Hnn | HNN Articles

Meet the AHA Staff: Emma Bates, Director of Outreach

 

Meet Emma Bates, the American Humanist Association’s new Director of Outreach! Emma is a Los Angeles-based actress, having appeared in Crossing Jordan, Without a Trace, CSI:NY, and more. She will appear in an upcoming modern adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing, directed by humanist Joss Whedon.

HNN: How did you first learn about humanism? 

Emma Bates: I started to read all of Richard Dawkins' books. Then moved on to Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris. Then found PZ Meyer's blog. I think I really learned about critical thinking from these people in a much deeper and specific way than I ever had prior to that. 

HNN: Did you grow up in a religious tradition? What was that like?

Emma Bates: I grew up in a culturally Christian family in Lynchburg, Virginia, which is Jerry Falwell territory. Christianity was a blanket over everything. I never really understood the culture wars until much later though, or why they matter. 

HNN: What interested you most about working for the American Humanist Association?

Emma Bates: Marriage equality was probably the single biggest factor in making me want to play an active role in this movement. I started to realize that the way people rationalize their belief system actually effects how policy is shaped. The injustice of watching friends of mine have their civil liberties stripped propelled me into action. 

HNN: Have you read any good books lately? What's your favorite book?

Emma Bates: Yes! I really enjoyed The Believing Brain by Michael Shermer. Sean Carroll's new book The Particle At the End of The Universe is next on my reading list. Picking a favorite is hard, but The Count of Monte Cristo is probably right up there with A Tree Grows In Brooklyn and A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius

HNN: If you could have dinner with any three people (living or dead), who would they be?

Emma Bates: These are all people I have had dinner and/or conversations with before, and that is why I would choose to again: Christopher Hitchens, my husband, Josh, and Gloria Steinem. 

blog comments powered by Disqus

American Humanist Association

Check out what the AHA staff is watching! http://thehumanist.com/arts_entertain...

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Here's another installment of Carl Coon’s ongoing “A Short History of Evolution”...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Five Non-Magic Words: “How Can I Help You?” Advancing the Humanist Chaplaincy h...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia C...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

We're happy to welcome a new affiliate, Deltona Humanist, to the American Humani...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Idaho Humanists, check out this Summer Day Camp for Kids! For more information...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Check out Executive Director Roy Speckhardt's new Huffpost article, Pandora's Bo...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Freedom from Religion in Kazakhstan: An Interview with Atheist Blogger Aleksand...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Today is A. Philip Randolph's 125th birthday. He was the American Humanist Assoc...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Did you know about some of these official State Symbols? http://thehumanist.com...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Humanevangelist: Skyfall, Humanist Style by Clay Farris Naff. http://thehu...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Would you, or someone you know, be a good fit for the American Humanist Associat...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Here is an interesting letter to the editor of The Press Enterprise. http://www...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy 271st Birthday Thomas Jefferson! Read Jefferson's wall of separation lett...

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

Oh good so there are options... Happy Friday Everyone!! http://obscureinternet....

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Bible According to Thomas Jefferson. http://thehumanist.com/magazine/march...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

We are getting ready! Are you? Register today! http://conference.americanhumani...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Inheriting the Wind by Daniel Thomas Moran! http://thehumanist.com/arts_enterta...

10 days ago

American Humanist Association

Throwback Thursday! What did the July/August, 1981 issue of the Humanist magazi...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Oh good! Now we can all relax... Science is here! Four Blood Moons: Total Lunar...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Check out this info-graph from the Public Religion Research Institute. http://...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Rules Are for Schmucks: House Rules. By Luis Granados http://thehumanist.com/ne...

11 days ago

American Humanist Association

Another installment of Carl Coon's A Short History of Evolution. This week's top...

12 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA's Matthew Bulger reports from On The Hill. http://thehumanist.com/news/nati...

12 days ago