AHA News |  

Humanists Applaud President Obama for Including Nontheists in Religious Freedom Day

For Immediate Release

(Washington, DC, January 19, 2010) The American Humanist Association today commended President Obama for his continued acknowledgement and inclusion of nonbelievers when speaking about the role of religion in American life. “…It was the genius of America’s forefathers to protect our freedom of religion, including the freedom to practice none at all,” President Obama said while delivering a speech declaring Saturday Religious Freedom Day.

“We’re gratified that President Obama continues to reach out to nontheists in a positive, inclusive way,” said Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association. “Atheists, agnostics and others who don’t subscribe to religion are generally ignored by politicians. But President Obama continues to reference us when speaking about the varied religious spectrum in the United States. It’s heartening to see any politician--let alone the president of the United States--who doesn’t fall prey to the nearly pervasive assumption that it’s only the people who believe in God that matter.”

Each year the president declares January 16 to be Religious Freedom Day, which commemorates the passage in 1786 of the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom. The statute is considered to be a vital legal step in establishing religious freedom and the separation of church and state. Religious Freedom Day is intended to promote students’ religious expression rights, and Americans are called upon to observe the day “through appropriate events and activities in homes, schools and places of worship.”

“It’s great to see the president recognize the freedom not to worship as a fundamental American right,” said Speckhardt.

This is not the first time President Obama has acknowledged nontheists in a political speech. The first such occasion took place during his inauguration, marking the first time a president has referenced nontheists in the ceremony.

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 more than 100 local chapters and affiliates across America.

Humanism is the idea that you can be good without a belief in God.

### 

American Humanist Association

Yet again, Neil deGrasse Tyson breaks down a movie we love! Neil, your'e are su...

16 hours ago

American Humanist Association

We all have a "dark side" but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. Psychologist...

17 hours ago

American Humanist Association

UCoR proudly announces the official launch of the Rhode Island CoR with a bus ad...

21 hours ago

American Humanist Association

It is wonderful to see so many skeptics, atheists, humanists, and non-theists co...

22 hours ago

American Humanist Association

How the AHA and local Colorado humanists helped to defeat the anti-choice person...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Suspended for a week for defending evolution? That is a bit of an over-reaction...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

What if you could win $1,000 for telling the world what is important to you? Al...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason, the new b...

3 days ago

American Humanist Association

Things that make you go hmmm....

4 days ago

American Humanist Association

Here is a cool new Kickstarter campaign to create a children's book for non-bel...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

AHA board member Howard Katz is at Skepticon representing! Make sure to stop by...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

December 2nd is Giving Tuesday. This holiday season, while you are buying gifts...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Hey, It's our favorite science guy! Clay Farris Naff talks with past AHA humanis...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Who is ready for Skepticon 2014?! If you are attending the event, make sure to s...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Today is National Transgender Day of Remembrance. Today we remember transgenders...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Today the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Many people don't believe that a person can be good without a god. What are thos...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Yesterday, AHA's David Niose presented his argument that the phrase "under God"...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

A Congressional hearing on religious accommodations in the armed services is hap...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Today a judge will hear the arguments of Dave Niose, representing the AHA, in a...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

Last week Indra Zuno delivered her secular invocation at the LA County Board mee...

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

The United Coalition of Reason is crushing the billboard game with billboards up...

7 days ago