For Immediate Release
Contact: Paul Fidalgo
Phone: (207) 358-9785

Humanism with a Pulse: Free Inquiry Explores Secularism’s Compassionate Side

July 20, 2012

Nonbelievers are embracing community service and activism with a brand of compassion that arises not from religious belief but from a humanistic worldview. This growing phenomenon is explored in-depth in a special cover feature of Free Inquiry, the flagship journal of the Council for Secular Humanism.

In a thought-provoking feature entitled “Humanism with a Pulse,” Free Inquiry brings together a formidable array of writers, thinkers, and activists to examine the motivations and justifications for a commitment to doing good deeds based on the values of secular humanism. The authors bring to light a robust culture of service in which nonbelievers are delving into grand projects to better their world and their local communities and looking inward to improve the lives of their fellow secularists.   

Included in this special feature: James Croft of the Harvard Humanist Chaplaincy encourages humanists to draw strength and inspiration from doing good works as a group (available only in the print edition); Hemant Mehta, author of the popular blog Friendly Atheist, asks nonbelievers to begin living their humanism by resisting the urge to resort to verbal combat with every disagreement; Rebecca Hensler, from personal experience, grapples with finding a nonreligious way to deal with grief and death; as well as contributions focusing on student activism, the plight of nonbelievers maligned in their own communities, and much more.

Also in this issueRon Lindsay surveys the landscape of humanism’s role in politics; Chris Mooney, author of The Republican Brain, interviews Johan Braeckman on the impact of Islamic creationist belief (print edition only); scholar and activist Sikivu Hutchinson takes a difficult look at racism within the freethought movement; and Free Inquiry editor Tom Flynn asks if LGBT activism accidentally saved traditional matrimony —and wonders whether that’s a good thing.  

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Free Inquiry is a bimonthly magazine featuring thoughtful and provocative commentary from such leading political and social commentators as Richard Dawkins, Arthur Caplan, Wendy Kaminer, and Nat Hentoff. Launched in 1980, Free Inquiry has a paid circulation of approximately 34,000 worldwide. The Free Inquiry website is at

The Council for Secular Humanism—housed at the Center for Inquiry—is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization promoting rational inquiry, secular values, and positive human development through the advancement of secular humanism. The Council, publisher of the bimonthly journal Free Inquiry, has a website at

The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization based in Amherst, New York; it is also home to both the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry and the Council for Secular Humanism. The mission of CFI is to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. CFI‘s web address is