"Humanists of Idaho is chapter of the American Humanist Association "
The Humanists of Idaho is a chapter of the American Humanist Association and the Council for Secular Humanism. We are a nonprofit corporation organized to promote ethical, democratic, and naturalistic Humanism in the state of Idaho through public awareness, education and community involvement. February 2007 http://Idaho.humanists.net Idaho@humanists.net Humanism is a rational philosophy informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by compassion. It affirms the dignity of each human being and supports individual liberty consonant with social and planetary responsibility. Humanism advocates participatory democracy, the open society, human rights, and social justice. Free of supernaturalism, it recognizes human beings as part of nature and holds that all values—be they religious, ethical, social, or political—have their source in human nature, experience, and culture. Humanism thus derives the goals of life from human need and interest rather than from theological and ideological abstractions, and asserts that humanity must take responsibility for its own destiny. —The Humanist, Official publication of the American Humanist Association President’s Message: We did a lot in 2006! Happy New Year 2007! I want to take this opportunity to review what Humanists of Idaho accomplished in 2006, and to ask for your input on 2007 and beyond. We can be impressed and proud of what all we accomplished this past year. In February we had a Darwin’s Birthday Party potluck and invited Idaho Atheists to join us. This was a great success and will be repeated this year. A “Humanists of Idaho” engraved brick was placed at the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in downtown Boise. T-Shirts and Bumper Stickers with the HOI logo were made available. We staffed the phones for Idaho Public TV’s spring pledge drive. Van Van Curen became an ordained Humanist Celebrant for the purpose of conducting wedding, funeral, naming, commitment, and other ceremonies. We began sponsorship of “The Humanist Perspective” half-hour talk show weekly on TVTV Channel 11, the Boise cable community access channel. The programs are produced by the Council for Secular Humanism and are broadcast Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m. We also now gather to watch them in the afternoon on the second Sunday of the month. Paul Rolig testified before the state legislature in opposition to HJR 2, the state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. (Alas: it is now law in Idaho.) Van Van Curen taught a class in Humanist Philosophy through the Boise Community Ed program. Paul Verhage, HOI member, is active in the Boise Astronomical Society. Paul Rolig, Van Van Curen, and several other members of HOI have had several letters to the editor published in the Idaho Statesman. In some, Paul and Van have identified themselves as HOI officers to promote awareness of our organization. A couple HOI members participated in pro-Planned Parenthood demonstrations. HOI promoted the National Day of Reason (first Thursday in May). HOI collected donations of medical supplies for the Garden City Community Clinic. Paul Rolig and Gary Bennett of HOI worked with The Interfaith Alliance of Idaho to put on a press conference of religious and humanist leaders in opposition to the Boise Ten Commandments initiative. Paul and Gary both spoke and were quoted on local radio and television stations. Best of all, Boise voters defeated this initiative, 47% for and 53% opposed! Several HOI members were in the crowd to support the speakers. HOI contributed money to The Interfaith Alliance of Idaho and to its non-sectarian Sanctuary homeless shelther. Finally, HOI once again raised several hundred dollars to sponsor a family for the holidays. We went through the Women’s and Children’s Alliance to be connected, anonymously, to a single mother and her three children. Many thanks to all of you who supported our efforts in 2006! We hope you will see fit to continue this support in 2007. Better still, we would love to see your faces at our parties, meetings, and other activities! At the very least, please give us your thoughts in the survey elsewhere in this issue. The Idaho Humanist February 2007 Page 2 Darwin’s Birthday Party Sunday, February 11th Come celebrate Charles Darwin’s life and scientific work! Where: Paul & Nancy Rolig’s home at 9877 W. Ripley St. RSVP 377-0535 or firstname.lastname@example.org Come as early as 4:00 PM We will eat at 6:00 PM We will be having chili, beef and vegetarian. If your last name starts with A-B bring bread If your last name starts with C-N bring a salad If your last name starts with O-Z bring dessert You are welcome to bring your favorite beverage. We’ll have soft drinks Idaho Public Television’s FESTIVAL 2006 We are taking part in the fund drive for Idaho Public Television. Our group, up to 8 people, will man the phones, and take pledges. One lucky person, who ever volunteers, will be a cameraperson. (Training is provided of course!) Our coordinator and contact person is Michael Lloyd. Her number is 373-7341. She says be sure and call with any questions. We can all wear matching shirts, and can have a 12x24" sign with our group's name on it. Refreshments will be served as we slave away. It sounds like a lot of fun. If you want to take part, let me know right away. Phone group coordinator: Jan Rowe: 376-5475 or email email@example.com Phone group festival date: Thursday, March 15, 2006 Time commitment: 2:15 p.m. To 5:45 p.m. Number of volunteers: 8 Shift arrival time(s)*: 2:30 p.m. *The shift times indicate the exact time training begins. Volunteers need to start arriving 15 minutes prior to this time, because they should be at their phone by the shift time for training. They will be on-air within 20 minutes of this shift time. Even those who have done this before need to participate in the training as things always change! 1. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old 2. Plan group participation and motivation 3. Calling out from our studio to fellow group members is encouraged. Bring phone lists. 4. Wear your HOI shirt. The Idaho Humanist February 2007 Page 3 HOI Meeting 4 Monday of the month th BUUF Discussion Group Second Sunday of the Month at 9 AM Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at 6200 Garrett, Garden City Childcare with the BUUF RE programs The Flicks in Boise 646 Fulton, at 6th and Myrtle 6:30 PM Board/Business meeting 7:30 PM Discussion/Program Sunday, February 11th Meeting . Monday, January 22 Meeting rd Winter Solstice Party Nancy and Paul Rolig hosted this year’s Winter Solstice Party. We had a wonderful turn out from both the Humanists of Idaho group and the BUUF Humanist group. It gave everyone time to get to know each other a little better or meet new friends. We had a potluck soup supper with lots of yummy food. Everyone who came was incredibly generous to our family that we sponsored for the holidays. Sponsored Family This holiday season we sponsored a family through the Women’s and Children’s Alliance. We purchased gifts for a family of four: a mom, a 7 year old girl, 3 year old boy and 18 month old girl. We collected enough money and donated items to give them all the household items on their list and many of the toys and clothes, plus gift cards from Walmart. Jan Rowe and Nancy Rolig shopped one evening and then the next evening they were joined by Paul, Van and Jan’s daughter and granddaughter for a wrapping party. Thanks everyone for your generous support. Interfaith Sanctuary At our November HOI meeting we voted to support the Interfaith Alliance’s homeless shelter. Sanctuary is a non-religious shelter that is temporarily housed at this time at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church. HOI donated $100 to the project. Jayne Sorrels is the Shelter Coordinator for the Interfaith Sanctuary. You can contact her at email: firstname.lastname@example.org If you would like to further help here are some ideas from the project’s newsletter. Sign up for a shift at the shelter Collect goods and monetary contributions at your place of employment (a good holiday service project!) Research grant and funding opportunities Organize service projects for young people (ages 16-21) Donate money - Individuals can make donations online at www.interfaithsanctuary.org or mail a check payable to The Interfaith Alliance ('memo': for Interfaith Sanctuary) to: Interfaith Sanctuary c/o The Interfaith Alliance P.O. Box 15893 Boise ID 83715-5893. Donations are tax- deductible. Donate supplies Here are items on their wish list. Instant soups (the ones that come in bowls) Loaves of bread Packets of hot chocolate Herbal teas for colds, sore throats Honey (in squeeze bottle) Snacks (pretzels, cheese nips) cookies Styrofoam cups (hot drinks) Toilet paper Large super strength trash bags Plastic serving ware Industrial mop Ear plugs (especially needed!) Sweat pants/shirts Warm socks Deodorant Men’s jeans Books and magazines The Idaho Humanist February 2007 Page 4 Sweet Reason: A New Year's Resolution An advice column by Molleen Matsumura, "Sweet Reason" deals with life-concerns and problems involving humanism, secularism and the nonreligious individual. For HumanistNetworkNews.org Jan. 3, 2007 When Elaine Friedman, the editor of Humanist Network News, asked for columns on a New Year theme, I started thinking about New Year's resolutions. That's a natural topic for an advice column, and sometimes I make resolutions myself -- though I might make one on any day of the year! New Year resolutions reflect a pattern that is common to many traditions -- a way for people to attempt to maintain or repair their relationships with the universe, and with other people. In China, people customarily try to settle their debts before the beginning of the New Year. In Japan, a common New Year greeting, roughly translated, is "Happy New Year! Thank you for all the favors you did for me this past year. Please be kind to me in the coming year, also." In the Jewish tradition, New Year observances begin with a joyous celebration on Rosh Hashanah, and end with the community gathering to repent of past sins on Yom Kippur, the "Day of Atonement". In this tradition, god can forgive sins against "himself," but (unlike the Christian tradition) he cannot forgive one person's sins against another. Instead, one must seek forgiveness from the person she has harmed. But, how do you ask forgiveness of someone you have never met, and are never likely to meet? I found myself asking that question when I realized that I had failed to give Terri Schiavo’s parents the compassion they deserve. Here's how it happened: Recently my lifelong friend, Hope, lent me a copy of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down. This book describes the culture clash between Hmong immigrant parents and the American doctors who were treating their epileptic child. Eventually, after a critical illness, the child suffered brain damage and fell into a persistent vegetative state, just like Terri Schiavo. The child’s parents took her home, and cared for her so well that she actually continued growing, although she didn't recover consciousness. As I read about this family’s suffering, I began to cry. It suddenly hit me that I had not felt the same empathy for Terri Schiavo's parents. I began to imagine myself in their situation: How would I feel if the child involved were my own? Wouldn't I search for signs of recovery? Wouldn’t I try to find hope every time she seemed to look at me or smile at me? Would I be able to let go? If someone else, someone I had never trusted, told me my child should be allowed to die, would I be able to listen? I had to ask myself why I had cried for one family, and not the other. The answer was that I had read about both families, and what I read about the Hmong family was sympathetic, while what I read about the Schiavo family was not. I had fallen into the trap of thinking along the lines that other people drew, and those were battle lines. At the fundamental level where empathy exists, it doesn't matter what strategy the Schiavos and their attorney used. It doesn't matter that they invoked religious beliefs. It doesn't matter that the people who sided with them (or with their son-in-law) were pursuing political agendas of their own, or whether I agreed with any of them. The variety of "expert" opinions, and the impossibility of knowing what Terri herself might have wanted, doesn't matter. The failure to think critically about the terms in which the media presented the situation was all mine. The failure of compassion was my own. I can't apologize to the Schiavos. What I can do is acknowledge my failure. I can talk about it so that other people can also learn from my mistake. I can resolve that in the new year, and in all the years that lie ahead of me, I will try to grow in my ability to feel compassion. ©2006, Molleen Matsumura. Reprinted from Humanist Network News, http://www.humaniststudies.org, To request advice from Sweet Reason, use the anonymous web form at http://humaniststudies.org/ask_sweetreason.html OR send postal mail to: Institute for Humanist Studies 48 Howard St. Albany, NY 12207 ATTN: Sweet Reason The Idaho Humanist February 2007 Page 5 Where do we go from here? Please complete the survey! Please return this to Paul Rolig in the enclosed envelope. 1. What do you think is the most valuable purpose that HOI serves? 2. What other purposes or roles would you like to see it fulfill? 3. If you attend the regular HOI meetings at 7:30 p.m. at the Flicks on the 4th Monday of each month, what do you get out of them? 4. If you do not attend, why not? 5. If it fit in your schedule so that you could attend, what would you want to get out of this regular HOI meeting? 6. If you attend the regular Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Humanist group meetings at 9:00 a.m. at BUUF on the 2nd Sunday of each month, what do you get out of them? 7. If you do not attend, why not? 8. If it fit in your schedule so that you could attend, what would you want to get out of this regular BUUFHumanist meeting? 9. What do you like or dislike about the printed and mailed newsletter? 10. What do you like or dislike about the email@example.com email discussion list? 11. Are you comfortable speaking out publicly on humanist issues? 12. What do you think of HOI promoting charitable humanistic works? 13. What do you think of HOI promoting human rights causes? 14. What do you think of HOI opposing government support of religion? 15. If you were in charge, what would be your priorities for HOI? February 2007 Page 6 Please indicate how worthwhile you feel the following activities are. Circle: 1 = Least valuable; 3 = Neutral; 5 = Most valuable Activity Least Neutral Most th HOI evening meeting on the 4 Monday of each month 1 2 3 4 5 nd BUUF-Humanist meeting on the 2 Sunday of each month 1 2 3 4 5 Newsletter printed and mailed each month 1 2 3 4 5 Email list firstname.lastname@example.org 1 2 3 4 5 Speak the humanist viewpoint at public forums 1 2 3 4 5 Attend rallies for humanist causes (human rights, etc.) 1 2 3 4 5 Parties (either HOI alone, or with Idaho Atheists) 1 2 3 4 5 Summer Solstice picnic (World Humanist Day: June 21) 1 2 3 4 5 Winter Solstice party (near December 21) 1 2 3 4 5 Promote Darwin Day (Feb 12) for evolution education 1 2 3 4 5 Sponsor a needy family in December 1 2 3 4 5 Participate in CROPWALK to raise money to fight hunger 1 2 3 4 5 Participate in Paint the Town service project 1 2 3 4 5 Participate in Rake Up Boise service project 1 2 3 4 5 Contribute to Sanctuary homeless shelter 1 2 3 4 5 Volunteer at Sanctuary homeless shelter 1 2 3 4 5 HOI T-Shirt 1 2 3 4 5 HOI Bumper Sticker 1 2 3 4 5 Book discussion 1 2 3 4 5 Current events discussion 1 2 3 4 5 “Humanists of Idaho” Brick at Anne Frank Memorial 1 2 3 4 5 Humanist Celebrant to conduct weddings, funerals, etc. 1 2 3 4 5 Staff the phones for Idaho Public TV pledge drive 1 2 3 4 5 Sponsor “The Humanist Perspective” on cable access TV (ch 11) 1 2 3 4 5 nd Watch the above DVDs at an HOI member’s house on 2 Sunday 1 2 3 4 5 Promote National Day of Reason (1st Thursday in May) 1 2 3 4 5 Participate in Gay Pride parade (June) 1 2 3 4 5 th Participate in 4 of July parade 1 2 3 4 5 The Idaho Humanist Other comments: The Idaho Humanist February 2007 Page 7 HOI Membership We have 26 full memberships and 3 newsletter subscribers. To those of you who have received this newsletter complimentary, I hope you will decide to join our group. Please fill out the form below and send in the payment for the level of involvement you wish to the address below. Nancy Rolig, Secretary, Newsletter Editor and Membership Administrator Humanists of Idaho Board President: Paul Rolig ……………………………377-0535 or email@example.com Vice President: Van Van Curen:……………376-5475 or firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary: Nancy Rolig…………………………… 377-0535 or email@example.com Treasurer: Jan Rowe ………………………..376-5475 or firstname.lastname@example.org Auxiliary Positions Webmaster/Yahoo Group Administrator:……………………. Van Van Curen 376-5475 or email@example.com Newsletter Editor/membership Administrator:…………………..Nancy Rolig 377-0535 or firstname.lastname@example.org 9877 W. Ripley St. Boise 83704 Charitable Giving Coordinator: ………………………………..Jan Rowe 376-5475 603 or email@example.com Publicity Chair:………….Van Van Curen: 376-5475 or firstname.lastname@example.org Permanent Building Fund: …………………………………………....Paul Rolig email@example.com 9877 W. Ripley St., Boise 83704 Organization Information Your support of this local chapter with your membership, donations and ideas is greatly appreciated. Mailing Address: Humanists of Idaho P.O. Box 44913 Boise, ID 83711-0913 Website: http://Idaho.humanists.net Yahoo Group: firstname.lastname@example.org Email Address: Idaho@humanists.net Humanists of Idaho Membership and Donation Form Name Mailing address City, state, zip code Phone and e-mail address [ ] $25 Individual annual membership and Newsletter subscription [ ] $45 Couple annual membership and Newsletter subscription [ ] $15 Newsletter subscription only [ ] $___ donation to help promote public awareness of Humanism [ ] $___ Humanists of Idaho Permanent Building Fund Donation Mail to: Humanists of Idaho P.O. Box 44913 Boise, ID 83711-0913 The Idaho Humanist February 2007 Page 8 Humanists of Idaho P.O. Box 44913 Boise, ID 83711-0913 Monday, January 22ndHOI Monthly Meeting The Flicks 646 Fulton, at 6th and Myrtle in Boise 6:30 PM Board/Business Meeting, 7:30 PM Discussion Group Sunday, February 11th - 9:00 AM BUUF Humanist Group Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 6200 Garrett, Garden City, Sunday, February 11th - 4:00 PM Darwin’s Birthday Celebration The Roligs at 9877 W. Ripley St., Boise Monday, February 26th HOI Monthly Meeting The Flicks 646 Fulton, at 6th and Myrtle in Boise 6:30 PM Board/Business Meeting, 7:30 PM Discussion Group