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. 57, No. 6, November-December

Filling the Gaps in Amnesty International's Freedom College
Amnesty International has a unique opportunity to take a sizable leap forward in its long journey toward acceptance of homosexuals when it holds its International Council Meeting (ICM) in South Africa this December. In its distinguished thirty-six-year...
Health Meets Human Rights
What do doctors and lawyers have in common--besides lawsuits? Are there significant connections between the field of health--peopled by physicians, nurses, and public health specialists--and the field of human rights--peopled by civil rights lawyers,...
Intellectual Puberty
Can you believe it? They won't let me go out for the softball team just because I don't have my period yet!" So goes the cry of an outraged shortstop in the halls of a public school. Students trying out for sports are routinely examined by school...
Money Doesn't Buy Love - and Perhaps Not Most Elections
With nearly $3 billion spent on federal elections in 1996 and controversies over foreign donors, soft money spending, and the Lincoln bedroom, the congressional hearings on campaign financing have much to cover. Unfortunately, one of the most important...
Native Intelligence: Affirmative Action in Perspective
We've all heard a lot of talk against "affirmative action." It is depicted as a set of procedures designed to help "ethnic minorities" and women. Let's set the record straight. Affirmative means "yes" and action means "to do," so we are talking...
No One Stops to Say "Thank You" Anymore
I am sitting in a local restaurant offering takeout homestyle meals, surrounded by exhausted but happy shoppers, families out for Friday night dinner. and students taking a break from college exams. The warm room buzzes with conversation. A well-known...
Our Corporate Food Chain
Beef, advertisers tell us, is "real food for real people." Likewise, sixty years ago, an American presidential candidate promised "a chicken in every pot." Indeed, much of the promise of American life seems to be associated with the ability to enjoy...
The Pope versus the Bible
The Vatican has begun a multimillion-dollar project that will strengthen its influence in the United States. After about ten years of planning, construction began this past September on what the July 23, 1997, Washington Times reported is a $50 million...
The School Choice Scam
Much is being made of the Phi Delta Kappa Gallup poll released August 26, 1997, that seems to show diminishing opposition to tax support for sectarian and other private schools through vouchers, tuition tax credits, or some other mechanism. The theopolitical...
The Silent Epidemic: The Challenge of HIV Prevention within Communities of Color
When his uncle and cousin lost their lives to AIDS-related illnesses, William Rogers remembers how his father told the family about their deaths-that they had succumbed to cancer. For Rogers, his father's refusal to address the true nature of their...
The Tragedy of Hong Kong
While the world watched the fireworks and celebrations occurring in Hong Kong on July 1, 1997, a far sadder event was, in fact, unfolding. The people of Hong Kong, most of whom had originally fled from China -- the country which was now taking over --...
Unequal Justice: Preserving the Rights of the Mentally Retarded in the Criminal Justice System
It can happen quickly." writes advocate Robert Perske. A brutal crime is committed, outraging an entire community. Local police, under pressure to solve the case, latch onto a suspect, perhaps someone tangentially related to the victim, someone seen...
We Are Still Prisoners in Our Own Country: An Interview with Aung San Suu Kyi
Aung San Suu Kyi is a unique woman and, currently, the world's most famous political dissident. Recipient of the 1991 Nobel Peace Prize and numerous other prestigious international awards for her courageous leadership in a nonviolent struggle to bring...
Why Don't We Care about the Poor Anymore?
A recent report by the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund fingers the United States as the industrialized nation with, by far, the highest poverty rate among children. UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy says the United States...
Yes, Virginia, There Probably Is No Santa Claus
A century ago, on September 21, 1897, the New York Sun printed a letter from Virginia O'Hanlon, age eight, which asked, "Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus? The reply by Francis Church of the Sun is famous. Unjustly so, in my opinion....