Atheist convention brings hundreds to Twin Cities

4:06 PM, Mar 21, 2008   |    comments
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As Good Friday celebrations are taking place here and around the country, another gathering is underway in the Twin Cities. Easter is considered the most important religious feast on the Christian Calendar. For hundreds of years Christians have celebrated Jesus' resurrection between late March and late April. And for the past 34 years, American Atheists have had their own annual event and this weekend it's back in Minneapolis. "My family celebrates Easter and Christmas, although they know that Easter weekends I'm going to these conventions so it's already well known in my family routine Easter weekend Steve's going off to the atheist convention," said Steve Petersen. He attended his first atheist convention in 1988 and two decades later he's convinced it's all about the facts. "The facts speak to themselves and the evolution of scientists and facts have spoken and it's pretty much a closed situation," said Petersen. Atheists like himself and Dr. Richard Dawkins are admitted skeptics but do believe if something cannot be proven, a god isn't necessarily the answer. "If every factual situation cannot be explained than the default is a god must have done it, well that's where we really object and that is poor science, poor education," described Petersen. Those thoughts and more can be found in the book, "The God Delusion," written by Dawkins and has sold more than a million copies. "He's one of the world's most prominent atheists and he preaches science and fact and logic and we admire people like him," said Mike Olson of Chaska, who waited in line with dozens of others to get their copies of the book signed. While they wait, plenty of others admire the written word of another book this weekend Which begs the question, why would a group that doesn't celebrate Easter, have an event the same weekend. "It's a business decision, the hotels are empty this time of year, we get great deals, the hotels vie for our business," said American Atheists' Ellen Johnson, "and we aren't doing anything anyway."

By Jeffrey DeMars, KARE 11 News

(Copyright 2008 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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