Trinidad and Tobago Humanist Association

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Parenting and Family

The Christian Coalition "Contract with the American Family," ... has little to do with really helping families. Rather, it represents a full-blown assault on the constitutional principle of separation of church and state, the formal entrance onto the political stage of what is for all practical purposes a religious political party that can only divide along religious lines, and a movement that can only harm families.

AHA Response to the Christian Coalition "Contract with the American Family"

The link above points to American Humanist Association response. Following is an extract:

The "contract" would intrude government into the business of the family and religious institutions, contaminate our common schools with sectarian divisiveness, undermine the rights of conscience of children and families, weaken and possibly destroy our system of religiously neutral, democratic public schools, greatly increase educational costs while lowering educational quality, and balkanize our society along creedal, ideological, ethnic, class, and other lines.

Therefore, the American Humanist Association joins with millions of Americans across the religious and nonreligious spectrum in insisting:

  • Page Topthat the Jeffersonian constitutional principle of separation of church and state be maintained and strengthened;
  • that, recognizing our country's rich pluralism and the fact that students have never lost their right to engage in voluntary personal, private prayer in public schools, the religious neutrality of our public schools be respected and reinforced;
  • that religious liberty is adequately protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments and that no new amendment is needed;
  • that public funding for education be limited to secular public schools under full public control;
  • that the right of every woman to freedom of conscience on reproductive matters be safeguarded from public or private infringement;
  • that both private charity and government assistance have important roles to play in maintaining and enhancing families and family values;
  • that children's rights should be considered no less important than parental rights and that children have the right to a family environment that is nurturing and nonabusive;
  • that, while we deplore images of gratuitous violence and sexual exploitation, we oppose censorship because a society is healthiest when people can choose among views in an open marketplace of ideas;
  • that federal funding for the arts, humanities, public broadcasting, and public education makes indispensable contributions to a culturally enriched, creative society, which in turn enriches the lives of children and families;
  • and that families and family values are enhanced by public actions and policies that help alleviate the effects of poverty.

"Education should provide a thorough preparation for family living, including practical and responsible information on sexuality and birth control, as well as training in parenting and interpersonal relations."

AHA Statement on the Family

Page TopThe link above points to a statement first appeared in The Humanist of September/October 1980. The following are extracts:

"Families, freely formed, are the wellspring of human interaction, compassion, love, productivity, and creativity that the individual bequeaths to the larger society. The family provides the security and germinates and fosters the altruism that makes civilization possible."

"Any two people or group of people wishing to make a commitment to one another over time and to share resources, responsibilities, goals, and values should be considered a family, if they so consider themselves, and receive those benefits accorded families by society. Blood kinship should not be a requirement of family members, nor should marriage. By the same token, marriage should not be denied a couple wishing to make a legal commitment to each other. Society is strengthened not by restricting family membership but rather by encouraging the greatest possible participation in family groups."

"Given the importance of the family to society, the welfare of the family and its members should have top priority in public planning. Education should provide a thorough preparation for family living, including practical and responsible information on sexuality and birth control, as well as training in parenting and interpersonal relations."

"A safe, healthful environment, balanced nutrition, adequate housing, medical care, and quality education are minimum family requirements. Innovations in the workplace, such as shared jobs and flex time, should be explored as accommodations to the needs of working family members. Child-care programs, encouraged by government, for the children of working parents have been too long postponed."

Sources: www.americanhumanist.org

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