Consumer Lawyer Is A Leader In Humanist Community
Last summer, Rocky Hill attorney Daniel S. Blinn spoke on Connecticut public radio station WNPR with news that surprised some people: He doesn't believe in God.
Blinn, who is a religious humanist, was part of the public radio station's discussion of the rise of non-believers in America and how their particular movements are gaining wider acceptance across the country. This wasn't a new revelation for Blinn, though. He has held his beliefs for his adult life and has been active with humanist groups for many years.
Humanism, in general, is a belief that people are responsible for living ethical lives dedicated to helping others and are accountable to mankind. Some famous humanists include Albert Einstein, Confucius and Sigmund Freud. Humanists do not believe in any deity, but religious humanists adopt rituals such as religious gatherings.
"People who know me well already knew [about his belief in humanism]," Blinn said.
His law practice focuses on consumer protection cases involving a variety of matters such as auto dealer fraud, creditor and debt collector harassment, product warranty disputes and more. Before launching the Consumer Law Group in 1997, Blinn practiced complex business litigation for the Hartford firm formerly known as Pepe & Hazard.
Though his humanist beliefs weren't the primary reason for creating a consumer protection law firm, Blinn said there's an undeniable connection between the two. "I started to handle consumer protection work because I wanted to find something where I could use my legal skills to make the world a better place," Blinn said. "I started doing this type of law for the same reasons I believe in humanism."
And why make his beliefs public now? "I thought I was in a position in my career to come out and be identified this way and take that hit for the betterment of the movement," Blinn said.
The "hit" is the negative reaction he and other non-believers are met with when they start discussing their beliefs with Christians and people who identify with other religions that worship God. He said "there's greater prejudice against secularists than any other minority group in the U.S."
He cited a 2012 Gallup poll that indicated while 54 percent of Americans would vote for an atheist presidential candidate, that percentage was smaller than any other polled category, including Muslims (58 percent) and gays and lesbians (68 percent).
"The way to address this prejudice is for [humanists and other non-believers] to come out and identify themselves," Blinn said.