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Donate to the 2017 Hurricanes Recovery Efforts

Foundation Beyond Belief

If you would like to make a donation to the 2017 Hurricanes Recovery efforts, use the Foundation Beyond Belief.

"Foundation Beyond Belief is a humanist charity that promotes secular volunteering and responsible charitable giving. Guided by the principles of secular humanism, our mission is to:

  • Unite the humanist community in volunteering and charitable efforts.
  • Advocate for compassionate action throughout the world.
  • We forward our mission through our programs: Grants, Disaster Recovery, Service Corps, and Volunteer Network."

Coastal Forest Restoration Event with CRCL

  • When: Thursday, November 30, 2017 @ 9:00 am
  • Where: TBD, TBD, New Orleans, LA view map

The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisina (CRCL), Restore the
Earth Foundation
(REF), the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority
(CPRA), and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation are organizing a "Coastal Forest Restoration Event" near Akers, Louisiana. They are looking for 15 enthusiastic volunteers

Register and find out more details here!

We will be planting 800 trees near the landbridge by Lake Maurepas. By planting this area of new land, you will help increase soil retention and promote more land growth! Your efforts will also help increase storm surge protection and improve forest resiliency for future storm events.

*NOTE: all volunteers will park and check-in at the boat launch and will be shuttled to the planting site via boat. 

Important information: 

♦  Directions and additional details will be provided to registered volunteers via e-mail a few days prior to the event.
♦  Registration is open from 9:00 to 9:30 am. Due to the logistics of this event - registration will close at 9:30 am.
♦  Please note the minimum age for volunteers is 16 and all minors must be accompanied by an adult.
♦  Physical fitness is required.
♦  All equipment (life vests, gloves, dibbles, etc.) and lunch and drinks (with vegetarian options) will be provided to all volunteers.
♦  Be prepared to get DIRTY. CRCL has a limited number of waterproof boots available.  

We require that all volunteers please register to let us know if you plan to attend. If any additional members of your family/friends are attending, then they must also register. You can register to volunteer at the link listed above.


Last Supper Dinner Club - December

  • When: Monday, December 04, 2017 @ 6:30 pm
  • Where: Superior Seafood & Oyster Bar, 4338 Saint Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA view map

Dine with the Deniers!

The holidays are upon us and we thought it might be fun to do something new and festive. Our trustworthy leader Anne says Superior Seafood has delightful decorations and can handle a group really well.

Feel free to check our their website and menu here:

We rely on accurate RSVPs to work with the restaurant, so please update your RSVP if it changes. If you won't be coming after choosing "Yes", then take 10 seconds and let us know. It is the courteous thing to do especially since we have a seat waiting for YOU. Where food is concerned, be a friend!  


The Annual NOSHA Winter Solstice Potluck

  • When: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 4:00 pm
  • Where: Marshall's House on Bayou St. John , 4314 Bancroft Drive, New Orleans, LA view map

In lieu of our regular monthly meeting, please join us for our annual festive Winter Solstice Party to celebrate the holidays! It is our time to enjoy good friends, good food and good cheer, so we welcome all members and supporters of our organization to join in the event.

This will be potluck, so we are asking all guests to bring a dish to share**. Plan to bring a favorite entree, salad, side dish or dessert to share.

** Please RSVP at this link:  and be sure to include all names in your party for our count.

We'll also be awarding the Harry Greenberger Humanist Award, so it will be a very special day!


Halloween Horror, 365


Socrates Chooses to Self-Administer Death

Right-to-Life Laws Punish as Hell Could Only Dream

The Final Exit Network “is the only organization that educates individuals that are suffering, either with terminal illness long term untreatable pain, and provides a compassionate presence at their bedside,” said Julia Hanway, who had come to New Orleans to make a presentation at NOSHA’s October meeting. Most would agree with little argument that is a noble calling.

Part of the “education” she refers to, however, is counseling the individual on humane ways to end suffering by terminating the patient’s life, which, most states prohibit through archaic religious-based laws. Leaders and activists in the Final Exit Network (FEN) have paid the price for following their conviction and dedication to their humane mission. In 2009, Thomas Goodwin, former  president of FEN, and Deems Egbert, the medical director of the then Georgia-based organization, along with two others, were arrested and charged under Georgia’s assisted suicide law in the death of John Celmers. At the time, FEN only accessible method for assisting the patient’s life was through asphyxiation, using helium and plastic “exit hoods”. All charges were dropped when the Georgia Supreme Court found the state law prohibiting assisted suicide in violation of the free speech provision of the First Amendment. Things did not go so well for FEN in a Minnesota case involving decedent Doreen Dunn, however. In 2015, FEN was convicted for violating Minnesota’s assisted suicide statute and was order to pay a fine of $30,000 and reimburse the family $3,000 for funeral expenses. In December, 2016, a Minnesota appeals court refused to reverse the decision, and the case awaits a review before that state’s Supreme Court, and if the case is not taken there, it is also to be considered for a hearing at the U.S. Supreme Court.

Much of the legal challenge is based on the language of “advising and encouraging” the patient, resulting in the free speech defense being used in these cases; another, can lead to an even more varied interpretation of “suicide”, or, as FEN calls it, “self-deliverance.”

It would seem that the ultimate goal of the Final Exit Network would—indeed, should— be the end of the need of itself, or any other organizations providing the same service. Oregon was the first to adopt a Death with Dignity Act, followed by Washington, Vermont, California, Colorado, and the District of Columbia. The laws, also categorized as physician-assisted dying and aid-in-dying laws, provide that physicians may provide pharmaceutical options for ending life to patients with prognoses of death within 6 months. The Canadian Supreme Court recently “threw out” existing laws, said Hanway, and deemed that under their national healthcare system, doctors “must provide for your wishes in dying.” Still, many states refuse to recognize the inhumanity of forcing people to go through the suffering of pain or the anxiety of waiting on the inevitable and cling to punishing laws based solely on Biblical and Koranic ethics. (While euthanasia and assisted-suicide are prohibited in the Islamic faith, turning off life support systems is permissible in hopeless cases.)

There is a certain irony of that goal of eventual self-extinction by the Final Exit Network and its current function of providing counseling and—usually—assistance to those in dire need of escaping traumatic pain and grief through “self-deliverance.” But given the current conservative climate in many statehouses, the goal may yet remain in faraway territory for a while longer. In the meantime, families, loved ones, and lone individuals alike need to take precautions for any and all eventualities regarding end-of-life issues, including preparing a Living Will, stipulate a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) clause, and generally become educated on the options and support groups available for guidance on those issues. Bookmark websites like , The Conversation Project , and National Healthcare Decisions Day Support efforts to dismantle laws restricting the individual’s freedom of choice on life and death matters. And support and encourage groups like the Final Exit Network to continue their challenge to cruel laws, including their acts of civil disobedience of disregarding and breaking the law. Without these test cases to the criminal statute, the faraway land of sane and rational laws could be a hopeless destination.

October 31, 2017
Reporting: Marty Bankson