Why have a Humanist/IDD group?     Forming a group like this had been in the back of my mind for a while. I work in an institution and, perhaps because there are so many employees, there are many who are open about their religious beliefs. Because of this openness and their efforts to work their beliefs into many activities, I feel real prodding at times to engage in religious activities. I never see any real purpose for these activities and try to avoid them if I can. I sometimes find them very annoying.  However, to tell the truth, I have been at the same institution for over 25 years and haven't left early while loudly screaming even once. So this idea about a group always stayed at the back of my mind until one day and an interesting conversation. I was talking to a Humanist colleague at work, a Social Worker, who told me a disheartening story. A client of hers had died. The client was profoundly intellectually impaired and non-verbal. She had never shown any interest in religion. Her family was non-religious and asked for a simple non-religious memorial service to be held for her at the institution. My colleague thought this would be fine and informed the clinical team. The team was anything but supportive for the most part. She needed a religious ending to her life for her salvation, they proclaimed. It was only after swallowing her pride and arguing that  she was saved automatically because of her condition did she prevail. If this family had wanted their deceased member to be remembered in a Jewish service there would be no problem. The same for Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Scientologist, and so on. It’s only when there is no religion involved that some people get annoyed. It is usually felt that the “freedom of religion” mentioned in the constitution also means the right to live free from religion. That makes our right to be humanists a constitutional right. It bothers me that we have to argue for a basic level of respect about our lack of religious beliefs. That is something we should get without arguing. My first hope is that this site will give a little moral support to someone who feels pushed into religious activities that they wished to avoid. My second hope is that this website will be a quick and easy reference for people who wish to find organizations to help them live a non-religious life.