A number of Humanists and agnostics and atheists trace the origin of their religious skepticism to an over-reaching Pastor who made out-sized claims for the Bible or Christianity. Exaggerated claims, once discovered as so, can produce a chink in the armor of faith, a chink that the arrow of inquiry may pierce, inserting doubt where once there was certainty. Here are a few stories from Humanists I have interviewed: A given Pastor claims all biblical ideas are original to the Bible. As… Read more

Humanists, along with monotheists like Jews, Muslims and Sikhs, and almost everyone else from all world religions except Christianity, doubt Jesus was divine. But why would anyone doubt Jesus was divine? It’s necessary to remember why: Three hundred years after Jesus, Christians were still debating Jesus’ nature. One group had been saying Jesus was only human. Another group said Jesus was only divine. And yet another faction said Jesus was half human and half divine. Proof of the human side… Read more

It’s a good moment to recall patriot Robert Ingersoll (1833-1899). He was a humanist, an agnostic, a colonel at the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, and Lexington, a personal friend to three Presidents, a dinner-party host to elite literary, music, dance, and theater artists, businessmen, senators, justices, cabinet members—all crowding either Ingersoll’s Washington D.C. or New York City mansions. He was an advocate for the women’s vote (decades before it was achieved), a friend to immigration, a sponsor of low trade… Read more

Humanists of the world unite—rejoice, and be exceedingly glad, because the man from Galilee singly praised you. Did you know that Jesus reduced religion to morality and minimized the importance of belief in God? Did you know that Jesus praised the morally active nonbeliever over the morally in-active believer? To the proof texts: Consider a slim parable from chapter 21 of Matthew’s gospel. It’s the simplest of tales. A father, Jesus says, asks two sons to perform a task. One… Read more

At some point in recent Western history, the God idea became ‘simply incredible’ on the face of it for many educated people. Sociologists, psychologists and religious scholars have pondered and pondered the reasons why so many modern Westerners abandoned belief in God. But there’s one reason academics did not espy. The God idea itself is a cause of incredulity among the educated classes. The anthropomorphic, emotion-laden, easily irritated, reliably biased, male God, who is satisfied with a high degree of… Read more

A Humanist can make a case that ‘spirituality’ is nothing other than ‘physicality.’ And one way to make the case is with yoga. The body-mind connection was discovered many thousands of years ago in India, and yoga emerged as a physical-spiritual practice that purported to join body and brain together with the incorporeal Mind of all existence, also known as The All. It’s possible that the body was the reason anyone ever got the idea that there’s something called The… Read more

Humanists always have occasion for religious literacy, and often Humanists know more about religion than religious practitioners themselves. For instance, most Humanists will know what Feng Shui is. The words feng shui in Chinese mean literally wind and water, though it’s anyone’s guess how wind and water link to the ancient custom of geomancy, which is what feng shui is. Geomancy is the practice of arranging items in their best possible locations and positions. Should this village go here or… Read more

The word ‘cult’ is never benign in religious terminology as it is in the world of art, where Johnny Stonenoggin filmster extraordinaire may cult-ivate a cult following for his eccentricity in artistry. Eccentricity in religion, if recent, is rarely welcomed with approving nods. And when eccentricity is welcomed by followers of a novel religion, those followers never designate the new religion as a cult. Such is the denigrating power of the word cult for religion. Oddness in an ancient religion… Read more

For your own self-designation, begin with the broadest most relevant category and call yourself a Humanist. This classification encompasses all others. After the word Humanist you may add your preferred subset label: Humanist Muslim, Humanist Christian, Humanist Buddhist, Humanist Atheist, Humanist Agnostic. It is important that these subset terms do not precede the word Humanist. We are Humanists first, and what we are after that is secondary or tertiary or even further down the line. We are Humanists first because… Read more

People should read what scholars say is the very first story ever written about Jesus. It was offered in the gospel of Mark late in the first century. Every Humanist should at least read the the first chapter to see what all the fuss is about. So here is it, with a fresh rendering in the American idiom: Chapter One of the Gospel of Mark The good news has already started about Jesus, who is none other than the liberator,… Read more

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