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: Jul 11

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

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of American Humanist Association (AHA) to add comments!

Comment by Brian Magee on July 19, 2012 at 2:04pm

In the latest edition of Humanist Network News, the AHA's Steve Major lets us know who he thinks are the top 10 atheist characters on television.

Comment by Brian Magee on July 17, 2012 at 2:40pm

Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans by AHA President David Niose is now available!

This book about secular Americans emerging to fight for equality and rational public policy has been praised by Richard Dawkins, Stephen Pinker, Michael Shermer and others.

Comment by Brian Magee on July 16, 2012 at 8:33am

Are you a federal employee? Support your values and donate to American Humanist Association through the Combined Federal Campaign! Our CFC number is 19492. Learn more at


Comment by Brian Magee on July 13, 2012 at 3:24pm

Wilmington, NC City Council Asked To Stop Unconstitutional Sectarian Prayers

For Immediate Release

William J. Burgess, 202-238-9088,
Brian Magee, 202-238-9088, mobile: (202) 681-2425,

(Washington, DC – July 13, 2012) – The American Humanist Association is asking the Wilmington, NC city council to stop holding sectarian prayers during public meetings because it is a violation of the separation of church and state. The prayers have frequently been expressly Christian in nature.

The AHA’s legal department, the Appignani Humanist Legal Center, sent a letter on July 11, 2012 to the Wilmington City Council pointing out why including of exclusive sectarian prayers during council meetings is unconstitutional and must cease. The letter includes details about the legal decisions that clearly make the practice unconstitutional, asking the council to realize that “all city residents deserve to feel welcome when interacting with their government. Beginning public meetings with divisive prayers produces the opposite effect, corroding the broad civic engagement that is fundamental to the proper functioning of our secular and democratic form of government.”

“Sectarian prayers before public governmental meetings are unconstitutional because it amounts to an official endorsement of the particular religion that the prayers reflect,” wrote Appignani Legal Center Director William J. Burgess in his letter. “The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has been very clear in its cases interpreting the Establishment Clause in this area.”

“The Wilmington City Council should create an environment where everyone is welcome,” said American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt. “By continuing to include prayers that openly endorse a single religion, the council is telling Wilmington citizens outside that faith that they are unwelcome.”

A copy of the letter can be found online here:

Comment by Brian Magee on July 12, 2012 at 1:09pm

AHA Meets with U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom on Capitol Hill

American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt and AHA Communications Director Maggie Ardiente met with several members of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom today at the U.S. Capitol to represent humanists, atheists, and agnostics in the United States and abroad. In addition, the American Humanist Association also met with the staff of Congresspersons who are members of the International Religious Freedom Caucus and representatives from the U.S. Department of State's Office of International Religious Freedom.

Members of the working group of organizations concerned with religious freedom abroad include a diverse range of religious and civil liberties organizations in Washington DC. The American Humanist Association was the only nontheist organization in attendance and highlighted the need to include people of non-faith in the protection of religious freedom.

Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, chairperson for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, was present at the meeting and discussed ways in which the commission plans to work with NGO organizations and hear more about each community of faith and non-faith in order to achieve the goal of religious freedom for all. Representatives from other organizations highlighted the need for support in countries such as Kazakhstan, Pakistan, and Nigeria, where individuals are being persecuted for their beliefs as a member of a minority religion. The American Humanist Association is particularly concerned with atheist discrimination, such as the case of Alexander Aan, who was sentenced to jail in Indonesia for being an atheist.

The AHA looks forward to future meetings with the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, the International Religious Freedom Caucus, and the U.S. State Department's Office of International Religious Freedom to work toward the common goal of freedom of conscience and belief.


Comment by Brian Magee on July 10, 2012 at 3:08pm

Did you read this CNN story about optimism, Is Optimism Really Good For You? What about this NY Times piece on the false ideas we think make us happy, Don't Indulge, Be Happy?

The latest book from Humanist Press, Hope in Small Doses, by Nikki Stern outlines the embrace of a redefined, re-imagined version of hope--one that works for aware, intelligent skeptics.

Be sure to check out all six of Nikki Stern's videos for the book on YouTube.

Comment by Brian Magee on July 9, 2012 at 1:33pm

Here is a summarized version of Humanism and its Aspirations, the most recent Humanist Manifesto adopted by the AHA Board of Directors (2003). These cards are available free to AHA chapters and affiliates.

The entire one-page document can be found here:


Comment by Brian Magee on July 6, 2012 at 3:07pm

Five Recommendations for a New Politeness

by Roy Speckhardt, executive director, American Humanist Association

For many of us, the first and most important lesson from our childhood is the Golden Rule. In a graduation speechat the University of Notre Dame, even President Obama made reference to it when he said, "For if there is one law that we can be most certain of, it is the law that binds people of all faiths and no faith together. It is no coincidence that it exists in Christianity and Judaism; in Islam and Hinduism; in Buddhism and humanism. It is, of course, the Golden Rule -- the call to treat one another as we wish to be treated."

This is a universal concept that anyone can understand and apply to their own life.

For a time, there was a concerted attempt to apply this reasoning to the language we use in everyday conversations. A close look at our language choices revealed that the prejudices within our society were being reflected and reinforced in common speech. It was pointed out that referring to women as girls was belittling, calling something gay because it appeared effeminate was offensive, and referring to recent immigrants as foreigners was disparaging. This positively motivated movement was eventually stymied by occasional excesses and pushback from the conservative and religious right.

Engaging in insensitive speech is unnecessary and should receive society's condemnation, but it is also unnecessary for speech to be made illegal or result in top down censorship; excesses that tend toward censorship are real concerns. Remember Nipplegate? The Federal Communications Commission tried to fine CBS for politically incorrect indecency when Janet Jackson's right breast was partially exposed during a Super Bowl half-time show. Instead of being an example of how our bodies aren't something to be ashamed of, the fine per indecency violation was hiked from $27,000 to $325,000 after this incident. Additionally, as this movement progressed, an idea gained traction that critique of religion was automatically offensive. 

To read the rest of the Huffington Post article from AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt, click here.

(Image can be found here)

Comment by Brian Magee on July 5, 2012 at 3:34pm

The Ten Commitments: Guiding Principles for Teaching Values in Public Schools

These principles -- without any specific religious creed -- form a strong basis on which character development can be delivered to the nation's public school students.

By Roy Speckhardt, July 03, 2012

Despite a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 1980 that declared posting the Ten Commandments in public schools unconstitutional (Stone v. Graham), attempts to violate the law are still rampant. The New Kensington-Arnold School District in Pennsylvania is being sued for a Ten Commandments monument on school property. In Giles County, Virginia, school administrators recently decided to stop their legal battleto keep the Ten Commandments on a wall in a public high school there. And in other places the Decalogue remains unchallenged.

It is a common assertion among many proponents of displaying the Ten Commandments in schools or on other government property that their motivations aren't religious. They claim that America's legal system is based on these ancient Hebrew tenets (from which they have to choose a version) and that displaying them would be the same as displaying any other historical manuscript. Of course, such claims are easily shownto be sham reasoning, since promotion of their particular religion is their true aim and the Ten Commandments have very little to do with our English Common Law-based legal system.


To read the rest of the Patheos article from AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt, click here.

To read the Ten Commitments, click here.

Comment by James M. Martin on July 3, 2012 at 6:49pm

@ Joan, you and Carrier are right on!


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