Film critic Roger Ebert doesn’t use the word atheist, agnostic, or Secular Humanist to describe himself, though he tends to follow the tenets of Humanism.
He was a wonderful piece on his site today describing his feelings toward religion — it mentions the good and bad qualities of churches, how he came to leave his childhood faith, and the experiences from Catholic school that shaped him as he grew up.
My favorite excerpt:
Catholicism made me a humanist before I knew the word. When people rail against “secular humanism,” I want to ask them if humanism itself would be okay with them. Over the high school years, my belief in the likelihood of a God continued to lessen. I kept this to myself. I never discussed it with my parents. My father in any event was a non-practicing Lutheran, until a death bed conversion which rather disappointed me. I’m sure he agreed to it for my mother’s sake.
No, I am not a Buddhist. I am not a believer, not an atheist, not an agnostic. I am still awake at night, asking how? I am more content with the question than I would be with an answer.
(via Roger Ebert’s Journal)