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CFI Portland Meetup Group Message Board In the News › NEWS: CFI currently barred from marrying people in Indiana because CFI consi

NEWS: CFI currently barred from marrying people in Indiana because CFI considers itself a non-religion.

A former member
Post #: 2,114
NEWS: CFI is currently barred from marrying people in Indiana because CFI considers itself a non-religion. See the news article about the court case pertaining to it. It is called "Atheist Group Argues In Court For Right To Perform Weddings". If CFI looses its court case, maybe the atheists in that state should try to get married those by are Humanist Ministers, ones which obtained that status from the American Humanist Association (at least from its affiliated organization called the Humanist Society).

In other news see the article called "Paul Kurtz Has Died".
Bernie D.
BernieDehler
Hillsboro, OR
Post #: 1,423
Gavin- CFI can't perform a marriage (solemnize) in any State. The court case is to start enabling secular groups like CFI to be able to do it. So far, only religious groups can do it (must be "501c3 church"). CFI is "501c3 educational." The AHA people can solemnize a marriage because they have a sister group (The Humanist Society) that is "501c3 church" to "ordain" such ministers/chaplains/celebrants (synonyms in the eyes of the AHA).

More info on the Humanist Society (secular Chaplains, Minister, or Celebrant):
http://humanist-socie...­

I'm a certified secular humanist minister with them. Here's a listing of those in Oregon:
http://humanist-socie...­

CFI is taking a different tact, in challenging current laws rather than working within the existing framework, as the AHA does. Different strokes for different folks...
SylviaB
SylviaB
Portland, OR
Post #: 172
For more info on the history of and reasoning for this secular stance, see Paul Kurtz' obituary.

http://centerforinqui...­

Great explanation of why the CSH and CFI took that different tack.
Bernie D.
BernieDehler
Hillsboro, OR
Post #: 1,424
Sylvia wrote:
"Great explanation of why the CSH and CFI took that different tack."

What is "CSH?" If that is "Council for Secular Humanism" how can you say it is different tact than CFI since it is an organization under CFI's control? Did you mean AHA (American Humanist Association)?
A former member
Post #: 2,115
Bernie said:

Gavin- CFI can't perform a marriage (solemnize) in any State. The court case is to start enabling secular groups like CFI to be able to do it. So far, only religious groups can do it (must be "501c3 church"). CFI is "501c3 educational." The AHA people can solemnize a marriage because they have a sister group (The Humanist Society) that is "501c3 church" to "ordain" such ministers/chaplains/celebrants (synonyms in the eyes of the AHA).

More info on the Humanist Society (secular Chaplains, Minister, or Celebrant):
http://humanist-socie...­

I'm a certified secular humanist minister with them. Here's a listing of those in Oregon:
http://humanist-socie...­

CFI is taking a different tact, in challenging current laws rather than working within the existing framework, as the AHA does. Different strokes for different folks...

Personally I do not see the need to have a ceremony to become considered married. A couple should have the option of becoming considered married upon issuance of their marriage license, or they should be able to simply pronounce themselves married (like how easily people can start a business, such as a sole proprietorship or a partnership), perhaps along with themselves filling out a signed document in which they pronounce themselves married, thereby registering their marriage. The idea of a priest/minister being required started with the Roman Catholic Church introducing such an idea (at least that is what I saw and heard described in a History Channel cable TV program and it sounds correct to me). For example, the idea is not even mentioned in the Bible. Despite the Bible containing many narratives of marriages it never mentions a minister or priest (or rabbi) as conducting a marriage, at least not in his/her capacity as a minister or priest (or rabbi).

An interesting related CSH article is called "A Case for Civil Unions for All Couples".
A former member
Post #: 2,116
Bernie said:

Gavin- CFI can't perform a marriage (solemnize) in any State. The court case is to start enabling secular groups like CFI to be able to do it. So far, only religious groups can do it (must be "501c3 church"). CFI is "501c3 educational." The AHA people can solemnize a marriage because they have a sister group (The Humanist Society) that is "501c3 church" to "ordain" such ministers/chaplains/celebrants (synonyms in the eyes of the AHA).

More info on the Humanist Society (secular Chaplains, Minister, or Celebrant):
http://humanist-socie...­

I'm a certified secular humanist minister with them. Here's a listing of those in Oregon:
http://humanist-socie...­

CFI is taking a different tact, in challenging current laws rather than working within the existing framework, as the AHA does. Different strokes for different folks...


Personally I do not see the need to have a ceremony to become considered married. A couple should have the option of becoming considered married upon issuance of their marriage license, or they should be able to simply pronounce themselves married (like how easily people can start a business, such as a sole proprietorship or a partnership), perhaps along with themselves filling out a signed document in which they pronounce themselves married, thereby registering their marriage. The idea of a priest/minister being required started with the Roman Catholic Church introducing such an idea (at least that is what I saw and heard described in a History Channel cable TV program and it sounds correct to me). For example, the idea is not even mentioned in the Bible. Despite the Bible containing many narratives of marriages it never mentions a minister or priest (or rabbi) as conducting a marriage, at least not in his/her capacity as a minister or priest (or rabbi).

An interesting related CSH article is called "A Case for Civil Unions for All Couples".


Hey Bernie, in regards to you saying that The Humanist Society is registered as "501c3 church", in what sense do they consider themselves to be a "church"? I don't think they mean in the sense of being a denomination/sect of Christianity or even in the sense of a congregation/assembly of a body of believers. But maybe they do mean the latter. Could you clarify please? What about the AHA, are they registered also as a "church", or as an "educational" organization, or as something else? I hope it is not as a church or as some kind of religion. If I join another church or religion, it will be secular one (if such is not a contradiction in terms) and it would likely be of my own creation (such as my idea for a quasi-religious educational organization called "Educators of Naturalism and Humanism" (formerly known as "Humanistic Biblicalism" [aka "Humanistic Christianity"]). Along those lines I created a badge (which I sometimes wear) which says "Atheist Evangelist and Educator of Naturalism and Humanism". I also created an earlier badge which said "Minister of Atheistic Naturalism and of Humanism". But I don't have any ordination (other than from myself and from Nature wink) and I have no interest in conducting marriage and funeral ceremonies. I think of myself as minister only in the sense of preaching/teaching and evangelizing for the philosophies/worldviews of metaphysical/atheistic Naturalism and of Humanism, as well as in the sense of trying to start a congregation/(discussion group)/fellowship of such.

By the way, I know that Humanism (of the modern kind which is secular) includes Naturalism, but I use the phrase "Naturalism and Humanism" (and "of Atheistic Naturalism and of Humanism") because my emphasis is mostly on the Naturalism part of Humanism. That is because I am greatly interested in trying to convince people to stop believing in theism and other forms of supernaturalism, if not of deism and pantheism.
Bernie D.
BernieDehler
Hillsboro, OR
Post #: 1,425
RE: "Hey Bernie, in regards to you saying that The Humanist Society is registered as "501c3 church", in what sense do they consider themselves to be a "church"?"

The designation "501c3 church" is an IRS designation. Many groups use it (church, synagogue, mosque, or humanist center). There's a lot of info on the web to read about it. The IRS has easy to read documents about it too.

So you can start a group called "Center for Atheistic naturalism" if you want to, and designate it a "501c3 church." As such, you could have humanist ministers that can solemnize (make official) marriages.

The AHA has a history of first being designated as "501c3 church" then they later switched to "501c3 educational." Their affiliated group is called "The Humanist Society" (http://humanist-socie...­) and it is 501c3 church, so they can supply humanist ministers for the AHA.

When you organize a group, you determine how it should operate and be viewed, whether as an 'educational' organization (like CFI and HGP) or 'church' (like The Humanist Society).

Because of the first amendment, separation of church/state, the IRS will give you tons of leeway if you organize as a 'church' (just my opinion).

Also, if you form as a '501c3' church, you don't even need IRS permission. It is automatic for churches. Because of the first amendment, some churches don't even file for it, if I remember correctly. It is due to the power of the first amendment. The IRS will never bother a church unless they have overwhelming evidence of something fishy going on... which is why you see churches getting away with so much abuse (millionaire TV Christian preachers, for example).
SylviaB
SylviaB
Portland, OR
Post #: 173
Bernie,

to answer your questions:

1. Yes, CSH is Council for Secular Humanism.
2. I did not mean that CSH and CFI took different tacks from each other, but that together, they took a different tack from more religious forms of humanism, that different tack that you spoke about. Poor phrasing on my part. Sorry.
A former member
Post #: 2,118
RE: "Hey Bernie, in regards to you saying that The Humanist Society is registered as "501c3 church", in what sense do they consider themselves to be a "church"?"

The designation "501c3 church" is an IRS designation. Many groups use it (church, synagogue, mosque, or humanist center). There's a lot of info on the web to read about it. The IRS has easy to read documents about it too.

So you can start a group called "Center for Atheistic naturalism" if you want to, and designate it a "501c3 church." As such, you could have humanist ministers that can solemnize (make official) marriages. ...

Hey Bernie, it looks like the IRS doesn't actually use the word "church" in the 501c3 code, but rather the word "religious" instead. For example see "Exempt Purposes - Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). However, they do use the word "church" at Tax Information for Churches and Religious Organizations.
Bernie D.
BernieDehler
Hillsboro, OR
Post #: 1,426
Gavin- you might want to read this document from the IRS. It is very easy to read and comprehensive:

"Tax guide for Churches and Religious Organizations"
http://www.irs.gov/pu...­

I've read it years ago, and it is where I got all the info for what I wrote.

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