essay by Daniel Foster
The next time you drive by a site of new construction, and you notice a sign that says something like, “Future Home of the Forest-Glen Presbyterian Church,” imagine that you instead saw the following sign: “Future Home of the Idaho Humanist Education Center.” Now, imagine that in several months, when the construction is complete, you drive to the new building, pull into the parking lot, park next to a small elm tree, and go inside. Imagine that the words “Idaho Humanist Education Center” are stenciled on the glass double-doors, and that an office sits just off the entrance foyer, with a desk, and a person sitting at the desk who waves warmly to you through the office window. Imagine several small rooms, each with a long conference table, several chairs, a whiteboard and projector, and imagine a large central room with a podium, projector screen, and room for 150 people to sit. Imagine a room that is a library of Humanist and freethought literature. Imagine a kitchen, where meals for events and for the homeless are prepared.
Do you suppose there a lot of pizza parlors in Boise? There are. Now, get out your phone book and compare the number of pizza joints in Boise to the number of churches in Boise. Get the point?
An Idaho Humanist Education Center is a dream that I revert to whenever I see another church being built. Someday, I will walk through doors stenciled with “Idaho Humanist Education Center,” and someday I will donate my freethought literature to the Humanist library, and I will proudly volunteer my time in the Humanist homeless soup kitchen.
The Humanists of Idaho are the only Humanist group in Idaho. Our efforts to increase membership, and to raise money for the group, are merely the actions we take to progress toward a future in which the Humanist presence in Idaho is vocal, respected, and established. In this future, the Idaho Humanist Education Center can be a reality.
I ask that as you drive, and as you see new churches, that you think of the Idaho Humanist Education Center. I ask that as you consider your participation in Humanists of Idaho, that you remember this future, and that you realize that a small group of Humanists can accomplish a lot, if the individuals are willing to put in the effort.