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. 67, No. 5, September-October

A Cadet's Oath
ON JUNE 29, 2000, I affirmed my Oath of Office at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I was charged to defend the constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Since I was young, I knew that I would someday be in the military...
Albert Ellis (1913-2007) 1971 Humanist of the Year
"I would go so far as to say that a secular humanist outlook is itself one of the important aspects of emotional well-being" --Albert Ellis in the March/April 1992 Humanist Albert Ellis was a leading psychologist, psychotherapist, and psychological...
Belief and a Change of Fortune
IN FEBRUARY 2007 famed British athlete and born-again Christian Jonathan Edwards resigned from Songs of Praise, BBC television's flagship religious program. The reason? According to the June 27 Times of London, he'd come to the conclusion "that his...
Can Meditation Be Bad for You?
BACK IN 1979, when I was living in Pune, India, as a starry-eyed devotee of the infamous guru Bhagwan Rajneesh, something happened that has disturbed me to this day. A man who had just come down from Kathmandu after completing a thirty-day Tibetan...
Compete or Cooperate? Endorse, Ignore, or Oppose?
THE NONTHEISTIC COMMUNITY frequently disagrees about what kinds of issues are worth its time, money, and involvement; with whom to cooperate; and whether such cooperation will be productive or counter-productive. While a big-tent alliance in the freethought...
Crossing Lines: Breaching Human-Animal and Left-Right Boundaries
THE BRITISH PARLIAMENT is considering a bill this fall that, if passed, will allow scientists to produce chimeras, composite embryos that are part human and part nonhuman animal, and to create hybrid, part-human organisms by inserting the full set...
Driving Home: 4 Steps toward Minimizing Global Warming and Achieving Energy Independence
MY LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL COACH never tired of telling us eight- to twelve-year-olds, "always think about what you're going to do with the ball before it comes at you." This century something is coming at us that may be the hardest thing humans have...
Immigration Quagmire
THERE'S NO SHORTAGE of rancor in the debate on immigration. A statement by the University of Oregon chapter of MEChA (an acronym that translates as the Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan) declares that "Aztlan was the legendary homeland of the Aztecas,"...
Media Corrections We'd like to See
FORMER READERS OF MAD MAGAZINE can remember a regular feature called "Scenes We'd Like to See." It showed what might happen if candor replaced customary euphemisms and evasions. What media scenes would we like to see these days? One aspect of news...
The Issue at Hand
Humanists clearly reject the imposition of dogmatic thinking but must acknowledge the necessity of authoritative command ingrained in the structure of the U.S. Armed Forces. On July 20, 2007, the Department of Defenses Office of the Inspector General...
The One True Religion in the Military
OVER THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS, the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) has been under scrutiny for issues of religious tolerance that have caused many to wonder, "What on earth is going on at that place?" On the one hand, the same thing is happening at USAFA...
The Real Legacy of the Reverend Jerry Falwell
THE REVEREND JERRY FALWELL, leader of the Moral Majority and a man who for many Americans personified the religious right, died on May 15. American cultural norms hold that it's wrong to speak ill of the dead--unless the person was truly evil. I...
The Right to Religious Expression at the Air Force Academy
STORIES ABOUT RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) started hitting the media in November 2004 with the Colorado Springs Gazette taking the lead. The problem of religious favoritism and intolerance was identified shortly...
The Rise of Christian Nationalism
THANK YOU SO MUCH to the American Humanist Association. I'm really thrilled by the award and thrilled by your lobbying efforts to build a political presence for a group that is, unfortunately, the one group left in America that most people feel they...