The American Red Cross

Grief Without God: Surviving Tragedy as a Non-Believer in a Sea of Religion

  • When: Saturday, April 19, 2014 @ 4:00 pm
  • Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St, New Orleans, LA view map

....Could Someone Throw Me a Life Raft?

Our speaker in April will be Kristi Hart, RN, CCE, Anthropologist, Museum Specialist, and Advocate. This is a very important topic, since many of us may have already dealt with inadequate and insensitive reactions from the medical community, relatives and others who assume that religion will comfort us when it obviously won't. It's a chance to improve awareness for you and your family!

Here’s an overview of what she will cover:    

* The experience of dealing with grief as an atheist or agnostic.
* Dealing with well meaning (and sometimes not so well meaning) religious people during intense grief.   
* Brief overview of non-religious funeral options    
* The serious lack of secular grief support services in hospitals (and communities and examples of what is available.) She will also address how many of the "support services" are solely based around Christianity, which not only alienates atheists and agnostics, but people of different religious beliefs as well.   
* Her own personal "struggles" as an RN with trying to introduce secular grief and bereavement support into hospitals and the strong resistance she has faced from hospital administration.   
* Testimony of other grieving atheists and agnostics and their struggles to find secular support.   
* Suggestions for establishing local secular grief and bereavement support services.


To get to the meeting place at the zoo: Enter from Magazine Street at Zoo Avenue (between the two stone lions) and continue to the statue of Audubon. The entry way to our area (the Dominion Learning Center) is to the right of the main entrance through the metal gates. 

NEW: The gate will be locked, so you will need to look for a button on the left side that will alert zoo security that you are attending the NOSHA meeting.

If it's a pretty day or there is a festival, parking will be at a premium so give yourself plenty of time to find a spot. 

For more information about this event, please check our website or contact 

All NOSHA meetings are free and open to the general public.


Senate Hearing to Repeal the Louisiana's Creationism Law

  • When: Thursday, April 24, 2014 @ 9:00 am
  • Louisiana State Capitol, 900 N 3rd St, Baton Rouge, LA view map

SB 175 to repeal Louisiana’s creationism law will be heard in Senate Education Committee meeting in the Hainkel room of the Louisiana State Capitol on Thursday April 24th. We need your support!

Please join our campaign to repeal the misnamed and misguided Louisiana Science Education Act, R.S. 17:285.1, which was passed by the Louisiana Legislature in 2008.


Please come support science. Even if you can't make it or are from out of state, you can follow these steps to help:


Step 1: Tell your friends to take part in our day of action and share this event with them. Email them, talk to them in person, and share it on social media.

Step 2: Contact the Louisiana Senate Education Committee and your legislators ask them to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act.

Senate Education Committee Contacts:

Senator Conrad Appel (Chairman)
(866) 946-3133

Senator Eric LaFleur (Vice-Chairman)
(337) 363-5019 

Senator Dan Claitor (Tell Senator Claitor "Thank You!" for voting to repeal creationism last year)
(225) 765-0206

Senator Jack Donahue
(985) 727-7949

Senator Elbert L. Guillory
(337) 943-2457

Senator Mike Walsworth (Remind Senator Walsworth how evolution works

(318) 340-6453

Senator Mack "Bodi" White
(225) 272-1324

Senator Page Cortez
(337) 993-7430

Step 3: Sign our petitions and share it with 50 friends.

Step 4: Share our website, with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter and other social media like Reddit. 

Step 5: Set up a meeting with your legislator and ask them to repeal this law. 



According to the Baton Rouge Business Report, the Louisiana Science Education Act is “widely viewed as Louisiana's creationism law.” Simply put, the intent of this law is to create loopholes that allow the teaching of creationism, including intelligent design creationism, into public school science classes in Louisiana. Senator Karen Carter Peterson has filed SB 175 to repeal the Louisiana Science Education Act.

Governor Bobby Jindal recently advocated teaching creationism using the Louisiana Science Education Act, saying, “what are we afraid of?”

The repeal effort has the unprecedented support of 78 Nobel laureate scientists--nearly 40% of all living Nobel laureate scientists in physics, chemistry, or physiology or medicine. This incredible number surpasses the historic 72 Nobel laureate scientists who filed an amicus brief in opposition to Louisiana’s first creationism law during the Edwards v. Aguillard Supreme Court case.

Other prominent scientists including Ken Miller, the author of the popular Miller-Levine biology textbook are also strong supporters of the repeal. 

Nobel laureate chemist and supporter of the repeal effort, Sir Harry Kroto, says,

"One can only be amazed that [the repeal] has managed to assemble such massive support (75 Nobel laureates) for the effort to ensure that only educational material which is supported by reliable evidence is presented in the science lessons of Louisiana's schools."

The conservative Thomas Fordham Institute released a report that said Louisiana's science standards suffer from a "devastating flaw" because of the Louisiana Science Education Act. The report said:

“The Louisiana science standards are reasonably challenging and comprehensive, but they suffer from a devastating flaw: Thanks to the state’s 2008 Science Education Act, which promotes creationism instead of science, the standards (especially for biology and life science) are haunted by anti-science influences that threaten biology education in the state.”

The repeal is supported by local and national educator organizations. The Louisiana Science Teachers Association, the Louisiana Association of Biology Teachers, and the National Association of Biology Teachers all have called for a repeal of the Louisiana Science Education Act. 

The Louisiana Science Teachers Association said “with a great sense of urgency” because the “[Louisiana Science Education Act] is an attack on scientific evidence to allow the teaching of a religious belief in science class, a direct violation of the United States Constitution.” 

The Louisiana Science Teachers Association explained, “at a moment in time when Louisiana is in search of economic development we can least afford such a dramatic step backward... We risk losing highly educated adults and their children to other states.”

The Advocate, Baton Rouge’s newspaper also has called for repeal. Its editorial page wrote, "we hope the Louisiana Legislature takes the opportunity it has this year to repeal entirely the misnamed 'Louisiana Science Education Act.”

Major science organizations are backing the repeal effort. The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest science organization in the world with over ten million members has endorsed the repeal. Other organizations have which have called for the repeal are the American Institute for the Biological Sciences, the American Society for Cell Biology, The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the Society for the Study of Evolution with the Society of Systematic Biologists and the American Society of Naturalists.

The teaching of evolution is sound science and is also compatible with religious faith, a position that is supported by mainline religious denominations. This is why the Clergy Letter Project, an organization with over 15,000 clergy members who support teaching evolution in public schools have endorsed the repeal effort. 

This law is costing our state; tourism is the largest industry in New Orleans and the third largest industry in Louisiana. The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology pulled a prescheduled convention from New Orleans in response to the passage of the Louisiana Science Education Act. Their 2011 convention was in Salt Lake City rather than Louisiana. Our tourism industry is less competitive because science organizations don’t want to come to our state. It costs us jobs.

The New Orleans City Council voted unanimously to endorse the repeal because they’re tired of hemorrhaging jobs and threatening the future of our students. Council Member Kristin Gisleson Palmer said, 

"The Louisiana Science Education Act inhibits science focused students of all ages and inadequately prepares them for jobs in the science field. With the New Orleans Medical Corridor poised for tremendous growth, this law also profoundly impacts our ability to fill jobs in the cutting-edge science fields with students educated in our state's public schools."

Joining these other calls for repeal are over 70,000 people who signed a petition calling for the repeal of the Louisiana Science Education Act. 

The Louisiana Science Education Act is already producing its intended result; the Livingston Parish School Board is taking steps to act on the legislation’s goals. According to an account in the July 24, 2010, Baton Rouge Advocate, discussing the Louisiana Science Education Act, board member David Tate said: “We let them teach evolution to our children, but I think all of us sitting up here on this School Board believe in Creationism. Why can’t we get someone with religious beliefs to teach Creationism?” Fellow board member Clint Mitchell responded, “I agree … Teachers should have the freedom to look at creationism and find a way to get it into the classroom.” 

Please take action to help us repeal this bad law!

Other information:


I'm a Humanist Because...

I am a humanist because you don’t need a reason to be a good person.

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24 December 2013 | 11:59 pm

NOSHA Events

Monthly Meeting

NOSHA's monthly meetings take place on the 3rd Saturday of each month at the Audubon Zoo, Dominion Learning Center, 6500 Magazine St., New Orleans at 4:00pm. For more information about this event, contact Charlotte Klasson at (504) 596-3006. All NOSHA meetings are open to the general public.

Happy Hour Meetups

Every month NOSHA organizes happy hour gatherings so everyone can have a chance to meet informally and get to know each other better.

Join our merry band of skeptics on the FIRST Wednesday and THIRD Tuesday of each month.

Contact Ricky Adams at or 504-813-5276 for more info about our monthly happy hour events.

Upcoming Events

See The SE Louisiana Freethinkers & Nonbelievers Group at for more information

Famous Quotes

I never guess. It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts. - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle


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Read the latest issue of Nosha News, the official newsletter for the New Orleans Secular Humanist Association.

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The Last Supper Dinner Club - 3rd Tuesday in July, 2013
ricky-125 has added a photo to the pool:
The Last Supper Dinner Club - 3rd Tuesday in July, 2013
At the Mellow Mushroom, 8227 Oak St., New Orleans, LA

Magazine links

Below are links to some of our favorite magazines. Don't forget our Friends page, for links to more sites.

Check out the Review Archive, for reviews for books, movies, tv, web, and media in general.

NOSHA produces a half-hour program, "The New Orleans Humanist Perspective," which airs on Cox Cable, New Orleans, Channel 76. See our Media page for more detail.