Naturally curious, compassionate & rational
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    Join us for our final Freethought Picnic of the season at Columbia Park in Northeast Minneapolis on August 21st. During the summer months we suspend our regular chapter meetings for more informal gatherings with the larger Twin Cities secular community.

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    We support the Minnesota Compassionate Care Act that would allow terminally-ill adults to self-administer prescribed medication to end their lives if their suffering becomes unbearable. Click here to add your support of end-of-life choices for Minnesota residents. Help lobby for this bill's passage.

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    We aspire to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment and contribute to the greater good of humanity and the planet through reason, science, compassion and creativity. 
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Blog: Humanist Voices

Bridging the Racial Divide

anti racismAfter the killing of two black men by policemen in July—in Louisiana and Minnesota—National Public Radio aired a rant by an Ohio police woman as part of their coverage of these terrible events. Her plea to fellow white officers was to get out of law enforcement if they were afraid of black and brown men. I can’t find the reference now to recap what I heard, but she voiced something that is tragically true in America—white and black and brown people are too often afraid of one other.

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Beyond "tribalism"

american unity amidst diversityI am a citizen of the world. First and foremost. That’s just the way I identify. And it’s no doubt one of the reasons I am drawn to the philosophy of humanism. But if one listens to the current political discourse, messages to put America and Americans first proliferate. Effective leadership is characterized as the ability to advance the standing of our own deserving “tribes” of “real” Americans above everyone else. Our nation is increasingly becoming a place where it is acceptable to disregard and/or demonize the “other” in our midst—often described through coded and loaded language—and to isolate ourselves from the rest of the world. Like many of my peers, I am disturbed by this proffered trajectory for America’s future.

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D.C. Reason Rally 2016

Reason Rally 2016Early in June the second national Reason Rally was held at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. Thousands of freethinkers and nontheists from around the country gathered to rally for reason and to assert our viewpoints in the public arena.  Larry Decker, Executive Director of the Secular Coalition for America, gave a compelling speech at the rally.  Check it out.  The American Humanist Association also had a presence at the Reason Rally; read this summary and view these photos. 

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Day of Reason 2016

National Day of Reason 2Today humanists, atheists, freethinkers and secularists gathered at the Minnesota state capitol to pay homage to Reason and to uphold its use in our public policy deliberations. We came to implore all our political leaders and fellow citizens to draw on the most up-to-date knowledge we have in the social and physical sciences, of world history and philosophy, and to use pragmatic moral reasoning in our civic decision-making.  We must commit to bring the very best of our rational capacities to our pursuit of the common good.

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Consumption vs. conservation

EarthBulbsI can’t believe I missed it!  The 10th annual Earth Hour to shut off lights in support of energy conservation and protecting the planet.  Me--the avid environmentalist since my youth—who to this day constantly goes around my house and other people’s houses shutting off lights—welcome or not!  Two days later I saw the back page Strib article: Cities worldwide go dim.  Other Minnesotans apparently missed it too—and most of the country.  New York City gave a nod to this environmental movement (begun in Australia in 2007) by dimming the lights atop the Empire State Building and some billboards in Times Square.  But I could have been the poster child for this environmental campaign!  O.k.—more accurately--the poster matron.   You can always count on me to turn out the lights.

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Civic Engagement, Humanist Style

state capitol MN

Watch the news.  Look around the world.  Listen to the candidates who aspire to lead our nation. It can be demoralizing -- to be sure.  We humanists envision a world better than the everyday portrayal.  But we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that it isn’t going to happen by magical or wishful thinking. As humanists we understand that it is up to us to create the kind of world we want to live in and leave for our children and heirs. 

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Decoding spirituality

bodymindspiritAre you feeling more “spiritual” these days—overcome by a deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being and wonder about the universe?  Apparently while Americans are getting less religious, spirituality is on the rise.  The latest report from the Pew Research Center  indicates that “spiritual” feelings are increasing--even among atheists, agnostics and the unaffiliated--along with everyone else.  What should we make of this?

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Happy new year--or not?

scrooge 274x300Happy New Year!  An apt greeting for the beginning of 2016, right?  During this holiday season, no doubt many of us have wished family and friends “good health and happiness” in the New Year.  These are time-honored greetings of the season.  Plus, living a good life and seeking happiness in the here and now are key aspirations for humanists, agnostics and atheists.  But did you happen to read the latest research about happiness not being an indicator of longevity? (The Lancet, December 9, 2015) Could it be that Scrooge gets the last laugh after all?  Maybe, maybe not.

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Happy Holidays--Indeed!

winter solstice evergreenForget about the red cup controversy that some want to stir up about Starbuck’s seasonal packaging.  Forget about the overwrought angst of a blue Christmas without a romantic interest or a Norman Rockwell family gathering in your life.  Ignore the inflammatory “war on Christmas” rhetoric of the Christian Right or the secular scrooges (ala Tom Flynn) and settle in to a “green” winter solstice holiday groove.  And then let’s just be civil to everyone with “Happy Holiday” greetings and work together for peace on earth.  O.k.?

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Defining Humanism

dictionary app symbol“Naturally curious, compassionate and rational.”  Last summer as I was biking home from one of our summer picnics, a more fit biker approached me from behind and called out “good reading!” as he cycled passed—pointing to my Humanist t-shirt with our tagline on the back.  Then at the NAMI Walk more recently, a fellow walker approached me from behind and queried—“So, what’s Humanists of Minnesota?”  The terse tagline got his attention, but I must admit, I still need to work on a short and snappy response.

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Faith, Doubt and Unbelief

losing faith attributionRecently Kerri Miller hosted a panel discussion on “Faith and Doubt” for her Friday Roundtable program on Minnesota Public Radio.  I was invited to appear as a panelist representing the non-religious perspective with two popular progressive Christian authors, Rachel Held Evans and Nadia Bolz-Weber. They were in town for a conference they had spawned called “Why Christian?”  As media-savvy younger women and experienced radio guests, they clearly were in their element.  Me, I was in uncharted territory.

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Upcoming Events

Thu, Aug 25, 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Tenets of Humanism: Intro to Ethics
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