Welcome to the nation's most morally active and innovative atheist organization!
Atheists For Human Rights
Because the source of so many violations of human rights is religious authoritarianism.
The Moral Atheist May-June 2018
Now available! A decades-long political insider shows how the political system really works, how it fails us, and how easily it can be used to create a true secular nation. (Page 2)
40 Years as an Atheist Activist and I see we are doing it all wrong! It's easier to do it right, so here's a new idea for AFHR. (Page 3)
The Best Policy Guide for a Religiously Neutral Secular Nation
Divided We Fall is substantially updated from Culture Wars: The Threat to Your Family and Your Freedom, with much new material and added chapters. The title is part of "United We Stand, Divided We Fall," a rallying cry dating to ancient Greece. DWF focuses on the second half, the divisiveness of religion when it is entangled with secular government. As Tim Gorski says in the Introduction: "This book is unique in not only showing how silly and wrong these [theological doctrines] are, but in showing the how and why of their connection to our laws and legal institutions. Most importantly, this book shows how these entanglements corrupt our government and hurt all of us. . . . What you read here is not so much against believers as against believers' religious beliefs forcibly impacting others through our laws and legal institutions. Even believers should not want that. Most believers will be surprised and disappointed at how supposedly well-meaning ideas are carried to absurd extremes to justify dreadful public policies with sometimes horrifying effects. This book explains how this has been happening routinely for many years, and how the situation has become worse with the political ascendency of religious extremists who helped elect Donald Trump."
A unique aspect of this book is that it is the only one written from the perspective of a decades-long political activist. I have been there, done that, seen it all and have for a very long time been fed up with seeing how ordinary citizens can complain about their government yet not do the simplest things to correct the problems. We can"t sit around waiting for a savior — we have to be our own saviors. It's not politically difficult or time consuming and I show how it's done.
From the Preface: ". . . There have been a few negative comments. None have shown my arguments to be wrong, only that I am not polite, as if those who support inhumane laws have a point and I should respect it. This taboo against openly challenging the harm done in the name of religion is at the heart of our culture war.
"To readers who want to keep that taboo in place, this book is not for you. You remind me of that part of Donald Trump's base that doesn't seem to care who gets hurt as long as the religious ideology or social fantasy that pushes some primal button in their psyche is validated. Apparently, I should kick the victim to the curb and placate the aggressor.
"I can't do that. Evil is as evil does and the evil in authoritarian religions is reflected in their doctrines, proclamations and especially their legislative agenda. The evil is expressed in their arrogant words, and I quote them. It's a mindless kind of evil generated by an ideology that itself is empty of rational content. I have seen its destructive effects and I call it out for what it is. There is a quotation circulating on the Internet (most recently by writer/politician Cecil Bothwell, provenance unknown) that says: 'We all place ourselves in danger to one extent or another when we stand up. But we place our children and grandchildren in even greater danger when we don't.' If some readers prefer not to stand up and prefer to believe that the religious right assaults on our freedom and civil liberties should be politely ignored, excused, respected or, worse yet, welcomed, there are books that support that view. This isn't one of them."
2 AFHR Report: Our book is published! A first look at Divided We Fall: The Secular vs. the Sacred MarieAlena Castle
3 Why Atheist Organizations are a Failure—How We Can Do Better
4 RationalGal Remembers Matt Stark
5 Christianity in Its Own Words: Christianity's Origin Mysteries,
Part 2 of 2: Filling an Empty Biography
William Sierichs Jr.
8 Readers Write Stephen Van Eck
Editor's Note: This brief version of The Moral Atheist magazine is all I could manage due to my "death anytime soon" congestive heart failure condition. I did get Part 2 of Bill Sierichs' column in to complete his series, but from now on this will be mainly a status report with, perhaps, some reader input. I love you all. Thank you for your kind phone calls, letters, notes and emails. Now read page 3 and see how AFHR can continue to be an innovative leader.
It is the role of unbelievers to force religions to be benign. Martin Marty, Lutheran theologian,
Minneapolis MN, 28 April 1998.
Atheism accepts the natural world as all there is. To live without god beliefs is intellectually stimulating. To find one's own purpose and be responsible for one's own life is exciting. To be free of the imagined surveillance of good and evil spirits is liberating. To seek a peaceful world through work and friendship and civic action is life-affirming.
MarieAlena Castle, March 1994
Moral High Ground Fund
Our unique, signiture Moral High Ground Fund provides support and protection for the following groups and counters 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 LGBT openly atheist student at Pfund's major awards ceremony. This has created visibility and respect for AFHR within the LGBT 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.
If not on reminder list, call to verify info below has not changed.
FIRESIDE CHAT, 3rd Fridays, 6-9+ PM, Hub of Atheism, 5146 Newton Ave. N., Mpls. Always free food and beverages.
Local: Ad hoc discussions at social events. National: Announcements, discussions on AFHRbod Yahoo Groups. To get on list, give us your email address. Significant issues discussed are covered in The Moral Atheist for reader feedback. All open. Decisions by consensus.
All Mondays Happy Hour: 5:00 to 6:30 PM Ol' Mexico Restaurant, on Lexington, two blocks north of Larpenteur, Roseville. Table reserved on terrace level, top of stairs. Call Paul Craven, 763-788-8918.
1st Tuesdays:11:30 AM Lunch Social Great Moon Buffet, 4029 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis. Call Rick Gelman, 651-483-6209.
1st & 3rd Mondays6:30 PM Toastmasters Larpenteur Estates party room, 1276 Larpenteur Ave. W., St. Paul. Call George Kane, 651-488-8225.
3rd Wednesdays:11:30 AM Charley French Memorial Lunch Discussion Group. Great Moon Buffet, 4029 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis. Call Bill Volna, 612-781-1420 or 1322.
If you want to get The Moral Atheist in PDF format on your computer, please let us know.
It will save printing and mailing costs, leaving more funds for public outreach.
OUR VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE
Thanks to Scott Muir for putting some of our public access TV videos on YouTube We are
working on doing some specifically for YouTube distribution. Thanks to Paul Craven for
helping to produce the new videos.
Welcome to the Hub of Atheism!
Atheists For Human Rights has a geodesic dome as its headquarters. This unique architecture was developed by Buckminster ("Bucky") Fuller (1895-1983), an atheist, architect, environmentalist, and inventor. His ambition was to use science to help solve human problems and to find ways to do more with less.
The tragic death of his young daughter inspired him to find "what a single individual can contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity." The epitaph on Fuller's tombstone says, "Call me trimtab," referring to a small but critical aircraft part that holds a stabilizing component in position.
Much of Fuller's philosophy is expressed in the goals and strivings of Atheists For Human Rights.
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.
The Moral High Ground Fund The signature activity of Atheists For Human Rights is standing with religon's victims in support of abortion rights, death with dignity, children's healthcare, and LGBT students.
Reason vs. Faith Faith is belief without — or in spite of contradictory — empirical evidence.
Elk Grove v. Newdow [PDF file]
The Amicus curiae brief submitted by Michael Newdow to the US Supreme Court, arguing that it should strike the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.
Atheism accepts the natural world as all there is. To live without god beliefs is intellectually stimulating. To find one's own purpose and be responsible for one's own life is exciting. To be free of the imagined surveillance of good and evil spirits is liberating. To seek a peaceful world through work and friendship and civic action is life-affirming. -- MarieAlena Castle, March 1994
It is the role of unbelievers to force religions to be benign. -- Martin Marty, Lutheran theologian, Minneapolis MN, 28 April 1998
Let us become post-religious, post-national Universal Humans. -- 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.
We are committed to making atheism visible in the community as a rational, responsible voice for secular morality.
We sponsor well-advertised public forums regularly with well known speakers on topics related to the common good and maintaining a secular government.
We run high-visibility "bold & proud" ads for our activities in mainstream newspapers and on radio.
We produce atheist videos for our website video outreach project and also make them available on CDs.
We submit letters and commentary articles to the media that are frequently accepted.
We meet with media people to discuss our concerns and encourage fair and balanced coverage of atheism.
We meet with public officials to make them aware of the secular community and express our concerns about the intrusion of religion into legislative action and to stress the importance of state-church separation.
We wrote a proclamation declaring 4 July 2002, "Indivisible Day," which was signed by Gov. Ventura on our behalf, causing an uproar by "Christian nation" fundamentalists that was front-page news in the St. Paul and Minneapolis papers.
Our visibility generates invitations to debate religious-right radio talk show hosts on their political/social agenda and state-church separation.
We are unique among atheist organizations in that, as a matter of official policy, we oppose the religious right's assaults on our freedoms and come to the aid of its victims. We do this with reason, civility, pride, and a passion for truth and justice.
We provide a strong and effective voice for human rights within the atheist community and are developing a national network of citizens who seek the social and political right to be religion-free. We walk the talk. Our board consists of activists willing to help with the tasks of our organization. Our bylaws impose a high level of ethical standards. We operate openly and honestly at all times.
Membership is open to all who reject supernatural beliefs and support the principles and policies of this organization. We thrive on new ideas and welcome everyone who shares our goals.
5146 Newton Ave. N.
Minneapolis MN 55430-3459