Archive for June, 2007

“All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.”
I have, unfortunately, been compelled to consider yet again these wise words from James Thurber.
If humanists are to offer anything positive to religious believers, it must certainly include a way to think about and deal […]

“Self-reverence, self-knowledge, self-control – these three alone lead to sovereign power.”
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
That’s right, you read correctly: evangelical secular humanism (© Alan M. Perlman, 2007). It is knowing how to talk to people whose minds are at least open to dialogue and to change. It’s catchy because it co-opts believers’ vocabulary. For the […]

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Edmund Burke
In previous entries, I have described the grave dangers posed to humanity by religious belief, especially fundamentalism/orthodoxy.
I’ve noted the immense undeserved social prestige that’s accorded religious belief and practice, especially the Abrahamic religions, which continue to occupy […]

My Mother, still living in our home town after over 60 years, tells me that two of the four children of a childhood family friend — now adults — have become ultra-orthodox Jews. I had to remind Mom that the correct prefix was “ultra,” since she really didn’t know anybody that was more Orthodox […]

Cultic behavior, broadly speaking, is mindless obedience. We find it in organizations of every kind — the military, corporations, government. In most cases, it means unquestioning adherence to whatever the boss thinks. In religion, it means following the leader — plus unquestioning belief in the truth of some creation myth and/or imaginary […]

It has been almost five years since the genesis of American’s latest foreign military fiasco, and I have so far not spoken of the unspeakable. Others have done an excellent job.
Part of the reason has been that sometimes the reality itself leaves me speechless.
Bizarro World
I often feel as if I’ve slipped out […]

“Citizens in more than two dozen states agitate to introduce the supernatural in public school science classes. Legislators introduce bills in support. The U.S. President and more than a few U.S Senators and governors call it a good idea. School boards demand that Bible-based creationism or its latest iteration, intelligent design, […]

“If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains set lightly upon you and may posterity forget that ye were […]

“Good-bye, America…you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can’t make you be that country unless you want it. It’s up to you now.”
Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, announcing her resignation from the peace movement
Believe me, I know how she feels. I too love […]

Why we fight

“Being a humanist means trying to behave decently without expectation of reward or punishment after you are dead.”
Kurt Vonnegut
It was not a good week for secular humanism, what with the opening of the Creationist Museum ($27 million); the dedication of the Billy Graham Library (another $27 mil), which was blessed by the attendance of three […]

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