[Editor's note: This post is by Ellery Schempp, plaintiff on the 1963 Abington v. Schempp Supreme Court case against school prayer and soon-to-be recipient of the UU Humansts' 2014 Religious Humanist of the Year award. The graphic is by member Brian Lofgren.]
I am extremely disappointed in today's Supreme Court decision (Greece v. Galloway) affirming that sectarian prayers at city council meetings do not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The 5-4 decision severely diminishes the non-establishment principle and effectively endorses majoritarian displays of public piety. Read more about The Business of Government -- Prayer and Pledge Go Hand-in-Hand »
The Mission of your Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association (HUUmanists) is two-fold:
1. Promote a broad acceptance of Humanism in our society, particularly throughout the Unitarian Universalist Association and its congregations; and
2. Provide an active interface between Unitarian Universalists and the secular community.
Your extraordinary Board of Directors and I strive to make sure that all of our initiatives are clearly mission-based.
In December, 2013, Maria Greene, formerly the HUUmanist Association secretary, took on the position of Director of Development and Communication for our Association. Maria is a graduate engineer, an entrepreneur, and an active local leader in the eastern Massachusetts area Humanists and secular groups. Thanks to Maria we now have up-to-date and active communications mechanisms, including a vibrant web and Facebook presence. Activity in our local groups projects and special events have taken off under Maria’s guidance. You will learn about some of the results of her efforts later in this newsletter. Read more about President's Corner »
We hope we will see you at the UUA GA next month. We have a big presence planned:
- Come visit us in the Exhibit Hall, booth 416.
- Attend our program, "Reaching Out to the Nonreligious" and find out how to make your congregation welcoming to non-theists.
- Join us at our Annual Meeting for some brief but important business items, including:
- officially changing our name to the Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association,
- adopting new bylaws that allow for more modern forms of voting in the future.
Make sure your UU Humanist membership is up-to-date so you will be included in the quorum.
- Express your support for the Separation of Church & State at the "Schempp Schindigg".
Drink deep from the latest books by our own Humanist Press authors and other Humanist writers; dive into a pool of nationwide social justice opportunities - immigration reform and opposition to censorship; quench your thirst for updates on cooperative projects on leadership training and humanist community.
All this and the latest info on local Humanist groups and programs in the UU universe; engagement with representatives of local and regional secular organizations; the latest copy of the Journal of Religious Humanism and a collection of freethought wit and wisdom on stickers, pins and magnets.
Plus the chance to meet and greet HUU Board members and booth volunteers - experts tell us they are the liveliest folks at the General Assembly!
Stop by - refresh yourself, ask a question, give your opinion, renew your membership, get a UU Humanist namebadge ribbon to show your Humanist pride, peruse the displays, purchase a pin-on, stick-on slogan or some more substantial reading, make a new commitment to humanist values, make a new friend, make your day at GA! Read more about Humanist Oasis in the GA Exhibit Hall »