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc


Atheists For Humanity


Atheists of Silicon Valley


Born Atheist


Campus Atheists & Secular Humanists (CASH)


Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty, Inc (CHILD)


Euthanasia World Directory (ERGO)


Final Exit Network


Freedom From Religion Foundation


Friends Free of Theism


IBKA Political Guide


Minnesota Atheists




The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science