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.
Request For Humanist Invocation Denied by Florida County Commissioners American Humanist Association Legal Center Demands End to Unconstitutional Behavior
(Washington, DC, Dec.11, 2013) — The Martin County Florida Board of County Commissioners has denied a request by a humanist to deliver the invocation at a regular board meeting, making the unconstitutional claim that only the Martin County Ministerial Association can grant the request stating that “the County does not organize that function.”
The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter on Dec. 9, 2013 to the board on behalf of Joe Beck, a Humanist chaplain and founder of the Humanists of the Treasure Coast, making it clear that it is not permissible to give away this responsibility. “The government can neither delegate its functions to a religious organization nor employ invocation selection procedures that categorically exclude a specific faith, such as Humanism,” the letter states. “As such, this letter demands that Martin County permit Mr. Beck or a member of his Humanist congregation to deliver an invocation and to revise its selection procedures to comport with the Constitution.”
“One of the other constitutional problems with this practice is that it permits certain faiths such as Humanism to be categorically excluded from the selection process,” said Appignani Humanist Legal Center attorney Monica Miller. “Because of this, the invocations being offered are by clergy selected by a sectarian religious entity with the ultimate power to exclude speakers from any faith it desires.”
Martin County Attorney Michael D. Durham has told the Appignani Humanist Legal Center they will be launching an investigation.
Dr. Monica R. Miller, the author of "Religion and Hip Hop," has created a new online course for The Humanist Institute's Continuum For Humanist Education. More details on the course, "Humanism and/in Hip-Hop," can be found here.
We're happy to welcome a new chapter group, End of the Line Humanists, to the American Humanist Association family! If you're in the greater Chicago area of Illinois or the surrounding area and would like more information on this local chapter, you can contact Cynthia Quam by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 708-383-5275.
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