List of secularist organizations
Secularist organizations promote the view that moral standards should be based solely on concern for the good of humanity in the present life, without reference to supernatural concepts, such as God or an afterlife. The term secularism, as coined and promulgated by George Jacob Holyoake, originally referred to such a view. Secularism may also refer to the belief that government should be neutral on matters of religion, and that church and state should be separate. The term is here used in the first sense, though most organizations listed here also support secularism in the second sense.
- 1 Background
- 2 List
- 3 See also
- 4 Notes and references
- 5 External links
Secularists, and their organizations, identify themselves by a variety of terms, including agnostic, atheist, bright, freethinker, humanist, nontheist, naturalist, rationalist, or skeptic. Despite the use of these various terms, the organizations listed here have secularist goals in common. Note that, while most of these organizations and their members consider themselves irreligious, there are certain exceptions (Ethical Culture, for example).
In some jurisdictions, a provincial or national humanist society may confer upon Humanist officiants the ability to conduct memorial services, child naming ceremonies or officiate marriage — tasks which would be carried out by clergy in most organised religions.
- Atheist Alliance International
- The Brights' Net is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to "building a constituency" and "constructively address[ing] the marginalized situation of persons who have a naturalistic worldview."
- European Humanist Federation is a union of "numerous humanist organisations from most European countries" whose purpose is to promote humanism and secularism in Europe.
- International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) is "the sole world umbrella organisation embracing Humanist, atheist, rationalist, secularist, skeptic, laique, [sic] ethical cultural, freethought and similar organisations world-wide." IHEU is a union of over 100 Humanist or secularist organizations in more than 40 countries. It is an international NGO (Non-governmental organization) with special consultative status with the United Nations.
- International League of Humanists
- International League of non-religious and atheists
- Rationalist International
- Atheist Foundation of Australia
- Council of Australian Humanist Societies
- Rationalist Society of Australia
- The Secular Party of Australia
- Brazilian Association of Atheists and Agnostics (ATEA)
- Sociedade da Terra Redonda
- Secular Humanist League of Brazil
- Humanist Association of Canada
- Mouvement laïque québécois
- Centre for Inquiry Canada
- Freethought Association of Canada
- Central Council of Ex-Muslims
- German Freethinkers League
- Giordano Bruno Foundation (Giordano Bruno Stiftung)
- International League of non-religious and atheists
- Humanistischer Verband Deutschlands
- Sidmennt - Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association
- Indian Rationalist Association
- Atheist Center
- Dakshina Kannada Rationalist Association
- Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations
- Hyderabad Rationalist Forum
- Indian Humanist Union
- Kerala Yukthivadi Sangham
- Youth Association of Kuwait (yakuwait)
- Humanist Society of New Zealand
- New Zealand Association of Rationalists and Humanists
- New Zealand Skeptics
- Human-Etisk Forbund HEF has over 78,000 members, making it "the largest group [in Norway] outside the State Church."
- Norwegian Heathen Society
- Humanist Society of Scotland
- Scottish Secular Society, founded in 2012, identifies itself as Scotland's largest secular group.
- British Humanist Association
- Conway Hall Ethical Society, founded in 1793, identifies itself as "the oldest freethought community in the world." Conwall Hall
- Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association
- Humanist Society of Scotland
- Leicester Secular Society, founded in 1851, bills itself as the "oldest secular society in the world."
- National Secular Society
- North East Humanists
- Rationalist Association
- Scottish Secular Society
- American Atheists
- American Ethical Union - a federation of about 25 Ethical Societies representing the Ethical Culture movement founded in 1876 by Felix Adler.
- American Humanist Association, The first and largest organization promoting Humanism in the US. The American Humanist Association strives to bring about a progressive society where being good without gods is an accepted way to live life. We are accomplishing this through our defense of civil liberties and secular governance, by our outreach to the growing number of people without traditional religious faith, and through a continued refinement and advancement of the humanist worldview.
- American Secular Union
- Americans United for Separation of Church and State is a nonpartisan organization dedicated to preserving church-state separation to ensure religious freedom for all Americans.
- The Atheist Agenda
- Atheist Community of Austin (TX)
- Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, "The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty" represents multiple Baptist groups (but not the Southern Baptist Convention) in supporting religious liberty and the separation of church and state.
- Camp Inquiry This is a place where kids can be themselves. We work toward helping youth confront the challenges of living a non-theistic, skeptical, and secular lifestyle in a world dominated by religious belief and pseudoscience. Grounded on the conviction that kids can begin establishing habits of the good and ethical life early on, Camp Inquiry adopts a three-part focus: The arts and sciences, the skeptical perspective, and ethical character development comprise an integrated approach to this "Age of Discovery."
- Camp Quest, "The Secular Summer Camp", is the first residential summer camp in the United States for the children of those who hold a naturalistic world view.
- Center for Inquiry The mission of the Center for Inquiry is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. The Center for Inquiry holds that evidence-based reasoning, in which humans work together to address common concerns, is critical for modern world civilization. CFI also maintains that values are properly the subject of study and discussion as much as empirical claims. CFI, and its affiliates, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism, also carry out their work through education, publishing, advocacy, and social services, especially through their dozens of regional centers and communities, and programs in many different countries.
- City Congregation for Humanistic Judaism
- Council for Secular Humanism is a non-profit educational association and, according to its website, "North America's leading organization for non-religious people." The Council aims to "meet the needs of people who find meaning and value in life without looking to a god." CSH publishes Free Inquiry.
- Fellowship of Humanity
- First Humanist Society of New York
- Freedom From Religion Foundation, according to its website, is the "largest group of atheists and agnostics in North America." The Foundation represents the interests of freethinkers, with an emphasis on gender equality and reproductive rights, and the separation of church and state. It publishes Freethought Today, "the only freethought newspaper in North America."
- The Humanist Institute
- Institute for Humanist Studies
- Internet Infidels is "a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to defending and promoting a naturalistic worldview on the Internet."
- Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers
- North Texas Church of Freethought
- Practice What You Preach Foundation is a "non-profit organization that builds bridges between faith communities and secular organizations in the Greater Los Angeles Area."
- Rational Response Squad
- The Reason Project
- Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science
- Secular Coalition for America
- Secular Policy Institute is a think tank organization of thought leaders, writers, scholars and speakers with a shared mission to influence public opinion and promote a secular society.
- Secular Student Alliance
- United Coalition of Reason
- List of skeptical organizations
- Lists of secularists: Agnostics, Atheists, Humanists, Nontheists, Skeptics
Notes and references
- "Secularism". Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition. Oxford University Press, 1989.
- The Secular Coalition for America, which has been identified by Brights.net as representing the interests of "secularist organizations", describes its constituency as "nontheistic Americans", including those who go by the labels "atheist, humanist, freethinker, agnostic, skeptic, bright, ignostic, materialist, and naturalist, among others." Who does the Secular Coalition for America represent? at the Secular Coalition for America website (Accessed 5 April 2008)
- Some less common secularist labels include: apatheist, godless (in the non-pejorative, literal sense), ignostic, infidel (or unbeliever), heathen, materialist, or realist.
- Humanist Canada: Humanist Weddings
- American Humanist Association: Humanists Stand Ready to Perform Same-Sex Marriage Ceremonies
- The Humanist Society Listing of Humanist Celebrants
- Atheist Alliance International website, 2008 (Accessed 9 April 2008)
- The Movement, The Brights' Network, 2008 (Accessed 9 April 2008)
- Presentation, European Humanist Federation website, 2006 (Accessed 10 April 2008)
- Laïque (French): "secular"
- About IHEU, IHEU website (Accessed 5 April 2008)
- The Norwegian Humanist Association, Human-Etisk Forbund website (English version), 2011 (Accessed 5 February 2011)
- Membership, Human-Etisk Forbund website (English version), 2004 (Accessed 9 April 2008)
- South Place Ethical Society website (Accessed 5 April 2008)
- Leicester Secular Society website (Accessed 5 April 2008)
- "American Humanist Association FAQ". American Humanist Association website. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- "Americans United for Separation of Church and State". Americans United. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- Camp Inquiry Web site
- "Camp Quest". Camp Quest website. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
- Organizations lists at the Secular Web.