28th December 2004

Secular Humanism

Secular humanism is generally a good thing and fundamentalist religion is generally a bad thing.  Humanists are all about opening, broadening, inclusion.  Fundamentalists are about closing, narrowing, exclusion.  Humanists support distinctions without prejudice.  Fundamentalist distinctions create prejudice.

The label of "secular humanist" has some baggage attached to it based on the bad press it gets from true believers.  Much like the invidious distinction that Limbaugh laid on us around the phrase "tax and spend liberalism," secular humanism is, in some quarters, thought to be a bad thing, faithless, a position to be avoided.

For me it is easy to posit a metaphysical context beyond my understanding.  I’m pretty good in three spatial and one temporal dimension.  Beyond that, it starts to get metaphysical.  But so far it hasn’t required a god for me to grasp that there are limits to my sensoria and my understanding.  On the other hand, the concept of god, the joy, the love, the boundless concern and care we can share with each other, these things have a spiritual aspect that I enjoy.

In the United States, we assert a constitutional separation of church and state under the first and fourteenth amendments to the constitution.  There are those that would tear down this wall, people who assert that their biblical beliefs should be taught in public schools, and worse - that information contrary to their beliefs should NOT be taught, or should somehow be qualified as contrary to their precepts.

I think we should respect these people.  I think we should put all their churches’ property on our local property tax rolls and tax their churches’ income, and exercise eminent domain over any holdings that could be used for community purposes and respect their rights to have a say in the way our public schools are run.  They are, after all, citizens, and by putting their church property on the tax rolls they will have a stake in the game.

Here in Madison we have some lovely church properties that we could assess at a fair market value and improve our ability to fund the teaching of evolution, and the public health provision of sexual health care including birth control and abortions.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 28th, 2004 at 2:47 and is filed under Peace and Politics, Philosophistry and Stuff, What Democracy Looks Like. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

There are currently 4 responses to “Secular Humanism”

We invite you to comment!

  1. 1 On December 28th, 2004, ray said:

    Right on!

  2. 2 On December 29th, 2004, Betsy Devine said:

    Go, Frank! That’s the Christmas spirit our country needs more of!

  3. 3 On December 30th, 2004, onegoodmove said:

    Limericks And Links

    Secular Humanism today’s recommended read Short stories from leading authors Can’t decide what to read next here are several to choose from while you’re deciding. There’s a prick in the White House named Bush Set the country right back on its tush &nb…

  4. 4 On March 7th, 2005, Janaki said:

    I like that. Here in Longmont, CO, there is a church called “Lifebridge” that is about to build a 43 acre megalith consisting of 1,000,000 sq ft of religious space, and 630,000 feet of residential space, including townhouses, single family, and an assisted living space. I assume, all for true believers. It will also have a shopping center. All tax free! And, its not even really in the city limits, but guess who foots the bill for services to this holy city? Yowzer! Let’s tax the f***kers.

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