Skip to content

This Week in Humanism 2018–12–16


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/12/16

“A tourist in Florentine museums is like a skipping stone above unfathomable depths. Here a Botticelli. There a Donatello. A single room at the Uffizi that would reward a lifetime of study gets five hurried minutes before lunch.

I have no intention of performing art criticism without a license (a capital offense here in Italy). But a few things stand out even to the amateur eye.

The medieval rooms display art for the sake of God. The artists reveal all the glories that two dimensions have to offer. But they are often anonymous. And their subjects — even Jesus on the cross — usually have the kind of flat, calm faces associated with Byzantine art. In a universe structured and ordered by the divine, piety is expressed by serenity.”


“A Louisiana library backed down from its educational “Drag Queen Story Time” event after a lawsuit brought by Christian groups, but some advocates aren’t ready to give up the fight.

We reported on this issue in September, when two military-themed Christian organizations — Warriors for Christ and Special Forces of Liberty — filed the lawsuit against the Lafayette Parish Library.”


“Historically Christian services are adapting for the increasingly diverse populations served by the NHS. Many people in the UK today lack religion, but we all may need help with existential concerns about what it means to be ill and to die. Richard Hurley reports

“Lots of people perceive chaplaincy as a purely religious service. It isn’t,” says Simon O’Donoghue, head of pastoral support at Humanists UK, a charity that promotes non-religious people’s interests.

Since 2015, guidance from NHS England has been that non-religious people should have the same opportunities as religious people to speak to someone like minded in care settings.1 It’s down to individual trusts to provide chaplaincy, defined broadly as pastoral, spiritual, and religious care.”


“The voice of secular America is often portrayed as the one saying “no” to nativity scenes and other religious displays on public grounds during the winter holidays.

This holiday season, there is a twelve-foot-high lighthouse-shaped sculpture glowing on the city square in downtown New Haven, Connecticut. To Chris Stedman, director of the Humanist Center of Minnesota, it represents a secular “yes” — the affirmative and inclusive voice of humanism.

Back in 2015, when he was executive director of the Yale Humanist Community (YHC), Stedman initiated the public art project as an attempt to counter the tired “war on Christmas” narrative. While YHC does acknowledge the importance of protecting public spaces from unconstitutional promotions of religion, the community is dedicated to highlighting what nonreligious Americans are for in addition to what they are against.”


“La Paz, Dec 15 (Prensa Latina) Many Bolivians are currently grateful for the presence of Cuban doctors in this country, who with their professionalism and humanistic sense reach intricate communities to attend to the most disadvantaged people.

Rogelio Velazquez and his wife Angelica Rosse are among the more than 700,000 patients in this country who have benefited from ophthalmic surgeries, as part of the Operation Miracle plan, which seeks to solve the population’s different ocular pathologies.

‘Thanks to President Evo Morales and Cuban doctors, we can see without problem and we can carry out all our daily activities’, the 63-year-old couple told Prensa Latina.”



In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: