Humanism promotes human resources that are secular in nature. In short, what this means is that things like charitable efforts, weddings, funerals, counseling and other services are free of religious trappings, declarations, or indoctrinations. Human services that are religion based generally apply to people who agree with the religious views of the provider, and so can be quite exclusive. Secular services, conversely, work well across the broad spectrum of human cultures and beliefs, do not infer a right or wrong of any belief or non-belief, are sufficiently neutral to appease a blended audience, and so are very inclusive in practice and function.
Weddings, funerals, and other life milestones are officiated by Humanist Celebrants, who provide non-religious/religious neutral ceremonies that can be enjoyed by all in attendance. Secular counselers, health organizations, and charitable efforts provide needed help that is free of religious mandates, worship requirements or judgements. While religious based is only for the believer, secular is for any and all.
D. G Van Curen (aka “Van”) of Boise is an ordained and practicing Humanist Celebrant. Van will perform non-religious Humanist weddings, commitment ceremonies, rites of passage celebrations, and funerals, customized to the needs and desires of the participants.
Humanist Weddings: As opposed to many religious services which are often inherently sexist and more about religious worship than about uniting a couple, Humanist ceremonies are built upon equality, love and respect between the bride and groom, while allowing the couple the flexibility to custom design their ceremony to meet their desires and preferences. A successful Humanist marriage thrives on the efforts of the couple, not on the perceived intervention of a supernatural being or power, or adherance to dogma.
Commitment Ceremonies: Humanists and Humanist Celebrants adhere to ethics and principles which assert that all adults, whatever their religious preference or sexual orientation, have the right to form committed loving relationships, and to acknowledge the significance of those relationships with ceremony and celebration.
Rites of Passage: Rites of passage ceremonies acknowledge and celebrate crucial transitions in life, such as: birth, child-naming, graduation, marriage, and re-birth through the cycle of new life.
End Of Life Ceremonies: Humanists use the term “celebration of life” rather than “funeral service,” as we see it as an occasion to celebrate a human life, accomplishments, and memories and to provide neutral support and comfort for the living; rather than using the deceased’s life as a footnote of “service” to a deity.
The HumanKIND Project:
The HumanKIND Project is a secular based project that advocates for the poor, the needy, the disadvantaged, and for those whose voice is too often ignored. If you have a project to recommend, would like to volunteer, or are just looking to make a donation to a good cause, e-mail Dan Kinikini, HOI Charitable Coordinator, or visit:
When religious indoctrination becomes a part of the educational process, the pursuit of knowledge and truth become hindered by those things that must be believed on faith alone. Public schools in America should be free of religious indoctrination, but the volume of anti-indoctrination lawsuits tells us that we aren’t there yet. One means of insuring that your child receives a quality education free of religious indoctrination is Secular Home Schooling.
Secular Family Services offer a wide and familiar variety of family oriented activities that are free of religious indoctrination. Except for the absence of things like prayers and other religious devotionals, the play, learning and experience is much the same. For family services that are secularly oriented, check out: Idaho Navigators and Idaho Monkey Brains.
Secular Counseling Services:
Feeling a little depressed? Daily stress affecting the quality of life? Have an addiction problem? Many mental health and addiction services have varying degrees of religious influence. It wouldn’t make much sense for a gay man who is trying to cope with the stress of being judged daily for who he is to go to a therapist who has a religious obligation to consider homosexuality an abomination, or for an alcoholic who is an Atheist to seek help from a religion based 12 step program. Secular counseling not only is a good fit for those who don’t fit a particular mold, but is also universally helpful to anyone, regardless of culture, national origin, or religious belief. Secular is neutral and neutral fits all.
Secular Individual Therapy:
For a confidential referral to a secular counseler, e-mail us at Humanists of Idaho
Secular Recovery Programs:
Alcoholics Anonymous – “Atheists, Agnostics & All Others” is a local group of AA that is secular and non-religious, and that follows the Twelve Step Program of AA. Secular recovery programs work in much the same way as religious based programs, except for the religious requirements. In 2007 Atheists, Agnostics, and All Others was founded by a handful of Alcoholics Anonymous members in Southwestern Idaho’s Treasure Valley with the goal of providing a place for people of any belief or non-belief to gather and feel comfortable. It is our position that Alcoholics Anonymous is a flexible and inclusive program. Ours is an open meeting and all are welcome. For more information, visit our website or EMAIL US for more information.
Soldier Boxes By Aria-Dawn
Sending a care package to a soldier overseas is one of the kindest things we can do. It is not an endorsement of war, but rather an acknowledgement that they are far from home, often in unbearable circumstances, and simply following orders. A few comforts tucked into a small package can be a bright spot in an otherwise dismal day. For more info, click the link to: Aria-Dawn’s Soldier Care Packages
Some Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Humanist wedding ceremony?
A Humanist wedding ceremony is one that shows respect for both the bride and groom. The vows are personal, often specially written just for the couple. The ceremony reflects the equality of the couple, compassion, mutual trust, and respect. The basis of the Humanist marriage rests on the efforts and relationship of the couple, and their commitment to each other.
What is a Humanist Celebrant?
The function of a Humanist Celebrant is similar to that of a minister, clergyperson, pastor, priest, or rabbi. Counseling of a pastoral kind is necessary for preparing a wedding or memorial. This is common to the practice of all clergy, and a Humanist Celebrant is expected to help clients sort out questions about ethics and morals as they apply to Humanism. In no case, however, unless a Humanist Celebrant is otherwise certified or licensed in a helping profession, i.e. psychology, clinical social work, family or marriage counseling, etc, should he or she cross the line into those fields requiring state licensure.
Who ordains a Humanist Celebrant?
We are aware of two organizations that ordain humanist celebrants:
If you are aware of other organizations that ordain humanist celebrants, please let us know.
Does the State of Idaho recognize marriages performed by Humanist Celebrants?
Yes. The State of Idaho recognizes Humanist wedding ceremonies and weddings performed by Humanist Celebrants certified by either of the above organizations.
Are all Secular Support Organizations part of Humanism?
While secular services are supported and promoted by Humanism and Humanist Philosophy, many organizations not affiliated with Humanism offer secular services. The goal of secular services is to be religion and culturally neutral, so that anyone would feel comfortable and welcome, regardless of their individual background.
Humanists of Idaho is a member group of: