How to Party Like a Humanist
We've Moved! Please visit TheHumanist.com for current humanist news & analysis, or browse our archices below.
by Sean Mulligan
It's no secret that we humanists enjoy a good party once in a while—that's why we invented holidays like HumanLight and Darwin Day! (Okay, there were other important reasons, but cake was definitely a factor.) So we thought to ourselves, "How does one party like a humanist?" Here are some ideas for your next humanist gathering:
Humanist Costumes: While the master biologist Charles Darwin for Darwin Day is an obvious choice, humanist costume ideas abound. Why not the eminently logical First Officer Spock of the U.S.S. Enterprise? Perhaps your preference is for a more vintage approach- why not the dapper John Dewey (kudos if you can accurately reproduce the mustache)? You can't go wrong with a good Carl Sagan costume, which requires only a turtleneck, a blazer, and a desire to really understand the cosmos. And with Natalie Portman being a humanist, there are a whole world of costume ideas—from the elaborate Queen Amidala outfit to the haunting Black Swan ballerina get-up, you really can't go wrong. Not a fan of Ms. Portman? Why not aim for the elegance and glamour of Katharine Hepburn? (Bonus points to anyone who can manage a faithful representation of Andy Rooney.)
Humanist Drinking Games: Great humanists like J.S. Mill, Christopher Hitchens and Kurt Vonnegut know a thing or two about drinking. While we here at the AHA counsel you to moderate your alcohol intake, we've come up with some presumptive humanist drinking games. (Remember: please drink responsibly.)
Primetime Roulette: Surf until you find a sitcom or drama on any channel during the day. Drink every time someone uses the word "God," "angel," "bless," etc. (ABC Family, the Lifetime Network, and the Christian Broadcast Network are disqualified from this game.)
Political Debates: The first Republican primary debate is barely months away. Opinions differ here at AHA about how far to go with this. If you were to drink every time you heard "Christian nation" "family values" or "God" at this debate, alcohol-induced syncope may ensue. Instead it may behoove you to choose a candidate and drink every time they use religious rhetoric. Alternatively, drink every time someone derides "secular humanism," "atheism," or "secular values."
Pat Robertson Power Hour: It's a dangerous gambit, but the daring humanist might enjoy the 700 Club in an unconventional way. Anytime, at any point, Pat Robertson claims to hear the voice of God, see the will of God, or be able to bench press over 1,000 pounds, you should drink. (Warning: only professional drinkers should attempt this.)
Happy Holidays, Humanist-Style: Ever noticed how December has so many wonderful opportunities to celebrate? From Hanukkah to Saturnalia to Christmas, New Year's, and even the secular Festivus, December seems to be a month where everyone needs a chance to kick back and relax. As humanists, we need not be picky—we can celebrate all of them! Go out and enjoy Chinese food on Christmas with your non-Christian brothers and sisters. No need to say prayers every night for Hanukkah—instead, why don't kick back with a glass of wine and a copy of "The Greatest Show on Earth"? While every practicing Pagan you know is celebrating the Cult of Saturn, find a telescope on a clear night and marvel at the real thing. Or perhaps you could just dance around the old Festivus pole!
Email Forward Party: You never thought that email forward from your crazy fundamentalist great aunt would come in handy, did you? Whether it's the one about Obama refusing to meet with the Boy Scouts or a poorly photoshopped image of the Devil in a cloud of smoke over a natural disaster, those emails can form the basis for a pretty good party. Pick the most outrageous one you've ever received and bring it to the gathering. Everyone should throw in five dollars for a pool. Then you should take turns reading them aloud and describing—in awful detail—the misspellings, logical fallacies, and outright lies therein. At the end of the night, hold a vote and see whose was the absolute worst, and they win the pool!
How do you party like a humanist? Tell us in the comments section!
Sean Mulligan is a spring intern for the American Humanist Association and a first-year Master's candidate at American University in Washington DC.