We are the Humanist Association of San Diego, a community organization that promotes humanist philosophy & values, the separation of church and state, and cilvil rights through discussions, lectures, outings, and community service events. We have been active since 1970, and a proud chartered chapter of the American Humanist Association since 1973.
Humanist Association in July:
July will have us doing our weekly Humanist current events discussion Coffee & Conversation, and talking about the Separation of Church & State and Democracy.
Our regular Third Sunday event is Humanism, Democracy, & Deism at the American Founding (see below), and our book club will feature three wonderful books on the secular principles of the Founders.
Humanism, Democracy, & Deism at the American Founding
The United States was not founded as a Christian nation. We are well familiar with our declarative negation of the popular myth of God bestowing His popular sovereignty and self-determinative blessings upon the “shining city on the hill.” We (rightfully) admonish the revisionists with our factually-correct assertions of high profile and influential founding fathers as “not being Christian,” Yet after a bevy of biting quotations the conversation ends.
For July, the Humanist Association will be looking into a more nuanced and sophisticated look at the issues of secularism and ideological-struggles present at our nation’s founding.
There are five elements of a question that we will be focussing on:
Was the United States of America founded as a religious nation or on the notion of freedom of religion? There were Deist and Christian ideology and perspectives working in conflict and confluence at the founding.
A. If we weren’t founded as a Christian nation, then how do we determine this?
B. If we were founded with an overlapping consensus of religio-philosophical demands, what do we see as the inherited-influence of each faction?
C. If we were exclusively founded as a non or anti-religious secular nation, how can we determine this to be so?
D. Substantive vs. procedural (de jure vs. de facto) religion/secularism in government.
E. The relevance of this issue. When we were founded chattel-slavery was legal protected, we did not immediately have protections against being tried twice for the same offense, and we did not have a dedicated social safety net for the poor, elderly, and infirmed. These have rightly changed. Is this issue important for the legitimation of our claim as the custodians American history, or regardless of how we were founded–does it matter more about how we got to where we are and what we are looking at now?
6 p.m., Sunday, July 20th at 6 p.m.
Joyce Beers Community Center
1270 Cleveland Ave (next to Panera and Aladdin).
*please park on the underground level
Our July Book club will combine three books:
•Sehat, David. 2011. The Myth of American Religious Freedom. New York: Oxford University Press.
•Paine, Thomas. 1797. The Age of Reason (Parts I & II).
•Smith, Christian. 2003. The Secular Revoluation: Power, Interests, and Conflict in the Secularization of American Public Life. London: University of California Press.
Our book club takes an historical classic that Humanists and other Freethinkers should read as well as a more recent, topical piece (and often a second more modern book for greater depth).
Thursday July 17th, 7 p.m., Panera Bread in Hillcrest.
Please check out meetup page for more information.
“Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability to and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity” (preamble to Humanist Manifesto III).
“Humanism is the Joyous Service for the greater good of all humanity in this natural world and advocating the methods of reason, science, and democracy” (Corliss Lamont , The Philosophy of Humanism).
The Humanist Community is a broad umbrella covering Agnostics, Atheists, Deists, Ethical Culturists, and those of a liberal-progressive secular-religious tradition who come together to use our creative, intelligence, and experience; guided by compassion to make this world a better place, and to become better people in the process, together. We Humanists place our concern in this world, united by our love of humanity, and driven by our ever present optimism in our ability to improve the human condition.