Press releases

American Humanist News and Actions

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American Humanist Association Hails Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

Posted December 20, 2010 at 4:03pm

The American Humanist Association (AHA) hailed the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” Saturday when the Senate’s bill to allow gays to serve openly in the military was successfully passed.  The House passed the measure on Wednesday.

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Humanists Refute Congressional Prayer Caucus’ Criticism

Posted December 09, 2010 at 4:50pm

The American Humanist Association today blasted the Congressional Prayer Caucus (CPC) for criticizing President Barack Obama for using the motto "E Pluribus Unum." The CPC, a group of about 68 legislators, wrote a letter to Obama on Tuesday condemning his use of "E Pluribus Unum" in a recent speech, saying that he instead should be referring to "In God We Trust." The CPC also said Obama is not referring to God enough in his speeches, adding that he has repeatedly mentioned "inalienable rights" without giving credit for those rights to a divine authority. For these offenses, Obama should "issue a correction," the CPC said.

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NASA Discovery, A Catalyst for Theological Debate

Posted December 03, 2010 at 1:37pm

The American Humanist Association responded today to news from NASA that a form of life has been discovered that can substitute arsenic for phosphorus, changing previously understood paradigms about the nature of biochemistry. The discovery is seen by many as potentially “redefining life,” broadening the scope of conditions capable of sustaining life on Earth.

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Humanists Dismayed by Obama’s Lack of Will to Fix Bush’s Faith-Based Initiatives

Posted November 17, 2010 at 3:24pm

The American Humanist Association (AHA) leadership expressed frustration with President Obama’s Executive Order concerning the regulations of federally funded faith-based initiatives. The changes, recommended by a President’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Taskforce, affirm federally funded organizations’ rights to retain their religious influence, and fail to prohibit religious tests in hiring.

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Humanists Launch Largest National Advertising Campaign Critical of Religious Scripture

Posted November 09, 2010 at 1:44pm

Washington, D.C., November 9, 2010

A national multimedia ad campaign – the largest, most extensive ever by a godless organization - launches today and will include a spot on NBC Dateline on Friday, November 12, as well as other television ads, that directly challenge biblical morality and fundamentalist Christianity.  The campaign, sponsored by the American Humanist Association, also features ads in major national and regional newspapers and magazines demonstrating that secular humanist values are consistent with mainstream America and that fundamentalist religion has no right to claim the moral high ground.

The ads juxtapose notable humanist quotes with passages from religious texts, including the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Quran. The ads then ask the audience to "Consider Humanism." One example is the following pairing: The Bible: “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.” I Timothy 2 (New International Version) Humanism: “The rights of men and women should be equal and sacred—marriage should be a perfect partnership.” Robert G. Ingersoll, in a letter dated April 13, 1878. Another pairing is: The Bible: “The people of Samaria must bear their guilt, because they have rebelled against their God. They will fall by the sword; their little ones will be dashed to the ground, their pregnant women ripped open.” God, Hosea 13:16 (New International Version)  Humanism: “I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own—a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty.” Albert Einstein, column for The New York Times, Nov. 9, 1930

To see images and videos of the ads and find more information about the campaign please visit: http://www.considerhumanism.org

"Humanist values are mainstream American values, and this campaign will help many people realize that they are already humanists and just did not know the term," said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. "Humanists believe in and value love, equality, peace, freedom and reason – values that are comparable to those of moderate and liberal religious people." 

In addition to the television ad on NBC, ads will also be displayed on cable channels. Print ads will appear in major newspapers, including USA Today, the Seattle Times, the Village Voice, the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the Independent Triangle, and the San Francisco Chronicle, and magazines, including Reason and The Progressive. Ads will also appear on Metro trains in Washington, D.C., on billboards on I-95 near Philadelphia and in Moscow, Idaho, and on buses in select cities.

"We want to reach people in every corner of the U.S., from all walks of life, to raise the flag for humanists and show others that they have more in common with us than with biblical literalists," said Speckhardt.

"It's important that people recognize that a literal reading of religious texts is completely out of touch with mainstream America," Speckhardt added. "Although religious texts can teach good lessons, they also advocate fear, intolerance, hate and ignorance. It's time for all moderate people to stand up against conservative religion's claim on a moral monopoly."

All quotes from religious texts were checked by scripture scholars to ensure accuracy, context and proper translation. 

The Stiefel Freethought Foundation was the primary sponsor of the Consider Humanism campaign with a $150,000 donation. Another $50,000 was raised from supporters of the American Humanist Association for the launch of this campaign, bringing the total ad buy to $200,000 so far.

The American Humanist Association (www.americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through over 140 local chapters and affiliates across America. Humanism is the idea that you can be good without a belief in God.

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American Humanist Association Announces 2011 Board Election Results

Posted October 12, 2010 at 3:56pm

In accordance with American Humanist Association bylaws, the AHA Election Committee met on October 8, 2010, at the AHA's national office in the Mary and Lloyd Morain Humanist Center to open and tally the ballots cast in the AHA Board of Directors election.  There were seven candidates for six openings on the board. A total of 1,982 ballots were received.

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The American Humanist Association files Amicus Brief Challenging National Day of Prayer

Posted October 08, 2010 at 12:27pm

The Appignani Humanist Legal Center of the American Humanist Association (AHA) filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday, seeking an  affirmation of the district court's decision holding the National Day of Prayer Statute as an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.

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Humanist Legal Center Files Petition for Writ of Certiorari in Newdow Case

Posted September 27, 2010 at 12:24pm

Today Michael Newdow – a well-known atheist and plaintiff in a legal case that challenges the phrase "So Help Me God" in the presidential oath of office – asked the Supreme Court to consider whether the federal judiciary has the power to halt government-sponsored religious practices at presidential inaugural ceremonies.

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Arizona Shouldn't Use Tax Dollars to Fund Religious Education, Says the American Humanist Association

Posted September 23, 2010 at 10:43am

The American Humanist Association filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court today asking the Court to affirm a lower court's decision that the Arizona statute that permits awarding taxpayer funded scholarships on the basis of religion violates the First Amendment.

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American Humanist Association Speaks out About "Burn a Koran Day" Controversy

Posted September 13, 2010 at 2:49pm

Terry Jones, the once-obscure Florida preacher, reached celebrity status with his painfully ignorant “Burn-a-Koran Day,” and during the uproar the American Humanist Association joined the chorus of condemnation. Like countless others, the AHA found the book-burning antics to be bigoted, ignorant and certain to cause emotional pain if not physical harm. In all respects, Jones was wrong.

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