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

Responding to reporters this morning as the AHA's latest case gets national atte...

23 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Lots of press coverage this morning on our New Jersey lawsuit challenging 'under...

23 hours ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Earth Day Everyone! Be kind to your Earth. It's where you live!

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Congratulations to Ventura County, California for now officially recognizing May...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Taken from a 1940's Justice Society Of America comic before "Under God" was adde...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

The American Humanist Association has filed lawsuit against “Under God” in the P...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

The 2014 American Atheists Conference was awesome! Check out pictures of the Ame...

1 days ago

American Humanist Association

Happy Friday Everyone!

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Humanist Poll! http://thehumanist.com/arts_entertainment/culture/your-humanist-...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Announcing our 2014 AHA Annual Conference Keynote Speaker, Professor Max Tegmark...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Have you had this problem? The Ethical Dilemma: My Son Sends Me E-Mails Signed...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Hurry! Going to the AHA annual conference in Philly? May 5th is the last day to...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

Rules Are for Schmucks: Darwin Award Nominee by Luis Granados. http://thehumani...

5 days ago

American Humanist Association

The Cartoon History of Humanism Episode Three: The Archpoet, 12th-Century Gang...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

Throwback Thursday! The January/February, 1989 issue of the Humanist magazine...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

This is creepy... http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/04/17/toddl...

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

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

6 days ago

American Humanist Association

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

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

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

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

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

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

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

7 days ago

American Humanist Association

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

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

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

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

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

8 days ago

American Humanist Association

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

8 days ago