Equal Time for Freethought
To date there has been little discussion and less research as to how
non-believers experience the dying process and death. What are some of
the problems and discrimination Secular Humanists face during one of
life’s most difficult journeys? How widespread are these problems and
what can be done to alleviate them? And, how does one access support
when it is needed?
Date and time:
Tampa, FL - Oct. 24, 2014 - Even though the Pew Research Center has found that one-fifth (20%) of the USA public and a third (33 1/3%) of adults under 30 are religiously unaffiliated, most hospitals and hospices insist on having religious Chaplains available while ignoring the needs of non-theistic, secular humanist, atheist and agnostic patients.
While a September 2014 Pew Research report indicated that 72% of the American public has concluded that religion is losing influence in American life, the CEO’s of America’s hospitals and hospices continue to ignore this reality.
According to Joe Beck, Florida’s first Humanist Chaplain and Founder of Florida’s Humanists of the Treasure Coast, "hospital and hospice literature mention the existence of non-denominational theistic chaplains but fail to mention the existence of supportive services from an openly secular humanist perspective.” Mr. Beck believes that medical facilities providing a clearly identified secular support person helps to validate the secular patient's life stance and brings comfort to those patients.
The Institute for Science and Human Values (ISHV) has been approached by nursing home directors explaining that their secular patients are not being provided for, by either the facility or the patients’ families. They wonder how they can help. “I have comforted those who are frightened to identify as non-theist for fear that proper medical care will be denied them when they find themselves requiring hospital and hospice stays,” states Toni Van Pelt, ISHV President. “We know many secular humanists’ wishes are denied by their families concerning burial and funeral services.” she continues.
To date there has been little discussion and less research as to how widespread these problems are and what can be done to provide support for non-theists in this, their greatest time of need. To this end ISHV is sponsoring“Dying Without Deity” Perspectives on Dying and Death Symposium, at Columbia University, April 10 and 11th, 2015. Visit www.ishv.net (link is external) for further details and to register.
For more information:
Posted on May 22, 2014 by TWC in Featured, Headlines, In The
Toni Van Pelt and Cynthia Jenkins helped organized the event in record time after sitting around one day and chatting. Both women are active in the local community, their list of committees and accomplishments reading like a resume, with Jenkins touting the title of the Black Business Council president while Van Pelt is the president and public policy director currently lobbying Congress for the Institute for Science and Human Values.
Their mission: To inform the community of the gap in pay not only among male and females, but races related pay gaps while advocating for greater respect toward women workers.
“Families depend on women’s wages more than ever, but
women working fulltime are typically paid less than male workers in
every state,” said Van Pelt who emphasized African-American and Hispanic
women had a larger disparity in wages than women of other races. “For
black women, gender based pay discrimination often is a driver of a
lifetime of crippling poverty.”
Just finished another presentation at the summer school, conducted by the Moscow State University and the Russian Humanist Society. The lecture was attended by ten men and four women. I discussed with them the dangers that porn brings to society, and the topic has caused quite a mixed reaction. I decided to start recording his impressions while they are still fresh in my memory. Students, four women, Russian women, white, aged between twenty and thirty years. Men: one person - from Iran, one - from Turkmenistan, other Russians between the ages of twenty to fifty years. Some of the students - undergraduate and graduate students, there are teachers and professors.
Some of those present is not the first time participate in an international summer school, initiated mainly humanists. Someone even went to the United States and was a member of the International Summer School, organized by Paul Kurtz at the Center for Studies (Amherst, USA). Our team of lecturers consists of our leader, Valery Kuvakin, MSU professor of philosophy, Jupe Shreyfёrsa (white gay man, a scientist and a writer from Amsterdam), Norman Allen (African American, man, historian, editor of "Perspectives of man" (publication of the Institute of Science and . reason, Buffalo, USA), and I, the Director of public Relations of the Institute of science and reason (white woman, feminist, St. Petersburg, Florida) it turned out that all of us, foreigners are public men, and this is our life choice: me, feminists, Norma - defender of the rights of the black US people of color, and Jupe -. a talented storyteller, optimistic and cheerful person Our fates and we ourselves seem to most listeners pretty exotic I doubt that many of them met the people of this unusual way of life..
For ten days we live in a small village Subotiv located from Moscow about two hours away by car, and twenty kilometers from the town of Kolomna. Here in the House gumanizmamy we remain overnight, eat and spend our classes. This house was created mainly through the efforts Valery Kuvakin, this Russian Paul Kurtz. He is very energetic and cheerful in his 73 years. On the porch waving two flags - the Russian Federation and UNESCO, the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization. In the house - large political map of the world. The rooms are numerous shelves filled with books. The house is very suitable for such events. In it three bathrooms, two shower, separate for men and women. Each of the four bedrooms three comfortable beds. This large bedroom with bookcases. Downstairs in the hall for meetings plush toy - a pink elephant, who holds Russian flag and girded ribbon with the inscription "Russia - the birthplace of the Russian Geographical Society" (I did not understand what the words mean). On one of the walls - a gallery of photos within, among them Nobel Prize winner Vitaly Ginzburg, the dean of the Philosophy Faculty of Moscow State University, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Vladimir Mironov, Paul Kurtz, as well as the well-known Russian philosopher and the organizers of the Society. The house has a lot of good photos and black and white prints with the image of the surrounding area.
I make my notes and simultaneously listen to a fascinating lecture by Dutchman Joop Shreyfёrsa, talking about a new concept of the supervising (suveillance) and samonadzirayuschego (selfveillance) digital society. She just opens her eyes for most of us that is happening around. It would seem that we are aware of the extent of that what he says, but he shows us a modern society with such angles of view, which we have not thought of before.He has traveled the world to watch the changing society. He showed us that we are moving from the world of hope and optimism in a world full of fear and negativity. He drew attention to the fact that society is a sign of the decline of the transformation of cities in the trampled earth (I think Detroit - one of those cities). Tagged comparison