American Humanist Association (AHA)

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American Humanist Association (AHA)

The American Humanist Association advocates progressive values and equality for humanists, atheists and freethinkers in the United States. We work to promote humanism--the idea that you can be good without a god.

Website: http://www.americanhumanist.org
Location: Washington, DC
Members: 762
Latest Activity: Aug 20

AHA Updates

Humanist Press is the publishing house of the American Humanist Association, providing material for the humanist/freethought/atheist market since 1995.

With the largest print book seller in the United States now selling more ebooks than paper books, it was time the freethought movement invested in the future of publishing so that we can remain relevant and accessible to readers in the U.S. and around the globe.

With new ebooks becoming available on a bi-monthly basis, Humanist Press will have a regularly expanding catalog of interest to atheist and agnostic humanists everywhere. Visit HumanistPress.com

 

Darwin Day is a global celebration of science and reason held on or around Feb. 12, the birthday anniversary of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin.

On this website you can find all sorts of information about Charles Darwin and the International Darwin Day Foundation. If you are hosting a Darwin Day event, you can post information about it on our events listing. You can also locate Darwin Day programs near you by searching our events section.

Let Humanism Ring! The American Humanist Association is pleased to announce that its 73rd Annual Conference will be held June 5-8, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Join hundreds of humanists, atheists and freethinkers in Philadelphia for a four-day celebration of humanism! The American Humanist Association will feature informative lectures, book signings, celebrity guests, networking opportunities, child care, fun activities and more!

Book your room early by calling the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel at 1-800-325-3535 (mention the American Humanist Association) or visit the AHA’s Personalized Reservation Page to get the special rate of $169 per night (subject to taxes). Rates increase after May 5, 2014 so reserve now!

More information will be announced soon!

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Comment by Brian Magee on November 27, 2012 at 8:42am

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are good for the economy, and Giving Tuesday is good for the causes you care about!

The American Humanist Association is joining more than 2,000 organizations on #GivingTuesday (www.givingtuesday.org) to bring friends and family together in supporting charitable organizations.

Text HUMANIST to 50555 to donate $10 and support the AHA today! http://givingtuesday.org/

Comment by Brian Magee on November 19, 2012 at 1:35pm

The Humanist Community Project: AHA-HCH Partnership Announcement

The American Humanist Association (AHA) is delighted to announce a new partnership with the Humanist Community at Harvard (HCH) on a nationwide effort to build and promote communities for the nonreligious.

“The nonreligious population has exploded, even without much local organizing. It’s going to grow even faster and become politically influential once more atheists and freethinkers build strong, humanistic communities,” said Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University and director of the HCH, a local chapter of the AHA.

In November 2012, the HCH and the AHA agreed to co-sponsor the Humanist Community Project (HCP): a Cambridge-based initiative to help create, establish, and connect a stronger nationwide network of Humanist communities focused on individual, group, and societal betterment, for the benefit of the secular and freethought movement. The project will support and supplement the AHA’s ongoing efforts to develop successful local chapters, of which it already has more than 150 nationwide. Under the agreement, the AHA will endorse the HCP as its official community development project, providing access to staff and existing Humanist community development research. Since the AHA is not providing direct funding for the HCP, the HCH will spend the rest of 2012 raising additional funds to support research and program development through May 2015.

 

Read the complete announcement here.

Comment by Brian Magee on November 13, 2012 at 11:16am

Evolution Made Clear for Kids in "Pepper’s Special Wings"

In order to give parents a fun and effective tool when teaching young children evolution and the science behind it, author Mary Anne Farah has written Pepper’s Special Wings, a children’s ebook that uses the Peppered Moth species, a recent example of natural selection, as its inspiration.

“Children have the right to know the truth about how life evolves and species change,” says Farah. “The well-documented story of how the Peppered Moth species eventually changed due to pollution darkening the plants where they congregated was perfect for a children’s book. The new survival advantage for moths with darker wings is an easy example to explain to children with no need to use words that may not have yet been learned, such as species, population, predation and camouflage.”

The story of Pepper the moth covers more than just evolution, however. While Pepper’s Special Wings relates to small children about how Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory of natural selection works, children will also identify with Pepper’s struggles with the recurring childhood themes of self-esteem, self-image, bullying and being teased.

To read the full press release, click here.

Comment by Brian Magee on November 13, 2012 at 9:07am

On Nov. 13, 2012, the American Humanist Association launched a national ad campaign to promote a new website, KidsWithoutGod.com. This new resource has been created to strengthen and support kids and teenagers who don’t happen to believe in a god. Online display ads will be running throughout the Google network, Youtube, as well as on Cheezburger sites, Pandora, Reddit and Facebook. (Disney, Time for Kids and National Geographic Kids turned down our ads based on content.) The campaign also includes interior and exterior bus ads in Washington, DC and a billboard in Moscow, ID.

The press release with more information can be found here.

Comment by Steph S. on November 9, 2012 at 10:03am

Yay for Rep Stark!

Comment by Brian Magee on November 9, 2012 at 10:02am

Stanford’s Atheist Chaplain Launches 150+ Student Community

November 9, 2012

Contact: Chaplain John Figdor (914) 954-3276, jfigdor@stanfordhumanist.org

Atheists, Humanists, Agnostics, at Stanford Finally Given a Voice: New Humanist Chaplain Creates Community for the Faithless

PALO ALTO, Ca - Atheists, Agnostics, and other non-believers at Stanford welcome the addition of a Humanist “Religious Professional” at Stanford. On college campuses like Stanford, non-religious students constitute more than 30% of the University population.[1]However, unlike religious students who benefit from the community aspect of religion, non-religious students often report feeling “isolated” and wish they had a non-religious Chaplain to talk to about personal problems, questions about the meaning and purpose of life, and questions about life as an Atheist, Humanist, or Agnostic. “If Stanford is going to provide resources such as funding for programs and activities to promote religious life at the university and Chaplains for religious students, then Stanford should provide those resources for Atheist, Humanist, and Agnostic students as well. We launched the Humanist Community at Stanford to remedy this problem, and I am excited to announce that Scotty McLennan, the Dean of Religious Life at Stanford University, has graciously welcomed our representative, John Figdor, the former Assistant Humanist Chaplain at Harvard to be the ‘ir-Religious Professional’ at Stanford,” said Norm Schwartz, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Humanist Community at Stanford.

The organization was founded in July of 2012 to “build, educate, and nurture a diverse community of Atheists, Humanists, Agnostics at Stanford and in Silicon Valley.” The group has already hosted controversial Atheist celebrity Richard Dawkins for a conversation about popularizing science and co-sponsored a candlelight vigil for the Pakistani women's rights advocate, Malala Yusafzai, in addition to numerous dinners, pub nights, conversation meetings, and film screenings. Humanist Chaplain John Figdor concurred, commenting, “I am very thankful to Dean Scotty McLennan and the Religious Life team at Stanford for being welcoming me to Stanford to represent the non-religious perspective among Stanford’s Religious Professionals.”

For more information, please visit our website at www.stanfordhumanist.org and our Facebook group at www.facebook.com/stanfordhumanist.

###

Comment by Brian Magee on November 7, 2012 at 1:51pm

The American Humanist Association has been proud to work with 2008 Humanist of the Year Rep. Pete Stark on issues such as the Darwin Day Resolution in 2011 and the National Day of Reason Proclamation in 2012. Thank you, Rep. Stark!

 

Comment by Brian Magee on November 7, 2012 at 7:51am

Newly Elected Congress Told: Don't Join Prayer Caucus

(Washington, DC – Nov. 7, 2012) – The winners in yesterday’s U.S. House races are being asked by non-religious Americans to keep their distance from the Congressional Prayer Caucus.

In a letter sent today by the American Humanist Association (AHA) to all members-elect of the U.S. House of Representatives, the AHA is asking them “not to join the Congressional Prayer Caucus and to actively work to ensure that the wall of separation between church and state is strengthened and maintained.”

“Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus have repeatedly introduced and supported legislation that many secular Americans feel is unconstitutional and often favors Christianity above all other religions,” said American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt.

The Congressional Prayer Caucus was founded in 2005 by Representative J. Randy Forbes (VA) to “preserve the presence of religion, faith, and morality in the marketplace of ideas.” According to the Congressional Prayer Caucus website, current issues for the Caucus include “supporting the freedom of school boards to open meetings with prayer,” “urging the President to preserve religious hiring rights,” and “affirming America’s rich spiritual heritage.”

Members of the Prayer Caucus have supported legislation such as H.Con.Res.121, which called on the President to designate 2010 as “The National Year of the Bible” and “acknowledge the importance of the Bible in American society.” Prayer Caucus members have also signed on to amicus curiae briefs in court cases in support of Christian crosses on public land.  

“Incoming House members should know that approximately one in five of their constituents are not religiously affiliated, and even more insist on maintaining the wall of separation between church and state,” Speckhardt continued. “Secular Americans are ready to work with all members of the 113th Congress, regardless of their personal beliefs, if they agree on this basic constitutional principle.”

The letter can be found online here: http://www.americanhumanist.org/system/storage/63/a7/3/3494/CPC_Let...

Comment by Steph S. on November 2, 2012 at 11:05pm
I was sad to hear of Kurtz passing too. I made a dedication to him in the Secular Humanist Group here on the site. He will be missed.
Comment by Brian Magee on October 26, 2012 at 11:42am

“Under God” Pledge Case to be Reviewed by Massachusetts Supreme Jud...

(Washington, DC, Oct. 26, 2012) —The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) has agreed to hear the appeal from a humanist family challenging a state law that requires daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag in public schools. The plaintiffs claim daily classroom affirmation that the nation is “under God” violates state constitutional prohibitions against religious discrimination.  

The plaintiffs brought the case through the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center. The SJC on Thursday approved the petition for direct appellate review of the case, which means a lower court will not have to first consider the appeal.

“Public schools are defining patriotism and loyalty on a daily basis by exalting one religious group and stigmatizing humanists and other non-theists. Of course that’s discrimination,” said American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt. “We feel confident that a fair hearing will result in a finding that the state law requiring this discriminatory practice violates the state’s equal rights amendment.”

The lawsuit, brought on behalf of three public school students and their parents, was filed in November 2010 and is the first of its kind seeking equal rights for atheists and humanists based on equal protection guarantees in the state constitution instead of traditional First Amendment Establishment Clause arguments.

Massachusetts law requires public school teachers to begin each day with a classroom recitation of the Pledge. The suit claims that daily affirmation that the nation is “under God” in the context of an exercise designed to promote national loyalty “directly contradicts the religious beliefs and principles of the plaintiffs” and effectively defines patriotism in terms of God-belief, thereby marginalizing plaintiffs and contributing to existing prejudices against nonbelievers.

A lower court ruled against the plaintiffs in June, and the plaintiffs appealed. With the SJC granting direct appellate review, the case will now be decided by the state’s highest court.

Religious interest groups have intervened in the case to defend the daily “under God” recitation. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty represents the Knights of Columbus and a family that supports the “under God” wording.

The phrase “under God” was inserted into the Pledge in 1954 during the post-WWII Red Scare, a moment in time when partisan forces exploited the fear many Americans had of communism, using that fear to promote religion in public life and to vilify atheists and other nonbelievers. The original Pledge was written in 1892, with a later version—still without “under God”—not adopted by the U.S. Congress until 1942.

The case is Doe v. Acton-Boxborough Regional School District.

 

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