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. 62, No. 2, March-April

9/11 Conspiracy Tales This Much We Know to Be True
One of the more disturbing stories references a 1962 covert U.S. government plan called Operation Northwoods, which supposedly called for U.S. government-sponsored terrorist attacks against Washington, D.C., and Miami, Florida. The attacks--which were...
Abortion and Breast Cancer: A Forged Link
A major weapon of the anti-abortion movement is its scare-mongering claim that having an abortion significantly increases a woman's risk of breast cancer--the "ABC link." This allegation is grossly deceptive and just plain false. A substantial weight...
A Groundbreaking Declaration. (International Humanism)
On November 23-25, 2001, I was privileged to attend the United Nations International Consultative Conference on School Education in Relation to Freedom of Religion and Belief, Tolerance, and Nondiscrimination. The conference was held in Madrid and...
An Example of Military Justice. (Watch on the Right)
George W. Bush has decided to take advantage of strong public support for his role as commander-in-chief in what he has called a "war against terrorism." It is his war because, although he hasn't asked Congress for an official declaration of war, he...
Apartheid in Israel's Schools. (Human Rights Watch)
One would have thought that following the civil rights movement in the United States and the anti-apartheid in South Africa, people would recognize that the idea separate but equal is nothing more than a devious fabrication employed to mask, perpetuate,...
A Tale of Two Hikes. (First Person)
I lace up my hiking boots in the chill October air and wonder what I hope to accomplish. The last time 1 was here was in late August. It was a world before September 11, 2001--before the phrase suicide hijackers had any meaning to me. My journal reads...
Determination Resuscitates Radio Network. (Watch on the Left)
The art of the deal is a media dream: savvy achievers get to the top. Guile and artifice--even outright deception--may well be part of the game, but there is nothing like success. One way or another, money and centralized power end up calling the tunes....
Drawing a Blank: The Failure of Facial Recognition Technology in Tampa
Since September 11, 2001, facial recognition systems--computer programs that analyze images of human faces gathered by video surveillance cameras--are being increasingly discussed and occasionally deployed, largely as a means for combating terrorism....
Focusing on Spirituality. (Letters to the Editor)
I have been wondering for awhile what is usually meant by spirituality? But after reading "Spirituality without Faith" by Thomas W. Clark in the January/ February 2002 Humanist, I know now that it usually involves a belief in humans' dual nature (physical...
Getting Started on the Wrong Foot. (the Culture War)
On January 16, 2002, George W. Bush announced the membership of his new President's Council on Bioethics, a body created to advise him on matters of medicine and morality--and science that goes bump in the night. Top on the deliberation agenda are...
Halt and Show Your Papers!
The idea of a national identity (ID) card seems simple enough. Take the photographic and alpha-numerical information on our birth certificates, Social Security cards, driver's licenses, and voter registration card; add a bar code, magnetic strip, fingerprint,...
Have We Already Been Defeated? (Alternative Voice)
I am terror stricken. I am having a nightmare in which the United States has been defeated, its people enslaved, its freedoms confiscated, and its citizens imprisoned within their own borders. I awaken to discover that the dream could be true. The...
How Corporate Law Inhibits Social Responsibility: A Corporate Attorney Proposes a "Code for Corporate Citizenship" in State Law
After twenty-three years as a corporate securities attorney advising large corporations on securities offerings and mergers and acquisitions--I left my position as partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, and Flora because I was disturbed by the game....
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...
Ignore the Geneva Convention and Put Our Own Citizens at Risk. (Civil Liberties Watch)
Would you want your life to be in hands of U.S. Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld? Hundreds of captured Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters don't have a choice. Chained, manacled, hooded, even sedated, their beards shorn off against their will, they are...
Islam in the United States
Only in democratic countries are people granted the right to believe what they choose insofar as their beliefs don't injure others or limit the rights of others to believe differently. Therefore, in a country like the United States, one is free...
Istook's Prayer Amendment: More of the Same. (Church and State)
Oklahoma Republican Representative Ernest Istook is nothing if not dedicated to the dubious principle that U.S. public school children need additional constitutional protection to pray. On December 20, 2001, he and seventy-four colleagues introduced...
Jefferson's Greatness. (Letters to the Editor)
Professor Gregory Shafer's laboriously documented condemnation of Thomas Jefferson's attitude towards slavery in the January/February 2002 Humanist is unremitting in its reproof of this great founding father. Yes, Jefferson did believe that institutionalized...
More Politics in the Pews. (Up Front: News and Opinion from Independent Minds)
If North Carolina Republican Representative Walter Jones Jr. has his way, churches in the United States will become precinct stations and its clergy, ward heelers. Introduced into the House last June and now heading for hearings in the House Ways and...
New Look at "The Man without a Country". (Humanism in Literature)
When I was in grade school, we ere frequently treated to patriotic assembly programs in which we were shown short films, including a film version of the classic Edward Everett Hale short story, "The Man without a Country." Somehow, every time I saw...
Nuclear Space Threat. (Up Front: News and Opinion from Independent Minds)
At first glance, the preoccupation of the Bush administration with missile defense seems to make no sense. As retired Rear Admiral Eugene J. Carroll Jr. of the Center for Defense Information in Washington, D.C., notes, "The least likely threat we face...
Putting Disarmament on the Shelf. (Up Front: News and Opinion from Independent Minds)
The Bush administration has conducted the first Nuclear Posture Review since 1994 and has released a classified version of the report to Congress, According to public statements by the Department of Defense, the report provides an updated strategic...
Terrorism and Nationalism. (Humanistic Economics)
We are told repeatedly that the U.S. war against terrorism is a new kind of war. However, while it's different from World War 11, it has analogies in many other conflicts, both contemporary and historical. Terrorism is best understood as a form of...
The Issue at Hand
Trading liberty for security is a bad bargain when you end up with less of both. Yet that's the likely outcome when your trading partner is a government you've gradually been losing control of. For if the mechanisms of security are later turned against...
What Lies Behind Terrorism. (Letters to the Editor)
Saibal Mitra claims in "Winning the Real War on Terrorism" ("Up Front," January/February 2002) that "the cause of terrorism isn't jealousy of our freedoms ... but rather a deep sense of frustration at the lack of freedom in other societies." This is...
Worth Noting. (Reviews)
* The federal government of Canada is now debating whether to join military forces with the United States to form a "North American Defense Perimeter" for continental defuse. Such a collaboration is reminiscent of moves enacted during the early days...