In this episode Doug is kind of happy that Greg Epstien is now head of the Chaplains of Harvard University but he still has trouble believing that interfaith work really includes the non-believer. Then Doug talks about a recent study that showed ending the $300 extra unemployment benefit didn’t cause a flood of lazy cheeto eating slackers to go back to work. It just one more proof that ignoring science will prolong the pandemic.
I have known August Brunsman, Executive Director of the Secular Student Alliance (SSA), for at least 13 years through my Humanist group in Columbus Ohio. I got to watch from the front row as SSA hatched and grew into the premium secular student group in the United States it is today. SSA, as a group, has little drama and they seem to do things right. I conducted an e-mail interview with August asking a range of questions from when his first act of religious dissent was, what is a major issue facing secular students today, and his feelings on the current and sometimes fiery debate over sexism in secular groups.
August graduated Phi Beta Kappa from The Ohio State University in 2001. While at OSU he co-founded Students for Freethought at the Ohio State University. He has also volunteered over the years for Camp Quest, serves as Secretary for the board of the Humanist Community of Central Ohio and served as Secretary for the board of the Secular Coalition for America. August is a registered humanist celebrant and performs nontheistic weddings, naming ceremonies, and memorial services.
The President of the American Humanist Association, Mel Lipman, spoke to a packed house at the Upper Arlington Library Theater on Saturday, July 29th. His talk was titled “Asserting Our Humanism” where is talked about the Humanist view and religion has infected our national government and its policy.
As we see Middle East strife heat up, with a historical link to religious differences, and the Prophet Mohamed cartoon riots still fresh in our collective memory, there has been a recent attempt by some Islamic countries to censor any religious criticism. Humanist Network News reported on July 12 that at the June 19th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, delegates from Bangladesh, Lebanon, Sudan, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates called for limits on freedom of speech regarding religion.
I was one of two to guest for the hour. The other guest was Eddie Tabash. He is a constitutional lawyer, associated with the Council of Secular Humanism, American Atheists, and Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. He is a well known person in the Humanist movement. So I had to ask myself – why am I even on the show? My first radio show didn’t start out on a perfect note. I nodded off waiting for the producer to call me 10 minutes before the show so I missed the call. I woke up at 5 minutes to show time and the producer’s third call. I’m sure he started to breathe again when I answered the phone.