View this email in your browser

October 2022

The Roberts Supreme Court: An Appraisal

3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15
This month HumanistsMN welcomes political science and law scholar Timothy Johnson to suss out the implications of the current U.S. Supreme Court -- the most conservative in history. The Court's recent decision to strike down the constitutional right to abortion has scrambled politics nationwide as the midterm elections approach. It has also issued rulings that have weakened the separation of religion and government. How does the Roberts Court compare with those of previous eras? What is on its docket for the new term, which started this week? Professor Johnson will answer those questions and more. Johnson is Horace T. Morse Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Law at the University of Minnesota and has published several books about the U.S. Supreme Court.
More info + RSVP
November Community Gathering
Nov. 19 -- The Elections Are Over. Now What? Speakers: Christopher Chapp, associate professor of political science at St. Olaf College, and Torey Van Oot, reporter at Axios-Twin Cities. 

September Community Gathering
Our September Community Gathering featuring Seth Andrews, host of the Thinking Atheist podcast, attracted a record audience. About 100 people came to hear Seth talk about "regaining our humanity in an inhumane world." See a short description of his talk and a video here.
Yes, We Are 'Star Stuff.' But Remember the Spirit of Love.
By Ellie Haylund

From time to time, a powerful series of quotes by Carl Sagan pass through my mind:

“As long as there have been humans, we have searched for our place in the cosmos. Where are we? Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.”

“All of the rocks we stand on, the iron in our blood, the calcium in our teeth, the carbon in our genes were produced billions of years ago in the interior of a red giant star. We are made of star stuff.”

“For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.”

My husband and I drew from these quotes for a reading  during our wedding ceremony.

Read More
There Will Come a Time

By Paul Heffron

There will come a time when I’ll no longer see the trees.
There will come a time when I’ll no longer feel the breeze.
Or hear the birds, or smell the flowers.

There will come a time when I’ll no longer walk or talk.
There will come a time when I’ll no longer think or drink.
Or blink or wink. Or enjoy my showers.

There will come a time when I can no longer say Good Night, Sweetheart.
There will come a time when I can no longer say Bye, Love, before I depart.
Or miss or kiss. Or treasure my hours.

Only what I did will remain, some mostly constructive, some almost destructive.
And much in between, some just routine.

There might come a time when I will say, Enough,
Staying alive is too tough.
A time when I’ll say I was lucky to win the birth lottery,
That I had a good life, like useful and creative pottery.
That others guided and helped me and some loved me.
How lucky can one person be?

Even so, I hate that I will cease to be.
Will I ever be okay with mortality? Not me!

Paul Heffron is a founding member of HumanistsMN. Follow his example and send a poem to!

Meet the Paul Heffron Secular Student Scholarship Winner
HumanistsMN is pleased to announce that our first Scholarship for Secular Students has been awarded to Kazi, a senior at Minnesota State University, Mankato. We created the $1,000 scholarship last year in honor of Paul Heffron, one of our founding members, as we commemorated our 35th anniversary. An HMN team selected Kazi after reviewing applications forwarded by the Secular Student Association (SSA), which administers the nationwide scholarship program. Congratulations, Kazi!

SSA provided the following bio for Kazi:

Kazi’s goals include graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Minnesota State University at Mankato, joining a graduate program offering a degree in quantum computing, and advocating for social justice.   As an ex-Muslim atheist, Kazi’s greatest influences leading to his secularism were listening to George Carlin (outspoken about the oppression and suffering caused by the antics of religion in our political system) and the rampant corruption and normalized inhumanity in his home country of Bangladesh. Being bisexual and ex-Muslim, Kazi has been a target for conservative religious majorities. Kazi is an officer of the SSA chapter at MSU Mankato, a former events coordinator of the International Student Association, and a member of the Bangladesh Student Organization. On campus, he helped prepare tie blankets for the impoverished during Martin Luther King Jr. Day, made peace cranes with special adults under the tutelage of the Community Engagement Office, raked the town near the Skyline Residence community, and volunteered to help the Caledonia Community Center.
Minnesota Legislators to Create Secular Government Caucus

As a followup to our National Day of Reason event at the State Capitol in May, several legislators have set up a Secular Government Caucus to unite members who believe in the principle of separation of government and religion. Thanks to Sens. John Marty and Jen McEwen and Reps. Mike Freiberg and Athena Hollins for spearheading this effort. 

The caucus's goals are similar to that of the Congressional Freethought Caucus:
  • Promote public policy based on reason, science, and moral values.
  • Protect the secular character of our government by adhering to the constitutional principle of separation of church and state.
  • Oppose discrimination against atheists, agnostics, humanists, seekers, religious and nonreligious people; champion freedom of thought and conscience.
  • Provide a forum for Minnesota legislators to discuss their moral frameworks, ethical values, and personal religious journeys.
The three humanist groups that planned the Day of Reason event -- HumanistsMN, First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, and Or Emet, the Minnesota Congregation for Humanistic Judaism -- will work closely with the caucus.
Literature Meets Art at an HMN Book Tour at Mia
HMN members enjoyed a private tour last month of items at the Minneapolis Institute of Art that illustrate themes of the book "The Lincoln Highway" by Amor Towles. They included sculptures, paintings, textiles, and architecture. The group is seen here by Jacob Lawrence's "Subway Acrobats." 
Humanists in Action: Mental Health Walk and VegFest
A HumanistsMN team joined the 2022 NAMIWalks 5K event to raise awareness of mental illness and money for the important work of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The walkers participated in honor of the late Greg Hart, longtime HMN member and friend. 
We also had a booth at Twin Cities Veg Fest 2022, the annual plant-based festival at Harriet Island Park. A project of Compassionate Action for Animals, the event features a wide variety of vendors and promotes plant-based diets and empathy for animals.
September New Members
Welcome to Pierce Fleming, Rab Nahas, Lissa Tenuta & Wendy Rappaport, and Dayna Wolhart. We look forward to seeing you at our monthly Community Gatherings and other events!
HumanistsMN Board Minutes
In May, the Board discussed the spring membership drive, the Day of Reason event at the Capitol, Humanists in Action activities, and the potential use of credit-card readers.
Join, donate, or learn more about us at
Humanists News and Views is edited by Suzanne Perry. Send articles, reviews, and comments to
Find HumanistsMN contact and board information here.
The HumanistsMN board meets at 7 p.m. the second Wednesday of the month. All members are welcome. Contact for details.

HumanistsMN is a secular community that promotes ethical living, widespread human flourishing, and a healthy planet through its commitment to science, reason, compassion, and creativity.

Copyright © 2022 HumanistsMN, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp