Monday, March 20, 2017

2017 Nominations for HRI Board Members


2017 Nominations for HRI Board Members

Election to be held April 10, 2017

The HRI nominating committee has identified the following candidates for 9 HRI Board positions:

Steve Ahlquist
Dan Ciora
Michael Crooks
Sara Beth
David Finnegan
Chuck Flippo
Debbie Flitman
Tony Houston
Tina Umscheid

Additional nominations may be made at the April 10 meeting.

Under HRI’s current by-laws, voting members elect new Board members at the April meeting from candidates nominated by the nominating committee or nominated at the meeting.  The new Board members then vote among themselves to decide who will hold the four officer positions.  The remaining elected Board members will be at-large.

The nominating committee identified the following Board nominees as candidates for officer positions to be voted on by the new Board.  

President: Tony Houston
Vice-President: Debbie Flitman
Secretary: Dave Finnegan
Treasurer: Chuck Flippo

NOTE RE VOTING:  Voting HRI members who are not able to attend the may email their votes for the proposed Board members to by midnight, Friday, April 7, 2017.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Author David Niose to speak on Humanism in Trump's America

December 28, 2016 Chuck Flippo, (401) 662-1993

Author David Niose to speak on Humanism in Trump's America
Bestselling author and critic of the religious right in American politics David Niose will speak on “Mobilizing for Humanism in Trump’s America” at Providence’s Rochambeau Library on Monday January 9.  Niose’s talk, sponsored by the Humanists of Rhode Island, is at 7:00 p.m. in the Community Room at the Library,  located at 708 Hope Street.  The talk is open to the public.

Niose is a nationally-recognized leader of American Humanism, an attorney and activist, and author of the popular Psychology Today blog “Our Humanity Naturally”.  He has written two New York Times bestsellers, Fighting Back the Right: Reclaiming America from the Attack on Reason and Nonbeliever Nation: The Rise of Secular Americans.  

A veteran of the “culture wars” for over a decade, Niose is a key spokesperson for America’s growing nonreligious population and its progressive values.  His writings and public lectures provide unique insight into social and political dysfunction in America, and on the Humanist alternative to the proposals of the religious right and its allies in government.  

Niose is currently Legal Director of the American Humanist Association, a national progressive organization that defends secular governance and civil liberties, and has litigated constitutional cases all over the country.  He has served as President of both the AHA and the Secular Coalition for America, an advocacy group consisting of 19 member organizations that serve aheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, and other non-theistic Americans.

Niose has appeared in numerous national and international media outlets, including MSNBC, Fox news, and the BBC, and his work has appeared in a wide array of publications, such as the Washington Post, Newsday, Alternet, and the Huffuington Post.  He is currently working on his third book.  

The Humanists of Rhode Island will host an open meeting prior to Niose’s talk at 6:00 p.m., also in the Community Room at Rochambeau Library. Members of the public interested in learning more about Humanism and the activities of HRI are invited to attend.

For more information, email, visit, or visit the Humanists of Rhode Island on Facebook.


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Testimony in Support of Compassionate Care Act

Testimony in Support of House Bill 7659 – Lila Manfield Sapinsley Compassionate Care Act

My name is Tony Houston and I am submitting this testimony on behalf of Humanists of Rhode Island in support of the HB 7659. For decades now, a majority of Americans have supported death with dignity and a majority of physicians also support the right of terminally ill and medically competent patients to choose how and when to end suffering with the assistance of their physicians.

Some may object to this bill on religious grounds, but personal religious beliefs should not set public policy for all Rhode Islanders. Roger Williams warned about such “monstrous partiality.” Others may have ethical concerns about the risks of coercion on vulnerable populations; but HB 7659 includes appropriate safeguards to help ensure that the patient is competent, not being coerced, and that the decision is a voluntary one.

When terminally ill patients are burdened with intolerable pain and suffering, they should know that their right to end their lives safely and on their own terms is protected. It is unconscionable to force terminally ill patients to slowly starve or bleed to death when there are more humane ways to end their suffering. Compassion, reason, and self-determination compel our support for this bill.

Submitted March 24, 2016 by
Tony Houston, Media Chair
Humanists of Rhode Island
108 Fort Ave
Cranston, RI 02905

Monday, March 21, 2016

Action Alert in Rhode Island! Support the Compassionate Care Act

When terminally ill patients are burdened with intolerable pain and suffering, they should know that their right to end their life safely and on their own terms is protected. It's time to legalize end of life choice in Rhode Island. Urge your representatives to support this legislation.

Action Alert in Rhode Island! Support the Compassionate Care Act

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

How religious is your state?

How religious is your state?: Southern states are among the most highly religious states in the U.S., while those in New England are among the least devout.