Wednesday, July 31, 2013

    Impressions from the AHA convention in San Diego

    Mary McPherson and Henry Geist attended the American Humanist Association's 72nd Annual Conference from May 30 to June 2 in San Diego, California.  Here are some of Mary's impressions from the convention:

    The convention was held at the Bahia Resort Hotel just steps from the ocean on Mission Bay, with beaches and boats viewed out of every window.  The weather was great.  We missed the first day's symposium on the Philosophy of Humanism because we were off exploring the Maritime Museum ships.  We did attend the training documentary "Tough Guise - Violence, Media & the Crisis in Masculinity".  

    Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning were devoted to break-out sessions: church-state separation, evangelical schtick, fundamentalism for children, humanism as religion, and networking.   Participants talked about good deeds in their neighborhoods and ways to expand awareness in the community.  

    Spirituality was a buzzword, and the session on Humanism and Spirituality was crowded.  The speaker was very late but others rose to the occasion and got so much audience participation that it was almost a   disappointment when the speaker finally arrived and tried to read his 27-page presentation (which was dry but readable when he sent it out to requestors).

    It was an occasion for networking, building communication ties for chapters with good ideas on spreading the humanist "word"   Some of the statistics were frightening, but the rise of "nones" was encouraging.

    A highlight for me was the "dancing humanist" Mark Harding - his presentation was a real "feel good!"  And the Evolvefish's "dancing humanists" art work which we are going to portray on our building.

    Editor's notes:
    You can see several videos of Mark Harding dancing on YouTube.  Just do a search on "Matt Harding".

    For a list of events and speakers that you missed, go to


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