Interfaith will remain a contentious issue for nonbelievers. I recognize the principled disagreements of those who feel they cannot in good conscience engage in such work. But I myself find the arguments in favor sufficiently compelling to get stuck in. Principled engagement in interfaith efforts can not only accrue the basic benefits of interfaith work, but can itself damage religious privilege. Taking this road requires courage, and it requires skill. But it is not, I believe, a betrayal of Humanist principles. on the contrary: it is a noble expression of them. [Read more...]
There is a very short distance between empowering religious voices and reinforcing religious privilege. There is a very fine line between saying “You can be gay and religious!”, an important message I can get behind, and “It’s ok that you’re gay because you’re religious,” a message that reinforces religious privilege and leaves queer non-believers out in the cold. Did Creating Change 2012 cross this line? [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...]
On a service trip to South Dakota, the Humanist Graduate Community at Harvard finds and expresses shared values with their Lakota hosts at the Cheyenne River Youth Project.
This post originally appeared on the blog of the Interfaith Youth Core. [Read more...]
I’m sitting in the lecture theatre at the Harvard Kennedy School, at the opening session of Faith and Leadership in a Fragmented World. We’re here for a week-long interfaith workshop on the role of faith in leadership, and we’re being addressed by world-renowned experts in religious pluralism and political organizing. And everyone is talking about “faith backgrounds”, “faith traditions”, “faith-based values”. I’ve been invited to attend to represent Secular Humanism, and I’m feeling a little left out. So I raise my hand, and ask whether, together, as a group, we can come up with language that is inclusive of those, like myself, who do not have faith.
And one of our esteemed workshop leaders replies “Everyone has faith. Atheism is a faith! It requires just as much faith to be a Humanist as anything else!”
And I have to resist my immediate instinct to facepalm. [Read more...]