All posts tagged: TheHumanist.com

#FreeMubarakBala – TheHumanist.com

#FreeMubarakBala – TheHumanist.com

Mubarak Bala Please take just a moment to send words of support to Mubarak Bala, a humanist imprisoned in Nigeria for “blasphemous” social media posts. In 2022, the Kano State High Court in Nigeria sentenced Mubarak Bala, President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria and “outspoken advocate for Nigerian atheist rights and freedoms,” to twenty-four years in prison. The court convicted him of eighteen counts of causing public disturbance in connection with Facebook posts he is alleged to have made in April 2020 that were said to have insulted the Prophet Muhammad. Mubarak Bala has undergone years of repression and hardship for his humanist beliefs, and today he remains imprisoned. Currently, a Nigerian Court of Appeals panel is set to review arguments and make a judgment in May. You can read the full details of his case here. Unfortunately, Bala’s current imprisonment is not the first time he has experienced grave injustice for his personal secular beliefs: Humanists International reports that in 2014, Bala “was held against his will for 18 days in a psychiatric …

Engaging the Youth Vote – TheHumanist.com

Engaging the Youth Vote – TheHumanist.com

The future of democracy depends on young voters, but the narratives we hear about youth engagement are often dismissive in an unfair way. Every generation has their “kids these days” stereotypes, which I won’t repeat here. I can’t help but think the people who espouse them haven’t spent enough time around kids—or they are spreading false notions in order to discourage them. One of the reasons I found this so hard to write about is that it came at a moment when I was immersed in watching the young people I’m close to in South Carolina learn to participate in the legislative process only to be cast aside and ignored. Teenagers are already coming to terms with a world that is unjust in so many ways, and they sometimes see those injustices in a sharper focus than their elders. It has been heartbreaking to see trans youth and their immediate families here plead for their lives and be disappointed that their pleas fall on bigoted ears. But their tenacity and courage—complimented by the very men …

Progressing Consent Culture – TheHumanist.com

Progressing Consent Culture – TheHumanist.com

Humanists “strive toward a world of mutual care and concern,” states the Humanist Manifesto III. We are “committed to treating each person as having inherent worth and dignity, and to making informed choices in a context of freedom consonant with responsibility.” To help us learn and practice the skills needed to live up to these aspirations, the American Humanist Association is facilitating an engaging online discussion on “Progressing Consent Culture” on Thursday, February 15,  at 7pm ET. Join us in exploring how we all can support a more consensual and empathetic culture. Consent is about giving permission or approval and respecting boundaries. It’s about communicating what interactions are wanted and unwanted, understanding our own and others’ limitations or discomforts, and recognizing that each person has the right to make their own decisions about how they’d like to be treated. People may have different needs and preferences than we do, so it’s important to not make assumptions or pressure them to change for us. The principles of consent are often outlined with the acronym FRIES: Freely …

Roe v. Wade Mattered – TheHumanist.com

Roe v. Wade Mattered – TheHumanist.com

On the week of the would-be 51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion on the federal level and prohibited states from banning “pre-viable” abortions as a matter of law, it is hard not to feel angry. The decision in Roe had been upheld as precedent numerous times over the last several decades but was erroneously overturned after the far-right Christian nationalists on the Supreme Court consolidated their power in a 6-3 majority decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in 2022. Since that time, Congress has not passed a law that would codify the federal protections that the decision in Roe provided, although such a bill has been introduced and endorsed by the American Humanist Association, along with the Abortion Justice Act, as a priority piece of legislation. This bill, The Women’s Health Protection Act, codifies Roe v. Wade protections. Instead of passing these critical pieces of legislation, the Christian nationalist-controlled House has its eyes on pushing through a national abortion ban and eventually a “personhood” ban. …

Truth, Reason, and Progress – TheHumanist.com

Truth, Reason, and Progress – TheHumanist.com

This text is exerpted from Lily Bolourian’s remarks at the launch event for the 2023 Freedom of Thought Report from Humanists International. The event was held on Capitol Hill in December 2023 and hosted by the American Humanist Association. You can access the full report at fot.humanists.international. The Freedom of Thought Report, released annually by Humanists International, assesses every country in the world on the basis of human rights and the legal status with regard to humanists, atheists, and the non-religious. It is a unique, worldwide survey of persecution and discrimination against humanists, atheists, the nonreligious, and religious minorities. I WANT TO SPEAK in my remarks today about some of the threats we face here in the U.S. related to Christian nationalism, but I’d first like to share where I come from and why this work is so personal to me. I am the proud daughter of two Iranians who traveled to the United States in their early 20s for an education; two people filled with hopes and dreams, with the full intention of returning …

Tips for Young Humanists – TheHumanist.com

Tips for Young Humanists – TheHumanist.com

Young humanists are more connected than ever, and live in a world replete with opportunities and ways to find themselves and each other, even if they live in a community lacking in humanists. It’s certainly different than when I was first discovering humanism in my late teens. Today, as I move closer to my thirties, I want to share some tips for young humanists that would have radically transformed my life had I known them a decade ago, when I was first beginning my journey towards humanism. Tip #1: The Importance Of Picking & Choosing Before I learned about humanism, I first realized I was an atheist. Not every humanist is an atheist, heck, not even every secular humanist is an atheist, but I was. One aspect of that, especially out of the gate, was that I was often ready to argue with people. I was notorious among my friends for being an active, aggressive proponent of my positions, no matter what they were. I do not want to discourage people from being like that, …

Achieving a Transformational Democracy – TheHumanist.com

Achieving a Transformational Democracy – TheHumanist.com

For democracy to achieve its potential, it must be a democracy for everyone. That not only means that a majority of the people have the power to determine how they will be governed, but it also entails ensuring a relatively level playing field where the many potential privileges a person may have as an accident of their birth or by other means, doesn’t result in them having a stronger voice than their compatriots. This is why democracy properly instituted isn’t just majority rule—or “mob rule” as some have termed it—where majorities are permitted to infringe on the rights of minorities. Last month, I attended the 2023 World Humanist Congress, where organizations from many nations gathered under the Humanists International umbrella agreed to the Copenhagen Declaration on Democracy. This document takes democracy’s potential power for social good a step further, stating that, “Democracy is not just a political process. With its emphasis on equality and participation, democracy is a powerful tool for the realization of social justice, human dignity, and the common good.” This suggests democracy’s …

Celebrate Humanism Anytime! – TheHumanist.com

Celebrate Humanism Anytime! – TheHumanist.com

Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash A few of the American Humanist Association’s incarcerated humanist members have recently called and written me asking about humanist holidays. One needed to include “observances” on a form required to start a humanist group at his facility. One was looking for more event opportunities for his established group, which was one of the first AHA prison chapters. I told them that the only official humanist holidays are World Humanist Day on June 21 and HumanLight on or around December 23. However, humanists celebrate many other days and—though I couldn’t provide a definitive list—I offered some examples. Secular Days When we celebrate the importance of church-state separation and democracy. This can include various influential people’s birthdays and legal case anniversaries. National Religious Freedom Day (January 16)Ask an Atheist Day (3rd Thursday of April & September)National Day of Reason (1st Thursday of May, alternate to National Day of Prayer)Independence Day (July 4)Constitution Day (September 17)Freethought Day (October 12)Separation of Church & State Week (week of Thanksgiving week, alternative to Bible Week)International …