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. 54, No. 1, January-February

A Cash-Free Society: Nirvana or Nightmare?
Never ask of money spent Where the spender thinks it went. Nobody was ever meant To remember or invent What he did with every cent. --Robert Frost Say, buddy, can you spare a quarter?" But suppose we lived in a society that had...
Anti-Crime Hysteria
On November 3, 1993, civil libertarians across Washington state awoke to very bad news. Initiative 593-the "Three Strikes You're Out Crime Control Proposal"--was passed by Washing, ton voters in a virtual landslide. Jubilant supporters are celebrating...
Change in Strategy
The Christian right's recent overtures African-American church leaders provoked controversy in California last summer, when the San Francisco board of supervisors voted to remove from the city's Human Rights Commission one Reverend Eugene Lumpkin....
Clicking Your Channels to Kingdom Numb
Do the books and movies that a person likes reveal anything about that person's psyche? Of course they do. Then what about the collective? Do our bestseller lists and popular movies say anything about American society? Indubitably. Then how about...
Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed: Chasing the Monster of TV Violence
Here's the scene: Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and a well-armed Elmer Fudd are having a stand-off in the forest. Daffy the rat-fink has just exposed Bugs' latest disguise, so Bugs takes off the costume and says, "That's right, Doc, I'm a wabbit. Would you...
No Justice, No Peace; an Interview with Jerome Miller
According to the latest (what else?) polls, the fear of crime has become a full-scale national panic: over one-quarter of the respondents-28 percent--in a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll cited crime and drugs as the greatest problems facing the...
Notes from an Iron Cage: Humanism and the Commodity Fetish
I won't be burned at the stake for writing this. The inquisition is long over and, despite its best is efforts, a great religion fell to questioning and lost its absolute power. But are we really free now, we heretics who seem to walk free in this...
Official Stories: Media Coverage of American Crime Policy
Crime, it seems, will always be with us. A dozen years ago, Ronald Reagan launched new, "get tough" policies on crime which unleashed police departments across the nation. These policies were rationalized in the name of crime victims; more law and...
One More Prison Should Do It
Fear itself seems to be the driving force behind American crime policy these days. Riding a fear-of-crime wave to victory in the recent New York City mayoral election, mayor-elect Rudolph Giuliani triumphantly proclaimed a "new" policy of mass arrests...
Religion Can Also Be Humanistic
Sixty million Americans--one-quarter of the population--presently identify themselves as Christian fundamentalists. Add to this the number of traditionally religious Americans who do not consider themselves fundamentalists, and you have the majority...
The Content of Our (Textual) Characters or Who's Afraid of Postmodern Ethics?
You interest me very much, Mr. Holmes. I had hardly expected so dolichocephalic a skull or such well-marked supra-orbital development . . . . It is not my intention to be fulsome, but I confess that I covet your skull. --Dr. Mortimer...
The Head of the Hydra
There's good news and bad news. The good news, of course, is that on November 3, 1993, California voters handed a 70 to 30 percent defeat to the advocates of tax support for sectarian schools. A broad coalition of teacher, parent, civic, religious,...