David Niose picked up on something Mike Huckabee said in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre that a lot of people ignored.
Samuel Freedman has an article in today’s New York Times with the headline, “In a Crisis, Humanists Seem Absent.” The gist, as you might guess, is that in the wake of a disaster like the Sandy Hook massacre, there were religious groups waiting to serve the victims’ families and the community… but there was no obvious Humanist presence:
This illustration of religious belief in action, of faith expressed in extremis, an example at once so heart-rending and so affirming, has left behind one prickly question: Where were the humanists? At a time when the percentage of Americans without religious affiliation is growing rapidly, why did the “nones,” as they are colloquially known, seem so absent?
To raise these queries is not to play gotcha, or to be judgmental in a dire time. In fact, some leaders within the humanist movement — an umbrella term for those who call themselves atheists, agnostics, secularists and freethinkers, among other terms — are ruefully and self-critically saying the same thing themselves.
“It is a failure of community, and that’s where the answer for the future has to lie,” said Greg M. Epstein, 35, the humanist chaplain at Harvard and author of the book “Good Without God.” “What religion has to offer to people at moments like this — more than theology, more than divine presence — is community. And we need to provide an alternative form of community if we’re going to matter for the increasing number of people who say they are not believers.”
Catholic Priest: Women Are Abused Because They Dress Provocatively and Don’t Cook Warm Meals Anymore
Peter Higgs has been a prominent figure in the world of physics for decades, but since the confirmation of the existence of the particle he postulated in 1963, he has become a household name and is in hot demand for interviews for general audiences. He gave one such interview to the Spanish daily El Mundo (you can see relevant bits in English here).
There is no real reason to ask a world-renowned scientist about religion, but Higgs was game. He gets this a lot, I’m sure, since the popular name of the Higgs-Boson particle is “the God particle.” The fact that Higgs himself did not give it this name, does not approve of it, and admits that the name itself was originally slated to be the “Goddamn particle” doesn’t seem to faze reporters one bit. This is the God particle guy, so questions about religion are automatically relevant! [Read more...]