The Humanist Advocate

BOOK REVIEW: Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists

by Dan Barker Dan Barker is a wonderful writer, and writes in such a clear and very comprehensible manner … and he is often funny! He was a “You need to come to Jesus!” evangelical preacher for 19 years, so he knows the arguments religionists use to defend everything from “The Bible is the word of God” to “Atheists are immoral and have no meaning in their life.” His story of how he went from blind faith as a preacher…

The F Word

It seems that we should keep this list tucked back in our memory. Don’t know much about fascism…well, let’s help you out a little. The 14 Defining Characteristics of Fascism(From Free Inquiry, Spring 2003)Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found fourteen defining characteristics common to each: 1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism – Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols,…

BOOK REVIEW: The Late, Great Planet Earth

By Hal Lindsey I was rummaging through the “everything must go” sale at the closing Borders store on St. Charles Ave., and stopped in my tracks when I spotted a copy of Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth. I remembered reading the book – a detailed interpretation of how Christian End Times prophecy will play out – when I was a teenager. The book was cast in terms so tightly bound to the social and political tensions of 1970…

Real family values in the 21st century!

I’m very surprised that more progressive people like you aren’t talking about this. It is a huge chink in the armor of the religious right and it’s fallen into our laps with little fanfare. Let’s shout it from the rooftops! The recent article by Jonathan Rauch published in the National Journal magazine (“The Leading Weekly on Politics and Policy”) highlights research in the new book, “Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture,” written by two family law professors from George Washington University…

BOOK REVIEW: A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown

By Julia Scheeres “Drinking the Kool-Aid”: It’s a phrase probably said every hour of every day in the United States, and the flippancy sometimes makes us forget about the dark origins behind the words, in a mass suicide in the jungles of South America at a place known as Jonestown. In November 1978, Americans could not escape the photos of the dead and the charismatic Indiana preacher who led them. Much has been written over the years about Jim Jones…

BOOK REVIEW: God and the New Atheism: A Critical Response to Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens

by John F. Haught, December 2007, Westminster John Knox Press, ISBN 978-0664233044 This book contains very weak arguments, if you can call what Haught wrote in this book arguments at all. He seems to keep coming back to admitting that “Faith is belief without evidence.” He has no solid reasons for convincing the reader that one should believe without any evidence. I didn’t find any logical reasons for believing without evidence, as he suggests throughout the book. Haught tries to…

Ways to support the goals of NOSHA and secular humanism in our community

Ways to Support the Goals of NOSHA! 1) Be a good person that you are and also be open about your atheism to others. * When appropriate, wear symbols that identify your beliefs. For example, the atheist “A,” or other images from the Freethought movement are available. You can also buy items with the NOSHA logo. * If someone asks you which church you attend, don’t become defensive or shy. Just matter-of-factly say that you don’t go to church, because…

Celebrate National Day of Reason 2010!

We’ll have a special happy hour in May to commemorate “National Day of Reason.” Instead of our regular Wednesday gathering, we’re moving it one day to Thursday this month so we can recognize one of our major secular days of the year. The purpose of the National Day of Reason is to celebrate reason—a concept all Americans can support—and to raise public awareness about the persistent threat to religious liberty posed by government intrusion into the private sphere of worship….

Cultivate Your Garden….by Michael Shermer

Cultivate Your GardenHow a lack of control leads to superstition and what can be done about it (published February 2010 in Scientific American) Imagine a time in your life when you felt out of control—anything from getting lost to losing a job. Now look at the Figure 1 on this page. What do you see? Such a scenario was presented to subjects in a 2008 experiment by Jennifer Whitson of the University of Texas at Austin and her colleague Adam…

Learning more about Easter….

Active NOSHA member, Robert Carver, got his letter published in the Houma newspaper and it has caused a stir IF you are NOSHA Google Group member. Decide for yourself! Easter practices based in paganism I read the stories in the paper about Good Friday with interest especially the one about the reenactment in Dulac. The faithful in these reenactments are fascinating since they are commemorating a mythical event as if it were a historical fact. Easter was celebrated long before…