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Roy Speckhardt
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Roy Speckhardt is executive director of the American Humanist Association where he actively promotes the humanist perspective on progressive political issues. He’s appeared on CNN Headline News, Fox News, numerous national radio shows, and has spoken to dozens of local humanist groups across the country. He also serves as a board member of the Humanist Institute and the United Coalition of Reason and as an advisory board member of the Secular Student Alliance. He holds an M.B.A. from George Mason University and a B.A. in sociology from Mary Washington College. He lives in Washington DC.

Entries by Roy Speckhardt

Giving Peace a Chance

(1) Comments | Posted March 31, 2015 | 2:47 PM

Watching the recent chaos in Yemen and Tunisia, it's easy to feel as though the Arab Winter will never end, and that the violence will just spiral upward, both in the Middle East and worldwide. But that's not a foregone conclusion. Steven Pinker, noted cognitive scientist...

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It Need Not Be the End of the World as We Know It

(6) Comments | Posted March 18, 2015 | 9:34 AM

Is the apocalypse upon us? Fascination with The End isn't a fringe movement. Popular TV shows like The Walking Dead, Doomsday Preppers, and The Colony join books and movies such as the Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner, and the upcoming remake of Mad Max in depicting nightmarish landscapes devoid of...

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When Senators Sabotage Science

(162) Comments | Posted March 4, 2015 | 10:40 AM

Senator Jim Inhofe, who infamously claimed in 2012 that the Bible refutes climate change, was recently given a committee gavel in the newly Republican-controlled Senate. Showing himself to be almost willfully ignorant of the scientific findings regarding climate change, Inhofe was still made chairman of the Senate Committee...

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When Challenging Racism, Humanists Need to Step Up

(5) Comments | Posted February 3, 2015 | 10:39 AM

The events of recent months exposed racial division and conflict in this nation. The unnecessary deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown, unarmed black men killed by white police officers, served as a catalyst for protests against long-simmering institutional racism. This also was brought to the fore as conservative officials...

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Atheists Unite! Leaders Gather to Collaborate

(45) Comments | Posted January 26, 2015 | 9:41 AM

Religious and conservative organizations have a history of organizing to accomplish shared aims. It's time to share the secret that atheists are now doing the same.

The Religious Right and its ultra-conservative allies are infamous for their wealth and influence. Groups like Focus on the Family and CPAC have operating...

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Why Thanking God is Hurtful

(21) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 1:10 PM

We Americans have much to be grateful for: a stable country, a democratic political process, a proud history of scientific progress, and a tradition of standing up for those who need defending, even if we are occasionally slow to rise to their defense.

We give thanks to all those...

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Get Ready for the Craziest Senate in Years

(4) Comments | Posted November 10, 2014 | 5:29 PM

The recent midterm elections were downright scary for atheist and humanist Americans, as we saw several political candidates allied with the Religious Right win seats in the U.S. Senate and House. Senator-elect Tom Cotton of Arkansas is one such politician, having stated in the past that women must...

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Is the Catholic Church Evolving?

(138) Comments | Posted October 16, 2014 | 9:11 AM

Humanists are sometimes criticized for having an adaptable set of values, but I find the ability to evolve one's thinking to be an advantage in the face of our rapidly expanding knowledge of the world. After all, holding to outdated ideals despite evidence disproving their relevance is blind faith that...

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Act Patriotically to Fix the Pledge

(24) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 3:04 PM

The Pledge of Allegiance was woven into the fabric of American culture when it was written over a century ago, and then, step-by-step, became part of daily civic life. It is now recited every day within our schools and at our government meetings. And its words are familiar to most,...

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The Unnatural Cycle of Prejudice and Violence

(2) Comments | Posted August 26, 2014 | 12:50 PM

Human beings love traditions, from annual family gatherings held at the same place for generations to superstitious rituals done to help a favorite sports team win the big game. Unfortunately, not all traditions that are handed down throughout the years are beneficial or even benign. Some perpetuate the...

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War on Christianity?

(775) Comments | Posted July 31, 2014 | 2:18 PM

When Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, was asked how LGBTQ couples could form a meaningful relationship in a country often hostile to gay people, he responded without a sense of irony that "The bigotry question goes both ways. And there is a lot more anti-Christian...

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Religion's Connection to the End Times

(24) Comments | Posted July 14, 2014 | 11:57 AM

According to Pastor Mark Blitz and the surprisingly popular "Blood Moon prophecy," we've all got about a year left on the planet, but I, for one, am still making longer-term plans.

Armageddon. The End Times. The Rapture. Ragnarok. There are many different terms for the end of...

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The Faux Faith of Congress

(2) Comments | Posted June 27, 2014 | 6:25 PM

Members of Congress regularly boost their reelection prospects in positive ways like voting in line with the will of their district and participating in the passage of landmark legislation. But we know all too well that they also engage in negative campaigning, lambasting their political opponents and even scapegoating minorities...

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Twisting Religious Liberty Into Religious Discrimination

(12) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 6:20 PM

Is a business owner's religious belief more important than an employee's right to health care? That's the question the Supreme Court is considering in the Hobby Lobby case, which serves as an example of how corporations are trying to use their owner's religious beliefs in order to discriminate...

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Atheism: The Last Major Political Taboo

(14) Comments | Posted May 22, 2014 | 2:17 PM

Traditional religions and their beliefs in gods are on the decline in America no matter how you measure it: one in five Americans have no religion according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, less people attend religious services than they publicly claim according...

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Upgrading From Prayer to Reason

(106) Comments | Posted May 1, 2014 | 9:25 AM

The first Thursday in May is a peculiar day for many Americans as it's a day set aside for government to intrude in their private religious practices. On May 1, the National Day of Prayer, government officials from city council to president ask citizens to join them in supplication. The...

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Religion Not Needed to Cope With Death

(11) Comments | Posted April 23, 2014 | 3:04 PM

In a life filled with unknowns, one of the few constants is the certainty of death. Some people believe that it's just the beginning of another life, whether in heaven, hell or reincarnated. But for humanists, atheists and others who reject claims of human existence persisting beyond the brain's functioning,...

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Pandora's Box of Vouchers

(1) Comments | Posted April 15, 2014 | 1:42 PM

Two voucher bills are currently making their way through Congress, the Scholarship for Kids Act and the CHOICE Act, and while these aren't the first attempts to legislate vouchers, the extreme nature of these bills is reinvigorating the debate surrounding government funding of private schools.

Besides the...

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Why Population Dynamics Matter

(1) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 4:20 PM

Humanity truly benefited over the past century from technological innovations and societal changes that have allowed us to reduce infant mortality and live longer, healthier lives than ever before. But this is not without its consequences, as the planet and governments around the world struggle to...

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Behaving Badly? Stop Using Religion as an Excuse!

(4) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 12:58 PM

While there is much joy in the world, it can also be a harsh and unforgiving place, full of disasters both natural and man-made. This is why it is so important that people try their best to follow the Golden Rule, modernly rephrased as treating others as they wish to...

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