american humanist association


The American Humanist Association, an atheist group, has sent a letter of complaint to Pennsylvania’s Carlisle Area School District after a school nurse at Wilson Middle School refused to treat a middle school student who didn’t stand during the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. According to the letter, when the student was confronted by the nurse, she responded that she had the right not to stand if she wanted. The nurse responded, “Fine, then leave! I have the right not to service you!”

Madness and stupidity.


Following the Pledge, the student said that she was berated by a school nurse.

“Why didn’t you stand for the Pledge?” the nurse reportedly asked loudly. The student said that she explained that she had the right not to participate.

“Fine! Then leave! I have the right to not service you!” the student said the nurse shouted in reply.

Christmas is a time when many of the best facets of humanity, faith, and charity have a chance to shine through in people. There is something about this season that reminds us about those less fort…

This is what they pulled last year. Keeping students from organizing a toy drive for Operation Christmas Child, because those poor kids might end up having a Christian pamphlet stuck in the only Christmas present many of them receive at all. 

We can’t keep letting these assholes push us around. 

Celebrating Love and Light: 10 Holiday Tips For The Post-Religious

Is the holiday season more glitter than glow for you lately? For a humanist who seeks to live a life centered in reason and compassion, the holiday time can be surprisingly challenging. Old traditions may not fit anymore, but what does? We see ourselves as an integral part of nature, and the beauties of the winter season surround us, but how can you bring the season into your home in a way that feels rich and satisfying? We humanists find meaning in relationships, but reunions can be fraught with peril. If an old Christian friend or family member uses Christmas cards or gatherings as an opportunity to evangelize, you may even find yourself feeling downright crabby. How can you shake it off?

Here are ten tips to help you get the scrooge out of your humanist holiday season:

1. Remind yourself that our celebrations from December 21 through January 1 are not Christian in origin. All over the northern hemisphere, people have celebrated this time as one of birth and new life. Solstice is the reason for the season, and December 25th was the day of solstice under the old Roman calendar. The return of light, the budding of new life, the promise of fresh starts—these were particularly precious to agrarian people who entrusted themselves one year at a time to the cycle of the seasons, but they are precious to us all.

2. Discover the magical, mystical origins of the Christmas story. If you love mythology in any form, from the epic of Gilgamesh to the epic of Frodo Baggins, the Christmas narratives are rich with threads of hero quest that have been woven and rewoven and can be traced across time and culture. Why was the virgin birth added late to the Jesus story? Why were stories of dying and rising gods so common in the ancient Near East? What can these ancient stories tell us about who we are as human beings? Antiquities scholars, both Christian and secular, can set you on your own journey of discovery.

3. Claim what fits. In weddings, the saying “old, new, borrowed, blue” reminds us that mixing and matching are what ritual and celebration are made of. Every culture and religion borrows from those that came before. (Syncretism, they call it.) So does every person. Pick what you cherish from your tradition or others and do your own mixing. One wonderful thing about moving beyond dogma is the quest for meaning is yours. You and only you know which old traditions are still meaningful.

4. Don’t be afraid to embrace explicitly Christian elements. If you’ve been wounded by Christianity or feel like our world is being wounded, it is easy to be bitter or reactive and to pass that reactance on to any children who look up to you. A better approach is to treat Christianity just like you would any other mythic or cultural tradition. All of them reflect the struggle of our ancestors to determine what is good and what is real and how to live in community with each other. All contain a mixture of wisdom and foolishness and downright immorality. Take what seems timeless and wise and move on.

5. Get creative. Draw on your inner artist. The best art takes old elements and assembles them in a way that is unique to the artist. Create your own rituals. What is your life about? What do you want to celebrate and with whom? What might the decorations look like? Which smells and tastes do you savor? What music does resonate? Do what feels genuine, and then persist. Developing a solid sense of ritual and tradition takes time and repetition.

6. Find common ground with visiting relatives. All relationships (teacher-student, work colleague, friend, partner, daughter, nephew) require that we come together around things we have in common: shared interests, respect for each other’s good qualities, overlapping values, the appreciation of a good meal or a football game. Your family may not share your skepticism, curiosity, or desire for personal growth. If not, don’t go there, and don’t let them draw the conversations into your areas of disagreement. Take deep breaths, exercise self control, and change topics. Save deep, painful conversations for another time. Trust yourself. Schedule coffee with sympathetic friends. It may be sad, but it is ok for you to grow emotionally and spiritually even if people you love don’t come along.

7. Be a little wicked if you like. Religious people use the holidays for drawing in new believers or old believers who have fallen by the wayside. Sometime their evangelism comes from the thoughtless assumption that you share their point of view, and sometimes it is intentional. It’s part of our cultural dynamic, so feel free to do the same. Send solstice cards. Invite religious friends to your celebrations. Give a receptive friend the gift of growth: if someone is wobbling their way out of Christianity, give them a copy of my book, Trusting Doubt. For a friend who may be ready to move from born again “beliefism” to a more thoughtful form of Christian faith, give Bruce Bawer’s Stealing Jesus. For someone who would like to see the Bible through the eyes of an unflinchingly honest Christian antiquities scholar, get Thom Stark’s The Human Faces of God.

8. Balance your gift giving. Stand on principle—some of the time. Face it, certain kinds of gifts don’t mean much, but not giving them does. Your integrity doesn’t stand or fall based on whether you give the token “Christmas” gifts to your boss, co-workers or neighbors. Go to Starbucks and buy a dozen gift cards, or if time costs you less than money right now, bake those cookies. Tell people you wish them well—because you do—and be done with it.

9. Pay attention to your deeper values. Your resources are finite, so how do you want to use them? What are you trying to say to other people with your gifts—about them, about you, about your relationship, about the things that make life rich and full and that you want to share with them? If you are tired of the consumer rat race, opt out. Give some Kiva credit or a goat through the Heifer Project, or adopt a sea turtle or whatever. Then wrap the gift certificate around a really good bar of chocolate.

10. Immerse yourself in the real gifts of the season—love, light, joy, generosity, kindness, gratitude, wonder and shared hope. In the end, what else is there?

- Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and former director of the Children’s Behavior and Learning Clinic in Bellevue, Washington. She is the author of Trusting Doubt, a book about her personal encounter with religious fundamentalism; via American Humanist Association: Good Without A God

The US Air Force has told a sergeant he will have to leave the military unless he agrees to take an oath with the phrase “so help me God,” officials said Tuesday.

In the latest religious controversy to roil the air force, the atheist airman last month was denied his request to re-enlist because of his refusal to swear to God – and he is now poised to take the military to court, his lawyer said.

“We have not received word from the Air Force regarding our letter. It has not indicated a willingness to settle out of court,” said Monica Miller, an attorney for the American Humanist Association, which has taken up the service member’s case.

With the deadline for re-enlisting expiring in November, the technical sergeant at Creech Air Force base in Nevada – whose name has not been released – will be forced to sue the government in a federal court, Miller told AFP.

In the past, an airman could opt for an alternative phrase and omit the words “so help me God,” but the US Air Force changed its policy in October 2013.

The American Humanist Association has formally sent a complaint to Birdville Independent School District in Texas, citing that Isaiah Smith’s First Amendment rights have been violated after the teen was suspended for ripping out pages of his Bible as a protest against anti-gay bullying. Smith, who is gay and Christian, said that he was repeatedly told that “being gay is a sin,” and that “gays go to hell,” by students at his school.

School Nurse Refused To Treat Student For Not Reciting Pledge Of Allegiance (VIDEO)

School Nurse Refused To Treat Student For Not Reciting Pledge Of Allegiance (VIDEO)

A girl in middle school was reduced to tears earlier this month after the school nurse bullied her because she refused to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

On the morning of April 2nd, most of the students of Wilson Middle School in Pennsylvania rose to recite the daily Pledge of Allegiance. One student, however, had sought medical treatment from the school nurse at the same time. As is…

View On WordPress

Atheists LIVID After This Young Girl Faces Them In Court

Atheists LIVID After This Young Girl Faces Them In Court

It was a major win for Christians everywhere, as a young teenage girl stood up against atheists, who were seeking to legally remove the phrase “one nation under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, and she won.

Samantha Jones

Samantha Jones, a senior at Highland Regional High School, is celebrating after she and her fellow students now have the right to recite the pledge in its entirety.

“I’m so…

View On WordPress

Just in case anyone missed it, the American Humanist Organization published an interview with me about Faces of Atheists. :D

I just wanted to give everyone a heads up that I had a lot of submissions roll in after that (yay!) and so yours might not be published for a couple weeks after you sent it in, so keep checking back. If you want me to make sure I received yours, feel free to inbox me. I’ve been posting three submissions per day since I’ve got a bunch right now. 

Hope everyone is well and enjoying all the lovely new Faces. :)

Thank you, as always, for your support. You’re amazing!


South Carolina Teacher Tries To Force Atheist Student To Recite Pledge Of Allegiance, Threatens Him With Punishment

South Carolina Teacher Tries To Force Atheist Student To Recite Pledge Of Allegiance, Threatens Him With Punishment

An atheist student has blown the whistle on a teacher who tried to force him to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance against his will or face punishment for continuing to refuse.

The ninth grade student, who attends Right Choices Alternative School in Beaufort County, South Carolina, contacted the American Humanist Associationfor assistance after being subjected to constant harassment and…

View On WordPress

Atheists Go Ballistic After Student Says This American Slogan In School

Atheists Go Ballistic After Student Says This American Slogan In School

Atheists have started yet another controversy after a student at Yulee High School in Florida spoke freely on the morning announcements. The student, whose name hasn’t been divulged, upset two atheists within the school by concluding the morning announcements with the statement, “God bless America.”

Since the outcry of the two atheists claiming a “constitutional violation,” legal threats have…

View On WordPress

Today is Openly Secular Day, and the American Humanist Association is encouraging people to come out as secular with the Tell One Person campaign.

So, I’m telling you all on Tumblr. I am secular. I do not believe in God/gods/deities. I consider myself a Secular Humanist if I had to describe it. I am not religious.

I grew up in an extremely conservative religious household, and considered myself a Christian until my early-mid 20s. Once I began to think for myself and do my own digging and learning, I realize religion didn’t make sense to me and wasn’t for me. I wasn’t bullied much at school, but growing up in church, I was bullied and picked on by numerous other kids at my church. It was a difficult time and I didn’t enjoy being around them.

After I came out as gay, some of my family members have used their religious beliefs to bully me and have made some extremely hateful comments towards me and the LGBT community as a whole while hiding behind the bible.

Anyway, this is my story. If you’d like to come out as secular, or be a part of the Tell One Person campaign, I encourage you to do so. Even if you’d like to just shoot me a message to tell someone, go ahead. I’ll be glad to listen to your story.