The Humanist Hour #142: Having Fun with Superstitions, with Margaret Downey

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In this episode, Bo Bennett interviews former AHA board member Margaret Downey about several humanistic issues as well as her famous anti-superstition parties.

Downey has been active in a variety of causes including feminism and anti-smoking campaigns before becoming a public representative of atheism, and has known for her activities in this area.

Her first major involvement as a publicly active nontheist was when her son Matthew was not allowed to renew his membership in the Boy Scouts of America since he was raised in a nontheist household. This led to Margaret Downey v. Boy Scouts of America, which did not go far in the courts before the United States Supreme Court’s 2000 decision in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale that the Boy Scouts constituted a private organization and could thus choose their own membership criteria, preventing Downey from taking her case further. Since then Downey has been a prominent public representative of atheism in the United States as well as representing atheists and other non-theists at United Nations conferences. Her work has been incorporated into United Nations reports on religious discrimination.