Humanist Chaplaincy at American University - Washington, DC

Humanist Chaplaincy at American University - Washington, DC The Chaplaincy helps students to explore Humanism, to put into action its progressive values, & to connect with each other, the community, & the movement.

The Humanist Chaplaincy’s Work 1) offering educational programs, services, & materials to promote the wider understanding of Humanism, its meaning, history, forms, & pragmatic relevance to our lives, as well as its relationships to various traditions, philosophies, & fields – from religious to secular, from arts & sciences to the other disciplines & professions taught at the University; 2) supporting & fostering participants’ personal development & well-being with particular focus on the moral, emotional, psycho-social, & philosophical facets of life, including our human search for & creation of meaning & purpose in our lives; 3) facilitating the development of a healthy & vibrant Humanist community at AU that fulfills a measure of our common needs for connection & friendship, intimacy & love, participation in & belonging to a circle of like-minded others committed to the greater good; 4) actively engaging with & benefiting the larger community, society, & world in which AU operates through service & advocacy that applies the vision & values of Humanism such as affirming, defending, & advancing the equality, liberty, & humanity of all, as well as standing with & aiding the unfortunate & disadvantaged, the exploited & oppressed; 5) educating ourselves & others about the imperative of mutual respect, tolerance, & co-operation to achieve humanity’s shared goals in a free, fair, & pluralist democracy. The Chaplaincy works closely with the AU Humanist Community (AUHC), a student group affiliated with the American Humanist Association and the Secular Student Alliance. Visit AUHC's fb page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/34367344446/

The Secular Student Alliance holds its national conference July 12-14, 2019 in LA. For more info, including scholarship ...
05/20/2019
2019 SSA National Conference - Secular Student Alliance

The Secular Student Alliance holds its national conference July 12-14, 2019 in LA. For more info, including scholarship details, check out:
https://secularstudents.org/conference/2019conference/

Secular Student Alliance National Conference Join us at the University of Southern California Day Hour Minute Second Register Schedule & Speakers Housing About Planning Your Trip Policies Call for Presentations Sponsor the Conference We are grateful to be hosted by the Office of Religious Life at th...

Summer conferences are coming soon!June 7-9, 2019 - The American Humanist Association holds its first ever multi-site & ...
05/20/2019
AHA Annual Conference 2019 - Five University Venues and Webcast

Summer conferences are coming soon!
June 7-9, 2019 - The American Humanist Association holds its first ever multi-site & VIRTUAL conference! Stream the whole conference and/or attend in-person at one of the five select university locations across the US:
Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA
Rice University Houston, TX
Pitzer College Claremont, CA
University of Miami Miami, FL
Medgar Evers College Brooklyn, NY
Each of these venues will host one half-day session.

Don’t miss informative sessions on humanism, science, social justice, the First Amendment, and more! Plus, opportunities to network and socialize with fellow humanists, distinguished speakers, and celebrity guests.

Attend in-person and/or online! Get more info, including scholarship details, and register for the conference livestream or to attend at one of the five locations at:
https://conference.americanhumanist.org/

Secular Week of Action 4/26-5/2!The Secular Student Alliance, American Humanist Association, & 18 other national free-th...
04/22/2019
Week of Action - Secular Coalition for America

Secular Week of Action 4/26-5/2!
The Secular Student Alliance, American Humanist Association, & 18 other national free-thought groups are partnering on a range of activities starting this Friday, so please do get involved and active!

Learn more and sign up via Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/secularweekofaction/?mc_cid=4c80fcbc20&mc_eid=f185dacba5
or via the website
https://weekofaction.org/

Good luck wrapping up your academic work for this year!

Please do contact Chaplain Ben for any help in connecting with various groups over the summer, wherever you may be going, or for internships that will start next fall back in DC.

SECULAR WEEK OF ACTIONAPRIL 26 - MAY 2 Learn More Individual Action Individual Action Local Group Action Local Group Action What is The Week of Action The Secular Week of Action is a call to secular communities across the country to put their secular values into action. Local secular organizations a...

04/17/2019
Bill Nye: Science Guy Trailer #1 (2017) | Movieclips Indie

4/18 elections for the Secular Student Alliance at AU! 5:30-7:30pm in MGC 323.
This is our final mtg of the academic yr, & we'll watch the 2017 funny documentary "Bill Nye: Science Guy" and hang out. Check out the trailer here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGmGNqPpMqU

Bill Nye: Science Guy Trailer #1 (2017): Check out the new trailer starring Bill Nye! Be the first to watch, comment, and share Indie trailers, clips, and fe...

3/28: Progressives in 2020: Looking Forward – A Conversation with David Weigel of the Washington PostMarch 284:00 PM – 5...
03/27/2019
Home: Progressives in 2020: Looking Forward A Conversation with David Weigel of The Washington Post

3/28: Progressives in 2020: Looking Forward – A Conversation with David Weigel of the Washington Post

March 28
4:00 PM – 5:20 PM
Kerwin Hall, 311

Will the Democrats fully embrace progressive ideas like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal? And will those ideas sway voters in 2020? Join Washington Post's David Weigel and Inaugural Sine Institute Fellow and former Michigan Governor candidate, Abdul El-Sayed, as they discuss what might play out for progressives in the elections of 2020.

RSVP: https://american.swoogo.com/Lookingforward2020

Will the Democrats fully embrace progressive ideas like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal? And will those ideas sway voters in 2020? Join The Washington Post's David Weigel and Inaugural Sine Institute Fellow and former Michigan Governor candidate, Abdul El-Sayed, as they discuss what might pl...

AU Career Fair tomorrow 3/26 @ 1-4pm: the Fund for the Public Interest invites our members to stop by their table and fi...
03/25/2019
The Fund

AU Career Fair tomorrow 3/26 @ 1-4pm: the Fund for the Public Interest invites our members to stop by their table and find out how to get engaged over the summer with jobs that pay students to help make a difference. Learn valuable communication, leadership and organizing skills while helping to protect the environment, public health, and our democracy - and working with people who share your passions and core values.

Check out the Fund for the Public Interest, a national non-profit organization that runs campaigns for some of the nation’s most prominent social change and environmental organizations, such as the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and Environment America.

The Fund is currently hiring students to join its summer campaign staff right here in DC, and in 30 other cities across the country. Students will get the opportunity to gain first-hand experience in grassroots organizing, learn valuable communication skills and have the opportunity to participate in a variety of campaign actions including: running media events, petitioning, canvassing, fundraising, and writing letters to the editor, all while being paid as members of our staff. Our staff typically earn an average of $13-18/hour.

Interested? Apply today! Just go to www.summerjobsthatmatter.org.

Fund For the Public Interest is partnering with groups like Environment America to take on polluters, tackle climate change or get pesticides out of our food supply. These groups have counted on us for 35 years to generate the people power they need to take on Exxon Mobil, Monsanto or other oppositi...

This Thursday 3/7 - 2 topics: 1) Trump's new abortion gag rule ; 2) climate science & action. MGC 303A @ 3-5pm.1) We'll ...
03/06/2019
21 states to file suit to block Trump administration’s abortion ‘gag rule’ in family planning program

This Thursday 3/7 - 2 topics: 1) Trump's new abortion gag rule ; 2) climate science & action. MGC 303A @ 3-5pm.

1) We'll talk about Trump's new gag rule on abortion and related health services that is being fought in courts, and that would ban from federal funding any clinic providing abortions or referring patients to abortion clinics, leaving millions of US women without safe access to abortion.
More info at Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2019/03/04/california-files-suit-block-trump-administrations-abortion-gag-rule-family-planning-program/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.eecdc41350d9
and at Vox
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2019/2/22/18236227/abortion-planned-parenthood-gag-rule-trump

2) We'll also talk about climate science & action. As secularists, humanists, & atheists, we're committed to science, reason, and taking responsibility & action to help humans, animals, and the planet, so we'll also be discussing climate change and the scientific consensus behind it, and continue to plan our Bill Nye viewing event. [email protected] President Pablo Molina identified three episodes for possible viewing & discussion. More to come on that.

+ 3/15 School Strike 4 Climate info on this fb page.

Hope to see you Thursday!

The suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, is the first of what is expected to be a flurry of challenges to the new rule that impacts more than 4 million low-income women.

2/27 Supreme Court rally for separation of church and state - as MD case is heard in court - 8:30-11:30am.Come support v...
02/25/2019
Rally to #HonorThemAll at the Supreme Court

2/27 Supreme Court rally for separation of church and state - as MD case is heard in court - 8:30-11:30am.

Come support veterans of all faiths and none and the American Humanist Association as we stand for a veterans’ memorial that truly honors every person who has fought and died for our country.

Five years ago this month, the American Humanist Association and three area residents filed a complaint against the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission challenging the constitutionality of a 40-foot-tall Latin cross that towers over the entrance to Bladensburg, MD. On February 27th, the American Humanist Association will be defending the First Amendment before the Supreme Court.

Lower court rulings, Supreme Court precedent, and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment recognize that using the symbol of a major religion to supposedly honor all veterans of all wars is not only unconstitutional, it fails to accomplish its very mission. Since the American Revolution, governments at every level built thousands of war memorials that are both constitutional and inclusive. These obelisks, pedestals, plaques and other memorials recognize the service of all veterans, regardless of their faith or lack thereof.

On Wednesday, February 27, from 8:30 to 11:30am, join us for a rally at the front of the Supreme Court to support our legal team as they argue before the highest court in the land. There will be music, various signs, a great lineup of speakers, and more. Show your nation that you #HonorThemAll and protect the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment!

Please RSVP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/rally-to-honorthemall-at-the-supreme-court-tickets-54552944325

Download your own #HonorThemAll Logo and signs here:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ewhi89oie58098g/HTA-materials.zip?dl=0&file_subpath=%2FHTA-materials
We’ll also have these signs to hand out at the rally.

Learn more about the case here:
https://americanhumanist.org/honorthemall/.

Come support veterans of all faiths and none and the American Humanist Association as we stand for a veterans’ memorial that truly honors every person who has fought and died for our country. Five years ago, the American Humanist Association and three area residents filed a complaint against the M...

Regular mtgs this semester are on 1st & 3rd Thursdays 3-5pm in MGC 303A.  Join us this Thursday 2/7 to meet other AU fre...
02/05/2019

Regular mtgs this semester are on 1st & 3rd Thursdays 3-5pm in MGC 303A. Join us this Thursday 2/7 to meet other AU freethinkers and the new leaders of the student group (photo attached here), welcome transfer students, and plan upcoming events. Bring you energies & ideas to make happen the events you want! See you Thursday!

The Secular Student Alliance at AU ([email protected]) is the new name of the Humanist Community student group, and it was officially recognized in December by the University and the national SSA, with a set of founding officers:
Pablo Molina Asensi - President (was VP - on left)
Rachel DeHaemer - Secretary (2nd from left)
Carlo Zahl-Batlle - Treasurer (on right)
Thank you all for stepping up to lead the group!
And thanks also to our former and founding president, Adriana Buenaventura-Martinez (2nd from right), who graduated in December and is now working at American Atheists as a Judicial Law Clerk. We wish you well! Pablo was the VP in December, so is now the president.

Check out the page of the [email protected]:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/34367344446/

To find out more about the national Secular Student Alliance, of which our AU group is a chapter, check out its website:
https://secularstudents.org/

For info on an internship with the Secular Coalition of America (in DC - starting ASAP) check out:
https://secular.org/about/jobs/

Women's March 2019 this Saturday 1/19 in DC & elsewhere - including Humanist contigents.The American Humanist Associatio...
01/17/2019

Women's March 2019 this Saturday 1/19 in DC & elsewhere - including Humanist contigents.
The American Humanist Association is organizing a group of marchers here in DC, and the details are below.
The weather is set to be wet and cold, with snow possible.

10:00 AM – Meet at the southwest corner of F St. and 12th St. NW, DC (the entrance to Metro Center) to join the group or just grab a sign.

10:20 AM – Two-block walk to Freedom Plaza for the start of the march.

Public Transit: The closest metro stop is Metro Center (note multiple station exits)

Contact: Email Rachel Deitch with any questions, [email protected]

FAQS: Check out the Women’s March website for info about accessibility, routes, and more.
https://actionnetwork.org/events/womensmarch2019

12/07/2018

Congratulations to everyone on completing another semester's classes, and good luck on your final papers, projects, and exams! Major congrats also to Adriana Buenaventura Martinez for completing your law studies and graduating this term and for reviving our AU student group for humanists, secularists, atheists, and assorted freethinkers! Many thanks for all you've done! Wishing you much success and fulfillment in your future endeavors!

Gratitude helps us be happier, healthier, and kinder people! Check out "The Science of Gratitude" - a cool 1 hr public r...
11/21/2018
The Science of Gratitude | Specials | WNYC

Gratitude helps us be happier, healthier, and kinder people! Check out "The Science of Gratitude" - a cool 1 hr public radio show that you can listen to whenever online at: https://www.wnyc.org/story/science-gratitude/

A lovely Humanist reflection on gratitude is offered by Jen Hancock at her "Happiness through Humanism" website:
http://humanisthappiness.blogspot.com/2012/11/gratitude.html

I'm visiting family up in NY and feeling enormous gratitude for all the family and friends - as well as strangers, non-human animals, plants, and the swirling cosmos all around - that have helped me appreciate being alive. Thank you all!

Work, relationships, health -- all benefit from embracing gratitude. Susan Sarandon hosts this special that explores the positive outcomes that come with having a grateful mindset.

Join us for a"Post-Elections Rap Session: Secular Humanist Perspectives"Wednesday 11/7 3:30-5:00pmMary Graydon Center, R...
11/07/2018
Freethought Equality Fund

Join us for a
"Post-Elections Rap Session:
Secular Humanist Perspectives"

Wednesday 11/7
3:30-5:00pm
Mary Graydon Center, Room 328

Come discuss races & referendums you're tracking,
and find out how candidates fared who were backed by the Freethought Equality Fund PAC.

On 11/21 there's no regular 3rd Wednesday mtg
due to Thanksgiving next day.
On 12/5 or 12/7 we'll hold a party to wrap up the semester - details coming soon...

Our regular meetings this semester have been on are 1st & 3rd Wednesdays, though the day & time of regular mtgs may change next term, so we'll update you ASAP.

******************************************************
Election resources online:
- Freethought Equality Fund PAC http://www.freethoughtequalityfund.net/
- Secular Coalition for America https://www.secular.org/
- Center for Inquiry's Office of Public Policy https://centerforinquiry.org/our-issues/office-of-public-policy/

AU law professor Jamie Raskin, a Humanist, was re-elected to the US House of Representatives with the support of the Freethought PAC, and you can see this year's endorsees fared on the PAC's website.

10/29/2018

The Pittsburgh synagogue mass shooting by a bigot with a semi-automatic assault weapon brought back to me the grief and urgent need to act I felt after the similar mass shooting hate crime at the Pulse LGBT club in Orlando. The name of the Pittsburgh congregation is the Tree of Life, which made me recall my mentioning this biblical image in the middle of my homily that I wrote for and shared at the DC interfaith vigil for those who had been killed, injured, or otherwise harmed in the Orlando shooting. I was moved to revisit myself and then share with you all below my words from that vigil two years ago. I hope that they may offer you all a Humanist perspective on such mass shooting hate crimes and our possible responses to such.

Orlando Mass Shooting Interfaith Candlelight Vigil in Washington, DC - 6/15/2016
Reflections of Rabbi Binyamin Biber - Humanist Chaplain at American University

Shalom aleikhem. Salaam aleikum. Peace be unto us all, and may we radiate its healing and transformative power out into our world.

I am an out-bi rabbi who serves as the humanist chaplain at American University, and our student community there includes assorted humanists, secularists, & atheists. Thus, I was asked by the leaders of several like-minded national groups to represent nontheists here tonight, and we deeply appreciate our being included.

We too extend our aching hearts and helping hands to those who suffer from injuries and trauma, to those who grieve the loss of family, friends, & loved ones, and to all who feel fear in the wake of such hatred and violence.

Let us draw together our energies & efforts to help our sisters & brothers in pain. Let us radiate out our powerful and healing love to displace hate, to help the disturbed & despairing, &, as best we can, to remove from among us violence & the weapons of war. Let us shine forth the beautiful diverse rainbow of our light to dispel darkness.

Our shared human origins and experiences connect us all to one another. We humans are all one family, made up of the same constellating stardust, life-sustaining water, gleaming sunshine, and species-defining DNA. As ultra-social beings we continue to evolve our empathy & reason that can empower our hearts & minds to come together in compassion & understanding.

As we learn more about ourselves, our planet, & the cosmos, we grow in our abilities to create our better selves & a better world together. Our diversity is the natural fruitfulness of the tree of life. We come in an ever-blending spectrum of colors & shapes, beliefs & doubts, hopes & fears, attractions to others & expressions of selfhood.

Let us celebrate & defend our human diversity & our very lives by reaching out with love toward the neighbors & strangers of our world, seeking to make us all into the family & friends we can be by our nature.

Let us each shine forth into the world our little lights of love & learning & good works to dispel the darkness of hate & ignorance & violence.

We can & we must turn as many hearts & minds as possible toward one another in empathy & understanding to allow us to move forward together in action.

Such are the threads of Humanism - religious & secular, spiritual & scientific - that are our common heritage, &, in times joyous & sorrowful, our sources of insight & inspiration, of health & strength, of peace & justice.

Together let us weave these threads of our common humanity into an expansive & welcoming canopy of pluralism, peace, & progress that can benefit & shelter all current & future generations.

May it be so. Let us work together to make it so.

Thank you for taking a moment to read these words and to find some measure of hope in them to move us to act and go forward together.

Address

4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC
20016-8010

General information

Meet AU's Humanist Chaplain Ben / Binyamin Biber biber at american.edu Chaplain Biber started the Humanist Chaplaincy at AU in 2011, and serves as the faculty adviser to the Secular Student Alliance at AU, a chapter of the national SSA. Connect with [email protected] via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/34367344446/ and through its AU Campus Labs site https://american.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/secular Ben also operates the Humanist Chaplaincy of Greater Washington, DC, providing to the wider community various counseling and life-cycle ceremony services such as weddings, baby welcomings, & funerals. He’s an ordained Humanistic rabbi who for 13 years served a DC congregation called Machar, the Washington Congregation for Secular Humanistic Judaism (‘Machar’=’tomorrow’ in Hebrew). He is a past president of the Association of Humanistic Rabbis, a member of the Rabbinic Cabinet of J Street – working for a just peace between Israel & Palestine, & a former board member of the Humanist Society, the professional organization of chaplains and officiants active in the American Humanist Association. Ben is also a social worker trained in counseling, community organizing, nonprofit leadership, & progressive advocacy.

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Humanist Chaplaincy at American University - Washington, DC posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The University

Send a message to Humanist Chaplaincy at American University - Washington, DC:

Nearby universities