(cross posted at Daily Kos)

If you are an Atheist, Agnostic, Secular Humanist, or other non-theistic or non-traditional believer, you have likely felt like the U.S. is on the verge of forming an Inquisition to come after you.

The good news is, you are not alone. I wrote a previous diary (at DKos) about the Secular Coalition for America, a new lobbying group representing the 30 million+ U.S. “brights” (anyone who holds a natural/non-theistic world view) and fighting to maintain the separation of Church and State.

Today, I discovered the Humanist Network News, the weekly ezine of the Institute for Humanist Studies. It is full of great info.

See across the bump for story summaries for the week of May 11, 2005.
Humanists out of the closet and in the House
Ron Reagan recently told Larry King that because he is an atheist he can’t get elected to anything. IHS Executive Director Matt Cherry writes, “Maybe Ron Reagan should move to Britain. In last week’s general election, during which Tony Blair’s Labour Party won with a reduced majority, 17 members of the Parliamentary Humanist Group were re-elected to the House of Commons.” MORE

Moderation on the far right?
President George W. Bush recently said, “The great thing about America is that you should be allowed to worship any way you want. And if you chose not to worship, you’re equally as patriotic as somebody who does worship…” Pat Robertson had what seemed to be a moment of tolerance and modernity, too. IHS Public Policy Director Tim Gordinier examines this issue. MORE

Atheists win big in Idaho
Conrad Goeringer of AANews reports: A U.S. District Court Judge ruled (on May 4) that the State of Idaho could not deny a permit to Atheists wishing to hold a “Day of Equality” rally on the steps of the state capitol building, and instead allow a National Day of Prayer event to take place even though the Atheists reserved the space first. MORE

IHS elects new directors
At its meeting on May 1, the Institute for Humanist Studies Board of Directors elected two new members: Roberta Armstrong and Sharon Fratepietro. MORE

IHS 2004 Annual Report now online
The 2004 Annual Report for the Institute for Humanist Studies is now available online as a  PDF. If you’re strictly an HNN reader, perusing this report is a great way to quickly familiarize yourself with the other facets of the Institute for Humanist Studies. MORE

IHS supports comprehensive sex ed in NYS
IHS Public Policy Director Tim Gordinier is working with Family Planning Advocates of New York to help see the Healthy Teens Act pass in the New York State Legislature. The Healthy Teens Act will ensure that New York’s public school teenagers receive medically accurate sex education rather than its dangerous and unscientific counterpart: faith-based, abstinence-only dogma. MORE

Humanist Events & Announcements
The IHEU will host its 16th WORLD CONGRESS in Paris from July 5 – 7. The Humanist Association of Canada will host its 2005 conference in Ottawa, from June 23 to 26. A new humanist book for children is slated for publication in June. And a group in Plattsburgh, N.Y. is working to combat Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church. MORE

Universal concern about dying
Canadian columnist Doug Thomas examines the issue of death and preparing a living will in Canada. As an agnostic humanist, he also ponders how he would like his theistic and spiritualistic family members to find comfort after he’s gone. MORE

Sweet Reason, how can high school atheists find equality?
Sweet Reason lends advice to a high school atheist who does not want to participate in mandatory religious services while on a trip with the school band. MORE

Book Review: Silent No More, Part 4
Kenneth W. Krause reviews the rhetoric of the Christian Right and Pastor Rod Parsley’s new book, Silent No More. Kenneth challenges the Pastor on abortion, homosexual union, race, education, poverty, and founder intentions. MORE

Film Review: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Adams was a well-known humanist, so it should not come as a surprise that The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy can be seen as a humanist comedy. But it is also a humorous jaunt across time and space. See what HNN film reviewer Carolyn Braunius has to say about this film. MORE

Letters to the Editor
This week we have several excellent letters about spirituality and humanism… and one EGGcellent letter. MORE

Media Roundup
A roundup of news articles of interest to humanists and freethinkers. MORE

Strange Times
A roundup of quirky, eccentric and downright bizarre news stories of interests to skeptics, humanists and other freethinkers. MORE

Cathartic Comics
…an assortment of cartoons and comic strips about humanism, atheism, religion, science and freethought. MORE

Humanist Humor
This week’s joke is about a very precise method of dating dinosaur bones. MORE

Poll of the Week
When do you think you will see an openly non-religious U.S. president? LINK

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