On Saturday (15th June) I spoke at the Boston Pride Interfaith Service at Old South Church, a service designed to show support for the LGBTQ community. I was asked to provide a reading to preface the offering, which was held in support of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). I chose to read a poem by Algernon D. Black, formerly a leading light in the Ethical Culture movement.
Acrid red smoke fills the room, and you are told to evacuate the building. Around 100 people cram the doorways, some anxious, others laughing, most confused. The smoke bomb comes after loud and rambunctious protests, some calling out “You have no right to speak” as the center of this controversy takes the podium.
And what is the tendentious subject which has generated so much ire, leading a mob to disrupt the free exchange of ideas in one of London’s most famous bookstores?
A philosopher dared to open a university.
If I were a Jewish person graduating from a public high school, I would not want a spot of Hindu worship to anoint my day of triumph. If I were a Christian, I would not want a muezzin to call the graduating class to assembly, before reading from the Koran. And, if I were an atheist, I would protest the sanctification of my graduation with a Christian prayer.
Damon Fowler has taken a stand for minority rights. We should all support him.
Hannam argues that Christianity and Science have long coexisted and even worked together, and therefore there is no tension between faith and reason. This simply doesn’t follow. Hannam here commits a classic error of conflating the relationship between “science” and “religion” with the relationship between “reason” and “faith”.
These are seperable issues and should not be confused.
You work for Believe Out Loud, a group which seeks to promote full LGBT equality within Christian churches. It’s approaching Mother’s Day, and you want to send a message saying that, whoever you are, you should be welcome in Church that Sunday. You put together an ad showing two women, holding hands, walking their smiling son down the aisle of a church. You want to promote it widely, so you buy up ad space on Sojourners, famed “progressive Christian” website and movement, and wait for your call for love, inclusion and acceptance to light up the web.
And Sojourners spits in your face.
Outside the White House, citizens gathered to wave American Flags and chant “USA! USA!” At Ground Zero and Times Square people came out in droves. Right now as I type people are pressing onto the T in Boston, heading to the Common. Heading to celebrate the death of another human being.
This leads me to question, as a Humanist: Do some people deserve to die? Is it ever right to celebrate the death of another human person?
Just weeks after the annual conference of the American Humanist Association, American Atheists are holding their yearly shindig in Des Moines, Iowa. What will their convention be like? Will it focus exclusively on the challenges of religion, or will it promote a positive alternative worldview, more akin to the Humanism promoted by this site?