“The custom of meeting together in public assembly for the consideration of the most serious, the most exalted topics of human interest is too vitally precious to be lost.” – Felix Adler So, I’ve introduced myself and the first major interest of this blog: learning how to speak in Ingersoll’s Voice. The second part of [...]
On Sunday 10th the American Humanist Association’s 70th Annual Conference drew to a close. What did this convocation of American Humanists (and important visitors from around the world) reveal about the state of Humanism in America?
It showed that American Humanism is brimming with potential. And it showed that we must work hard to fulfill it. It is time for a full-throated Humanism with strong foundations. Prepare your voice, and prepare your hands: we have songs to sing, and communities to build.
I love Humanism and I love my Humanist Community. When I say I am a Humanist, I mean far more than that I do not believe in God. To me, Humanism is a visionary commitment to a better world, in which the emancipation of all humankind is not an abstraction but a reality.
And this is why I’m wary of Humanist conferences. Because too often they fail to live up to the ideal of Humanism that I have in my head. So I ask today, the day before this years AHA Annual Conference, who are we calling to, and how will we represent our movement to the world?
Giving voice in song should be considered a deep human need. And if Humanist communities are good for anything, they should attempt to fulfill human needs. Avoiding communal singing simply because it is a practice that is common in religious spaces is irrational. We should not forfeit valuable activities which promote human flourishing simply because the religious do them too. When it comes to singing together, we should not cut out our secular tongue to spite others’ religious face.
The experience is intoxicating, enhanced by the prismatic paintings behind the singers, by the ecstatic look on their faces, the feeling of my blood pumping in my ears, breath bursting from my lungs, crazy colors on the wall, vibrations in the gut, tingle in the hands, song in my soul. This is singing. I am enveloped by the song, carried up by it, exalted and exulting.