Archive for March, 2012
On the National Mall, Washington, D.C. Saturday, March 24th.
It was a spirited time even in the rain. A lot of people delivered their A-game. Tim Minchin was most often cited as a favorite. His was certainly the most energetic performance. (Anybody know how I can get his song out of my head? …But a lovely ballad, that.)
Speakers, entertainers and the whole bill of faire moved along with about 15 minutes each to do their thing. Dawkins was sharp and none of the speakers seemed dampened by the weather.
It was also interesting to see the promotions for various up coming secular meets. Everyone I spoke to thought there are a lot more than there used to be. We all concurred that that’s a good thing. I hope there’s never a burn out factor with more meets than there’s interest in. For now, these things do seem to give us a sense of community, energize us, and help to raise our profile. That was the theme and urging of the Reason Rally–Come OUT. Be visible. Run for office. Get involved. We can stop hiding. Do it not only for those who will come after, but for us, here and now.
Thanks to Dayton Freethought for organizing the jaunt for us. I got to know a few more of their friendly faces and hope to know more and more as time goes by.(I sent my 20 bucks in.) The Rally bus we were on broke down about 2:30 am Sunday morning–which ended the sleep period because it stimulated a lot of punchy wit from the bus-lagged crowd. Fortunately, nobody thought to sing Tim Minchin’s song while we waited. (I think I heard that on Youtube a while back. Maybe that’s why it’s sticking with me so much.) A short five hours later, we were on the road again.
Anyway, it was all fun and for a good cause–OURS.
Our larger community is perking. It’s exciting. We have a future. Let’s make it happen.
- The following is my response to a discussion on the wesite: Evolution: The View of Life, but I thought it was of broad enough interest to be posted here. It is also someting of a synopsis of my book Post Script to a Christian Nation. My focus group didn’t like that title (C’mon, focus, Group!), so I trying this out: Religion is Gods Way of Showing Us it’s Earlier in Human Evolution than We Thought.
- The thread of that blog starts under the Religion heading on “Evolution The view of Life” blog.
- Fool into the fray, I can sympathize with both points of view. (Background: my wife reads my stuff and says I’m an angry atheist) I also railed against the US congress’ reaffirming In God We Trust as the national motto titling my comments: that it was “…the religious equivalent of marking territory.” (couple of blogs ago).
Where I zag spiritual is based on the fact that many/most people do have that Faith Instinct that Nicholas Wade explains in his book.
Look, we know there is no spiritual realm or supernatural beings. BUT something we inherited has us looking for those things nevertheless. Further, our psychology/anatomy rewards us with neurochemicals (seratonin, dopamine, etc.) for “spiritual” thoughts and behavior.
People have attributed much historically to things done “under the influence” of spiritual epiphanies. Since there are no spiritual beings or spiritual realm, those folks don’t have much on us.
I think we express our “human spirit” through similar avenues. Writing, art, academics and many more.
As an aspiring humanist, I like the life-affirming accomplishments, especially those of a secular nature, not so much of those of a religious nature (also, an angry atheist, remember?).
Our need for fulfillment may come from that same neural complex, same neurochemical rewards.
Inspite of Rick Warren’s warning that humanism isn’t about to take over religion’s turf, I think, eventually, that it will still come to pass–as a cooperative effort.
Like your favorite ball team, we’ll all have our different teams–we’ll wear our decal–Born-agains, Catholics, Buddhism, Jewish traditions, Humanist, Freethought, Atheists, and others, but we’ll value the game, the family of man, that’s what will pull us together.
It’s a big table. Let’s set it for the guests we want and establish the etiquette that should be observed.