N.Y. group promoting humanist holidays

April 26, 2008 at 6:09 PM

ALBANY, N.Y., April 26 (UPI) -- A New York institute is promoting the growth of humanist holidays as alternatives to religious holidays, an institute official says

Institute for Humanist Studies Executive Director Matt Cherry said his group had posted a calendar full of humanist holidays on its Web site, secularseasons.org, and he was hopeful such events could even appeal to religious individuals, The Washington Times reported Saturday.

"Some religious holidays are about culture and tradition, not theology," Cherry said. "Even people who go to church only on Christmas or to synagogue on the high holidays do so out of cultural heritage, not because they believe the religious doctrines associated with it."

Cherry told the Times calendar events such as Thomas Paine Day and Darwin Day were ways to honor those great thinkers who helped mold U.S. society through their accomplishments.

"This year, there will be almost 1,000 events for Darwin Day around the world," he said. "I hope Hallmark would come out with a card. There are lots of photos to celebrate evolution."

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