Humanism on the Move


Feb. 10, 2010

The American Humanist Association, the Secular Coalition for America and several other civil rights, religious, education, labor and health organizations, sent a letter to President Obama urging him to make good on his campaign promise to fix the Faith-Based Initiative by taking actions to "prevent government-funded religious discrimination and protect social service beneficiaries from unwelcome proselytizing."

"It's high time the disastrous policies established by President Bush's Faith-Based Initiative and continued under President Obama's Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership come to an end," said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. "In order to safeguard important civil rights protections, religious groups that accept government money need to play by the same rules as everyone else. And that means ensuring that taxpayer dollars don't go towards religious discrimination or proselytizing."

The letter was sent a day before the one year anniversary of Obama's Executive Order that established the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and suggests steps Obama needs to take in order to fix the program.

The Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard has announced the winner of the Annual Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism to be awarded in April 2010: MythBusters. The Humanist Chaplaincy website states, "In true Humanist style, [Mythbusters Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman take] on three myths per episode and [use] modern-day science to demonsrate, through scientific trials, whether or not some things we take for granted really hold any ground." The award recipients are chosen by the Harvard Secular Society and are awarded to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to humanism in culture. The award ceremony will take place on April 16, and will feature a talk and demonstration by the pair.