Please welcome the Special Projects Intern, Patrick Hudson!
TheHumanist.com: What is your educational and work background?
I graduated from the College of William & Mary, located in Williamsburg, Virginia. I majored in International Relations with a focus on developing countries. I conducted my capstone research on the opium epidemic in Afghanistan and how to combat it. Previously, I graduated high school from the American School in London.
TheHumanist.com: How did you first learn about humanism?
I first learned about humanism in a course I took during my sophomore year of college that dealt with the ethics and morality of war. I hadn’t heard of it before, but after doing some research into humanism, I found that my ideals aligned very closely with the philosophy.
TheHumanist.com: Did you grow up in a traditional religious faith? How did it impact you?
I grew up in a very Catholic household. We would attend mass every week regardless of where we were. I grew up with the idea that someone’s “goodness” was inherently linked with their devoutness. Those who went to church on a regular basis were automatically “good” people. When I was fourteen, I was coerced into participating in “days of silence” against abortion rights and gay marriage. Around this time, I began to notice some discrepancies in the way that ideas were being preached and being acted upon. I found that once I became irreligious, I did not also lose my morality.
TheHumanist.com: What interested you most about interning for the American Humanist Association?
I’m excited to work in a dynamic environment and for a cause that is extremely important. I’m enticed by the prospect of working for an organization that strives to show an entire nation that those without religion can have a moral barometer not derived from a particular book but from our shared humanness, which can be a force for positive change.
TheHumanist.com: What book has influenced you the most?
I’ve read many that have impacted me significantly, both positively and negatively. I think Stand Still Like the Hummingbird by Henry Miller holds a special significance to me. Like life, it can be a little confusing and some parts don’t seem to fit, but Miller’s wit and charm provide a fascinating insight into his unique philosophy.
TheHumanist.com: If you could have dinner with any three people in the world (living or dead), who would they be and why?
I would have to say Jeff Tweedy, John F. Kennedy, and Jesus Christ. We wouldn’t have to pay for wine! (I’m sure that one’s been done before).