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Humanist Society Solstice Celebration
updated: Dec 20, 2012, 8:32 PM

By Robert Bernstein

The Humanist Society of Santa Barbara celebrated the Winter Solstice season its own special secular way, with its own special festivities!

The Humanist Society event filled the Valle Verde Retirement Community main auditorium.

Here are my photos from the occasion!

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 356273P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-20 09:34 PM

Thanks for sharing.

I am wondering why the group seems to be on the elderly side.

Does one need to approach the golden years before he or she can feel free to be a secular humanist?


 COMMENT 356278 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-20 10:01 PM

I wonder if the environment has much to do with it? Since man is bad from the environmental world view, that's contrary to humanist belief that man is good and getting better. More people today identify with man as a bad actor in the world, then a good one, therefore humanism is not popular and held mostly by the staunch old guard. Just a guess


 COMMENT 356287 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-21 05:38 AM

Thank you Robert for showing that there are Humanist/Atheists alive and well. Although most seem elderly in your photos, more younger people are atheist but don't show up for these celebrations.....no big deal! We atheists are gaining in population because of evolving, intelligent people- yay !


 COMMENT 356288 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-21 06:08 AM

These people are the generation responsible for where we sit in the World at this moment. Do they meet because they are proud of their achievements, or would the thought " misery likes company" be appropriate ?


 COMMENT 356312 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-21 07:54 AM

Thanks for the kind words and I am happy to share the photos!

Younger people may do activities like hiking, dancing, music, etc. As people get older they become more aware of the importance of being a part of a community. In particular, being a part of a community with shared values.

About half of the Humanist Society members are also members of the Unitarian Society. But they also want to celebrate values that do not involve gods or the supernatural.

They want to celebrate Humanist values, which are about making the world a better place for humans and for the other species on the planet.

For many of us, we work through organizations like the Sierra Club, Amnesty International, etc to achieve these goals. But there is still a place for being a part of a shared community.

People of all ages are welcome. I joined when I was about 40. But it takes some people longer than others to discover their own values rather than those they were told as children. Come check us out!


 COMMENT 356322 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-21 08:32 AM

With that demographic, you might as well have made it the edhat holiday party as well.


 COMMENT 356326 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-21 08:40 AM

You offer us to "come check us out", but no information on how to do that. Can you provide a web site or e-mail contact for the next meeting. Sound like my kind of people.


 COMMENT 356329 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-21 08:41 AM

There is a new Meetup group for agnostics, atheists, humanists, skeptics, brights, freethinkers, and nonbelievers in supernaturalism. It is the Santa Barbara Secular Meetup Group. We will have the first meet-up on January 10th at 6 pm.


 COMMENT 356340 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-21 09:03 AM

Younger atheists--EAA members--Evangelical Atheists of America--spend most of our time going door-to-door witnessing for Darwin.


 COMMENT 356352 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-21 09:21 AM

329. In other words a whole bunch of garrulous people who meet up for a big stuff and share thoughts only they themselves want to hear.

I'd rather serve food at the Salvation Army.


 COMMENT 356360 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-21 09:35 AM

Google Humanist Society of Santa Barbara for more information and for upcoming events.

The third Saturday each month they bring speakers on a wide range of topics and almost all are interesting!


 COMMENT 356379P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-21 10:05 AM

Your answer is a scream! Good work!


 COMMENT 356415 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-21 11:29 AM

I had not heard of your group so I went to your website and read two of your news letters. While I do not share your atheist beliefs I do share many of your political beliefs. I have two friends I will let know about your group who I think will be joining. In the interest of critical thinking which you promote I would encourage you to read "Behind the Green Mask" by Rosa Koire. It may open you to a world you have not read about and make you think differently about the Sierra Club.


 COMMENT 356431 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-21 12:22 PM


The sort of generalization that you make, and some of the others on this page, are instances of non-critical thinking ... the opposite of what the Humanist Society seeks to promote.

The main reason for the age of the members is ... social networking; most members join through personal connections, and many of those personal connections lead back to the founders of the group, who are now elderly. There are other humanist/atheist/freethinker groups that have different demographics, so generalizations from the age of this group's members to atheists in general are unsound.


 PJG agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-21 12:41 PM

Saw this on facebook. It seems appropos to the conversation.

Being an atheist is okay.

Being an atheist and shaming religions and spritituality as silly and not real is not okay.

Being a Christiain is okay.

Being homophobic, misogynist, racist or otherwise hateful person in the name of Christianity is not okay.

Being a Reindeer is okay.

Bully and excluding another reindeer becasue he has a shiny red nose is not okay.


 COMMENT 356443 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-21 12:57 PM

Wow, a lot of grey haired people. Scary!


 COMMENT 356448P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-21 01:29 PM

356443 - judging people by the color of their hair - that is terrifying.


 COMMENT 356455 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-21 01:58 PM


There's nothing silly or not ok about critiquing irrational thought and factual and logical error. Religion and such are not protected categories of claims or beliefs that are or should be immune from scrutiny. If it is proper to shame homophobia, misogyny, and racism, then it is also proper to shame other irrational beliefs, especially when they can have gravely negative consequences.

Oh, and also paranoid conspiracist nonsense about Agenda 21 and the "Green Mask".


 COMMENT 356475 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-21 03:27 PM

I did check out "Behind the Green Mask" by Rosa Koire. Wow.

Who knew that a few people noticing that we are depleting the planet's resources have so much power?

And all this time I thought it was the corporate billionaires making short term profits with no thought to the future that was the problem.


 COMMENT 356563 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-21 08:15 PM

443 Oh a Rock Concer! Look at all those green and red haired people with rings through their nosea and bells on their toes..... Scary


 COMMENT 356565P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-21 08:17 PM

312, thanks for the pictures. I am surprised, though, that you do not support Edhat by having a paid subscription!


 COMMENT 356662 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-22 09:09 AM

Strange logic to ask someone who contributes their time and effort by taking photos to "support" Edhat. I would think Edhat should be the one to give a free subscription to such a regular contributor?


 COMMENT 356890 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-23 07:51 AM

@TOPCATHAT - I think that your statement, "We atheists are gaining in population because of evolving, intelligent people- yay !" Seems to show the typical Atheist belief that you are superior to others or more intelligent than others because of your belief in "reason" and not "superstition". However when you take on this attitude you are no better than the religious folk who believe in their superiority to non-believers. Some of the most intelligent, well-educated, scientific minds I have known in my life personally are also church-going folk. Some of the biggest, most-backwards people I've met are atheists. It works both ways dear. Show some more tolerance because at the end of the day, that's what matters most.


 COMMENT 356993 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-23 04:13 PM

Operating on reason and lacking superstition is superior to the opposite, and having that attitude does not make one equivalent to the opposite, any more than someone who thinks that 1+1 = 2 and humans landed on the moon is no better than someone who thinks that 1+1 = 47 and humans didn't land on the moon. It isn't that they are better intrinsically ... either party can be rational and have valid beliefs or not.

On the subject of tolerance, google "projection", "tu quoque", and "hypocrisy", dear.


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