“Foundation Beyond Belief”, Noelle George on The Humanist Hour

This week, Peggy and Jenn talked to Noelle George about Foundation Beyond Belief and the AHA matching grant to support the Humanist Service Corps.

We like to say that we’re “good without a god,” but the fact of the matter is that we’re not always very organized about it. One of the good things organized religion has introduced to the world is ways to encourage giving and volunteering to help those in need. Foundation Beyond Belief is a secular nonprofit organization that provides a similar structure to help those of us who have left religion or who never had religion in the first place when we want to give.

Noelle George is the executive director of Foundation Beyond Belief and the former head of the Beyond Belief Network, Foundation Beyond Belief’s program that supports secular volunteers across the country. She joins us this week to discuss the history of the organization, its various programs, and how people can contribute time, money, or word of mouth to Foundation Beyond Belief. She also talks about the matching grant that American Humanist Association is offering this month to support the Humanist Service Corps’ work in Ghana.

You can listen to the podcast here.

“Foundation Beyond Belief”, Noelle George on The Humanist Hour

Mock the Movie: That Happened Edition

This month, we take on a divisive movie. Depending on who you ask, Valhalla Rising is either a grandly cinematic (we think that means it’s a movie) take on meaning or meaninglessness or…something, or it’s a bunch of pieces of footage in search of a plot. Given the movie’s themes of dirt, blood, and Christianity, we have a pretty good idea where we’re going to land. Still, we’ll give it a shot. We have Twitter to keep us company if–or when–things go horribly awry.

This one is available on Netflix. Continue reading “Mock the Movie: That Happened Edition”

Mock the Movie: That Happened Edition

Saturday Storytime: A Deeper Green

Sometimes you just have to find a way to say, “No.” Enjoy this story from Samantha Murray.

Davvi was not happy. Juvianna could read it in the tension in his stride, the small crease lodged between his brows.

“This does not feel right,” he said finally, as they neared Hensson’s hut, way down close to the shore of the Odaay.

Juvianna kept walking. “Oh really?” she said, glaring at him.

“No, it doesn’t. Ju—” He grabbed her arm and stopped her. “There are a lot of people who are not too happy about this.”

She had been at the public audience. She had heard the rumble of concern, of dissent, passing through the crowd, like low-key thunder grumbling on the horizon, when the mair had spoken of Juvianna using her gift as a preventative measure rather than just a reactive one. But the mair, by pure force of personality coming through his cool and persuasive words, had led the colony back around, gentled their protests before they could build into a storm. He had spoken to their need to feel safe. At the back of their minds, they all knew winter would return. How the darkness would worm its way into the minds of people they knew as their neighbors and friends when they were too long without a glimpse of the sun.

“They listened to the mair,” she said. “If I could save someone… Losing one—”

“—diminishes us all. Yes, yes we all know that, Ju. These people haven’t done anything. Going hunting in their minds…”

“They haven’t done anything—yet,” countered Juvianna. Continue reading “Saturday Storytime: A Deeper Green”

Saturday Storytime: A Deeper Green

On the Limits of Artistic License

So let’s say you’re an artist who works in very personal themes. You’re a comedian, or a nonfiction writer like me, whose work explores the way society treats you. You delve into some ugly realities, and you deal with fears and insecurities.

Now, hypothetically of course, let’s say you’re in a situation that prompts you to do what you feel is some interesting or insightful musing on these themes. Leaving aside the question of trying to objectively measure their quality, you’re happy with what you came up with. You want to share it.

And let’s, still entirely hypothetically, say that the situation that sparked your musing was public. The people involved are known. They have reputations of some worth. The way the public views them makes a difference to their lives and livelihoods. Continue reading “On the Limits of Artistic License”

On the Limits of Artistic License