Secular Group Showcase: Tri-State Freethinkers

We asked you to tell us about your local secular group in an attempt to encourage the start-up and growth of “good without god” communities. We’ve received a lot of responses already (Thanks!) and here’s a glimpse at our next group: The Tri-State Freethinkers in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana:

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The Problem with Tradition

Earlier today, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down gay marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana. The reason really hinged on the idea of tradition:

… There are, the court noted, good and bad traditions.

“Bad traditions that are historical realities such as cannibalism, foot-binding, and suttee, and traditions that from a public-policy standpoint are neither good nor bad — such as trick-or-treating on Halloween,” it said. “Tradition per se therefore cannot be a lawful ground for discrimination — regardless of the age of the tradition.”

Limiting marriage to one man and one woman? The judges agreed that was a bad tradition and it’s time had passed.

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Tufts Just Hired the First University-Funded Humanist Leader in the Nation

The six universities in the U.S. that have Humanist Chaplains all have something in common (besides being pretty damn good schools): Those positions are all paid for by the respective Humanist communities. The schools themselves don’t offer any financial help.

That’s about to change now that Tufts University has ponied up the cash to sponsor the first Humanist staff position on campus — the first of its kind anywhere in the country. Walker Bristol, a former leader of the campus’ freethought group, will serve as “Humanist in Residence.” He will assist University Chaplain Greg McGonigle by offering “religious and philosophical leadership for the University… by providing primary leadership, organization, advising, and support for the Humanist community.”

Keep in mind this is a school that already lends a lot of support to non-religious students on campus:

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You Have a Choice: Sign a Contract That Says “So Help Me God” or Get Out of the Air Force

When a service member stationed at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada decided to reenlist last month, his contract included the words “So help me God.”

He decided to cross the phrase out, which should be perfectly acceptable, but the Air Force said he had to include it or get out. Now, the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center is stepping in:

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Outlaw TV Belly Dancing Show, Demands Egypt’s Top Religious Council

It took them 700 years to decide, but the die is cast. Praise Allah:

Egypt’s top religious body is demanding that a new belly-dancing TV show be suspended for “corrupting morals” and serving “extremists” who could use it as a pretext to depict Egyptian society as anti-Islamic.

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