Humanism on the Move


Jan. 20, 2010

Last weekend, the American Humanist Association (AHA) commended President Obama for acknowledging and including nonbelievers when delivering a speech about Religious Freedom Day, which commemorates the passage in 1786 of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.  "…It was the genius of America's forefathers to protect our freedom of religion, including the freedom to practice none at all," said President Obama at the event.

"We're gratified that President Obama continues to reach out to nontheists in a positive, inclusive way," said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the AHA. "Atheists, agnostics and others who don't subscribe to religion are generally ignored by politicians. But President Obama continues to reference us when speaking about the varied religious spectrum in the United States. It's heartening to see any politician–let alone the president of the United States–who doesn't fall prey to the nearly pervasive assumption that it's only the people who believe in God that matter."

Each year the president declares January 16 to be Religious Freedom Day, which is intended to promote students' religious expression rights. Americans are called upon to observe the day through appropriate events and activities in homes, schools and places of worship.

The Council for Secular Humanism has been admitted as a member group of the Secular Coalition for America (SCA). They join many other organizations that are represented by the SCA, including American Atheists, American Humanist Association, Camp Quest, Secular Student Alliance and others.

"Joining the Secular Coalition will allow the Council to work effectively with other nontheistic organizations on shared goals, which include achieving a United States in which nontheists have complete social and civil equality," said Dr. Ronald A. Lindsay, president and CEO of both the Council and its affiliate, the Center for Inquiry.

Atheists Helping the Homeless is holding their eighth give-away for the homeless this Sunday in Austin, Texas. The group was created several months ago in order to provide free toiletries for the homeless, filling an important need as other volunteer groups are primarily focused on providing food. The goals of the project, according to their web site, are to help people in need, "to show by example that the idea that Atheists don't care and don't help people in need is very, very false" and "to have fun."

The group is asking for donations, 100 percent of which will go to paying for the items to be given away. They have already raised over $1,000 in the past few months. Interested persons can contact Joe Zamecki at

The group has received much positive feedback from the nontheist community, including from Margaret Downey and Hemant Mehta, and many notable nontheist blogs.