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HUB OF ATHEISM!
The Moral Atheist
MARIEALENA, COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
Happy New Year to Everyone! This issue of The Moral Atheist is being snail mailed and emailed this week. Lots of interesting stuff in it as the Contents suggest. For a complete copy by snail mail or PDF, just send an email request to here. We welcome your comments.
As many of you know, the signature activity of Atheists For Human Rights is our Moral High Ground Project where we provide funds (not just lip service) to help those who are victimized by our religion based laws. In December, we distributed the funds to the recipients we have chosen to receive annual grants. Here is our report:
OUR MORAL HIGH GROUND 2015 GRANTS
Our members were very supportive of our Moral High Ground project in 2015. In December we made the following grants to recipients we have chosen to help. If only we could do more!
CHILD (Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty): $500 plus donations from our Winter Solstice charity of $900 for a total of $1,400. Rita and Doug Swan's decades-long slog though state legislatures to repeal faith healing statutes state by state has been torturous but they are succeeding. They have very little support from other organizations because the nature of their fight requires that they expose faith healing beliefs in all their insanity. It's not politically correct to do that and few legislators want to question "deeply held religious beliefs" even when children suffer and die from them when faith healing replaces medical care.
Philanthrofund Foundation (PFund): $500 to help pay tuition for a GLBT student. The sexual minorities are winning their fight and we are proud to have stood with them every year since 2002. We are the only freethought group we know of that does this. Each year we meet the recipient of our grant at a PFund event where we are welcomed as atheists and appreciated. It's good to show the victims of religion-based laws who their real friends are.
Final Exit Network: $500 plus an expected cost of about $700 to produce an amicus brief to help FEN appeal its recent conviction for "assisting a suicide." The court decided that to talk compassionately to a person who wanted (with good reason) to do a self-deliverance was the same as physically assisting them. FEN says it was free speech that basically repeated information available in Derek Humphry's best-seller Final Exit.
Abortion clinics: $700 each to four of them. They are in areas where physical and legal assaults are constant. They wear bulletproof vests to work, kept going after Dr. Tiller and others were murdered, costly regulations are piled on to put them out of business, heavy security measures are an ongoing necessity, they are or soon may be the only clinic left in the state. It is low-key terrorism that patriarchal legislators do nothing about. The clinics are: South Wind Women's Clinic, Wichita KS; Germantown Reproductive Health Services, Germantown MD; Red River Women's Clinic, Fargo ND; Chicago Abortion Fund, Chicago IL. We are proud to stand with women to help protect their rights.
Texas Freedom Network: $200 for this recent addition to our MHG recipients. It was suggested by AFHR members around the country who are familiar with their work. The laws of Texas are or are aiming to be a model of ignorance-based education, head-in-the-sand sexual restrictions, and antebellum social controls that conform to fundamentalist religious beliefs. TFN is building an effective organization to counter this and our members thought we should help. We agree.So our MHG outlay for 2015, including the Winter Solstice CHILD charity and the Final Exit Network amicus costs totaled about $6100. We are happy to be able to afford that. Better this real help than a building and/or salaries we don't need. Other than expenses for The Moral Atheist, office supplies, Internet services, etc., what you donate to AFHR goes entirely to helping undo the harm god-nazi forms of religion inflict on so many of us.
Our civic duty for 2016: Work to put politicians in office who know the value of keeping religion out of government and off our backs. The article on page 4 might help. Read. Think. Act.
In the Jan-Feb issue of The Moral Atheist
Atheists For Human Rights now certifies Atheist Wedding Celebrants
All-atheist authorization nationwide.*
We no longer need a contrived church affiliation to solemnize marriages.
Select one of our registered celebrants or choose a friend or family member to officiate at your wedding. We will provide that person with atheist certification at no charge.
We can help.Call 612-529-1200 or email Communications Director To Our Fellow Freethought Organizations:
We offer document templates and information at no charge so you can authorize your own celebrants.Create memorable weddings that reflect secular values.
The Best Policy Guide for a Religiously Neutral
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-- MarieAlena Castle, March 1994
-- Martin Marty, Lutheran theologian, Minneapolis MN,
28 April 1998
-- Lavanam, Atheist Centre, India
Atheists For Human Rights is a national, ethics-driven organization upholding an atheism that is confidently held, morally active, and vigorously opposes religions that are politically and socially predatory or harm innocent people.
As usual, we offer 3 free issues of The Moral Atheist full 24-page magazine, by postal or email, so you get a good idea of what we are all about. Just send your postal or email contact info to: Communications Director
Moral High Ground Project
The Moral High Ground project has chosen the following funds to provide support and protection for these groups and to counter the efforts of religious zealots to impose their religious doctrines through law (other funding mechanisms may be added as resources increase):
Like the other Moral High Ground funding projects, it is unique in the freethought community. Each year since 2002 AFHR has donated $500 to be awarded to a GLBT openly atheist student at Pfund's major awards ceremony. This has created visibility and respect for AFHR within the GLBT community.
Grants to poor women to help pay for abortions
At least $200 each is given annually to funds such as the Women's Medical Fund, administered by Anne Nicol Gaylor from Freedom From Religion Foundation in Madison, Wisconsin, and through the North Dakota WIN (Women In Need) Abortion Access Fund, administered by the Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo. These funds serve poor women in areas where religion-generated abortion laws are irrationally restrictive and punitive.
Support for physician aid in dying
As opportunities arise, we support efforts by physician-aid-in-dying organizations so the terminally ill who want to die with dignity on their own terms have the legal right to do so.
Protection for children harmed by faith healing
As opportunities arise, we support the efforts of CHILD (Children's Healthcare Is a Legal Duty) to protect children from harm where state laws define faith healing as healthcare and exempt parents from prosecution when they allow children to die by substituting prayer for medical care.
Atheists for Human Rights is focused primarily on reaching out to the public in morally active ways to advance the atheistic worldview.
We donate to secular charities that help young people and the homeless.
In 2005 we took on an Adopt-A-Highway cleanup project. The work is done three times a year in spring, summer and fall. Large highway signs identify AFHR as the cleanup crew for a 4-mile stretch of highway in Lakeville that passes many churches.
Minnesota Alliance Of Peacemakers
We joined MAP and have participated in several of their events urging peaceful solutions to world conflicts. MAP is a coalition of churches and secular organizations working together in the cause of peace.
AFHR is represented by invitation at regular interfaith gatherings hosted by Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, to find common ground in our common humanity to address the causes of social conflict and stress.
Since 2004, about three times a year, we have been invited to give presentations on atheism to educational and social service agencies for their diversity training programs. Videos of all speakers here.
These monthly discussions about atheist issues are occasions for socializing as well as developing ideas for further activism.
This major outreach project was begun in June 2006 and continues. The purpose is to show the public how atheists support our constitutional freedoms, seek rational solutions to issues of civic concern, and promote the common good. These events are heavily advertised in local newspapers and on Air America radio.
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