Huntsville Humanist Celebrant Louise Hardin conducts an outdoor weddingPink DogwoodSome HumanistsCouple holds handsShef CeremonyWedding in a wood near a waterfall
  • AHA Online Conferfence, Saturday, August 8, 2020

    A (free) REGISTER link is at upper right.

  • Humanists of North Alabama Update July 25, 2020

    July 25, 2020

    Hello everyone. It has been quite a while since I communicated with the group.

    I hope all are doing as well as can be expected during the pandemic. I was sure our nation and state would follow the science and we could enjoy some safe meetings eventually, but I was so wrong!

    First – some sad local news. Roland Norton, one of our chapter’s early advocates, died this week at home of natural causes. Due to current circumstances, the family is having a private cremation with no public services at this time. Sympathy cards can be sent to June at their home address.

    National news: The American Humanist Association is having their 79th annual conference virtually this year. From their email newsletter to members:

    “Please join us Saturday, August 8, from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. for “Distant but Together: A Virtual Celebration of Humanism,” as we hear from 2020 Humanist of the Year Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA), and a full roster of impressive speakers. Registration is free! To secure your spot today, go to”

    Other Information:

    If you would like to participate in conversation with other local Humanists, join the Humanists of North Alabama discussion group.  This is a closed FaceBook group to talk about anything of interest to Humanism in Alabama. Recent topics included recommendations on books, podcasts, and YouTube videos.

    Let us know if you’d like an invite.

    We are still looking for leadership for the organization. In the meantime, Travis and I are maintaining the web page, facebook pages, and Meetup.

    If someone wants to host a Zoom discussion, we can announce it in these social media outlets. Free zoom meetings are limited to 40 minutes.

    How to find us on social media:

    ·         on our Meetup group:

    Humanists of North Alabama Meetup

    Huntsville, AL
    765 Humanists

    Meet with fellow Humanists: those that follow the progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to…

    Check out this Meetup Group →

    ·         on our FaceBook page:

    ·         on our web page:

    If you received this email from a friend and want to be added to the distribution list, send an email to us at our new organization email list:

    Humanists of North Alabama is an official Chapter of the American Humanist Association.  Membership in the AHA is strongly encouraged!

    Please stay safe!

    Louise Kanouse (I am now going by my birth name).

  • Ala. Arise Legislative Day Feb. 25–Register

    Your voice matters! Make plans now to speak up for a better Alabama by attending Arise’s 2020 Legislative Day on Tuesday, Feb. 25, in Montgomery. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Room 200 at the State House. (Please allow a few extra minutes to get through the security line.) Early registration will continue until Friday, Feb. 14, but space is limited, so we urge you to confirm your attendance now. Click here to pre-register now and save time on Legislative Day. The event will begin at 10 a.m. with issue briefings, an orientation and a press conference. Lunch will be served at 12:15 p.m. followed by legislative visits. We’ll wrap up with a debriefing and membership meeting at 2:30 p.m. We look forward to seeing you at Legislative Day as we continue working to build a better Alabama for all! Join Arise today! Alabama Arise
    P.O. Box 1188  | Montgomery, Alabama 36101
    (334) 832-9060 | Follow Us Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser Unsubscribe
  • American Atheist Gathering Successful

    This is a letter one of our members received. It reports on the Easter weekend gathering. I’ve stripped it down to text only for cleaner presentation. Trav H.

    Dear Larry —

    At our national convention last weekend, not only did we celebrate everyday atheism, together we raised the profile of atheism in Cincinnati and across the country.

    On Friday morning, Kentucky State Director Johnny Pike kicked off the festivities with a stunning announcement: Cincinnati’s mayor had declared April 19-21 American Atheists Weekend in the city to officially welcome us!

    A few hours later, keynote speaker Jim Obergefell, the plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that made marriage equality the law of the land, told the heart-wrenching story of how religious dogma in the law prevented him from marrying his husband until just days before his death.

    And, in another step toward normalizing atheism, Jim came out for the second time: “I’m gay. I’m an atheist. I’m tired of the closet.”

    We also heard from Fraidy Reiss, the founder of Unchained At Last, a group that fights against forced and child marriage here in the United States; Gayle Jordan, who ran for state senate in Tennessee and was repeatedly attacked for her atheism; and long-time board member of American Atheists Frank Zindler, who spoke about the death of his wife Ann after the Bush Administration caved to Catholic groups to ban stem cell research that could have saved her life.

    In her day, Madalyn Murray O’Hair faced outright hostility from the press.

    But now, journalists are starting to report fairly, even favorably about us, as they relay our message of equality.

    “850 nonbelievers from every state and even other countries […] say they are fighting for rights and equality, just without the God part,” reported CBS-affiliate WKRC at our Friday Equality Rally, which saw local and national groups take to Cincinnati’s famous Fountain Square and stand up to religious bigotry.

    NBC-affiliate WLWT published quoted our President Nick Fish, saying, “For decades, religious extremists have fought tooth and nail against progress.”

    As atheists promoting equality, not only are we pointing out the hypocrisy of the Religious Right and holding true to our values, we are reinforcing our image as defenders of freedom by standing firmly on the right side of history.

    If you want to stand with us in the fight to normalize atheism, become a sustaining member by making a monthly gift to support our work.


    Tom Van Denburgh
    Communications Director

    Raising the Profile of Atheists

    “There is so much stigma associated with being an atheist,” acknowledged Nick Fish, our President, on the main stage. That’s why our work to put a face on atheism is all the more important.

    Engaging Elected Officials on Atheist Issues

    Reach out to your elected officials in person or on social media! Make your atheist voice heard with our AtheistsEngage elected official finder and sample tweets!

    Building Grassroots Atheism

    Atheist groups need to learn from the civil rights movement about the importance of building at the community and national levels, explained Debbie Goddard, our Vice President for Programs. Join a local group near you!

    Ending FGM in the United States

    Alarmingly, the majority of U.S. states still allow female genital mutilation, our law clerk Adriana Buenaventura-Martinez explained. And that’s why we’ve submitted testimony to support female genital mutilation bans!

  • NanoCon is tomorrow, March 23

    and is free when you enter the code AA or SA in the registration. See

  • The initial newsletter of Indivisible District 5 of North Alabama.


    Kudos to the Madison County Democrats, who have invited Rep. Brooks to a town hall on Saturday, April 8, 2-4 pm at the main library auditorium!

    The room has been reserved, deposits have been paid, the invitation has been submitted, and the invitation graphic is in process.

    Put it on your calendar now.
    There WILL be a town hall, with or without Mo.
  • Civil forfeiture is dead or weakened

    Civil forfeiture is dead, says the US Supreme Court, but it will continue to writhe and bite in Alabama. That’s my guess.

    Curtailing civil forfeiture is a focus of Alabama Arise which has the support of Humanists of North Alabama through our representative Stan Brockway,who proposed a focus on that issue to Arise last fall.

  • A new batch of podcasts collected by Klaus

    (Posted by Travis at the request of Klaus Heimberg)

    Best Podcasts sorted by subject (as of 6/16/18)

    Note: links are for introductions to the episodes, and for playing the episode on your computer. To download episodes to your phone, go to your usual podcast source



    “Ring of Fire” Johnny Cash

    This American Life Episode 247 (Sept 17, 3003), Act III.

    “Hallelujah”, the Leonard Cohen song (Revisionist History)

    “Amazing Grace”, the hymn – (Studio 360, American Icons 1)



    Shakespeare retold – Thriller writer Jo Nesbo’s McBeth  reviewed by a Shakespeare scholar;  The Perfect Nanny, Leila Slimani  gives the author’s perspective

    Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Leaves of Grass (Studio 360, icons 2 & 3)

    Black Cake – Emily Dickenson

    Kitchen Sisters #62


    International political economy

    China’s strategy in the world market

    Planet Money #837 “The Belt, the Road, and the Money”

    Russia’s fake news strategy

    Planet money #790  “Rough Translation in Ukraine”

    The US Government sugar subsidy

    Planet money #454  “The Lollipop War”


    Planet Money #833  “Worst. Tariffs. Ever.”

    Terrorism and Social Media

    Fresh Air Wed. June 6, 2018 “How a former FBI agent used Twitter to fight Terrorism”

    In-depth reporting on terrorism; transformation of a Canadian teenager into a terrorist, etc.

    Podcast series “Caliphate”


    US Politics (Civics 102)


    Planet Money Episode #845 “REDMAP”

    Tax preparation nightmare

    Planet Money Episode 760  “Tax Hero”

    The social security number

    Planet Money #830  “XXX-XX-XXXX”

    Identity politics – a losing strategy (for democrats)

    Mark Lilla on New Yorker radio hour

    Anti-terrorism war powers  Radiolab „60 Words”



    Foul shots underhanded (Revisionist History) –  The Big Man Can’t Shoot

    Development of basketball  (99% invisible)

    Development of football  (Radiolab)

    Baseball: The Shift: Redesigning the Baseball’s Defense


    Medicine, Healthcare

    Bad Medicine Part 1: The Story of 98.6   (August 16, 2017)

    Bad Medicine Part 2: Drug Trials and Tribulations  (August 23, 2017)

    Bad Medicine Part 3: Death by Diagnosis  (August 30, 2017)


    Folk culture

    Most Kitchen Sisters Present episodes


    Amazing personal stories (memoirs)

    Every episode of How I Built This



    God Save Texas author interview, Fresh Air April 16, Lawrence Wright

    Dividing Texas into 5 states!

    Revisionist History, season 3, Episode 1 Divide and Conquer

    A Texas Character: Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines




    Neil McGregor, Germany: Memories of a Nation, the history of Germany in 100 objects


    Our fallible memories: Raconteuring:  truth becomes fiction becomes truth

    Revisionist History:  A polite word for a liar (season 3 episode 3)

    Revisionist History:  Free Brian Williams (season 3 episode 4)


  • Steven Austad on Darwin

    An eloquent and educated defender of Darwin living in Alabama. Heavens!  The link was taken down. It was:
    Steven Austad has written more than one article. Here is an example, “The Not-So-Observable Universe”
  • Fundamental Principles of Modern Humanism – Amsterdam Declaration – 2002

    Amsterdam Declaration 2002
    is a statement of the fundamental principles of modern Humanism passed unanimously by the General Assembly of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) at the 50th anniversary World Humanist Congress in 2002.

    If you are not familiar with the outlines of humanism, please check out the other humanist manifestos. You can start in Wikipedia.

    The Amsterdam Declaration

  • Sir Julian Huxley:

    "Today the god hypothesis has ceased to be scientifically tenable...and its abandonment often brings a deep sense of relief... Once our relief at jettisoning an outdated piece of ideological furniture is over, [then] we must construct something to take its place."
    close window


    Videos We Like

    What is Christianity? Sam Harris Interviews Bart Ehrman  – podcast #125

    —– Live March 30, 2013 —–

    ASU Origins — The Storytelling of Science     1:30

    The Storytelling of Science — part 2 or 2 — audience questions and answers

    The Origins Project at ASU presents the final night in the Origins Stories weekend, focusing on the science of storytelling and the storytelling of science. The Storytelling of Science features a panel of esteemed scientists, public intellectuals, and award-winning writers including well-known science educator Bill Nye, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, theoretical physicist Brian Greene, Science Friday’s Ira Flatow, popular science fiction writer Neal Stephenson, executive director of the World Science Festival Tracy Day, and Origins Project director Lawrence Krauss as they discuss the stories behind cutting edge science from the origin of the universe to a discussion of exciting technologies that will change our future. They demonstrate how to convey the excitement of science and the importance helping promote a public understanding of science.

    Video by Black Chalk Productions

    Get the most recent updates from the Origins Project by following us on Facebook /ASUOriginsProject and Twitter @asuORIGINS. Contact origins.project@asu.eduwith questions.  (from YouTube)