Are There Secularists in the Trenches?

The following article was written by an inmate in a prison in New Jersey whose name is being withheld because of possible repercussions. The author is highly educated and a committed secular humanist, but his efforts to establish a secular humanist group in prison have encountered countless roadblocks. After much negotiation with the New Jersey Department of Corrections, he was allowed to establish a secular group, which first convened during the solstice season as an alternative to the numerous religious services being held. The group has tried to meet periodically ever since, but unfortunately it has been stymied by the failure to find volunteers in New Jersey outside the prison who would support the group and attend meetings. The prison chaplain sometimes serves as a volunteer so that the group can meet, but he is an evangelical who is opposed to the secular approach. Sectarian religious groups meet frequently, but the many inmates who are nonreligious cannot. Anyone who would like further details please contact me at paulkurtz [at] aol.com.
— Paul Kurtz

 

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