| THE HUMANIST BULLETIN | | |\ () /| == | \_/ | April 1994 Vol. 1 - No. 4 | | =

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| 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 Detroit. 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 Association. 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 women. 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 world profoundly. -- 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 (800) 743-6646. 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


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