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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. Author of the 2015 Creating Change Through Humanism that lays out how and why people can lead moral and ethical lives without belief in a higher power, 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, the Institute for Humanist Studies, and the Secular Coalition for America Education Fund. 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

Religious Right Is Losing Influence

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2016 | 2:44 PM


The Congressional Prayer Caucus has long been a presence on Capitol Hill, promoting sectarian ideology and pushing to mix religion with government. The Caucus is infamous for introducing explicitly religious legislation like H. Con. Res. 284, which would have declared 2008 the “Year of the Bible”...

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Three Ways Presidential Candidates Can Win Over Nontheists

(2) Comments | Posted May 17, 2016 | 2:39 PM

Last week, likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump visited Capitol Hill to meet with GOP congressional leadership hoping to bring the party together around his campaign. These meetings were held in the wake of comments made by House Speaker Paul Ryan, who earlier stated that he...

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When 'Humanist' Is a Cop-out (And When It Isn't)

(43) Comments | Posted April 6, 2016 | 5:07 PM

Tina Fey was definitely on to something when she called BS on those who respond to the question about whether or not they are a feminist with "I am a humanist." In an interview with Rachel Simon, Fey said, "It's not the question, hotshot, the question is do...

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Religious Schools Are Failing Us

(0) Comments | Posted March 18, 2016 | 11:03 AM

It's not a secret that the US education system could use improving, but faith-based instruction is seldom singled out as part of the problem.

Earlier this year, Naftuli Moster, executive director of YAFFED (Young Advocates for Fair Education) drew attention to the plight of young Jewish boys attending...

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Anti-Atheist Terrorism: A New Threat

(10) Comments | Posted March 8, 2016 | 10:19 AM

Anti-atheist terrorism is gaining momentum around the world. While major events like the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris and the murders of rationalist bloggers in Bangladesh brought attention to this unfortunate problem, it's far from isolated to those individual incidents. In the last...

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Why Atheists Value Religious Freedom Day

(5) Comments | Posted January 15, 2016 | 9:33 AM

Every January 16 is Religious Freedom Day, a day to celebrate one of our fundamental freedoms and recognize the anniversary of the signing of the Virginia Religious Freedom Statute. This statute may not be immediately familiar to most people, but its substance is acknowledged by nearly all Americans,...

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Catholic Church Isn't Doing Enough to Stop Child Abuse

(49) Comments | Posted December 18, 2015 | 1:15 PM

The Catholic Church continues to struggle with the crisis originating from its widespread and at least decades long practice of allowing child molesters within its midst to escape justice for their crimes. In a number of cases the failure to take responsibility for the actions of their clergy went as...

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How Should the Nonreligious Feel About Hillary Clinton?

(134) Comments | Posted August 27, 2015 | 10:29 AM

With the 2016 presidential race fully underway, the growing population of nonreligious voters across the country is deciding who to support. While Donald Trump remains the most talked-about candidate, the clear frontrunner nationally and in many of the upcoming primaries is former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

At...

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We May See the First Open Humanist Win a Congressional Election in 2016

(13) Comments | Posted August 7, 2015 | 5:26 PM

"Has it gotten so edgy out there that those of us in public life are afraid to be associated with the great tradition of philosophical and ethical humanism?" Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin made this statement seven years ago when accepting the Distinguished Service Award from the American Humanist Association....

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Is It Easier for Religious Workers to Immigrate to America?

(5) Comments | Posted August 4, 2015 | 10:41 AM

Did you know some people have the option of becoming American citizens through Special Immigrant Religious Worker petitions? According to Gregory Eck of JDSupra Business Advisor, these petitions "allow persons in religious vocations and occupations to obtain permanent residence for the purpose of performing full-time religious work." Eck...

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Time to Shelve the Ten Commandments

(8) Comments | Posted July 9, 2015 | 1:48 PM

This week, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin announced her intention to defy her state Supreme Court's decision to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state capitol grounds. As she's following in the footsteps of Alabama Justice Roy Moore, Fallin may want to review the history.

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Counting the Godless

(0) Comments | Posted June 15, 2015 | 11:58 AM

Poll after poll demonstrates that the number of religious people in America is declining--even Bill O'Reilly now admits it. But counting the corresponding increase of those without traditional religion continues to be a mix of moving targets and differing definitions. This is because people are often counting different...

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Right Wing Congress Puts Religion Over People

(4) Comments | Posted April 27, 2015 | 3:11 PM

Last week the Senate passed legislation meant to fight against human trafficking, an epidemic that affects millions of people worldwide and crosses boundaries of gender, race, and religious belief. This bill is especially relevant considering the recent tragedy in Europe where nine hundred migrants died attempting...

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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

(161) 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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