What we're about

Meet other local Humanists, people who believe in the basic goodness of the human spirit without supernaturalism.

The Washington Area Secular Humanists (WASH) was incorporated in 1989 as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) educational organization in Maryland. Our purpose is to promote scientific literacy and critical thinking, to provide a forum for humanists and others to explore humanist principles and how they relate to all aspects of human experience, and to study the significance of humanism throughout history. Secular humanists are distinguished by an emphasis on scientific methods of knowing, separation of church and state, and a commitment to the pursuit of humanist goals outside religious frameworks.

WASH has 11 active Chapters from Roanoke, VA to Baltimore, MD.

WASH is a Cooperating Local Group of the Council for Secular Humanism, an Chapter of the American Humanist Association, and an affiliate of American Atheists and an endorsing group of The Secular Coalition of America

While being a member of the WASH meetup group is free please consider joining as a member of WASH to help support our activities.

http://www.wash.org/join (http://www.wash.org/join_online.html)

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http://www.facebook.com/wash89

Upcoming events (2)

A discussion of identitarians and identitarianism

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# According to the Urban Dictionary an identitarian is "A person or ideology that espouses that group identity is the MOST important thing about a person, and that justice and power must be viewed primarily on the basis of group identity rather than individual merit." As a recent editorial by Robyn Blumner in Free Inquiry (Identitarianism Is Incompatible with Humanism) argues there are problems here for the Humanist Project. Here is the first part of the argument:

# "The humanist project is at a dangerous crossroads. I fear that our cohesion as fellow humanists is being torn apart by a strain of identitarianism that is making enemies of long-standing friends and opponents of natural allies.

Just at a time when it is essential for all of us to come together to work arm-in-arm against Christian Nationalism and the rise of religious privilege in law, humanism is facing a schism within its own movement. It is heartbreaking to watch and even more disheartening to know that the continued breach seems destined to grow.
The division has to do with a fundamental precept of humanism, that enriching human individuality and celebrating the individual is the basis upon which humanism is built. Humanism valorizes the individual—and with good reason; we are each the hero of our own story. Not only is one’s individual sovereignty more essential to the humanist project than one’s group affiliation, but fighting for individual freedom—which includes freedom of conscience, speech, and inquiry—is part of the writ-large agenda of humanism. It unleashes creativity and grants us the breathing space to be agents in our own lives.
Or at least that idea used to be at the core of humanism.
Today, there is a subpart of humanists, identitarians, who are suspicious of individuals and their freedoms. They do not want a free society if it means some people will use their freedom to express ideas with which they disagree. They see everything through a narrow affiliative lens of race, gender, ethnicity, or other demographic category and seek to shield groups that they see as marginalized by ostensible psychic harms inflicted by the speech of others."

Let's discuss some of the issues that arise from balancing values that come out of group affiliation and individual judgements from personal experience.

Secular Zoom Community

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We will continue nurturing secular community through Zoom meetings. It seems that every meeting creates a new gathering to share our astonishment at some new social outrage. The Supreme Court’s prospective destruction of the rights of women to reproductive choice was the example last month. The two bloody mass shooting deaths in recent days show the USA to be massively out of step with all other developed democracies.

Jonathan Haidt had an almost excessively excellent article in the May issue of the Atlantic:
Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid
https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/05/social-media-democracy-trust-babel/629369/
This is a somewhat long article but it brings forth an excellent array of the reasons for American culture becoming as he says, uniquely stupid. How do we live in a society that seems dedicated to becoming more and more insane? A community that shares some sanity is a first step in coping.

We will move to the first Thursday of the month in July.
In the 24 hours before our meeting we will be using Meetup to convey the link for discussion group members to connect using Zoom.

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Secular Spirituality

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