The Religious Should Not Define Humanism

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image showing an abstract word cloud focused on Secular HumanismOne of my pet peeves about the Humanist movement is that some support the use of religious words or activities in Humanist settings. Using such words in the context of a nontheistic philosophy like Humanism not only causes public confusion but also dilutes our message and shows a lack of conviction of our own principles, not to mention it is a bit silly. We should define ourselves and not let the religious do it.
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Oprah Disses Atheists

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image of talk show host Oprah WinfreyEarlier this week Oprah Winfrey interviewed endurance swimmer Diana Nyad, who recently completed the swim between Cuba and the US at age 64. Nyad said she is an atheist who appreciates the awe and beauty of nature. Winfrey was gobsmacked and actually said Nyad can’t be an atheist because only believers can appreciate the beauty of nature. Winfrey expressed a typical, and false theist meme about atheists.
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Fearing Abuse From Religious Foster Parents, Teen Still Denied Permission For Abortion

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people protesting for and against abortionThe Nebraska Supreme Court, ruling 5-2 on Friday, denied a teen permission to have an abortion. The girl feared retribution from her extremely religious foster parents and also admitted she wouldn’t be able to adequately provide for a child. Nebraska requires written consent of parents for a minor to get an abortion or the child can ask a judge if they fear retribution from their parents. It seems the court disregarded the teen’s situation in reaching their decision.
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Skepticism: A Tool For Humanism

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clip art about questioning thingsOne tool humanists should have in their tool box of life is Skepticism. It’s the notion that we don’t accept something without testable evidence to back it up. It can lead us to the truth of something or to establish the facts of something. One doesn’t use skepticism just to be contrary. Skepticism can take practice to perfect but once you learn how, it will make your humanism stronger.
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Secular Coalition Calls For Tax Rule Equality

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logo for Secular Coalition of AmericaOne issue the Secular Coalition of America (SCA) is working on in Washington DC is secular tax reform. Churches and other religious groups have advantages under the current tax code that other nonprofits don’t. The SCA would like to see the rules applied equally to all tax exempt groups. You can help out get the message to Congress.
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You’re Against War In Syria? Okay, Then What Is The Solution?

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photo showing vicitims of war in Syria in a graveIn a press statement last week, President Obama indicated that he believed that there should be a military response against the government of Syria. The reason given was intelligence that the Assad government had used chemical weapons against civilians and the rebels in the current civil war. The use of chemical weapons is violation of international law. Many of my friends who are Humanists have been screeching ‘NO WAR!’ yet fail to offer a realistic non-military solution. Sometimes solutions are difficult but a common refrain in Humanism is to tell people what we are for and not just what we are against. If we are going to be against war then we need to offer a viable realistic non-military solution.
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