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

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

IndiVISIBLE: RI Pride is radicalized

Maselli asks, “Rhode Island has marriage, now where do we go from here?” and answers, “We are queering living wagesaccess to health care and transgender justice.Queering total immigration reform and ending incarceration. We are queering feminism, queering the way we talk about race, queering HIV activism, queering heteronormative ideas of marriage and couplehood, queerly engaging in radical protest, getting old queerly. We need to create a movement that says not only, ‘We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it’ but one that says “Join us, dream with us, dare with us, go for broke, and change the world.’

By Steve Ahlquist 
Rhode Island Future

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Public Hearing Set For Controversial 'Right To Die' Legislation

Secular and religious factions are forming over proposed “right to die” legislation making its way through the Senate. A hearing on the proposed bill is slated for Thursday. The proposed legislation would allow terminally ill, mentally sound patients to end their lives with the help of a physician. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Action Alert: Senate Hearing on Death with Dignity Thursday May 28!

On April 9, Democratic Representatives Edith H. Ajello, David A. Bennett, Christopher R. Blazejewski, J. Aaron Regunberg, and Teresa Ann Tanzi introduced H 5507 (“Lila Mansfield Sapinsly Compassionate Care Act”) in the Rhode Island General Assembly. This bill would allow terminally ill and medically competent adults to request and receive prescription medication to hasten a compassionate and dignified end to their suffering. The House Committee on Health, Education, and Welfare is holding the bill for further study. The Senate companion bill (S 589), sponsored by Gayle L. Goldin, Christopher S. Ottiano, Joshua Miller, Erin P. Lynch, and Paul V. Jabour, is scheduled for a hearing by the judiciary committee on Thursday, May 28.

- See more at:

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Fall 2014 issue of Religious Humanism features article by Steve Ahlquist

The Fall, 2014 issue of Religious Humanism features a piece by Steve Ahlquist for RI Future about a panel he attended in New York ahead of the People's Climate March.

The piece was entitled "Fighting climate change will require radical economic solutions" and included as part of this issue's theme of "Climate Change." 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Better Than Sects: Debate Post Mortem

Better Than Sects: Debate Post Mortem: It seems reasonable to question what our response to radical interdependence gains from the belief that we are at the mercy of a cosmic intelligence. If turning to each other is the solution, who needs gods? A response to radical interdependence without supernaturalism is distinct enough from the common understanding of religion to be called by another name. Such a response already exists. It's the philosophy known as humanism.

Monday, February 16, 2015

FBI joins probe into graffiti at Islamic School of Rhode Island


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]

Thursday, January 8, 2015

‘American Irony: Religious Freedom and Slavery’

A presentation on “American Irony: Religious Freedom and Slavery in Colonial Newport” will be hosted by the Humanists of Rhode Island on Monday, Jan. 12, at 7 p.m. in the Edward King House, 35 King St. Keith Stokes, a descendant of Newport’s early African American and Jewish families, will give the presentation. Mr. Stokes and his wife, Theresa Guzman Stokes, are active in Newport historical projects and have been leaders in restoring the portion of Newport’s Colonial-era slave burial ground known as God’s Little Acre. The presentation is open to the public and is free.

Source: Newport This Week

7th Annual RI Interfaith Coalition to Reduce Poverty Vigil

The purpose of the vigil is to “ask our elected officials to govern with wisdom and compassion, state our commitment that everyone in Rhode Island must have their basic needs met and offer the support of the Interfaith Community” towards achieving the goal of cutting “Rhode Island poverty in half by 2020.”

Steve Ahlquist
Rhode Island Future