Local woman published in Minnesota Atheist anthology

After coming across a blog post regarding the atheist anthology, “Atheist Voices of Minnesota: An Anthology of Personal Stories,” that aimed to create a better understanding of atheism in Minnesota through the people that live it, Michelle Huber of Stillwater thought that something she had already written might fit.

Little did Huber know that she was about to be published for the first time.

“I was just elated and really overjoyed and thrilled to be a part of (book editor Bill Lehto’s) vision. I can’t wait until I’m going to see it in print, and I hope it travels forward into the other parts of my life,“ Huber said.

Her short memoir about the prejudice her children face because of the stereotypes surrounding atheism brings to light struggles atheists face in today’s world.

“What people need to know is that atheists are good people doing good things and have a lot to offer. Very few atheists fit the stereotypical angry, vitriolic, jerks that most people believe atheists are,” Huber said. “The atheists I know are comprised of people who are good natured, kind, loving, and humanistic people and I hope that it (the book) dispels the stereotypes.”

Huber’s piece, along with 35 other pieces in the anthology from Minnesotan Atheists, try to shed light on this demographic in the U.S. with stories from regular people who are atheists and how they approach their life.

“There’s a lot of atheist writing that seems to be in attack mode, that are all about convincing people that their religious events are wrong and arguing against creationism,” Lehto said. “I thought this would be an interesting outreach tool that is not attacking. It features regular people, telling stories that cause people to connect with their stories no matter what you believe. It features the Atheist voice in a non-confrontational way.”

Though there are some notable names included in this book such as popular atheist blogger PZ Myers, and Chris Stedman, a Huffington Post and Washington Post blogger, it also features many new voices like Huber’s.

“I’m very happy that it gives voice to the people we published who wouldn’t be otherwise,” Lehto said.

The book was a community effort. None of the authors were paid and all proceeds from the book will go to Minnesota Atheists, a non-profit group that promotes positive contributions of Atheism to society and also works to maintain the separation of church and state. The book can be purchased for $20 through amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and other booksellers. It is also available as an e-book for Kindle and Nook.

There is no official release party but author readings will take place from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 16 at The Minnesota Atheist public lecture at Southdale Library in Edina.