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. 60, No. 5, September

75 Years and Still No Peace
The seventy-fifth anniversary of the Scopes "monkey trial" reveals that science and religion have yet to make peace. Three-quarters of a century ago this past July, legal and intellectual titans collided in Dayton, Tennessee, to begin what would...
AI's Global Human Rights Report
Governments and opposition groups on every continent violate human rights every day. That's the clear message of this year's annual report from Amnesty International, issued June 14, 2000. This means that human rights abuses aren't limited just to...
A Test of Our Resolve: The Religious Right's Attack on Freedom
Though the majority of Americans remain to some degree pro-choice, the size and resolve of that majority has experienced a rapid decline over the past decade. In a Los Angeles Times poll of 2,071 people conducted in June 2000, only 43 percent of...
A Week in June
The last week in June 2000 might have een a quiet one in Lake Wobegon, but it was anything but that in Washington, D.C. In the final week of its current term, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down decisions on nearly all of the major church-state issues....
George W. Bush's Religious Guru Plans Our Future
Marvin Olasky is a professor of journalism at the University of Texas and author of more than a dozen books about history and politics. He is outspoken in his self-identification as a former atheist turned fundamentalist Presbyterian. His previous...
Oil, Profits, and the Question of Alternative Energy
As oil and gas prices continue to rise, the sun has apparently set on the development of solar power and other forms of alternative energy, despite official claims that the United States is committed to making them a success. The explosion in oil and...
Reclaiming the High Ground
When the International Humanist and Ethical Union was organized in 1952, it set forth its statement of purpose in five brief paragraphs expressing three core principles concerning science, democracy, and ethics. These were, specifically, the use of...
Taking Action-Against Boy Scout Discrimination
I have just closed a long chapter in my struggle to end the discrimination practiced by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). My crusade began in December 1992 when I first filed a complaint with the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) against...
The Humanist Basis for Human Rights
William F. Schulz AMERICAN HUMANIST ASSOCIATION HUMANIST OF THE YEAR It was a great and undeserved honor to be named the 2000 Humanist of the Year. It is chastening, to say the least, to be included in the pantheon with the likes of Alice Walker,...
The Myth of Biological Personhood
As the focus of philosophical discourse, courtroom sagas, political platforms, and even incidences of violence, the question of personhood--when life begins--has been the underlying issue in all debate over abortion. Perhaps the most misunderstood...
The Stereotyping of Native Americans
Names, images, and mascots that symbolize native Americans are used extensively in the United States, particularly in sports and advertising. In sports there are the Washington Redskins football team, the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians baseball...
When Blue Becomes Gold
A worldwide water crisis looming on the horizon is expected to reach dire proportions within the next ten to thirty years. Sandra Postel, director of the Global Water Policy Project, notes that it takes 1,000 tons of water to raise one ton of grain....
Who Wrote the Book of Life?
Who, or what, wrote the Book of Life? That was the unasked question that nevertheless got answered at the June 26, 2000, press conference announcing the decoding of the human genome. At that event, President Clinton preempted any doubts about his religious...
Why the Left Is Fragmented (and a Modest Proposal to Counter It)
Fragmentation on the left is an entrenched feature of the U.S. political culture. Sociologist Todd Gitlin writes that the left is "wracked by culture wars" that have torn its "common dreams" asunder. Some put the blame for this on the failure of...
Worth Noting
* Americans United for Separation of Church and State reports that Kansas Republicans went to the polls on August 1, 2000, and rejected two Board of Education members who voted last summer to remove evolution from the state science curriculum. According...