Over at my blog RedLetterLiving.net I spent five years exploring various forms of religion concentrating on Christianity in all its shapes. I came away from that study convinced that the vast majority of Christian religions, of which there are thousands, spend very little time on the words of Jesus and it seems that many are now spending more time in the political realm than anything else.
One glaring omission from that study was of Humanism. As a then member of an Evangelical church, I was basically told that Humanists were the scourge of the earth. They were all God-hating atheists who despised those who are too weak to believe what they do. There just seemed to be a lot a fear about humanists in the Evangelical community. Unfortunately, I never got around to studying for myself just what being a humanist was really about. I am now in the process of correcting that error. Starting with this post I will present a series about what I am discovering.
What got my attention on this topic was a recent Internet news item that quoted the story below:
Just hours after the Texas shooting, Roy Speckhardt, executive director of AHA, [American Humanist’s Association] was speaking to several hundred Air Force recruits a few miles away from Sutherland Springs.
“I spoke about how, even as we critique fundamentalism, we must always respect each other as human beings, even when we don’t agree on religious and political ideals and convictions.” …
These words seem to relay that although many in the Christian community generally despise them most humanists will not answer “tit for tat”. That kind of caught me by surprise.
I have a number of initial questions about humanists that I will attempt to find the answers.
Are they all atheists?
Do they hate God?
Do they hate others who believe differently than them?
Do they believe they have the only true answer?
Are they just intellectuals who look down on others they see as less knowledgeable than them?
Do they even have empathy?
How many are there and what is their history?
I want to close out this first post with what the American Humanist Association says they are about.
Humanism is a progressive lifestance that, without theism or other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead meaningful, ethical lives capable of adding to the greater good of humanity.
– American Humanist Association
That doesn’t sound very evil to me. The definition of lifestance is:
A person’s lifestance, is their relation with what they accept as being of ultimate importance.
We all seek at one level or another what is the ultimate importance. It gives us a fundamental path forward in life. Many choose to believe in a supreme being that controls everything, and many don’t. I guess that is what this study will likely be about.
I am trying to approach this series with an open mind and if you do the same, I think both of us might just learn a little more about the people who are called humanists.