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?