“Gaytheist Manifesto”, Callie Wright on The Humanist Hour

This week, Jenn Wilson caught up with Callie Wright after seeing her at AHACon in Chicago in May.

When Callie Wright came out as a trans woman in 2013, there weren’t a lot of queer voices in the secular movement that focused on issues affecting queer people. She set out to change that. With her partner in crime Ari Stillman, she now runs The Gaytheist Manifesto podcast and the blog of the same name. She is also co-chair of the American Humanist Association’s LGBTQ Humanist Alliance.

Callie joins Jenn Wilson this week to talk about founding the podcast and its mission to support the LGBTQ community within the secular movement. They discuss Callie’s outlook on activism, her goals for the LGBTQ Humanist Alliance, and even a recent controversy in LGBTQ media representation. After we hear from Callie and Jenn, we’ll also give you a quick sample of the work Callie does educating humanists at conferences.

You can listen to the podcast here.

“Gaytheist Manifesto”, Callie Wright on The Humanist Hour

“Feminism in Current Politics” and “The Oasis Network” on The Humanist Hour

With no blogging last week, there are a couple of The Humanist Hour shows you can catch up on. I spent a little time with Amanda Marcotte at CONvergence talking feminism and politics:

Any year in which we have the first female major party presumptive nominee for president is going to be a busy one in feminist politics. Beyond Hillary Clinton, however, there’s still plenty going on in current political discourse that’s of interest to feminists. From the misogyny of Donald Trump to the recent Supreme Court decision on abortion, we have a lot to talk about.

To cover these topics—as well as Clinton’s rise to nominee—Stephanie Zvan talks this week with Amanda Marcotte, a political writer for Salon with more than a decade of experience covering these kinds of topics. Listen and catch up on the presidential campaigns, online discourse, and the state of abortion rights.

You can catch that podcast here. Continue reading ““Feminism in Current Politics” and “The Oasis Network” on The Humanist Hour”

“Feminism in Current Politics” and “The Oasis Network” on The Humanist Hour

“Appignani Humanist Legal Center”, David Niose & Monica Miller on The Humanist Hour

This week, we’re bringing some of the news out of AHA’s annual conference for everyone.

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This year, the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center celebrates a decade of service. The center provides legal assistance to defend the constitutional rights of religious and secular minorities by directly challenging clear violations of the Establishment Clause and seeking equal rights for humanists, atheists and other freethinkers. Through a combination of staff and pro bono attorneys, the center engages in amicus activity, litigation, and other legal advocacy.

This May, at the American Humanist Association’s annual conference, David Niose, legal director for the center, and Monica Miller, senior counsel, spoke about the center. They talked about its victories and challenges, and the cases in front of it today.

You can listen to the podcast here.

“Appignani Humanist Legal Center”, David Niose & Monica Miller on The Humanist Hour

“Women in Secularism & Secular Woman”, Debbie Goddard and Monette Richards on The Humanist Hour

This is a special episode for The Humanist Hour, at least if round numbers appeal to you. It’s show #200. We decided to make it count.

Blue Happy Humanist logo with headphones and a microphone.
In spring of 2012, the secular movement was a different place for women. We were grossly underrepresented on stage, in print, and in the membership of our organizations. In a movement that prides itself on asking questions, the people asking why this underrepresentation was happening were being shouted down. The Center for Inquiry’s (CFI) Women in Secularism conference in Washington, D.C. was created to address these problems. The brain child of Melody Hensley, the conference featured a weekend of only women speakers, and it changed the movement.

This week, Stephanie Zvan talks to Debbie Goddard, Director of Outreach at CFI and Director of African Americans for Humanism, about the history of the conference and what people can look forward to this year. Debbie is organizing the fourth Women in Secularism conference, taking place September 23–25, 2016.

Stephanie also talks with Monette Richards, president of CFI Northeast Ohio and co-president of Secular Woman, an organization that was born at the first Women in Secularism conference. We’ll catch up on what it’s been up to, as well as its hopes and plans for the future.

You can listen to the podcast here.

“Women in Secularism & Secular Woman”, Debbie Goddard and Monette Richards on The Humanist Hour

“Greta Christina on The Way of the Heathen” on The Humanist Hour

A familiar face and voice on The Humanist Hour this week.

So you’re an atheist. Now what? The way we deal with life—with love and sex, pleasure and death, reality and making stuff up—can change dramatically when we stop believing in gods, souls, and afterlives. When we leave religion—or if we never had it in the first place—where do we go? With her unique blend of compassion and humor, thoughtfulness and snark, Greta Christina most emphatically does not propose a single path to a good atheist life. She offers questions to think about, ideas that may be useful, and encouragement to choose your own way. She addresses complex issues in an accessible, down-to-earth style, including: Why we’re here, Sexual transcendence, How humanism helps with depression—except when it doesn’t, Stealing stuff from religion, and much more. Aimed at new and not-so-new atheists, questioning and curious believers, Christina shines a warm, fresh light on the only life we have.

That’s the publisher’s blurb for Greta Christina’s new book, The Way of the Heathen: Practicing Atheism in Everyday Life. This book is a distillation of more than a decade of thinking and writing about atheism. Greta joins us on this week’s show to talk with Peggy Knudtson and Jenn Wilson about how the book came to be and why she’s been wanting to write this particular one for so long.

Listen to the podcast here.

“Greta Christina on The Way of the Heathen” on The Humanist Hour

“Activist Humanism”, James Croft on Atheists Talk

At its inception, Humanism was a recognition that humanity needed to save and better itself with no help from any gods on high. It was an activist philosophy, teaching that we all have responsibilities to help humanity thrive. Over time, however, and following the trend of U.S. politics as a whole, the Humanist movement lost much of that activist bent. To the extent organized Humanism has engaged in activism over the last decade or so, it has largely focused on church-state separation, leaving little to differentiate it from organized atheism.

Recently, however, this has started to change. Humanist groups are rediscovering and embracing their activist roots, from the American Humanist Association’s focus on social justice to individual groups and congregations taking up causes important in their broader community. James Croft of the Ethical Society of St. Louis leads one of these groups. He’s also studied the history of the Humanist movement, and he joins us this Sunday to talk about Humanism’s activist past and its future.

Related Links:

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“Activist Humanism”, James Croft on Atheists Talk

“Humanist Alliance Advisor Interviews, Part 1” on The Humanist Hour

Coming off AHA’s announcement that they were revamping their Humanist Caucuses, now called Humanist Alliances, I talked to a few new advisory council members.

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Just before the American Humanist Association’s 75th Anniversary Conference a couple of weeks ago, the organization announced that it was launching a new Black Humanist Alliance and the revamped and revitalized Feminist Humanist Alliance and LGBTQ Humanist Alliance. Stephanie Zvan caught up with several alliance advisory council members at and after the conference. In this show, we bring you the first of those interviews.

Andy Semler is a trans nonbinary activist working in rural Indiana. They are a new member of the LGBTQ Humanist Alliance with a special interest in homelessness in the trans community.

Heina Dadabhoy is a nonbinary writer and speaker who is new to organizational secular activism. They are part of the Feminist Humanist Alliance, looking forward to broadening our ideas on reproductive justice.

Diane Burkholder is an HIV and Black Lives Matter activist out of Kansas City. She’s one of the new co-chairs of the LGBTQ Humanist Alliance, working to get us looking past marriage equality.

Listen to the podcast here.

“Humanist Alliance Advisor Interviews, Part 1” on The Humanist Hour

“Josiah Mannion and Baba Brinkman on Art and Activism” on The Humanist Hour

As we go into Reason Rally, we talk a little bit on The Humanist Hour about why representation matters and how art can get us there.

Blue Happy Humanist logo with headphones and a microphone.
Art has the potential to reach people in ways no simple argument can. As such, it’s always been harnessed for activist pursuits. From design that adds impact to a message, to providing the sugar coating on an educational pill, to telling us stories we need to hear – activism needs art. Humanist activism is no exception. On this week’s show, we talk to two artists whose art exists for far more than art’s sake.

Stephanie Zvan talks to Josiah Mannion about his photography and his motto, “I take pictures of humans. This is my Humanism.” Later, Kim Ellington talks with Baba Brinkman about his album The Rap Guide to Religion and about having his work peer-reviewed by scientists.

Listen to the podcast here.

“Josiah Mannion and Baba Brinkman on Art and Activism” on The Humanist Hour

“HB2, The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act” on The Humanist Hour

We’ve got a new podcast up. We had some weird technical difficulties with this one, but the topic and the background provided here make it worth listening anyway.

Of all the recent “religious freedom” legislation passed around the country, perhaps none is so restrictive as North Carolina’s “Act to Provide for Single-sex Multiple Occupancy Bathroom and Changing Facilities in Schools and Public Agencies and to Create Statewide Consistency in Regulation of Employment and Public Accommodations”. The short version of the bill’s name is the “Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act,” but it quickly became infamous as HB2.

Passed as a response to a non-discrimination ordinance enacted by the city of Charlotte, HB2 removed the protections under that law and others like it, attempted to redefine “sex” under the law, and barred transgender people from using restrooms on state property that conform to their gender. The legal and economic consequences to North Carolina were swift, but so far, neither the legislature nor the governor shows any willingness to overturn the bill.

On this week’s show, Jenn Wilson and Peggy Knudtson talk to Chris Brook, Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina, about the ACLU’s suit against the state. Peggy Knudtson and Stephanie Zvan also speak with Danielle White, a transgender activist engaging in civil disobedience against HB2.

Listen to the show.

“HB2, The Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act” on The Humanist Hour

“Legal Landscape Roundup”, Amanda Knief on Atheists Talk

Bathroom bills and secular invocations and abortion restrictions. Oh, my!

As we come into a presidential election that will determine the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court, it seems like everyone is engaging in last-ditch attempts to enshrine discrimination in the law. American Atheists National Legal and Public Policy Director, Amanda Knief, joins Stephanie Zvan this Sunday to catch us up on what’s happening around the country and what we can do about it. We’ll also get updates on legal initiatives American Atheists has been working on.

Related Links:

“Legal Landscape Roundup”, Amanda Knief on Atheists Talk