Humanist Welcome

JBD Portrait2

Welcome to the Church of Humanism and its division, the Humanist Foundation. Founded in 1973, the Church of Humanism, located in New York City, is the only Humanist religious organization that affirms God as a fusion of naturalism and realism.

Our philosophy of life is based on a deep faith in the values of reason, love, and intuition and a call to conscience that relates particularly to issues of justice, freedom, and peace.  We greatly value the study and the application of humanistic psychology and philosophy, and we take inspiration from the wisdom of Martin Buber, Erich Fromm, Hannah Arendt, Carl Rogers, Karen Horney, Stanley Krippner, Wilhelm Reich, and other pioneers in the field of human relations.

Our services and programs include regular dialogical and inspirational meetings, ethical counseling, weddings and other personal ceremonies, a Humanist Theological Seminary, and research in the philosophy of religion.

Here at our web site, you will find information about the unique philosophy and history of our Church, and we hope to greet you in person at one of our meetings.

In faith and hope,

Reverend Joseph Ben-David Signature

The Principles of Religious Humanism

by The Reverend Joseph Ben-David

     The teaching and practice of humanism as a naturalistic religion that combines reason and feeling includes the following elements of faith:

1 .The center of humanistic striving is the fulfillment of the call of God understood as ideal reality to be optimally actualized in the life of every individual and society at large. Thus, the faith of the Church of Humanism implies a religion of actuality. The religious postulate "to understand, love and serve God" - in a rational and naturalistic sense - is the first element of our faith.

2. Human beings bear a unique and sacred responsibility for one another and the planet earth. The development of our capacities for reason, love and wisdom, as well as the authentic relatedness toward oneself, others and the universe represents the second element of our faith.

3. Human dignity and fulfillment rest on ethical and moral factors, particularly the freedom of conscience, and they imply the explicit duty of non-resignation to all forces of evil. Thus, the need to elevate and strengthen character and to foster resistance to actions and involvements that abuse, violate and oppress other human beings, animals and the environment, is the third element of our faith.

4. In religious quests, the criterion of ethics is truth - truth seen, not as relative opinion, empty abstraction or statements erroneously proven by false evidence, but as a statement, thought or feeling that corresponds with reality. Therefore, the reconstruction of the concept of truth is the fourth element of our faith.

5. Crucial to the concept of God as ideal reality is the comprehension of the word "reality" as synonymous with that which is, was, or will be. Reality is the opposite of the fictitious, illusionary or delusionary. Recognizing that our perception is limited by our sensory apparatus, the need to transcend the brutal aspects of nature and to attain higher states of being through the modalities of spiritual enlightenment, the sciences and the arts is the fifth element of our faith.

6. The practice of religious humanism requires the concentration of all life forces on the tasks that are most important in the fulfillment of each individual's destiny. The challenge is to focus on the ultimately relevant, to penetrate to the roots, and to be aware of primal causes. The striving to become a part of the sensory-awakened avant-garde of society, while identifying with all humanity, is the sixth element of our faith.

7. Recognizing the necessity for the unification of the central humanistic truths inherent in all world faiths and schools of thought and aspiring to advance their fusion in a panreligious, ethically pluralistic sense, permeating the minds and hearts of as many people as possible, is the seventh element of our faith.

Copyright © 2012 by Rev. Joseph Ben-David

Humanist Personalities
  • 1975 - Bill Baird
  • 1975 - Madalyn O Hair
  • 1979 - Dana Nemcova
  • 1979 - Vaclav Havel
  • 1981 - Igal Roodenko
  • 1982 - Daniel Berrigan
  • 1983 - Abbie Hoffman
  • 1984 - Judith Malina and Julian Beck
  • 1986 - Judah Magnes
  • 1987 - Wilhelm Reich
  • 1989 - Alexander Pacheco
  • 1991 - Abie Nathan
  • 1994 - Dr Nahid Toubia
  • 1996 - Stanley Krippner
  • 1996 - Stanley Krippner
  • 1999 - John Shelby Spong
  • 2003 - David D Van Strien
  • 2004Harold Channer
  • 2005 - Dell Williams
  • 2006 - Matt Jones
  • 2010 - Ivan Vyskocil
  • 2011 - Mathew LaClair

Board of Trustees

Rev. Joseph Ben-David,


Rev. Alyson Ben-David

Rev. Lenny Morgenstern

Rev. Rosalie Nathan

Rev. Cynthia Powell

Rev. Carmine Vacirca

Rev. Bernice Zimney


Rev. Charles Briefer

Rev. James Cusick

Rev. Shalom Feldstien

Rev. Arpad Gazdag

Rev. John Greco

Rev. John Hailu

Rev. Livia Haspl

Rev. Mark Ross

Rev. J Brian Smith


Founder and Senior Minister

Rev. Joseph Ben-David