The Humanist Advocate

Health and Wellness at City Hall

  Until a few months ago, NOSHA’ s relations with the public officials at City Hall have been cordial, if not completely chummy with everyone. A good example of this is President Emeritus Harry Greenberger gave secular invocations to begin city council meetings on eight occasions, which began sometime between 2001 and 2003—the last in 2015. A recent action in October by the new administration, however, led by Mayor Latoya Cantrell brought to the attention of  NOSHA member Glenn Pearl…

The Futile Future Awaiting America’s Polarized Right

The Futile Future Awaiting America’s Polarized Right The politics of the United States has always been on unstable and shifting grounds because this instability is heavily influenced by societal changes depending on the era. Political centrism started declining in the late 1970s when conservatism was redefining itself as a core identity within the American politics to resist  the escalating influence of socialism by the Soviets. This turning point debunks the standard rule that societies evolve in a linear direction, and…

What Science Is Not

The following is a continuing review of John Gray’s recent publication Seven Types of Atheism.     Social evolution is an exceptionally bad idea. But bad ideas rarely evolve into better ones. Instead they mutate, and reproduce themselves in new guises. John Gray     In the chapter “A Strange Faith in Science,” from John Gray’s Seven Type of Atheism, he tells of a collection of books under the name “The Thinker’s Library,” published by the Rationalist Press Association in…

Got Hate?

The second in a series reviewing Seven Types of Atheism by John Gray (Farrar Straus Giroux, New York, 2018.) If, said I, it is sweet to refuse to do good, it must be heavenly to do evil.   “The Dark Divinity of Nature” The writings of Dontien Alphones Francois, Marquis de Sade, from whose name we are indebted to as the origin of English words such as sadism, sadistic, and sado-masochism are filled with “descriptions of orgies….which feature highly ritualized fantasies of…

A Trump-ed Up Case Against Immigration

Far-right English conservative, Douglas Murray, released a highly controversial book in 2017 called The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, identity, Islam (Bloomsbury Continuum, London). The book was written amid the European refugee crisis that caused a political turmoil in the aging continent—a crisis that highlighted the rise of contemporary right-wing populism. Murray describes himself as a Christian atheist (a non-doctrinal atheist with “Christian” values), a neoconservative, and an openly gay activist. Murray has accused the European Union establishment for promoting…

From the Dead God Files

“On Angels” by Donald Barthelme   The death of God left the angels in a strange position. They were overtaken suddenly by a fundamental question. One can attempt to imagine the moment. How did they look at the  instant the question invaded them, flooding the angelic consciousness, taking hold with terrifying force? The question was,”What are angels?” New to questioning, unaccustomed to terror, unskilled in aloneness, the angels (we assume) fell into despair. The question of what angels “are” has a considerable history….

What Type are You?

  Anyone who has been interested in atheism (or agnosticism, humanism, or freethought) for any length of time has probably run into this seeming non sequitur: atheism is just another religion, which is usually quickly brushed off, at least to one’s self (cognitive dissonance, you know). But can it honestly be dismissed that easily, even to one’s own way of thinking? It might not  be as easily dismissed if you are discussing the topic with another, however, especially someone with…

Can Secularism Break the Spell of Religion in Politics?

  It is widely accepted among historians that the foundational doctrine of laws of the United States government is secular and not religious. This might seem perplexing to someone who follows contemporary American politics. In fact, religion has been the major driving force in America’s modern history, especially in right-wing politics. Is it a conflicting identity that America has been known for? Or is it just the result of the sacred freedom of speech that is guaranteed by the First…