Thursday, April 14, 2011

More of the Same Difference

Sometimes, I just get mad. This afternoon, The Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) posted on their Facebook page an AP article about the FFRF lawsuit opposing the National Day of Prayer on constitutional grounds. Underneath the article, someone posted the comment, “Humanism equals satanism. Period.” And for some reason, I’m taking it personally.


Humanism means something to me. It’s positive. It’s compassionate. It’s infinitely hopeful. Humanism is not some sort of evil, self-indulgent, depraved cult—and when people make the assumption that I am motivated by something so ridiculous, it deeply offends me.


I try very, very hard to dialogue and collaborate with people of faith. I often defend interfaith projects and religious people against the more militant nontheists who believe we’re perpetuating something immoral when we engage positively with religion in any way, shape or form. So when I’m called a satanist and no religious person says, “Hm. Perhaps we should look at where the disagreement lies rather than making disparaging remarks based on perceptions that might not be entirely correct…” it pisses me off—because I would have defended that person of faith against a disparaging remark from a nontheist.


Despite the thousands and thousands of years we’ve spent as a species communicating with one another, we’re still pretty terrible at separating a difference of opinion from a difference in the quality of our character. We can disagree about ideas and still validate the inherent value we all have as human beings—and the fact that we are all human beings means that we have much more in common than we have separating us. Doesn’t it?

6 comments:

The Mother said...

Atheism requires a thick skin. A very thick skin.

Rowan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rowan said...

We all know that adherence to many religions requires some semblance of xenophobia. Otherwise, people wouldn't keep drinking the Kool-Aid. You just keep defending people. It's a good thing to do...even if it isn't always easy, or common.

Serah B. said...

Sigh. I may need to buy better shoes if I'm going to take the high road all the time.

Holly Ann said...

I wish I had your eloquence. I have your passion, but not the ability to state my position so well. I may need to share this post with others. Your last paragraph is especially poignant. Thank you.

Renee Cooperman said...

Just keep doing your thing, Serah, you are speaking for a lot of people who will have your back when push comes to shove. Your experience with the good but quiet moderate religious people is the reason some Atheists don't care much for moderate religious people. The good peace-loving religious people share the exact same BELIEFS as the "extremists." They choose not to enact the destructive behavior. They keep it as an article of personal faith and don't impose it on others, but there is not real fundamental disagreement between them in the core values of redemption thorugh suffereing and suffering as punishment, and having faith to follow commandments regardless of one's better sense.