This is the weekly summary of the Humanist Network News (HNN). The Humanist Network News (HNN) is published every Wednesday via e-mail and on the Institute for Humanist Studies (IHS) Web site. This diary is a slightly reformatted copy of the weekly email they send me, which I post here every Thursday (Yes, I have permission from the IHS). (CP @ MLW, BT, SP)
October 11, 2005
Humanist Network News
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
- Death with Dignity: Making sense of conservative canons
- Maine says no to abstinence
- Silicon Valley Humanists now hiring
- Gordinier vs. Rev. Stiles: on the Establishment Clause
- Getting religion out of disaster relief
- IHS in the News
- Overfed and thankful
- Sweet Reason, how can I talk to my daughter about lying sis?
- Film Review
- Letters to the Editor
- Media Roundup
- Cathartic Comics
- Humanist Humor
- Poll of the Week
Summaries and links across the break. As always, anyone and everyone is more than welcome to write a more in depth diary on any of the stories.
I had a little extra time this week (The HNN was posted on Tuesday instead of Wednesday) so I included MY TAKE: with some of the summaries.
1. Death with Dignity: Making sense of conservative canons
Tim Gordinier, public policy director of the Institute for Humanist Studies, analyzes the conservative opposition to Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act. MORE. MY TAKE: This is an excellent article, well worth the read. Gordinier puts the law and the opposition in context with other cases, and makes a strong argument that the Bush Administration is hypocritical when it comes to such laws. He also shows how such cases debunk the BushCo outcry that there is too much judicial activism.
2. Maine says no to abstinence
Maine has become the third state, after Pennsylvania and California, to reject federal funds to teach kids the alleged importance of sexual abstinence until marriage. Sexual Intelligence columnist Marty Klein examines the issue. MORE. MY TAKE: Go Maine! Most of the 8 points the federal government wants stressed have no basis in fact, and reveal that this funding is tantamount to state sponsorship of a religious position.
3. Silicon Valley Humanists now hiring
The Humanist Community of Silicon Valley are advertising a professional half-time position. DETAILS
4. Gordinier vs. Rev. Stiles: on the Establishment Clause
On Oct. 18, Tim Gordinier, IHS public policy director, will debate the Rev. Tom Stiles of New Yorkers Family Research Foundation on the “Establishment Clause” of the First Amendment. The debate will occur at Albany Law School. DETAILS
5. Getting religion out of disaster relief
The International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement have welcomed the Swiss government’s intention to convene a diplomatic conference before the end of the year, to adopt another emblem alongside the cross and crescent emblems. The two aid organizations say the additional emblem would be free of any religious or political connotations…MORE. MY TAKE: Kind of a misleading headline, since the Red Cross and Red Crescent are not religious to begin with. But I guess they need an emblem that can’t be construed as religious in order to do their job in some areas. Seems bizaaro to me, but whatever will help them to do their good work, I’m all for.
6. IHS in the News
Tim Gordiner, public policy director for the Institute for Humanist Studies, is well on his way to becoming an on-air media personality. HNN reports on some of Gordinier’s appearances and makes one audio file available for listening. MORE
7. Overfed and thankful
Canadian columnist Doug Thomas reports on his Canadian Thanksgiving celebrations this weekend. He also sheds some light on what this holiday means for humanists in Canada. MORE
8. Sweet Reason, how can I talk to my daughter about lying sis?
Sweet Reason fields a question from a reader whose sister lies and steals. The problem is that the reader’s daughter knows her aunt is a liar, too. So how should the reader talk to her daughter about their relative who lies and steals? FIND OUT. MY TAKE: This column is the answer to those people who think atheists are amoral. Morality does not need a religious foundation.
9. Film Review
A technical error last Wednesday prevented HNN from posting Carolyn Braunius’ review of Proof until Thursday morning. In case you missed it last week, we link back to it. MORE
10. Letters to the Editor
This week’s letters tackle euthanasia and talking about “intelligent design.” MORE
11. Media Roundup
This week’s media roundup headlines: “Catholic Church no longer swears by truth of the Bible” ; “God told me to invade Iraq, Bush tells Palestinian ministers” ; “White House denies Bush claimed divine inspiration” ; “Inmates: Grooming rules violate faith” ; “Air Force Sued Over Religious Intolerance” ; “150 attend meeting on ‘stupid’ theory” “Scholar: Confucius Was One Progressive Individual” ; “Wiccan veterans want parity” ; “Salman Rushdie blasts intelligent design”. READ THEM. MY TAKE: There are a few good articles in this bunch. Check them out.
12. Cathartic Comics
…an assortment of cartoons and comic strips about humanism, atheism, religion, science and freethought. READ THEM
13. Humanist Humor
We have some one liners that humanists can use for laughs. MORE
14. Poll of the Week
This week’s poll question concerns the “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.” Do you know about this national movement to worship The Noodly One? We want to hear your thoughts about this. CAST YOUR VOTE. MY TAKE: I got a Flying Spaghetti Monster t-shirt for my birthday last month. I wore it to Disneyland last week and got some very strange looks, but no one asked what it meant.
About the IHS:
The IHS promotes nonreligious perspectives on social, political, and ethical issues and serves as a resource for and about the humanist community. Questions, comments, concerns, got a better joke or a story? Send a letter to the editor.
If anything here interests you, you may also be interested in my diary on what it is like to be a secular humanist in today’s political climate: I Am The Boogeyman.