Showing posts with label press release. Show all posts
Showing posts with label press release. Show all posts

Monday, November 16, 2015

An open letter to Gina Raimondo on the Syrian refugees and Paris attacks

November 16, 2015

Humanists of Rhode Island


The Honorable Gina Raimondo,

The recent, horrific attacks in Paris serve to highlight the terrible plight of Syrian refugees. The apparent perpetrators of the Paris atrocities, I am sure you realize, are the same violent people and organizations that the refugees are escaping from. It would serve the attackers' purpose, and make us complicit in their actions, were we to turn away these people in their time of need.

As the governors of llinois, Ohio Indiana, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Michigan, Alabama, Texas and Arkansas give into fear, ignorance and nativism, it is more important than ever for Rhode Island to stay true to its immigrant roots and do all we can to provide shelter, safety and compassion for as many Syrian refugees as we can bear.

We are sure that there are powerful political forces and hundreds of letters, phone calls and emails pouring into the State House demanding that you close our borders to those in the world most in need. We would encourage you to listen to the better angels of our nature and open our hearts, and our borders.

Let’s show the world what it means to be a Rhode Islander, and a decent human being.


The Humanists of Rhode Island

Monday, February 16, 2015


The Humanists of Rhode Island (HRI) decry the recent vandalism of the Islamic School of Rhode Island. We wish to join our voices with the chorus of citizens, religious or not, denouncing violence and hate crimes that serve only to divide our community.

Steve Ahlquist, President of the Humanists of Rhode Island, said, “Roger Williams, the founder of our state, expressly invited all people of good conscience to participate in our secular government, regardless of their religious beliefs. Ours was the first democratic government to expressly invite Pagans, Jews, Muslims and atheists to be free citizens in the new world. This is our heritage. It is a legacy we should protect and be proud of.”

The Humanists of Rhode Island believe that recent events, such the murder of the three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the burning of the Islamic School in Houston, Texas and now the vandalism of the Islamic School here in Rhode Island, demonstrate the need for a renewed commitment to our values of inclusion, freedom of conscience, and civil discourse.

In this spirit, the Humanists of Rhode Island stand in solidarity with the Islamic community to oppose hate and violence.

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Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

Humanists of Rhode Island is dedicated to good works and service projects that will best demonstrate our ideals.

Steve Ahlquist
[email protected]

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Humanists of Rhode Island Place Seasonal Banner in RI State House

Yesterday the Humanists of Rhode Island (HRI) placed a 2’x5’ banner on the second floor of the RI State House celebrating the birth of Rhode Island’s founder Roger Williams and the separation of church and state. The banner is intended to be a counterpoint to the various and sundry religious displays now scattered throughout the State House, and to serve as a reminder that the government of the United States, and in particular the state of Rhode Island, is secular by nature and design.

“Roger Williams was a radical in his time, and a visionary,” says Steve Ahlquist, president of HRI, “He would have been appalled by the faux controversy being generated around the Christmas Tree/Holiday Tree debate and against any kind of holiday inspired religious displays currently on display in the State House. Rhode Island boasts the first government formed, anywhere in the world, that specifically protected freedom of religion and freedom of conscience. We should be proud of our heritage.”