The Humanist Hour #70: Humanist Community Project at Harvard

A new episode of the Humanist Hour is available for listening. Keep reading to find out about the guests on this month’s show.

In this month’s podcast, Jes Constantine and Todd Stiefel speak with Harvard University’s Humanist Chaplain, Greg Epstein, about the Humanist Community Project. Plus, hear a followup interview with Dr. Darrel Ray about his new book: Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality.

Segment 1: Nonbelievers Applaud Court Ruling to Remove Religious Banner from Rhode Island Public School

American Humanist Association leaders applauded the ruling issued last night by U.S. District Court Judge Ronald R. Lagueux ordering the immediate removal of a prayer banner in a Rhode Island high school. The suit was brought by student Jessica Ahlquist, and the ruling supports her claim that the banner violates church-state separation legal principles.

We are so proud of Jessica for fighting to protect church-state separation,” said American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt. “She recognized injustice, stood up for what is right, and persevered in the face of harassment. She fought for the rights of nonbelievers and religious minorities and is an example for everyone.” [ Read More ]

Show Jessica your support, leave her a message on our listener comment line: (202) 618-1371.

Please help JT Eberhard and Freethought Blogs in supporting the Jessica Ahlquist college fund! And thanks to Hemant Mehta of The Friendly Atheist for establishing the fund. Design your own custom Evil Little Thing shirt. Two type faces, multiple shirt colors, multiple print colors.

Segment 2: Humanist Community Project

The Humanist Community Project exists to develop opportunities for connection, ethical development, and the celebration of life based on human reason, compassion, and creativity, not religious dogma.

We organize, facilitate, promote, and/or study a wide range of educational programs, social meetings, service projects, human rights work, counseling, ceremonies, and contemplative practices that contribute to the growth of diverse and interconnected groups of Humanists, atheists, agnostics and the nonreligious. We seek to build strategic partnerships with other Humanist and Freethought organizations and with our religious neighbors to advance the greater good of humanity.

We are a laboratory for the study of how Humanism can be most effectively practiced in communities anywhere in the world, and an incubator of future humanist leadership and best practices anywhere in the world.

Built upon the foundation of the 35 year-old Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard (HCH), we are dedicated to serving the Harvard students, faculty, alumni, and surrounding community who gave us life, while expanding outward to help and work with freethinkers everywhere to build local communities that can be true homes for Humanism.

About Greg Epstein

Greg M. Epstein serves as the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University, and is author of the New York Times Bestselling book, Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe. He sits on the executive committee of the 36-member corps Harvard Chaplains. In 2005 Greg received ordination as a Humanist Rabbi from the International Institute for Secular Humanistic Judaism, where he studied in Jerusalem and Michigan for five years. He holds a BA (Religion and Chinese) and an MA (Judaic Studies) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a Masters of Theological Studies from the Harvard Divinity School.

Greg began serving as Humanist Chaplain at Harvard in fall 2005, when the Humanist Chaplaincy’s total annual budget was $28,000. In the five and a half years since then, he has raised over $1 million in gifts and pledges to the organization, while organizing and launching a range of new programs and initiatives that have helped turn the concept of Humanist chaplaincy into a topic of national discussion. He now directs our latest initiative, the Humanist Community Project: a laboratory for the development of multicultural, multigenerational Humanist communities locally and nationwide.

Segment 3: Sex and God

How Religion Distorts Sexuality

Author Dr. Darrel Ray, Ed. D. talks about his new book: Sex and God: How Religion Distorts Sexuality. Sex and God is a ground breaking book that dares to examine the damage religion does to sexual relationships, sexuality, sexual expression and what you can do about it in your life. Released January 2012.

Links from this month’s episode:

THH (+HNN) Podcast Archives:

  • The Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard: HNN#17
  • Sex and Secularism: THH#63

Evil Little Thing:

The Humanist Community Project

Sex and God links:

Upcoming Event links:

Music from this month’s episode (in order of appearance):