Timothy Johnson, professor of law and political science at the University of Minnesota, discussed the partisan nature of the current U.S. Supreme Court, the most conservative in history. Under the leadership of John Roberts, the court has overturned precedents —- for example, the Roe v. Wade ruling granting a constitutional right to abortion — in a way that has upended legal tradition.
Category: Humanist Community Gatherings
HumanistsMN sponsors monthly gatherings for our community at 3 p.m. on the third Saturday of the month. Everyone is welcome at these free get-togethers. We host engaging speakers on humanism, social issues, political affairs, science, and other topics of interest to world citizens. And we catch up with our friends and meet newcomers at a social hour with drinks and snacks. We take a break in June, July, and August, when we hold outdoor picnics with other secular groups.
Our October Community Gathering featuring Seth Andrews, host of the Thinking Atheist podcast and online community, attracted a record audience. About 100 people, including several from out of town, came to hear Seth talk about “regaining our humanity in an inhumane world.”
At the May annual meeting, HumanistsMN members elected new board members, revised our bylaws, heard reports about programming and finances, and met in small groups to discuss HMN priorities.
Board Election. Members elected two new HMN Board members, Abigail Jackson and Stephanie Schwinn. They reelected Seth Engman to a two-year term and David Guell to …
Andy Norman, author of the book Mental Immunity and director of the Humanism Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University, spoke at our April Community Gathering about ways we can inoculate ourselves against irrational thinking and conspiracy theories.
Kevin Lindsey, Chief Executive Officer of the Minnesota Humanities Center, spoke to our March Community Gathering about the center’s work and the importance of promoting humanities for a more just world.
Science is usually a force for good in the world. But science writer Sam Kean, who spoke at our February Community Gathering, discussed cases where obsession led scientists to twist a noble pursuit into something sinister. cited three examples from his latest book, “The Icepick Surgeon: Murder, Fraud, Sabotage, Piracy, and Other Dastardly Deeds Perpetrated in the Name of Science.”
The Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol showed to the world that Christian nationalism is more than just a scholarly debate about whether the United States was founded as a Christian nation, Andrew Seidel told our February Community Gathering. “It is a violent, exclusionary movement bent on seizing power in the here and now,” he said.
To solve our most pressing problems, we should move toward the more collaborative style of leadership practiced by women, Mikki Morrissette, publisher of the Minnesota Women’s Press, told our October Community Gathering.
People are increasingly turning away from traditional religion, but the human yearning for meaning and connection has not disappeared, James Croft, Leader of the Ethical Society of St. Louis, told our October Community Gathering. He urged humanists to build a stronger movement to help meet those needs without the negative baggage of religion.
HumanistsMN members met for an online annual meeting in May. They elected a new Board of Directors, voted on proposed changes to the HMN bylaws, and reviewed the last fiscal year’s activities and finances.
Our organization had many accomplishments last year, including a record-high membership, strong programming despite the pandemic (thanks especially to Program Coordinator Audrey Kingstrom), a healthy budget, and vibrant social-action and community-service programs.
A battle is percolating across the globe over the future of food between small-scale farmers and multinational agribusiness, a topic explored at our April Community Gathering by speaker Timothy Wise, author and analyst for the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.
Wise said policymakers have doubled down on a destructive model of agriculture that relies, …
Law professor Mike Steenson spoke at our February Community Gathering about the history of the First Amendment and free-speech guarantees in the United States. He discussed a variety of Supreme Court rulings over the years, for example those that upheld the Sedition Act in World War I, barred states from requiring Jehovah’s witnesses to salute the U.S. flag, upheld the right of Westboro Baptist Church members to hold anti-gay protests outside military funerals, and restricted the ability of public figures to sue newspapers for defamation.
Renowned environmental activist Winona LaDuke spoke at our January Community Gathering about her work as a “water protector” fighting the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline in northern Minnesota while also growing industrial hemp on her farm on the White Earth Indian Reservation.
Most of us were literally home for the holidays this year. Covid kept us from getting together for the “Festivus for the Rest of Us” holiday party that HumanistsMN has hosted in recent years. Nonetheless, we still gathered virtually to reclaim the holiday season for ourselves. The Zoom-room full of people who met just a couple days before the Winter Solstice shared with each other all that we love about the season – and why it remains meaningful despite our nonbelief.