The following is a short expcerpt from Erhman’s speech.
Humanism must make a positive impact on people’s lives and be looked upon, even by outsiders, as a good healthy phenomenon. Among other things, humanists need to provide social outlets that mirror what believers have in their churches. When someone leaves the womb of the church, they need somewhere else to go. They need warm, loving, welcoming safe communities of like-minded people where they can establish social networks and find fellowship with people who share their world-views, their loves, hates, concerns, passions and obsessions. They need context within which they can discuss the big issues of life, not just politics but also life and death issues. They need places where they can celebrate what is good in life and where they can work to overcome what is bad.
Humanist organization need to become as recognizable as the Baptist church on the corner and the Episcopal church up the street. They need to be seen as first responders when an earthquake hits Haiti, to be seen as major forces in the fight against poverty, homelessness, malaria, AIDS, and other epidemics. They need to be seen as vibrant and viable alternatives to the religions of the world. . . . people must be liberated not only from something but also for something. - Bart Ehrman – AHA Religious Liberty Award acceptance speech. The Humanist Pg. 20 Nov-Dec
I think it makes an extremely imortant point. If you want to influence society you have to follow Joe Hill’s advise Organize.