The December edition of the Mississippi Humanist Newsletter covers the holidays, events, and upcoming elections. Read the newsletter to find out what’s happening at the MHA and how you can help.
Don’t let the warm air fool you. December is in full swing and it’s almost time for Christmas. You likely celebrate in some way or another each year, but how much do you really know about Christmas?
Check out some little-known facts about this December tradition, and feel free to use them the next time someone accuses you of engaging in a “war on Christmas.”
It has been a big year for the MHA. Jim Helton of American Atheists spoke to our group in July, and we have solidified our presence in Hattiesburg. We aren’t stopping there, either. Next week, the MHA is making its first trip to Starkville, where we will host a lunch.
Offering events and expanding to new places is expensive. With your help, the MHA can continue to grow.
Last month, the MHA became aware that Governor Phil Bryant created a video endorsing the PULSE movement. The organization is coming to Mississippi in April 2019, and Governor Bryant used his position as a public official to endorse the event. This is a clear violation of the separation of church and state, and the MHA took immediate action.
As a humanist group in Mississippi, we get a lot of commentary from Christian folks, mainly telling us we are of Satan, we need Jesus, to shut up, to move. In reading such comments, we can tell that these people, and the public in general, has little to no understanding of humanism and what it entails.
Did you ever hear about Logan, a tall teen from Holly Springs, North Carolina? The 17-year old is 6’7”, and as you can imagine, his height became quite the conversation starter. People constantly asked the kid about his height, and after a while, he got tired of answering the same questions over and over again.
Guess what he did? He had a business card made up with all the answers to the most common questions.
Governor Phil Bryant has made a career of blurring the line between church and state. He has never been shy when it comes to endorsing Christianity, and even plans to add “In God We Trust” to all standard state license plates starting next year.
He isn’t stopping there, though. Gov. Bryant has taken his disregard of the Constitution to the next level by creating a video for the PULSE movement. This Christian movement is coming to Mississippi College next year, and Gov. Bryant used his voice to endorse the event.
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.
The MHA recently published a blog post titled, “Brett Kavanaugh Terrifies Me, and You Should Be Scared, Too.” This post highlighted some of Kavanaugh’s rulings related to abortion, LGBT people, and the Americans with Disabilities Act and talked about why his nomination is unsettling to so many people.
It didn’t take long for right-wing religious extremists to find our post and leave their comments on it. Here are some of the ugliest of those comments. Please note that we have removed the profane language and last names from these posts, but we did not edit for grammar or spelling.
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.
On July 10th, Jim Helton, the National Field Organizer for American Atheists, came to Jackson to speak to the MHA. Jim provided the group with actionable steps we can use to make a difference in our state. These steps include partnering with other groups for specific issues, joining local school boards, running for city council, and increasing visibility.
If you’ve flipped on the local news recently, you likely realize that Mississippi is facing a critical blood shortage. It’s gotten so bad that Mississippi Blood Services is offering incentives to get people to donate blood. For example, if you donate through Aug. 18, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win $1,000.
t would be nice to win that money, but you don’t have to take home a cash prize to benefit from donating blood. Check out these benefits and head to your local donation center.
As humanists, we have a lot of issues that are important to us. We want to help as many people as possible, and we can have a hard time figuring out where to start. What can we do that will have the biggest impact?
If we truly want to make a difference, we need to start in our own communities. Here are some ways we can make a difference from the ground up in the Magnolia State.