Friday, February 04, 2011

The Council for Secular Humanism

The Council for Secular Humanism (originally the Council for Democratic and Secular Humanism, or CODESH) is a secular humanist organization headquartered in Amherst, New York. In 1980 CODESH issued A Secular Humanist Declaration, an argument for and statement of belief in Democratic Secular Humanism. The Council for Secular Humanism does not call itself religious and has never claimed tax-exemption as a religious organization; instead it has an educational exemption.

The council made news in 2006 when Borders Group refused to carry the April-May issue of Free Inquiry in their Borders and Waldenbooks stores because of the magazine's publication of 4 cartoons that originally appeared in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten and sparked violent worldwide Muslim protests, (The reason given by Borders for their decision was not sensitivity to religion but fear of illegal violence.) The Free Inquiry affair was reminiscent of a 1989 withdrawal of Salman Rushdie's novel The Satanic Verses by Waldenbooks and B. Dalton in the aftermath of a death sentence issued by Ayatollah Khomeini against the British author as well as the recent Everybody Draw Mohammad Day on May 20, 2010 which resulted in Indian Muslims asking the government to ban facebook.

The notion of secular humanism was the topic in a recent Washinton Post article by columnist Kathleen Parker:

All Roads Lead to Heaven? — Kathleen Parker Does Theology
What catches the attention of a columnist for The Washington Post? A recent column by Kathleen Parker indicates that theology has become a focus of national attention. Kathleen Parker used her column in The Washington Post to take on Franklin Graham and his belief that belief in Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation.

Edward Tabash-William Lane Craig Debate: "Secular Humanism vs. Christianity: Which One is True?"
February 8, 1999, Pepperdine University, Malibu, California, USA. Edward Tabash, a Beverly Hills attorney who is affiliated with the Council for Secular Humanism, takes on William Lane Craig, a Christian philosopher and Campus Crusade's full-time anti-atheist debater, arguing that Secular Humanism is preferable and more supported by the evidence than Christian Theism. Tabsh does his usual and emotional "God is a big meanie" routine while Craig took him down with ease. Even atheist Richard Carrier said "the rhetorical victory was Craig's.


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