Grand Traverse Humanists
Careful thinking… thoughtful caring

Grand Traverse Humanists

Welcome to the Grand Traverse Humanists.  If you value science, reason, and compassion and believe that humans are responsible for their own destiny, you have come to the right place.  We are a community for the non-religious in the Grand Traverse area, offering a forum for discussing and advancing a secular worldview based on our common humanity. Our programs include monthly speakers and discussions, film and book groups, and various volunteer and social events.  All are free and open to the public.  Check out Upcoming Events below, or click on the calendar. Nontheists, agnostics, atheists, freethinkers, rationalists, humanists, and more...we welcome you to join us!

Grand Traverse Humanists Main Meeting

Second Monday of each month, 7 p.m.

January and February 2015 meetings at the Traverse City main library

610 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City


Come to the 74th AHA Annual Conference, May 7-10, 2015 in Denver, CO! They’ll be honoring the following individuals who’ve contributed to the humanist community.

Upcoming Events…


Monday, February 9

Meeting at the Traverse City main library: Jack Segal presents "What's Wrong with the Middle East?"

7 p.m....610 Woodmere Ave., Traverse City

ISIS, al-Qaida, Assad, "Charlie Hebdo," Iran...Millions more refugees, hundreds of thousands of people killed, nuclear negotiations stalled, fanatical movements growing...

The always-volatile Middle East seems to be getting worse by the day, and the U.S. and our allies seem unable to do much about it.  Join Jack Segal for a 30-minute talk about the multiple dilemmas facing policy-makers, followed by your comments, questions and answers.

Jack is a retired U.S. diplomat.  He was First Secretary for Political/Military Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Israel/Palestine, where he dealt with both the Israeli government and the Palestinian leadership.  He has held senior positions at NATO, the National Security Council and the State Department.  He's now co-chair of the International Affairs Forum and is Adjunct Professor of Political Science at NMC.

StateTheatre.TCFFMonday, February 16

Volunteer at the State Theatre

7:30 - 10:30 p.m...State Theatre, 233 E Front Street, Traverse City

The third Monday of each month is Grand Traverse Humanists volunteer night at the State Theatre! Come take tickets, sell reasonably-priced popcorn and drinks, help with clean-up after, and earn a voucher for a future free movie. Help us support this worthwhile part of our community and have fun at the same time! Sign up at the meeting the week before, or email Sue at

SleighRideSaturday, February 21

Sleigh Ride at Black Horse Farm

Meet at 1:15pm at Black Horse Farm: 11177 S. Plowman Road, Empire, MI 49630. Saturday February 21st, 2015. Dress warm for a 1.5 hour journey through the beautiful woods. We will stop over at a cabin on the hillside to warm by the wood stove and drink hot chocolate. Cost is $15 per adult/$10 per child.
Please contact Vicki Olsen to RSVP:

EatMonday, February 23

Hungry Humanists at Red Mesa Grill

7 p.m....Red Mesa Grill...1544 U.S. 31, Traverse City, MI

Join us for dinner and conversation at Red Mesa Grill! Please RSVP to Karen Gredlein at

  • The Ethical Dilemma: I Don’t Want to Take Communion at My Friend’s Wedding!

    Experiencing an ethical dilemma? Need advice from a humanist perspective? Send your questions to The Ethical Dilemma at (subject line: Ethical Dilemma). All inquiries are kept confidential. M.O.B. Wants Me To Take Communion: How can I politely attend the Episcopalian wedding of a close friend’s daughter? The friend and I get along because... Read more »

  • Rules Are for Schmucks: How to Succeed in Rome

    You can get jaded reading too much news, especially too much religion news. Muslims murdering innocents in creative new ways … Jews kicking more non-Jews out of their Palestinian homes … Evangelicals squashing the teaching of basic science … the umpteen millionth manifestation of the Catholic sex abuse saga. Enough... Read more »

  • The Cartoon History of Humanism, Episode Eighteen

    View all episodes in the Cartoon History of Humanism series. Baruch Spinoza: The Most Dangerous Man in Europe By 1670 all of the pieces of modern humanism were in place, waiting for one guiding intellect to join them together at last for a complete assault on the ramparts of organized religion.... Read more »

  • Meet the Staff: Meredith Thompson

    Please welcome the newest addition to the American Humanist Association staff, Member Services Assistant Meredith Thompson! What is your educational and work background? I studied humanities in college. The program focused on the critical analysis and exploration of the human experience through the interdisciplinary study of art, music, literature, history, philosophy,... Read more »

  • The Humanist Hour #139: Faith Beyond Belief, with Margaret Placentra Johnston

    In this episode, Bo Bennett interviews Margaret Placentra Johnston, author of the book Faith Beyond Belief. From Margaret’s Patheos blog: While the word spirituality can mean many different things to different people, on this site we consider it less as a supernatural (and perhaps escapist) concept, and more about living more authentically... Read more »

Humanism in the News...

  • Breaking: Michigan House Passes Religious ‘License To Discriminate’ Bill

    Michigan House Republicans just passed a religious “license to discriminate” bill, which would allow anyone to refuse service to anyone and claim their “religious beliefs” require them to discriminate. The Michigan House of Representatives, led by Speaker Jase Bolger (photo, above, left, with Gov. Rick Snyder,) just passed a bill that would allow discrimination to become sanction by the state. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, akin to one that made nationwide headlines in Arizona but was vetoed, appears […]


        (Washington, D.C., Oct. 14, 2014)—Today the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter to officials at East Gurnsey Local Schools in Old Washington, Ohio, and at Buckeye Trail High School in Lore City, Ohio, on behalf of a student who was threatened with punishment when he exercised his right to refrain from participating in the school’s daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. The student, a sophomore who wishes to […]


    (Washington, D.C., Oct. 15, 2014)—The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center applauds the Madison County School Board in Danielsville, Georgia, for deciding to modify a sculpture located at the Madison High School football stadium that prominently displays biblical references and Christian scripture. “No public school should be promoting the majority religion,” said David Niose, legal director of the Appignani Humanist Legal Center. “We are pleased that the school board has decided to respect the […]

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