The Best of Humanist Network News in 2012

Take a look back at the most read, commented, and shared HNN articles in 2012! Did your favorite article not make the list? Let us know in the comments section below.

On Catholism (As Told By an Ex-Nun) and On Scientology (As Told By an Ex-Scientologist)
From HNN’s “On Religion” series, former Catholic nun Elizabeth Murad writes on the various rituals and practices of life in the convent (yes, whips are involved), and comedian and atheist Troy Conrad writes a hilarious piece on his time as a Scientologist (they really do hate aspirin, believe in Xenu, and work for no money).

Top Ten Sexiest Female and Male Celebrity Atheists
In our Valentine’s Day issue, the AHA staff put together a list of the top ten female and male celebrities who are good without a god.

Film Review: Does The Hunger Games Depict a Godless Society?
Apparently, humanists are big fans of The Hunger Games! Fred Edwords, director of the United Coalition of Reason, reviews the blockbuster film and addresses concerns about the book’s secular setting.

‘God Told Me to Run’: Analyzing the Divine Calling to Run for President
During the heated Republican presidential nominee race, we commented on Bachmann, Cain, and Perry—all who claimed “God told me to run”—and why do candidates feel the need to express their “divine calling.”

The Dead Body Problem
Janet Asimov writes a hilarious piece on why we humanists should be concerned about dead bodies just as much as we are concerned about living ones.

From the AHA Archives: Carl Sagan’s 1981 Humanist of the Year Speech
We featured many speeches from our archives, but none were more popular than Carl Sagan’s. Listen to the famed astronomer as he accepts the Humanist of the Year award in San Diego, California.

The Immigration Debate (Open and Closed Policies)
Humanist opinions vary widely on the issue of immigration. Readers enjoyed reading and debating for and against both sides.

Parade of Privilege: 9 Ways Government Favors Religion
Luis Granados, director of the AHA’s publishing house Humanist Press, reacts to the Catholic Bishop’s campaign to highlight Catholic persecution by countering with ways in which the U.S. provides special treatment for religion.

Humanism and the Olympics: Why Do Athletes Thank God?
Summer was all about the Olympics. Cameron Stewart examined the religious history of the Olympic Games and asks why credit isn’t given where credit is due.

Humanist Voices in Verse: “Prayer” by Helen Bennett
Many of our poetry fans wrote in to praise regular poetry contributor Helen Bennett.

Why the Foreskin? An Argument for Sexual Enjoyment
This article got under a lot of readers’ skin (pun intended). But despite how you voted in the poll, AHA board member Raul Martinez makes a compelling argument here on why humanists should oppose circumcision.

Atheists Do Got Songs—Lots of ‘Em
Steve Martin was wrong—there are lots of songs about atheism for atheists! Brian Magee provided a great list of recommendations, from hard rock to hip hop, for freethought listeners.

Brainstormin’: The Problem with Faith
Fans of Dr. Andy Norman’s “Brainstormin’” column enjoyed this one in particular, on using reason instead of faith to argue for equal rights.

Spiritual But Not Religious: A Humanist Perspective
Binyamin Biber, Humanist Chaplain at American University in Washington DC, explores the need for atheists and humanists to reach out to the large segment of the population that call themselves “spiritual, but not religious.”

Out With Christmas, In With Yule
Audrey Kingstrom, Humanist Celebrant and member of the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, introduced a holiday alternative for nonbelievers that celebrates the changing of the season.