By Ellie Haylund
Hello, humanist friends!
In January, we kicked off 2024 with a phenomenal speaker at our Community Gathering – author, scholar, and podcast host Bradley Onishi. His presentation focused on white Christian nationalism and authoritarianism. It was compelling, informative, and motivating.
Onishi ended with a call to action to the large crowd: find a way to get involved. As we begin a critical election year, he encouraged us not to get overwhelmed and feel defeated. There are seemingly endless threats to democracy, but we don’t need to do everything – we each can choose one thing.
When you are considering that “one thing,” remember that HumanistsMN can offer a vehicle for your advocacy. In recent years, we have stepped up our activities at the Legislature to champion separation of religion and government, including helping to form the new Secular Government Caucus.
We are pleased that several HMN representatives attended the recent legislative hearing on the End-of-Life Options Act, supporting medical aid in dying. We have also been working with American Atheists, ACLU of Minnesota, and others to support legislation to ensure individuals who are mandated to receive addiction treatment through the criminal justice system have access to nonreligious options. And we’re already hard at work on our annual Day of Reason event at the Capitol in May.
We’re proud to be establishing HMN as an impactful voice for the humanist values that we know are important to our members.
During the reception after Onishi’s presentation, we had a tremendous turnout at the volunteer tables, with many members and visitors asking how to get more involved. Thanks so much to all who signed up to help support our organization and our mission! It’s incredibly heartening to see people not only eager to get involved with HMN, but to also see hope in the face of daunting challenges.
We will continue to find opportunities to put our humanism to work so we can all find our “one thing” to do to defend democracy together.
Ellie Haylund is president of HumanistsMN.