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. 61, No. 1, January

An Idea That Counts
Growing up Catholic, I remember saying the Rosary as some sort of speed challenge. I never thought about the words but only saw them as a challenge to complete in record time. I was convinced that no one in the entire world could say a "Hail Mary"...
An Unprotected Courage
I am an unrepentant liberal, an aging anachronism in a nation where moderate conservatives now seem left wing. I take genuine pride in the train of credentials that follows me through life--a string of "formers" and "exes" mixed among more current...
Civil Liberties Watch
A Mandate for Intolerance The 2000 elections in the United States saw a number of initiatives focusing on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) issues on the ballot across the nation. Two constituted major defeats for equal rights for this...
Denying Voting Rights to People of Color
For five hours on November 11, 2000, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People conducted public hearings on the Florida vote. These hearings were televised and retelevised on C-SPAN but mostly ignored by the U.S. media. What became...
Ecological Humanism a Moral Image for Our Emotive Culture
In a December 1999 news broadcast, a man in his thirties was interviewed as he sifted through some of the thousands of "Dear Santa" letters that the Chicago post office receives annually. Each year, he explained, he takes gifts to a few impoverished...
ELECTION 2000 and the Culture War
Some political commentators claim the results of Election 2000 show that U.S. citizens have changed the way they usually vote. They argue that individual moral beliefs now motivate voters' judgments rather than group affinities such as socioeconomic...
Election 2000: A Partial Postmortem
As we go to press, the final outcome of the 2000 presidential election hinges upon the vote of the electoral college. Meanwhile, other election results give cause for both celebration and concern. Voters in California and Michigan crushed ballot...
Families, Faith, and Mental Health,
IT NEVER CEASES to amaze me that people will take stands against programs when they have little or no understanding of the accompanying circumstances. This is particularly the case with the issue of public funding of faith-based social services, termed...
Finding Meaning in My Mother's Madness
My beloved mother, who died in a psychiatric hospital several years ago, struggled with manic-depressive psychosis most of her life. I have often asked myself existential questions such as, "Did my mom's mental illness have meaning or purpose? Can...
How I Almost Made It into Heaven
As everybody knows, when you die all of the angels get together and vote whether your soul goes to heaven or hell. Less well known, even to devout Christians, are the voting mechanisms that have been in place for thousands of years. If you think the...
Humanist Resources
This section is for humanistic organizations, products, and services. The minimum charge for a listing (name and address) is $8.00. Each additional word is 50 cents. E-mail and web addresses, as well as telephone and fax numbers, are $1.50 each. Commit...
Invisible Citizens
The Children of Working Parents Except for the United States and the United Kingdom, paid parental leave legislation is well established among developed nations, including Canada and most European countries. Infant day care, unless it is conveniently...
LETTERS to the Editor
Don't Send Parents to Prison Although it's heart-wrenching to think about children suffering and dying from parental foolishness (Rita Swan, "When Faith Fails Children--Religion-Based Neglect: Pervasive, Deadly ... and Legal?" November/December...
Media Myopia and the Future of Democratic Politics
As I write this column, the major media are still gripped by a modern political soap opera. Votes from the 2000 U.S. elections have been counted and recounted, litigation has reached the highest court in the country, the stock market bounces nervously,...
Politics and Social Conscience
In a country where "high moral standards" seem to be a prerequisite for political office, I am perplexed, reflecting on why some U.S. citizens rejected and despised Al Gore's plan to be socially responsible. After Gore's speech at the Democratic National...
P.S.: Reader Commentary
It was George Bernard Shaw who quipped in The Revolutionist's Handbook: "We learn from history that we learn nothing from history." Paul Shore in his "Invisible History" (November/December 2000) seems to reenforce that view while relating horror...
Terrorism in the Land of the Free
Repression and Incarceration in the Name of National Security Nasser K. Ahmed was arrested in April 1996 and held in jail with extended periods in solitary confinement for more than three and a half years. Since he was not serving a sentence for...
The Case against Charitable Choice
Charitable choice was one of the issues of the 2000 elections upon which there was supposed agreement. Since Congress passed, and President Bill Clinton signed, the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. which includes a charitable choice provision, the concept...
The New Mandate for UN Peacekeeping
Although the United Nations' primary mission, since its founding after World War II, has been to prevent wars, the organization suffers from a dual and conflicting mandate: to act in the best interests of We, the Peoples of Earth, while respecting...
The Social Necessity of Nurturance
Man is born of love and exists by reason of a love more continuous than in any other form of life. --Loren Eiseley Clinical investigations of man show that the lack of a normal interpersonal environment may be devastating to the developing individual....
The Ultimate Rogue Nation
Where have all the "rogue states" gone? The politically correct term used by the U.S. government these days is states of concern. In a June 19, 2000, interview on National Public Radio, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright explained, "We are...
Worth Noting
* U.S. college and university students have organized in a nationwide protest of food service provider Sodexho Marriott Services' ties to the private prison industry. The protest--supported by United Students Government, a variety of campus groups,...