Category: Humanist Voices

First-Person Humanism: A Passion to Help Others With Mental Illness

By Mick Anderson

People are often drawn to humanism because they have a passion about something that really matters in their lives. During the last six months I have met a lot of wonderful humanists who fit in that category. Let me tell you about one of my passions (besides my children, grandchildren, and music): helping others who have mental illnesses like depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or anxiety disorders.

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Remembering Matt Stark

By Paul Heffron

Matt Stark died on April 10 at age 88. You may have seen tributes in newspapers and freethought publications describing what a major force he was for civil rights in his positions with the American Civil Liberties Union in Minnesota. In his later years he and his wife, Terri, wintered in Florida, and he was less active when they were home in Minneapolis.

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Coffee Is Not Just for Closers

By Harlan Garbell

If you are a movie buff, you may be familiar with David Mamet’s great screenplay for “Glengarry Glen Ross.” “Coffee is for closers” is the iconic tagline for that movie, one that has also seeped into the popular culture. Now that I have your attention: If you like coffee, but are not a “closer,” yet interested in politics and current events, come join other like-minded people for lively conversation on the second Friday of every month

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How Non-Religious Leaders Establish Credibility

By Sarah Kruger Hilger

Sarah Kruger Hilger interviewed Humanists of Minnesota members for a graduate-school study she is conducting on non-religious leaders. She is exploring how such individuals establish credibility when many Americans equate morality with religion.

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Appreciating Robert Ingersoll, the Humanistic Freethinker

By Paul Heffron

The Robert G. Ingersoll Birthplace Museum will celebrate its Silver Anniversary in August, prompting Paul Heffron, our chapter historian, to offer these reflections: Although I completed a PhD program in American studies at the University of Minnesota, I don’t recall being made aware of Robert Ingersoll, one of the most prominent political, legal, and cultural figures of 19th-century America.

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The Founding of Humanists of Minnesota: A Story Worthy of Alfred Hitchcock

By Paul Heffron

In the spring of 1986, American Humanist Association (AHA) members in the Twin Cities area were called to a meeting at the First Unitarian Society in Minneapolis. About 20 of us showed up. Jean Goins, a local resident who was an AHA board member, asked us to consider starting a local AHA chapter. I was surprised to discover that another chapter already existed, founded and incorporated by someone named Leonard Richards.

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Humanist Podcasts Explore What It Means to Lose Your Religion

By Seth Engman

No god, now what? That’s a question many of us humanists have to face whether we are leaving behind individual beliefs or diverging from our communities of family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. This is especially true for Bart Campolo, host of the “Humanize Me” podcast, and Ryan Bell, host of the “Life After God” podcast.

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Freethought Toastmasters: Discussion of Religion and Politics Encouraged

By George Francis Kane

Toastmasters clubs, which are devoted to public speaking and leadership, can be found all around the globe. But the Twin Cities hosts a club with an unusual mission–to offer humanists, secularists, atheists, or other freethinkers a supportive environment to discourse on subjects that interest them.

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D-Cubed: Uniting Humanists for Critical Thinking (and Food)

By Mary McLeod and George Francis Kane

D-Cubed engages humanists in Discussions, occasional Debate (mild disagreement), and Dinner at a local, hand-picked watering hole. Thus the title, D-Cubed. The discussions, held every second Saturday and Sunday in area library meeting rooms, touch on a wide range of political, social, and philosophical issues.

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An ALS Diagnosis Sparks Advocacy on Medical Aid in Dying

By Bobbi Jacobsen

When you receive a diagnosis of ALS, your world closes in on you so quickly, you feel like you might suffocate right there in the doctor’s office. For me, it was late on a cold December afternoon, and I couldn’t get out of the Mayo Clinic fast enough.

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Humanist? Unitarian? What’s the Difference? A Conversation with David Breeden

By Mary McLeod

What’s the difference between humanism and Unitarian Universalism? This is a genuine question for me, even though I once chaired a UU board and have been a Humanists of Minnesota member for several years now.

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A Humanist Teacher Packs Up for a North Dakota Village

By David Perry

David Perry is a former Humanists of Minnesota board member and HofMN member since 1997. He’s been a teacher for over 25 years, most recently working as a bilingual math and science teacher for the Minneapolis Public Schools.His quest to get a principal or assistant principal job led him to an unexpected place this school year.

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Take It From Me: How Not to Handle Military Condolence Calls

By Barb Lutz

I was a Casualty Assistance Officer for the U.S. Army back in the early 1980s as a lieutenant assigned to Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind. I received no training. When notified I was on the duty roster, I was told, “Don’t worry about it. We never get any casualties from Indiana. If we do, you’ll get training when you’re assigned a case.”

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Building Bridges Through Storytelling

By Molly Wilbur-Cohen

The East Side of St. Paul is host to a unique community gathering place.  Four years ago, the Arlington Library—one of the historic Carnegie library buildings in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood—closed. 

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