Religion and politics – two subjects we are admonished to avoid discussing at all costs. But what about irreligion and politics? How does the life stance of Humanism intersect with the political sphere? Are there political views that are mandatory for Humanists, part of the definition of the term? Is Humanism necessarily political? Or can Humanism as a philosophy stand aloof from political concerns and embrace the whole range of political perspectives? [Read more...]
I’ve just written another post on the 9/11 cross controversy, which I find particularly interesting as a philosopher of aesthetics and symbolism. You can find it here:
http://www.stateofformation.org/2011/08/museum-or-memorial-and-why-it-matters-thoughts-on-religious-symbolism/ [Read more...]
Most American are religious. Most of those religious people are Christian. Isn’t it understandable that in a time of enormous suffering people who are religious, and whose religion is commonly represented by the symbol of a cross, will latch onto a cross-shaped piece of rubble and ascribe significance to it and draw strength from it? I understand it. I think many non-Christians can understand it. Now what if you wanted to put this cross in a museum? What if you wanted to record it as part of the history and narrative of the 9/11 attacks, and our response to them? And what if the museum, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, is supported by public money and on public land?
American Atheists, Inc. says no. I say yes, and loudly. [Read more...]
It is a fundamental principle of this nation that everyone be considered equal under the law, and that that law must be secular in character. In Rhode Island – a state with a proud history of supporting democracy, freedom and equality – this principle is under attack. [Read more...]
While Humanists frequently voice our commitment to a set of humanitarian values, often our most high profile movement efforts are related to defending the barrier between church and state: lawsuits against the words “under God” in the pledge of allegiance, or against the National Day of Prayer, for instance. I can’t help but wonder, laudable though these efforts are, if the resources we devote to them might do more good – for humanity and our cause – if they were temporarily diverted to humanitarian work which directly improved the lives of our fellows.
Instead of crafting a movement which is (Good) Without God, let’s endeavor to be Good (Without God). [Read more...]
A continuously updated live blog of the Center for Inquiry’s Leadership Conference 2011, held in Buffalo, NY. [Read more...]
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. [Read more...]