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. 59, No. 3, May

Abraham, Isaac, and Some Hidden Assumptions of Our Culture
In the beginning of the last decade of the twentieth century, in the most modern of places--the United States of America--a tragedy of biblical proportions unfolded with the morning newspaper: "Father Sacrificed Child. God Told Him To." So accustomed...
A New Economy for a New Century
In the 1890s, the American Press Association brought together the country's "best minds" to explore the shape of things to come in the twentieth century. As they looked ahead, the country's "futurists" were almost universally optimistic. Among the...
Artistic Repression in America
My first "Civil Liberties Watch" column, which appeared in the September/October 1990 Humanist, was entitled "The War on Rock and Rap Music." It is, of course, a personal shock to realize that this was more than eight and a half years ago. But the...
Circumcision: Human Rights and Ethical Medical Practice
When the American Academy of Pediatrics published its "Circumcision Policy Statement" in the March 1, 1999, issue of Pediatrics, a notable amount of media and public commentary followed. The principle findings and recommendations of the statement are:...
Frank Lloyd Wright's Humanism
Ken Burns documentaries have a reputation for impact, beauty, and thoroughness, but often they include a moment--usually a remark by one of his guest commentators--that is shockingly off the mark. For instance, in his three hours on Thomas Jefferson,...
Guatemala: Clinton's Latest Damn-Near Apology
"If it is necessary to turn the country into a cemetery in order to pacify it, I will not hesitate to do so." --Guatemalan President Carlos Arana, 1971 "The guerrilla is the fish. The people are the sea. If you cannot catch the fish, you have...
Kosovo: The Status of Human Brutality
The current moral crisis in the Serbian province of Kosovo has once again forced the international community to confront the seemingly inextinguishable thirst in the heart of humanity for violence. Mass murder, despite the many reminders we leave for...
Letters
More on Jury Nullification John Tomasin and Richard DeTar ("Letters," March/April 1999) should read We the Jury by Godfrey D. Lehman (Prometheus Books, 1997). As readers of the Humanist, they might be interested in the historical connection between...
Missing the Forest for the Trees
All of us would like to think that, as Americans, we are ethical people. And all of us would like to think that we work for corporations or business enterprises that are guided, in no small part, by ethical concerns. All of us would like to think that...
New Bedlam: Jails-Not Psychiatric Hospitals-Now Care for the Indigent Mentally Ill
When Timothy Williams arrived in late 1997 at the Alexandria Adult Detention Center (AADC) in Alexandria, Virginia, he'd just come off a spree of nine burglaries, mostly stealing VCRs and other home electronics to support his crack habit. The thirty-eight-year-old...
North Korea: The Land Americans Aren't Permitted to Know
Bells rang out around the world in March 1999 as an international treaty banning anti-personnel landmines went into effect. Most of the world celebrated the treaty--first signed in Ottawa, Canada, in December 1997--aimed at eliminating tens of millions...
Sitting on the Windpipe of the First Amendment
Norman Solomon is a man who I've come to respect over several years as "one of the sharpest media watchers in the business," as Barbara Ehrenreich has called him. He is the author of nine books on media issues, the latest of which is the just released...
Slow-Tracking NAFTA
It was a birthday that even the parents found hard to celebrate. The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) turned five this year. At its birth, congressional ratification of NAFTA was an occasion for much trumpeting of the prosperity this...
Terrorism: A Marketing Analysis
It happened again. A few months back, another of those fanatical terrorists--What was his name? Osama Bin-Kenobi, or something like that--went to war with the United States. He blew up a couple of our embassies, talked a lot of trash, got a lot of...
When Wealthy Isn't Healthy
Increasingly, more and more Americans are growing disillusioned with our current system of for-profit health care. One need look no further for the basis of this widespread cynicism than the comments of Richard Huber, the chair, president, and chief...
Worth Noting
* National Baptist Convention President Henry Lyons was convicted in February 1999 of racketeering and grand theft for swindling millions of dollars through fraudulent business deals that allowed him to finance his lavish lifestyle. Bernice Edwards,...