FFRF co-sponsors “Atheist Night” in St. Paul on Saturday

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is inviting Midwesterners to a “godless game” on Saturday, July 16. The “St. Paul Saints” will be renamed “Mr. Paul Aints” for the evening at an event that FFRF is co-sponsoring with the Minnesota Atheists for the third consecutive year.

Tickets can be purchased at Saintsgroups.com (password is 2016atheists). The Infield (aka “Infidel”) section has sold out, but a few general admission seats are available.

The player jerseys will feature a modified “Aints” team logo, and include the scarlet “A” popularized by Richard Dawkins. The unsaintly jerseys will be autographed by players and auctioned off during the game, with proceeds going to Camp Quest, Minnesota Atheists and FFRF.

FFRF Co-President Dan Barker will be on hand at the game, singing the national anthem to start things off. He will also be speaking before the event at a local library, giving a talk and signing copies of his latest book, “God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction,” from 1-2:30 pm at the Rondo Library (461 Dale St N) in town.

“All nonbelievers are hitting a home run with this game,” says Barker. “There’s nothing quite like it on Wrigley Field.”

The first pitch against the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks is scheduled for 7 p.m., but grilling and tailgating will start in the southeast parking lot at 3 p.m. Food and drink will be plentiful.

There will be skeptic-themed antics between innings, such as a “Doubting Thomas, ” who will go around the stadium wearing a shepherd’s robe vocally doubting things and questioning calls from umpires during the game. Local atheists will have a greeting table by the entrance with some free items, including the popular Get Out of Hell Free cards in the style of the Monopoly board game. FFRF and Minnesota Atheists will have banners strategically displayed at CHS Field.

The motto of Minnesota Atheists is “Positive Atheism in Action,” so it is asking fans to give up their “soles” for charity. A team of volunteers designed large wooden crates for fans to donate their gently worn shoes for individuals and families experiencing poverty. All of the shoes collected will be sent directly to the secular global nonprofit Soles4Souls, which will then distribute the shoes to those in need.

It takes a special team to feature an “Atheist Night” game like this, especially since religious belief has such a strong presence in baseball and all other professional sports.

The St. Paul Saints ownership includes Mike Veeck and Bill Murray (yes, that Bill Murray). The Saints have one of the most competitive teams in the American Association league and are expected to make the playoffs again this year.

If people can’t make it but would still like to support the only atheist-themed baseball team in the history of professional sports, they can purchase a replica newly designed Mr. Paul Aints T-shirts for $20 (two for $35). Proceeds directly benefit FFRF and Minnesota Atheists. 

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a nationwide nonprofit that educates on nontheism and safeguards the constitutional separation between state and church, with nearly 24,000 nonreligious members all over the country, including more than 500 in Minnesota.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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