More than half of the residents in 11 Southern states believe the United States was founded as an explicitly Christian nation, according to the Winthrop Poll Southern Focus Survey. This doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who lives in the Bible Belt. You probably don’t have to think back too far to remember the last time someone made that claim.
While humanists aren’t surprised by the results of the poll, religious southerners might be shocked by the truth.
Many of the founding fathers were so skeptical about religion they would have a hard time getting elected today.
When you are a humanist in Mississippi, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the evangelical events.
There are prayers at the flagpoles, public meetings and public school football games, as well as prophetic summits, tent revivals, and SO much more.
Most of the time, we humanists don’t much pay attention to these types of religious events.
Humanists believe that everyone has the right to believe what they want, as long as it doesn’t harm others, even though the obvious preference and practice of one religion over all others, or none, can be harmful, as it can make people feel excluded.
When President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in the spring of 2016, I personally breathed a sigh of relief.
He would take the place of the ultra-conservative Antonin Scalia. I could actually feel the court shifting.
Finally, those rights that matter so much to me – the right to choose, the ability to marry who you want, the dignity of using the restroom that conforms with your gender – felt all that more secure.
I went to this really cool event the other night called Women in the Halls. It was sponsored by Planned Parenthood and is a movement to encourage more women to engage in politics. With my state electing fewer women this year than last year, it’s a great time to bring attention to this issue.
The Boys Club of politics must go. With women only making 70 cents for every dollar men make, with no paid maternity leave, with reproductive rights threatened at every turn, women need to step up and take on the embarrassingly misogynistic legislation in this country.
If you’ve been following the news, you may have seen that a group of atheists are suing the Federal Government to have the words “In God We Trust” taken off of our money.
You’d think they’d have a good case. It’s a clear violation the Establishment Clause as well as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act which prohibits the government from burdening a person’s exercise of religion unless it furthers a compelling government interest.
If humanists want to make a real change in Mississippi, they have to get involved in the local political scene. Change starts at the bottom and goes to the top, so you can make a big difference by running for local office. A position on the city council or the school board will give you the power to change minds and policy in your own community.
So, it’s no secret that Jim isn’t too fond of the Ark Encounter, but few expected him to go as far as to raise money for a billboard, but that’ just what he did. Jim helped raise $10,000 for a billboard that said, “Genocide and Incest Park: Celebrating 2,000 Years of Myths.”
Let’s be honest for a second. It’s not easy to be a humanist in Mississippi. For starters, 83% of Mississippians identify as Christian, so we are definitely in the minority.
Add in the fact that some people on the religious right like to spread lies about nonbelievers and there are days when it can seem downright impossible to carve out an existence in the Magnolia State.
A week ago, I woke up to find the governor of the state of Mississippi showing once again, in so many ways, that he doesn’t value all of his constituents. Last week, the governor was a welcome guest of the American Family Association (AFA), a Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) designated extremist hate group that denounces those that do not share their religious beliefs, especially the LGBTQ community. Just by way of his appearance on this radio program, he tells us which Mississippians he values and serves.
The “Take This Flag Down Mississippi” Rally was held on October 21, 2017 at the Mississippi State Capitol. The rally to change the official MS state flag was organized by Organizing for Action-MS (OFA), and the MS Humanist Association was pleased to partner with OFA, Indivisible MS and others in this grassroots effort to demand a new flag for all Mississippians.
Yesterday in Mississippi, the law known as HB 1523, titled "Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act " , took effect. HB 1523 takes the Christian beliefs regarding marriage and gender and elevates them to law, protecting those that discriminate against others based on these “sincerely held religious beliefs” from penalty.
As a chapter of the AHA, the MHA will continue to work diligently toward furthering humanist values and community in Mississippi. We hope you will join us, as there is much work to be done. We still believe in good.