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. 66, No. 3, May-June

A Fundamentally Wrong Direction
FUNDAMENTALISTS CLING to the conviction that the Bible offers simple, literal answers to all the great questions of life. So they are pleased to assume that, given the chance, everyone will flock to their faith. But fundamentalists have, in fact, been...
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Blaming the Media for Bad War News
TOP OFFICIALS IN THE Bush administration have often complained that news coverage of Iraq focuses on negative events too much and fails to devote enough attention to positive developments. Yet the White House has rarely picked direct fights with U.S....
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Cartoons, Commentary, and Restraint
THIS PAST FEBRUARY we were witness to a collection of stark ironies. First, inflammatory Danish cartoons that stereotype Islam, published four months earlier, aroused a small but influential Muslim minority to react so violently that the overgeneralizations...
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Contemplating Sand and Trees in "The Open Boat" and the Odyssey
THE CORRESPONDENT IN "The Open Boat," a short story published by Stephen Crane in 1898, poses the following question as he and three companions are adrift at sea after a shipwreck: "If I am going to be drowned, why, in the name of the seven mad gods...
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Covenant Marriage on the Rocks
AFTER GAINING MEDIA attention in the late 1990s with a promise to lower divorce rates across the nation, the covenant marriage movement has hit the skids. The movement seeks to establish a legal category of marriage that makes divorce more difficult....
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Darwin's Example
CHARLES DARWIN, after many years of hard work and illness, controversy and honor, lay on his deathbed. A biographer tells us: "During the night of April 18th [1882], about a quarter to twelve, he had a severe attack and passed into a faint, from which...
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Humanism and the Gay Community
MANY HUMANISTS are somewhat puzzled by gays and lesbians who attempt to assimilate into traditional religious environments. With unambiguous biblical language reflecting archaic attitudes towards homosexuality and prescribing capital punishment as...
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Islamophobia
IT'S LIKE THE BEGINNING of a thunderstorm; you can sense the electricity in the air. Islamophobia is raising its ugly head in the United States as in Europe. It's beginning to metastasize into a virulent form of xenophobia, an eruption of the atavistic...
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Naturalism vs. Supernaturalism: How to Survive the Culture Wars
THE CULTURE WARS HAVE, at their root, a conflict between two drastically different ways of understanding reality: one essentially empiricist, the other decidedly not. The liberal-democratic political solution to such conflict is to provide a neutral...
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Palestinian Elections: It's the Voting System, Stupid!
MUCH HAND WRINGING and second guessing have been produced from the recent Palestinian elections that resulted in Hamas, a group on the Bush administration's terrorist list, winning a sizable majority of legislative seats. Analysts on the right and...
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Process Education: A Humanistic Response to Fundamentalism
ONE OF THE MOST PROMINENT causal factors of the seemingly rebounding addiction to supernaturalism as an explanation of the world and justification for action is surely the dramatic rate of social and technological change, which often forces people...
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Religion and Liberal Democracy
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROPER place of religion in a democracy and the separation of church and state remain in the news. In the United States, legal and social battles about the proper place to draw the line between religion and government are being...
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The End of the Line for Pat Robertson?
IN 1995, I WROTE a book called The Most Dangerous Man in America?: Pat Robertson and the Rise of the Christian Coalition. Were I to write that book today I would call it The Biggest Loose Cannon in America and leave off the question mark. It has...
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The Humanist Interview: The Pursuit of Truth: An Interview with Amy Goodman
PRAISED FOR HER PASSIONATE pursuit of truth, Amy Goodman is the host and executive producer of Democracy Now!, an hour-long daily independent radio and television news program. On January 21, 2006, Goodman spoke on the campus of the Florida Institute...
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The Issue at Hand
YOU MAY RECALL, this past December, a few Protestant evangelical leaders in the United States declared there was a "war on Christmas" because business and government were avoiding the name of the holiday in favor of secular terms like winter. Even...
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The Pashtun Factor: Is Afghanistan Next in Line for an Ethnic Civil War?
ON JANUARY 15 of this year, the American news media reported yet another story of a suicide bomb attack--this one on an army convoy in which fourteen people were killed, including a Canadian diplomat. On January 16 the headlines announced a pair of...
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Worth Noting
* During a two-week dive in January 2006, researchers from Conservation International, the Netherlands Antilles government, and the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of Natural History discovered a marine life treasure trove. Among the find discovered...
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