HUMANIST CORNER May, 2018
“I do this real moron thing, it’s called thinking. And apparently I’m not a very good American because I like to form my own opinion.”
“Dare to think for yourself.” Voltaire
Carlin and Voltaire? Perhaps not as different as we might think. It feels ironic to be writing this on a day when the tribalistic waves sweeping the world are more prevalent than ever. Here in the U.S. it’s “National Prayer Day.” For my part and the minor, but growing, groups of free-thinking folks it’s “National Day of Reason.” Even the notion of having a special day to pray or think seems in itself somewhat ludicrous, Yet so many of our experiences these days, at least on the surface, seem so weird and darkly comical, we have to pinch ourselves. Then pinch again! Nonetheless what else might we expect when opinion has overtaken, and passed, the normal factual journalism still provided by professionals? Often we simply search out opinions to conform with our own. As my grandmother used to say, “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”
The tribal effect insures we seeks out, listen to and gather with those of similar tastes and opinions. In a recent Op-Ed piece I tried to remind readers of our country’s original motto, until we were confronted with the godless Soviets. OUT OF THE MANY ONE!
Precisely why the UU experiment is so healing, yet so fraught with potential dissension as we gather together out of the womb of many convictions. To some degree, we’re all disciples of existentialist theologian, Paul Tillich. He defined religion as asking life’s profound questions and the willingness to accept answers. Even if they contradict what we previously thought! In tribal times, a daring challenge indeed-
On a brighter note, a very unique occurrence in the 115th Congress. The first ever “Congressional Freethought Caucus’! I’ll wind this down by outlining their mission:-
• Promote public policy formed on the basis of reason, science and moral values.
• Protect the secular character of our government by adhering to strict Constitutional principle of the separation of church and state.
• Oppose discrimination against atheists, agnostics, humanists, seekers and nonreligious persons.
• Champion the value of freedom of thought and conscience worldwide and provide a forum for members of congress to discuss their moral framework, ethical values and personal religious journeys.
We live in hopes. Out a tiny acorn…
So as we plod through daily onslaughts of consumerism and hyper-political disinformation, we as UU’s can only inch forward by chalice light through the clamor and uncertainty. Seekers…