| THE HUMANIST BULLETIN
|\ () /| =========================================
| \__/ | April 1994 Vol. 1 - No. 4
| | =========================================
| __ |
| / \ | An ongoing summation of Humanist news and
|/ \| events, prepared by the American Humanist
| | Association (AHA) for the benefit of all.
Last Chance to Register for AHA National Conference
At Special Discount Rates!
The discount deadline is April 15 for the national conference
and membership meeting of the the American Humanist Association,
to be held May 13-15, 1994, in Dearborn, Michigan, a suburb of
Dr. Jack Kevorkian, famous for taking the initiative in
physician-assisted voluntary euthanasia, will receive the new
Humanist Hero Award. The 1994 Humanists of the Year will be
long-time population growth control advocates, Lloyd and Mary
Morain. Receiving the Humanist Arts Award will be Humanist poet
laureate Philip Appleman. Jim Fitzgerald, a columnist for the
Detroit Free Press will receive the 1994 Humanist Media Award.
The AHA Feminist Caucus will honor singer/songwriter Kristin Lems
as its 1994 Humanist Heroine.
(Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center, though
slated to receive the 1994 Humanist Distinguished Service Award,
has had to cancel his appearance due to a pressing legal case that
has just come up. He will, therefore, receive his award at
another time and place to be announced.)
The theme of the conference is "The Joy of Humanism."
Workshops will focus on removing the barriers to human happiness.
There will be humor and fun, celebration, and music. The program
will also grapple with the critical social concerns of our time.
As a new feature, the Humanist Society of Friends' Division
of Humanist Certification (DHC) conference will make up a part of
this event. In the past, DHC Humanist Counselor Summer Institutes
were held separately from AHA national conferences. But, starting
this year, they will be held jointly during the same weekend.
Humanist Counselors and Celebrants can receive training credits
for attending the special DHC track of workshops.
Hotel accommodations are available at the conference site,
the Holiday Inn Fairlane, located at 5801 Southfield Service
Drive, Dearborn, MI 48228; (313) 336-3340. You can obtain the
special discount rate of $71 per night (single or double) if you
mention you are with the AHA conference and register by April 15.
Convenient and comfortable, the hotel features indoor and
outdoor swimming pools, sauna, whirlpool, a fitness center, sport
court, health bar, lounge, and formal or casual dining in the
restaurant or coffee shop. Each room has its own coffee maker and
free Showtime, ESPN, and CNN. The daily newspaper is even
delivered each morning right to your door!
The Holiday Inn Fairlane is located only twelve miles from
the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. It is near the Fairlane Towne
Center shopping mall and across the street from your choice of
affordable restaurants. Free shuttle service is provided to the
Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.
Conference registration is only $80 single and $115 couple
for AHA members registering by April 15, 1994. For nonmembers, it
is $95 single and $130 couple. After April 15, prices go up by
$10 in each category. The meal package (three banquets) is $99
per person. Individual event and meal tickets are available.
In keeping with the conference theme, a special preconference
workshop Friday morning will focus on removing the barriers to
human happiness and learning techniques for stress management.
Separate registration is required: $35 per person. A post-
conference tour to the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village is
also planned. This will take place Sunday, May 15.
So, plan now to join your fellow humanists in Dearborn,
Michigan, the place where Henry Ford launched the American auto
industry. A picturesque suburb of Detroit, Dearborn is a beacon
for travelers. It features the regal Henry Ford mansion and other
attractions related to the origins of the American automotive
industry. So, let Dearborn become your vacation destination when
you make your AHA conference plans!
The AHA May Sue the VFW !
Former "Atheists in foxholes" are needed for a possible
class-action suit by the American Humanist Association against the
Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW). The AHA board of directors, at
its November 1993 meeting, voted unanimously to take legal action
if necessary. The reason? The VFW was formed by an act of
Congress, yet nontheistic individuals are barred from membership.
This is a clear violation of the Constitution. And, to remedy
this, the AHA is prepared to act decisively. Nontheistic veterans
can thus help the AHA "open up the VFW" by contacting the AHA
national office and leaving an address and phone number.
Humanist Brief Filed in US Supreme Court
A number of Humanist and other organizations have filed a
"friend of the court" brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case of
Kiryas Joel Village School District v. Grumet. You may have read
about this: the State of New York set up a special public school
district just for the isolated municipality of Kiryas Joel, a
village that is under the complete control of the Satmar religious
sect (right down to who can and cannot live there). As staunch
defenders of church-state separation, these organizations are
challenging the constitutionality of vesting the power to operate
a public school in any community that actually functions as a
religious establishment. The groups taking part in this brief
include the American Humanist Association, American Jewish
Congress, Americans for Religious Liberty, Council for Democratic
and Secular Humanism, National Center for Science Education,
National Coalition for Public Education and Religious Liberty,
National Education Association, and Unitarian-Universalist
Humanist Leader Helps Defeat the Klan
Tom Malone, AHA regional coordinator for the southeastern
states and president of the AHA's Georgia chapter, recently won in
a class action suit against the Ku Klux Klan. He, and each of his
fellow litigants, collected $1,300 apiece for being victims of a
stone throwing attack on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Brotherhood
March held in Forsyth Country, Georgia. This settlement, secured
by the Southern Poverty Law Center, succeeded in putting one of
the largest southern klan organizations out of business. (In an
ironic twist, government officials closing down Klan headquarters
donated the furniture to a local office of the NAACP.) Clearly,
Humanists can help make a difference!
New Seminar Program Launched
As directed by President Michael Werner, the AHA is now
launching a new seminar program. There will be traveling lectures
designed to increase public knowledge of Humanism and show
Humanists themselves how to apply the philosophy in their
communities and in their personal lives. Professors and other
specialists are being organized. The first in the series will be
on the history of Freethought and Humanism. Watch this bulletin
for details on a seminar near you!
Humanistic Judaism Conference
The Society for Humanistic Judaism Annual Conference and
Youth Conclave will be held April 21-24 in Stanford, Connecticut.
For more details write to Miriam Jerris, Society for Humanistic
Judaism, 28611 West 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48334 or
phone (313) 478-7610.
Lavanam to Tour USA Again
At the end of last year and the beginning of this, Lavanam
from the Atheist Centre in Vijayawada, India, toured the United
States and Canada, visiting Humanist chapters and freethought
societies from coast to coast. Well, Lavanam will be back in the
country starting in May of this year and has expressed the desire
to visit with chapters of the American Humanist Association (AHA)
throughout the month of June. If your chapter is interested in
featuring him as a speaker on Humanism in India or on how to make
the Humanist philosophy more meaningful for ordinary people,
please contact the AHA national office immediately. Ellen
Senchoway is in charge of all arrangements.
Carl Sagan to Address CSICOP Conference
Astronomer Carl Sagan will give the keynote address at the
1994 conference of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation
of Claims of the Paranormal to be held at the Doubletree Suites
Hotel in Seattle, WA, June 24-26. There will be sessions on how
worldviews are formed, how we fool ourselves, the reliability of
memory, conspiracy theories, near-death experiences, junk science
in the courtroom, and UFOs.
Registration is $135 per person (full-time students with ID,
$25). The four optional meals total $80 per person more. Lodging
at the Doubletree Suites Hotel (which includes complimentary full
breakfast buffet) is $79 per night, single or double. Lodging at
the Doubletree Inn across the street is $65 per night, single or
double. Phone (206) 575-8220 for either hotel.
For further information, contact Mary Rose Hays, CSICOP, P.O.
Box 703, Buffalo, NY 14226 -- (716) 636-1425, FAX (716) 636-1733.
Meetings in Canada
The International Humanist and Ethical Union will hold its
board meeting in Toronto, Ontario, on the mornings of July 6 and
7. The location is the Chestnut Park Hotel in downtown Toronto.
Also on July 7, and at the same hotel, the Humanist
Association of Canada will hold its Annual General Meeting from
2:00 to 5:00 PM. This will be followed by the Board Meeting of
the Bertrand Russell Society, lasting from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. Then
there will be a special Welcoming Reception by the Coalition for
Secular Humanism, Atheism, and Free Thought (CSHAFT).
On Friday, July 8, and Saturday, July 9, CSHAFT will hold its
second annual conference (also at the Chestnut Park Hotel). The
theme is "The Good Life -- A Humanist Perspective." There will be
workshops and plenary sessions. The keynote speaker Saturday
night will be Dr. Robert Buckman, host of TV-Ontario's "Vital
Signs." Other major speakers are yet to be announced. On Sunday
morning, July 10, the CSHAFT conference will have its closing
session. An optional bus trip to Free Inquiry and Prometheus
headquarters, the SUNY Buffalo campus, and Niagara Falls follows.
The CSHAFT conference is being co-hosted by the Bertrand
Russell Society, the Council for Democratic and Secular Humanism
(CODESH), and the Humanist Association of Canada. To register,
the cost is $50 US or $65 Canadian per person (prices go up by $10
after June 1). The three banquets total an extra $70 US or $84
Canadian. The Sunday tour, including lunch, is $40 US or $50
Canadian. US residents should make checks payable to Free
Inquiry, Box 664, Buffalo, NY 14226. To charge by phone, call
(800) 458-1366 -- by FAX, call (716) 636-1733. Canadian residents
should make their cheques payable to the Humanist Association of
Canada, 116 Ravenscrest Drive, Etobicoke, Ontario M9B 5N3. For
accomodations at the Chestnut Park Hotel, call (416) 977-5000.
Mention "Humanist Conference" to receive the conference discount
rate of $79 Canadian (single or double occupancy).
AHA Board Elections Happening Soon
Due to a recent amendment to the AHA bylaws, elections of
members to the AHA board will now take place in the late summer,
earlier in the year than previously. So, if you wish to vote in
the forthcoming election, now is the time to make sure that you
have either joined the AHA or that your membership has been
renewed. Receiving a subscription to The Humanist magazine does
NOT constitute membership. If you receive the Free Mind
membership newsletter, then you can conclude that you are
currently a member. If in doubt, phone the national office.
New Leader for AHA's Gay and Lesbian Caucus
Lesbian Gay HumanisTS (L/GHTS) has a new leader, Joe Kevin
Byrd of Meridian, Mississippi. He has been active in local
politics, has run a radio talk show, and is purchasing a radio
station. The L/GHTS office is located at 4011 Fifth Street,
Meridian, MS 39307. The phone number is (601) 693-7271. Exciting
activities are planned.
THE GOOD NEWS: Birth Control Global Restricitons Are Ending
Overseas population control programs suffered under the last
two Republican administrations. At least 125 million married
couples in poor countries had no access to contraceptive
information. Worldwide family planning suffered. The so-called
Mexico City policy instituted by the Republicans -- assisted by
the Vatican -- barred international organizations from receiving
American funds if they so much as discussed abortion with pregnant
However, on November 22, 1993, the International Planned
Parenthood Federation was given $13.2 million for U.S. overseas
population programs that include information on abortion
counseling. The U.S. grant is the first part of a five-year $75
million commitment by the Agency for international programs.
The U.N. Fund for Population Activities and other
organizations that could not meet the Republican-dictated test to
share in its $430 million that provides annually for foreign
birth-control activities, resumed funding in January 1994. "The
Vatican is out of step with the real world when birth control
aided by contraceptives is increasingly practiced," commented
Hobart Rowan, Washington Post columnist. "Family planning
advocates," he added, "worry that the Vatican, which was heard
loud and clear at last year's Earth Summit in Rio, will be a big
influence in Cairo" at the coming International Conference on
Population and Development.
Still, the era of narrow-mindedness in birth control
information is beginning to end with results that will benefit the
-- from The Human Quest Magazine
THE BAD NEWS: Neglected Human Beings
Children in the United States are deprived unbelievably.
According to a UNICEF report, the U.S. child poverty rate is more
than double that of other major industrial countries. In
comparing child health worldwide, only children in the United
States and Britain are worse off now than they were in 1970. One
in five American children live below the poverty level and suffer
health problems because of it. The report said that children in
the USA who grow up without a father "more than doubled from 1960
to the end of the 1980s." It also noted that "by far the highest
murder rate for young people -- with nine of ten killings of
youths in the industrialized world -- takes place in the U.S."
Tufts University's Center on Poverty, Hunger and Nutrition
has estimated that "hunger afflicts about 12 million American
children, most pronounced in the South." A national survey of the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that 22,000
infants were abandoned in 1991 in the nation's hospitals.
Child Health Day, begun in Calvin Coolidge's time 65 years
ago, issued a report through the American Health Foundation,
Washington, scoring our children with "below average grade of C."
Other failing grades were given for the highest number of youths
aged 10-19 who are murdered or injured by firearms -- more than
4,000 children each year.
-- from the Humanist Discussion Group newsletter
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THESE AND OTHER STORIES, CONTACT:
The American Humanist Association
7 Harwood Drive, P.O. Box 1188
Amherst, NY 14226-7188
The AHA's computer bulletin board
where updates of this bulletin appear:
The Humanist BBS
1 (614) 267-1176
300-14400 BPS: N,8,1