Tag Archives: humanist

A great day at 2nd Harvest!

We had an amazing time sorting donations at the Second Harvest Food Bank today!

Providing supplies to more than 550 food distribution centers, Second Harvest relies on its almost 30,000 volunteers per year to sort donations.  Last year, they provided more than 52 million meals to people in need.  A 2014 report indicated that 71,600 requests for food were made in a typical week.  Food insecurity impacts children (one in four), seniors (12%), veterans, families, and other demographics.

Volunteers who invest their time to make a difference for Second Harvest are part of a network of compassion and kindness that ensures agencies like these are able to expand their impact and assist people in our communities.

Thank you to all of our members who joined us today and to everyone who volunteers to make a difference in our community!

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#ShareHumanity

Today we are grateful for those who have given their time and resources to make the world a better place. We also highlight a call to action: there is a need for acts of compassion that alleviate suffering. More than 130 people around the world live in crisis and need humanitarian efforts in order to survive.  Right here in our community, 1 in 6 Central Floridians struggle with hunger. Did you know that the Coalition for the Homeless shelters an average of 200 children a night?  In the words of Edward Bok, “Make you the world a bit better or more beautiful for having lived in it.”  Whose life will you impact today?

Plan a service project this weekend, donate blood, join a volunteer group, or just take some time to learn about hunger, homelessness, domestic violence, and other issues in our community and around the world and consider how YOU can make a difference.

World Humanitarian Day celebrates the spirit that inspires humanitarian work around the globe.  It recognizes those who face danger and adversity in the service of others as well as the local heroes who commit their lives, or a portion of their lives, to humanitarian efforts.

Post thoughts, support, and stories to #SHAREHUMANITY

Humanism vs. Humanitarianism

When we talk about Humanism, we focus on the ethical worldview that humans have the potential to be good without belief in the supernatural and that we have a duty to be a positive, contributive member of society. While that is an essential topic in our culture, today we celebrate Humanitarianism, which focuses solely on the moral imperative of kindness and compassion being extended to ALL human beings equally, and often acknowledges a sacrifice on the part of the person giving.

World Humanitarian Summit

The first United  Nations World Humanitarian Summit was held this past may with more than 9,000 participants representing 173 States, 55 Heads of State and Government, and thousands of citizens and NGO representatives.  Read more:  Website | Chair’s Summary
They focused on five key issues:
  1. Political leadership to end conflict
  2. Uphold the norms that safeguard humanity
  3. Leave no one behind.
  4. Change people’s lives: from delivering aid to ending need
  5. Invest in Humanity

 

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World Humanist Day

World Humanist Day is celebrated every year on June 21 by declaration of the American Humanist Association and the International Humanist Ethical Union (IHEU).

It is an opportunity for humanists and humanist organizations to celebrate and inform communities about the positive values of Humanism and to share the global concerns of the Humanist movement.

On this day, consider engaging in service that impacts our fellow humans, celebrate your connection to others through unexpected acts of kindness, and join with other Humanists by seeking out and joining secular organizations in your community.  Read more about non-faith communities here.

Freedom of Thought Report

The IHEU continually researches the international discrimination against persons of non-faith and posts a Freedom of Thought Report.

“The rights of the non-religious, and the rights of religious minorities and non-conformists, are a touchstone for the freedoms of thought and expression at large…Silence the non-religious, and you silence some of the leading voices of responsible concern in society.” – Gulalai Ismail and Agnes Ojera

anti-atheist-billboardThere is a map showing the countries by how accepting they are of Humanist thought.  They rate America as “mostly satisfactory”; however, as a Secular American, my experiences lead me to wonder about that conclusion.  “Systemic discrimination” is a better descriptor for Christian faith advantage interwoven throughout our politics, laws, money, patriotism, social expectations, language, faith-biased human service resources, business and media markets proliferating and preying on faith-driven consumerism, etc.  Sometimes subtle, but always there. Many non-religious individuals live silently for fear of employment loss, social exclusion, familial rejection.

We are not “mostly satisfactory” when millions of Americans are marginalized.  Achievement of equitable treatment for all people, regardless of faith or non-faith perspective, should be our goal:  One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Amsterdam Declaration of 2002

Read on IHEU site here: Amsterdam Declaration 2002

From the site:

The 50th anniversary World Humanist Congress in 2002 unanimously passed a resolution known as “The Amsterdam Declaration 2002″. Following the Congress, this updated declaration was adopted unanimously by the IHEU General Assembly, and thus became the official defining statement of World Humanism.

Amsterdam Declaration 2002

Humanism is the outcome of a long tradition of free thought that has inspired many of the world’s great thinkers and creative artists and gave rise to science itself.

The fundamentals of modern Humanism are as follows:

1. Humanism is ethical. It affirms the worth, dignity and autonomy of the individual and the right of every human being to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others. Humanists have a duty of care to all of humanity including future generations. Humanists believe that morality is an intrinsic part of human nature based on understanding and a concern for others, needing no external sanction.

2. Humanism is rational. It seeks to use science creatively, not destructively. Humanists believe that the solutions to the world’s problems lie in human thought and action rather than divine intervention. Humanism advocates the application of the methods of science and free inquiry to the problems of human welfare. But Humanists also believe that the application of science and technology must be tempered by human values. Science gives us the means but human values must propose the ends.

3. Humanism supports democracy and human rights. Humanism aims at the fullest possible development of every human being. It holds that democracy and human development are matters of right. The principles of democracy and human rights can be applied to many human relationships and are not restricted to methods of government.

4. Humanism insists that personal liberty must be combined with social responsibility. Humanism ventures to build a world on the idea of the free person responsible to society, and recognises our dependence on and responsibility for the natural world. Humanism is undogmatic, imposing no creed upon its adherents. It is thus committed to education free from indoctrination.

5. Humanism is a response to the widespread demand for an alternative to dogmatic religion. The world’s major religions claim to be based on revelations fixed for all time, and many seek to impose their world-views on all of humanity. Humanism recognises that reliable knowledge of the world and ourselves arises through a continuing process. of observation, evaluation and revision.

6. Humanism values artistic creativity and imagination and recognises the transforming power of art. Humanism affirms the importance of literature, music, and the visual and performing arts for personal development and fulfilment.

7. Humanism is a lifestance aiming at the maximum possible fulfilment through the cultivation of ethical and creative living and offers an ethical and rational means of addressing the challenges of our times. Humanism can be a way of life for everyone everywhere.

Our primary task is to make human beings aware in the simplest terms of what Humanism can mean to them and what it commits them to. By utilising free inquiry, the power of science and creative imagination for the furtherance of peace and in the service of compassion, we have confidence that we have the means to solve the problems that confront us all. We call upon all who share this conviction to associate themselves with us in this endeavour.

IHEU Congress 2002

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LINKS

Learn about the Solstice from SciJinks (NOAA & NASA joint initiative)

American Humanist Association

International Humanist Ethical Union

IHEU Freedom of Thought Report

Central Florida Freethought Community

BE. Orlando calendar of Positive Humanism events for members

Huffington Post article on Atheist Discrimination

Summer Picnic at SafeHouse

Thank you to our SafeHouse volunteer Chef team!  They sponsor and prepare dinner at SafeHouse of Seminole shelter each month.  This month’s dinner theme was “summer picnic” and volunteers prepared chicken sliders, hot dogs, hot dog noodle monsters, couscous, broccoli, french fries, field green salad, summer fruit platters, hot dogs, cole slaw, potato salad, and deviled eggs.

 

We’re looking forward to next month: ‘Greece is the Word’ Mediterranean Menu!  Join us.

Reason Rally in 3 Weeks

Update 6/4/2016 – Thanks to everyone who is at Reason Rally today representing all secular Americans!

Reason Rally is only three weeks away! 

Those who support reason should plan to attend the 2016 Reason Rally in Washington D.C.  on June 4. Speakers, including leading scientists and well-known entertainers, will host the largest gathering of secular individuals in the nation to demonstrate the lobbying strength of those who support the separation of church and state, eradication of legislated faith-based discrimination against women and LGBTQ+ individuals, evidence-based educational curricula, and respect for the diversity of our American culture to include those of non-faith.

Want to go with a group? Members of our local Central Florida Freethought Community (CFFC) are attending together – join them!

What is it like?  This video from inspirational secular icon Seth Andrews of The Thinking Atheist is a must-see:

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This initiative is a collaborative effort of major national secular organizations.  The Reason Rally gathering & celebration is on Saturday only, but there are activities over a four-day span to include door-to-door lobbying and a mini-conference if more involvement interests you.  Visit ReasonRally.org for more information.

Don’t wait for the 2020 Reason Rally – attend this one!

Get on the Bus!

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Reason Rally Bus – Do you really want to try to park – and pay to park – near the Lincoln Memorial?  There is a national service collaborating with local operators and using technology (apps) to create a convenient and affordable way to attend the Rally. There are bus rally points all over the nation, and two in Florida – Orlando and Tampa. The bus will take you to Reason Rally and back.  Learn more about reserving your seat on the national Bus Rally site or on the Orlando/Tampa bus rally sign-up page.

The Orlando Rally Bus needs 39 more participants to confirm the bus – make your reservation today.  It leaves at 4:45  on June 3 from Festival Bay Mall and returns to the same place at 11:0o on Sunday, June 5th.  You would be at the rally from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. on June 4th.  The cost is $235.00

Speakers & Entertainers Include…

Bill Nye, Carolyn Porco, Johnny Depp, Margaret Cho, Amber Heard, GZA, Raekwon, Method Man, Kappadonna, Mathematics, Killah Priest, Cara Santa Maria, Lawrence Krauss, Julia Sweeney, Penn Jillette, Shelley Segal, Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, Liz Winstead, Dr. Anthony Pinn, James Randi, Kelly Carlin, Mark White, Annabelle Gurwitch, John Davidson, Ian Harris, Annie Laurie Gaylor, The Fab Four, Paul Provenza, Kameron, Yvette d’Entremont, Jensen, Victor Harris, Eugene Scott, Dan Barker, Maryam Namazie, Baba Brinkman, John de Lancie, Leighann Lord, David Silverman, Dr. Andrés Roeme, JT Eberhard, Todd Stiefel, Eddie Tabash, Robyn Blumner, Lyz Liddell

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Mom’s Recipes

We had an amazing time at SafeHouse of Seminole last evening!  Every month we choose a theme for the dinner. Since this month’s  dinner was so close to Mothers’ Day, volunteers prepared their mom’s favorite recipes to share with the residents – and a few other fabulous yummies.  🙂

Thank you Esther, Alexander, Andrea, Andre, Sam, Karen, and Jess for investing your time, your hearts, and your family recipes to make a difference for people in our community!

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May 5th: NDoR

Today, May 5th, 2016, BE. Orlando celebrates the National Day of Reason (NDoR).

This day inspires needed visibility of the secular community and promotes equality for all Americans, regardless of faith or non-faith perspective.  The human ability to think and reason forms a foundation for advancement and achievement. It is intentionally held on the National Day of Prayer to generate conversation about and awareness of the Separation of Church and State.

The goal of NDOR is “to celebrate reason—a concept all Americans can support—and to raise public awareness about the persistent threat to religious liberty posed by government intrusion into the private sphere of worship.”

Reason Rally on 6/4/2016 in Washington

Those who support reason should plan to attend the 2016 Reason Rally in Washington D.C.  on June 4. Speakers, including leading scientists and well-known entertainers, will host the largest gathering of secular individuals in the nation to demonstrate the lobbying strength of those who support the separation of church and state, eradication of legislated faith-based discrimination against women and LGBTQ+ individuals, evidence-based educational curricula, and respect for the diversity of our American culture to include those of non-faith.

reason-rally-header-logoThis initiative is a collaborative effort of major national secular organizations.  The Reason Rally gathering & celebration is on Saturday only, but there are activities over a four-day span to include door-to-door lobbying and a mini-conference if more involvement interests you.  Visit ReasonRally.org for more information.

LINKS

 

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