(NY Times Dec 10)
To the Editor:
As a former elected head of the American Humanist Association for 14 years, I am embarrassed by the A.H.A.’s “good without God” campaign of signs on transit vehicles. Humanists are philosophical naturalists, but more important than advertising, one item of the humanist worldview is emphasizing the many positive positions we hold in common with a wide range of religious believers.
I refer to such matters as peace, civil liberties, religious freedom, the environment, social justice, democracy, women’s rights and so on.
Our planetary society does not have the luxury of engaging in angry debates about philosophy. We, all of us, are faced with immediate problems like global warming, endless wars, environmental degradation, denial of civil liberties, widespread economic turndown, misogynistic patriarchalism, the triumph of greed and selfishness over empathy, unemployment and the need for health care reform.
Progressive and mainstream humanists, Catholics, Protestants, Jews and others of good will need to concentrate on what unites us, not on what divides us. Divisive ad campaigns invite blowback and stimulate both ends of the religious spectrum to engage in fruitless bouts of name-calling and invective.
Silver Spring, Md.