For one night, Minnesota’s St. Paul Saints will become the St. Paul Aints as the independent league baseball team celebrates atheism and other assorted skepticism with their Night of Unbelievable Fun.
Sponsored by the Minnesota Atheists and American Atheists, the team will don special jerseys with the usual “Saints” script replaced by the word, “Aints” on August 10. In addition, all references to the team name around the stadium will be doctored to hide the leading letter as well.
“Some people may try to interpret ‘Mr. Paul Aints’ as a political statement, but in reality we were simply trying to come up with a fun name,” August Berkshire, president of Minnesota Atheists said in a statement posted to the Saints’ team website. ”Moreover, every person ain’t got a belief in something so we are appealing to everyone’s inner contrarian!”
Though sponsored by two atheist organizations, the night will also focus on other “unbelievable” things such as Bigfoot and aliens. Jerseys from the game will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to the Foundation Beyond Belief, a secular humanist organization.
In announcing the themed night, the team said it is not trying to be controversial or take one side in the religious debate. The team also noted that it has held faith-based events in the past, so the atheist night should not be interpreted as an overt statement of disbelief on behalf of the organization.
The Saints are one of the best-known and quirkiest minor league franchises. Co-owned by actor Bill Murray—the team site lists him as the resident psychologist—the Saints are notable for their humorous enterprises, such as having a pig for a mascot and ceremonial ballboy. This year’s mascots, as named by the fans: Kim Lardashian and Kris Hamphries. (A hilarious press release announcing the pigs can be found here.)
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