Jim Barnett

 

Jim Barnett, Ph.D, President

In my youth in Oklahoma, I attended a conservative church.  I even envisioned becoming a preacher at one time!  But when I went away to college and then university, I began to see the world differently.  I majored in a scientific discipline and upon coming to understand Darwin’s theory and Watson and Crick’s explanation of how the genetic code works, I was awed beyond belief.  While I believed in the naturalistic explanation of the universe, I also felt that it was important to be in community with others and work for justice.  I stumbled onto the Unitarian Church in the mid 1970’s.  At that time, an overwhelming number of its members identified as humanists, and I decided that I was one too.  The Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church has been the only form of organized humanism available for many people.  Upon retirement, I decided to attend the Humanist Institute, a three-year graduate level program where I study the philosophy, history and current issues of humanism.  Understanding that many humanists do not want to be associated with a church and that the UU church, while still very humanistic, embraces many belief systems and thus humanist ideals are diluted, I feel that secular groups not associated with any church should exist for humanists.  I, along with others, decided to establish such a group, the Bay Area Humanists.   My hope is that the group will provide intellectual, political and social support to humanists in our area.  I believe for humanism to thrive in the future, we must establish institutions that meet the needs of humanists and speak out publically to establish a more humanistic world.  I think Bay Area Humanists is such an organization.

 

Leland Chan

 

Troy Deck, Treasurer