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Humanist chaplain support Statement of Principle
Statement text printed directly from
on 8/14, 11AM
We, the undersigned, support this statement which calls on our national leaders to assure that
military chaplains can adequately address the needs of the men and women in the Armed
by providing support to humanists and other nontheists and by accepting otherwise qualified
chaplain candidates who represent nontheistic beliefs.
Paul Kurtz, Founder    Jonathan Kurtz, Chairman
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© Institute for Science and Human Values
Stop Forced Amputations, Now!
The Institute for Science and Human Values joins with the Nigerian Humanist Movement in
condemning a Nigerian sharia (Islamic law) court’s ruling that two young men are to be
punished with amputation.
Stop Helen Ukpabio from Bringing Her Witch Hunting Campaign to the US
By Leo Igwe
by Edd Doerr
Should government(s) compel taxpayers to support religion-based and other private schools?
This question has vexed the United States—and such other countries as Great Britain, Northern
Ireland, Canada, Australia, the Netherlands, and France—for over two centuries. Controversies
over this question extend back to the beginning of the American republic but have been
intensifying over the past half century, reaching crisis proportions since the elections of 2010.
"Humanist Chaplaincy Opposition Exposes Military Discrimination"
In the Military, religious members have access to chaplains that address their needs, to help them
through grief, to cope with the negative consequences of war and to get through existential
crises. However, non-religious military members are not accorded the same treatment. We are
asking for values-based support for humanists from all chaplains and in this case for the
opportunity to have humanists serve as chaplains representing humanism.
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women
CEDAW, formally known as the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
Against Women
, is a landmark international agreement that affirms principles of fundamental
human rights and equality for women and girls. Signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979, it is
among President Obama’s top three treaty priorities.
CEDAW ratification would strengthen the United States as a global leader in standing up for
women and girls.
It would amplify the U.S. voice in defending women’s human rights around the world,
continuing that proud tradition. Presidents Reagan, Bush and Clinton ratified similar agreements
on torture, genocide and race; the American public strongly supports the principles and values of
education, equality, fairness and basic human rights that CEDAW embodies.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
The Institute for Science and Human Values, in accordance with the provisions of the
NeoHumanist Statement of Secular Principles and Values, lobbies to promote and protect the
Violence against Women Act.
VAWA’s programs support state, tribal and local efforts to address the pervasive and insidious
crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. These programs have
made great progress towards reducing the violence, helping victims to be healthy and feel safe and
holding perpetrators accountable. Since its original passage in 1994, VAWA has dramatically
enhanced our nation’s response to
violence against girls and women, boys and men. More victims report domestic violence to the
police and the rate of non-fatal intimate partner violence against women has decreased by 64%.
The sexual assault services program in VAWA helps rape crisis centers keep their doors open to
provide the frontline response to victims of rape. VAWA provides for a coordinated community
approach, improving collaboration between law enforcement and victim services providers to
better meet the needs of victims. These comprehensive and cost-effective programs not only save
lives, they also save money. In fact, VAWA saved nearly $12.6 billion in net averted social costs
in just its first six years.
D.C.’s Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act  April 2015 • The D.C. Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act of 2014 (RHNDA) is about basic fairness. People should be judged at work based on their performance, not on their personal, private reproductive health care decisions. Everyone should have the ability to make private health decisions including whether, when, and how to start a family, without fear of losing their jobs or facing retribution from their employers.    • The RHNDA was passed by the D.C. Council to protect employees and their families from discrimination.  Members of Congress who are not accountable to the residents of the District should not interfere with D.C.’s local laws.      • Freedom of religion and belief is a core American value. Religious freedom protects the right to both believe and act on religious beliefs, but does not authorize actions that discriminate against or harm others.  Bosses are entitled to their religious beliefs, but that does not mean that they can use those beliefs to discriminate against their employees based on their personal reproductive health care decisions.
What is and how did the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) come into being? by Toni Van Pelt
RFRA places religious tenets above the rule of law. The use of RFRA by the Congress, the Supreme Court and the White House threatens and is well on its way to destroying U.S. democracy. The beginning… The Employment Division, Department of Human Resources of Oregon vs. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990), is a United States Supreme Court case that determined that the state could deny unemployment benefits to a person fired for violating a state prohibition on the use of peyote, on the job, even though the use of the drug was part of a religious ritual. The Court ruled although states have the power to accommodate otherwise illegal acts done in pursuit of religious beliefs, they are not required to do so.      
OPPOSE TITLE I PORTABILITY TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS  States Should Not Have the Option to Authorize Federal School Vouchers
Turning Title I into a Voucher Harms Students in Poverty and Public Schools Recognizing the compounded impact of poverty on student learning, Congress designed Title I to fund public schools with high concentrations of students in poverty. Under the program, high-poverty districts and schools benefit from increased federal investment by taking advantage of “economies of scale” to combine resources for school-wide services and whole school reforms targeted at economically and academically needy groups of students. Allowing the funds to instead “follow the child” to that student’s private school, regardless of whether the school needs those funds, dilutes the funds, stretches the dollars thinner, and diminishes the effectiveness of the funding. Furthermore, tuition at a private school will far exceed the amount of a Title I voucher. It is unlikely, therefore, that students in poverty will be able to use the voucher to attend a private school. Taxpayer Money Should Support Public Schools Not Private Schools Open and non-discriminatory in their acceptance of all students, American public schools are a unifying factor among the diverse range of ethnic and religious communities in our society. Public schools are the only schools that must meet the needs of all students. They do not turn children or families away. They serve children with physical, emotional, and mental disabilities, those who are extremely gifted and those who are learning challenged. Vouchers undermine these goals by taking taxpayer money out of the public school system and funneling it to private schools.
Women Who Rely on the Military for Their Health Care Deserve Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage and Family Planning Counseling: Support the Access to Contraception for Women Servicemembers and Dependents Act The Access to Contraception for Women Servicemembers and Dependents Act of 2014 ensures that all servicemembers and their dependents who rely on the military health care system have comprehensive contraceptive coverage and family planning counseling. Access to this basic preventive health service will benefit servicemembers, their families, and the military broadly.
Charitable Choice and Faith-based Campaign Charitable Choice, The Clinton/Ashcroft Legacy, the Faith-Based and Community Initiative, courtesy of Bush and now the Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Obama’s Spin Inconsistent with the constitution: "Charitable choice" and "faith based initiatives" allow government funds to flow directly to houses of worship and other pervasively religious organizations. Government subsidies for religion violate the First Amendment's Establishment Clause. The Institute for Science and Human Values has, since its inception, (and prior due to the work of its current public policy director) worked to end Charitable Choice provisions in Congressional bills and Faith Based Offices in the Executive Branch of government since charitable choice was first introduced in Congress during the Clinton administration. Secular and religious groups joining together prevailed in the Congress during the George Bush presidency in stopping or deleting Charitable Choice provisions in bills and acts. The struggle moved to the White House where George Bush, determined to satisfy radical religious supporters opened the first office of Faith-based and Community Initiative funding religious organizations to provide taxpayer’s beneficial programs with taxpayers dollars via federal government agencies. It was our hope that President Obama would end this cozy relationship between government and religion. Instead he put his own stamp on it; first by changing the name to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership. He constituted the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. This council was originally created by President George W. Bush, and reorganized under President Obama by executive order on February 5th 2009. The President has tasked them with the creation of several new initiatives to find new ways for both secular and faith-based organizations to better serve their communities.