The Humanist

The Humanist is a magazine focusing on critical inquiry and social concern from a humanist perspective. Published by the American Humanist Association, The Humanist covers everything from science and religion to politics and popular culture.

Articles from Vol. 53, No. 5, September-October

American Catholics: A Social and Political Portrait
America's Roman Catholic community is large, diverse, politically and culturally influential--and difficult to generalize about. The largest single religious grouping in the United States since 1850, Roman Catholics number at least 58 million. Those...
Read preview Overview
Catholicism's New Cold War: The Church Militant Lurches Rightward
Each time Pope John Paul II has visited the United States, his hard-line message of Catholic fealty has grown a little sterner. Back in 1979, all of the papal fanfare obscured the realities of papal conservatism. Onlookers were too busy watching the...
Read preview Overview
Church and State: Californians to Face Voucher "Velociraptor." (School Vouchers)
On November 2, 1993, California voters will have to vote on a voucher plan for tax aid to sectarian and other private schools--a plan about as nasty as the velociraptors in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park. The California plan is the most expensive...
Read preview Overview
Humanism in Literature: William Blake
I once found a volume, The Theology of William Blake, in an obscure corner of a library. At the time, I was reading Mark Schorer's William Blake: The Politics of Vision, which treats the poet as a secular artist who used biblical and esoteric literature...
Read preview Overview
Our Queer World: True Confessions
The Church Militant deserves militant atheists, and during the Spanish Civil War statues of Christ faced anarchist firing squads. Iconoclasm of this kind is revenge therapy; it also confirms the power of icons. Even the tribes of Israel, warned by...
Read preview Overview
Papalism and Religious Liberty
The Roman Catholic church today is not a completely monolithic enterprise. There is an official church, dominated by the pope and his appointed prelates. There is also a group of more independent or liberal Catholics who think for themselves. This...
Read preview Overview
Saint Martin of Tours and the New World of Public Policy
I should start with a parable. In the Christian tradition, there is the story about Saint Martin of Tours, who in medieval times was riding his horse, alone and cold, through the deepening night toward the walled city which was his destination. Right...
Read preview Overview
The Bishops Lobby
Mention of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops or the United States Catholic Conference draws a blank look from most people, including most Catholics. But to those involved in public policy and political life, the names evoke the power and...
Read preview Overview
The Human Costs of NAFTA
"There is as much injustice in the equal treatment of unequal cases as there is in the unequal treatment of equal cases." --Aristotle, in Nichomachean Ethics The proposed North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States, Canada,...
Read preview Overview
The New Social Darwinism: Deserving Your Destitution
Recently while teaching undergraduate college student in downtown Chicago, I had occasion to reflect upon the demonization of the homeless. I teach "useless" things like philosophy and literature (subjects that have never fared very well in a nation...
Read preview Overview
The Skeptical Eye: Dancing with the Fuhrer
There's a scene in the Mel Brooks movie The Producers where Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel visit a writer whose stage play could be the guaranteed flop they need to make a million dollars. (Rent the film if you need an explanation.) The writer is a deranged...
Read preview Overview
Vatican Interests versus the Public Interest
Attempts to discuss "Vatican interests" or to criticize policies advocated by Roman Catholic bishops often provoke accusations of bigotry or Catholic-bashing, sometimes with references to "nativism." One writer has even opined that "anti-Catholicism...
Read preview Overview
Watch on the Right: No Place to Hide
There was one surprising thing about he March 10, 1993, murder of Dr. David Gunn by a "pro-life" activist--and that was that it didn't happen sooner. For more than 20 years, the anti-abortion movement has waged a relent, less rhetorical campaign...
Read preview Overview