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. 56, No. 6, November-December

An Equal Right to Marry
On May 5, 1993, the Hawaii Supreme Court held that the refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples is sex discrimination in violation of that state's constitutional guarantee of equal protection (Bachr v. Lewin). The court sent the case...
Bashing the Disabled: The Right-Wing Attack on the ADA
Dr. Carol Gill knows the value of having federal civil-rights law on your side. She recalls, "When I called one of Chicago's major teaching hospitals to make an appointment at the women's health clinic, I was told that I couldn't be seen unless I could...
Brownlash: The New Environmental Anti-Science
Humanity is now facing a sort of slow motion environmental Dunkirk. It remains to be seen whether civilization can avoid the perilous trap it has set for itself. Unlike the troops crowding the beach at Dunkirk, civilization's fate is in its own hands;...
Church, State, and the 1996 Election
THE REPUBLICANS The Standard Bearer: Robert Dole Kansan Bob Dole has been an enduring fixture on the national political stage for 35 years, since his first election to the House of Representatives in 1960, the year John F. Kennedy won the presidency....
Confessions of a Canvasser
I have been a canvasser now for a year and a half. It's not a bad job, aside from rotten weather, frequent rejection, the just-a-few-notches-above-homeless paycheck, and the dismal pariah stigma that must constantly be justified at parties and reunions....
Educational Snake Oil
On July 17, 1996, presidential aspirant Bob Dole told a carefully selected audience of parochial school supporters that he strongly favors a voucher plan for tax aid to nonpublic schools. That was nothing new, of course, as Dole cosponsored--along...
Ordinary People: Why the Disabled Aren't So Different
I don't know about you, but I hate talking to anyone at 6:30 in the morning. Unfortunately, this became my fate on a recent flight. Before I could fold up my white cane, my seatmate began interrogating me. "I had no idea they let you people out,'...
Phenomenon
Phenomenon, written by Gerald DiPego, directed by Jon Turteltaub, produced by Barbara Boyle and Michael Taylor (Touchstone Pictures, 1996). John Travolta has received kudos for his performance in Touchstone Pictures' summer release, Phenomenon. But...
Report from the Trenches: Planting PR in Winner-Take-All Soil
While the Greens square dance with Ralph Nader, and the New Party tries to fuse with Democrats who don't want to swing, and the Labor Party wrestles with the age old question "to run or not to rue," reformers in San Francisco are tackling the most...
The Agony of Deceit: Ladies' Night at the NBC Olympics
On the television screen, Vitaly Scherbo waits to perform on the rings in the men's individual all-around gymnastics competition. A soft, deep male voice announces, "He's probably thinking of just one person, his wife, Irina. She is the reason why...
The Barney Syndrome: I Hate You, You Hate Me, We're as Mean as We Can Be
Barney is ticking some people off. Unless you've been in a deprivation tank or without television for the past several years, you know what I'm talking about. Barney is the purple-and-green dinosaur with the goofy voice that has made a mint bouncing...
The Myth of the Middle Class
The American middle class has disappeared. Despite frequent reference to "the middle class" by commentators and columnist, statistical evidence does not support the conventional wisdom of a vast middle class. Downward pressures upon middle incomes...
The Politics of Family Leave
During a state visit to Canada several years ago, President Clinton was asked about the long overtime hours many U.S. and Canadian auto workers are frequently forced to work. He responded flippantly, "Where I come from, they call that a high-class problem,"...
The Southern Baptist Proving Ground
In 1988, a politically influential and somewhat eccentric televangelist announced his bid for the Republican nomination for president of the United States. After scaring the anointed heir to the nomination with strong showings in Iowa, this televangelist...
The Vatican Connection: How the Catholic Church Influences the Republican Party
At first glance, the 1996 November election is a battle to determine whether Democrats or Republicans will control the White House and Congress. In reality, the political battle is between a religiously led party, the Republicans, and a traditionally...