American Humanist Association (AHA)


American Humanist Association (AHA)

The American Humanist Association advocates progressive values and equality for humanists, atheists and freethinkers in the United States. We work to promote humanism--the idea that you can be good without a god.

Location: Washington, DC
Members: 784
Latest Activity: Jun 10

AHA Updates

Humanist Press is the publishing house of the American Humanist Association, providing material for the humanist/freethought/atheist market since 1995.

With the largest print book seller in the United States now selling more ebooks than paper books, it was time the freethought movement invested in the future of publishing so that we can remain relevant and accessible to readers in the U.S. and around the globe.

With new ebooks becoming available on a bi-monthly basis, Humanist Press will have a regularly expanding catalog of interest to atheist and agnostic humanists everywhere. Visit


Darwin Day is a global celebration of science and reason held on or around Feb. 12, the birthday anniversary of evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin.

On this website you can find all sorts of information about Charles Darwin and the International Darwin Day Foundation. If you are hosting a Darwin Day event, you can post information about it on our events listing. You can also locate Darwin Day programs near you by searching our events section.

Let Humanism Ring! The American Humanist Association is pleased to announce that its 73rd Annual Conference will be held June 5-8, 2014 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Join hundreds of humanists, atheists and freethinkers in Philadelphia for a four-day celebration of humanism! The American Humanist Association will feature informative lectures, book signings, celebrity guests, networking opportunities, child care, fun activities and more!

Book your room early by calling the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel at 1-800-325-3535 (mention the American Humanist Association) or visit the AHA’s Personalized Reservation Page to get the special rate of $169 per night (subject to taxes). Rates increase after May 5, 2014 so reserve now!

More information will be announced soon!

Discussion Forum

New Young Adult Book

Started by Chris Brockman. Last reply by Don Feb 28, 2015. 5 Replies

Violence Against Women

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Deidre Oct 7, 2014. 11 Replies

Advice for an atheist volunteer.

Started by Vulpes. Last reply by Joan Denoo Feb 4, 2013. 3 Replies

Humanist Network News

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Comment by Steph S. on November 9, 2012 at 10:03am

Yay for Rep Stark!

Comment by Brian Magee on November 9, 2012 at 10:02am

Stanford’s Atheist Chaplain Launches 150+ Student Community

November 9, 2012

Contact: Chaplain John Figdor (914) 954-3276,

Atheists, Humanists, Agnostics, at Stanford Finally Given a Voice: New Humanist Chaplain Creates Community for the Faithless

PALO ALTO, Ca - Atheists, Agnostics, and other non-believers at Stanford welcome the addition of a Humanist “Religious Professional” at Stanford. On college campuses like Stanford, non-religious students constitute more than 30% of the University population.[1]However, unlike religious students who benefit from the community aspect of religion, non-religious students often report feeling “isolated” and wish they had a non-religious Chaplain to talk to about personal problems, questions about the meaning and purpose of life, and questions about life as an Atheist, Humanist, or Agnostic. “If Stanford is going to provide resources such as funding for programs and activities to promote religious life at the university and Chaplains for religious students, then Stanford should provide those resources for Atheist, Humanist, and Agnostic students as well. We launched the Humanist Community at Stanford to remedy this problem, and I am excited to announce that Scotty McLennan, the Dean of Religious Life at Stanford University, has graciously welcomed our representative, John Figdor, the former Assistant Humanist Chaplain at Harvard to be the ‘ir-Religious Professional’ at Stanford,” said Norm Schwartz, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Humanist Community at Stanford.

The organization was founded in July of 2012 to “build, educate, and nurture a diverse community of Atheists, Humanists, Agnostics at Stanford and in Silicon Valley.” The group has already hosted controversial Atheist celebrity Richard Dawkins for a conversation about popularizing science and co-sponsored a candlelight vigil for the Pakistani women's rights advocate, Malala Yusafzai, in addition to numerous dinners, pub nights, conversation meetings, and film screenings. Humanist Chaplain John Figdor concurred, commenting, “I am very thankful to Dean Scotty McLennan and the Religious Life team at Stanford for being welcoming me to Stanford to represent the non-religious perspective among Stanford’s Religious Professionals.”

For more information, please visit our website at and our Facebook group at


Comment by Brian Magee on November 7, 2012 at 1:51pm

The American Humanist Association has been proud to work with 2008 Humanist of the Year Rep. Pete Stark on issues such as the Darwin Day Resolution in 2011 and the National Day of Reason Proclamation in 2012. Thank you, Rep. Stark!


Comment by Brian Magee on November 7, 2012 at 7:51am

Newly Elected Congress Told: Don't Join Prayer Caucus

(Washington, DC – Nov. 7, 2012) – The winners in yesterday’s U.S. House races are being asked by non-religious Americans to keep their distance from the Congressional Prayer Caucus.

In a letter sent today by the American Humanist Association (AHA) to all members-elect of the U.S. House of Representatives, the AHA is asking them “not to join the Congressional Prayer Caucus and to actively work to ensure that the wall of separation between church and state is strengthened and maintained.”

“Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus have repeatedly introduced and supported legislation that many secular Americans feel is unconstitutional and often favors Christianity above all other religions,” said American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt.

The Congressional Prayer Caucus was founded in 2005 by Representative J. Randy Forbes (VA) to “preserve the presence of religion, faith, and morality in the marketplace of ideas.” According to the Congressional Prayer Caucus website, current issues for the Caucus include “supporting the freedom of school boards to open meetings with prayer,” “urging the President to preserve religious hiring rights,” and “affirming America’s rich spiritual heritage.”

Members of the Prayer Caucus have supported legislation such as H.Con.Res.121, which called on the President to designate 2010 as “The National Year of the Bible” and “acknowledge the importance of the Bible in American society.” Prayer Caucus members have also signed on to amicus curiae briefs in court cases in support of Christian crosses on public land.  

“Incoming House members should know that approximately one in five of their constituents are not religiously affiliated, and even more insist on maintaining the wall of separation between church and state,” Speckhardt continued. “Secular Americans are ready to work with all members of the 113th Congress, regardless of their personal beliefs, if they agree on this basic constitutional principle.”

The letter can be found online here:

Comment by Steph S. on November 2, 2012 at 11:05pm
I was sad to hear of Kurtz passing too. I made a dedication to him in the Secular Humanist Group here on the site. He will be missed.
Comment by Brian Magee on October 26, 2012 at 11:42am

“Under God” Pledge Case to be Reviewed by Massachusetts Supreme Jud...

(Washington, DC, Oct. 26, 2012) —The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) has agreed to hear the appeal from a humanist family challenging a state law that requires daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag in public schools. The plaintiffs claim daily classroom affirmation that the nation is “under God” violates state constitutional prohibitions against religious discrimination.  

The plaintiffs brought the case through the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center. The SJC on Thursday approved the petition for direct appellate review of the case, which means a lower court will not have to first consider the appeal.

“Public schools are defining patriotism and loyalty on a daily basis by exalting one religious group and stigmatizing humanists and other non-theists. Of course that’s discrimination,” said American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt. “We feel confident that a fair hearing will result in a finding that the state law requiring this discriminatory practice violates the state’s equal rights amendment.”

The lawsuit, brought on behalf of three public school students and their parents, was filed in November 2010 and is the first of its kind seeking equal rights for atheists and humanists based on equal protection guarantees in the state constitution instead of traditional First Amendment Establishment Clause arguments.

Massachusetts law requires public school teachers to begin each day with a classroom recitation of the Pledge. The suit claims that daily affirmation that the nation is “under God” in the context of an exercise designed to promote national loyalty “directly contradicts the religious beliefs and principles of the plaintiffs” and effectively defines patriotism in terms of God-belief, thereby marginalizing plaintiffs and contributing to existing prejudices against nonbelievers.

A lower court ruled against the plaintiffs in June, and the plaintiffs appealed. With the SJC granting direct appellate review, the case will now be decided by the state’s highest court.

Religious interest groups have intervened in the case to defend the daily “under God” recitation. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty represents the Knights of Columbus and a family that supports the “under God” wording.

The phrase “under God” was inserted into the Pledge in 1954 during the post-WWII Red Scare, a moment in time when partisan forces exploited the fear many Americans had of communism, using that fear to promote religion in public life and to vilify atheists and other nonbelievers. The original Pledge was written in 1892, with a later version—still without “under God”—not adopted by the U.S. Congress until 1942.

The case is Doe v. Acton-Boxborough Regional School District.

Comment by James M. Martin on October 25, 2012 at 5:11pm

To Brian, this is part of the Humanist belief system, that you waste your time trying to argue with anyone who has nothing but dogma and a primitive foolishness when it comes to God to support what he says. 
One cannot argue with dogma.

Comment by Brian Magee on October 25, 2012 at 3:41pm

Long before Ted Turner said that he no longer considers himself atheist or agnostic (2008), he won the AHA's Humanist of the Year award, where he told the audience "the more I lost [faith], the better I felt" and that arguing with fundamentalists is like "arguing with a wall."

Turner was introduced by former AHA board member Lloyd Morain. Turner's speech begins at about 6:37.


Listen here:

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 22, 2012 at 12:18pm

@Brian MageeMike TrevinoJames M. Martin, I can only add one thing, he was sensitive to those groups that were not part of the privileged class because he believed that we all co-exist on a full-of-wonder planet. To repeat Brian:

“our planetary community is facing serious problems that can only be solved by cooperative global action.” In Neo-Humanism Statement of Secular Principles and Values: Personal, Progressive, and Planetary, published in 2010"

Paul Kurtz

Comment by James M. Martin on October 22, 2012 at 7:59am

Mike Trevino says it all.  I agree totally.


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