Classical or Modern – which should we choose?

Jefferson Memorial - classically humanistic building styleWhich do Humanists Prefer? Classical or Modern?

Because my job is to be a professional Humanist I have a Google news alert set for “Humanism” so I can keep up on stories about Humanism that crop up from time to time. Today, a story came up involving Humanism and architecture in Washington DC.

Anyone who knows anything about architecture knows that classicists and modernists don’t really get along and the debate about which style is best is most pronounced in Washington DC because, well, we all kind of own DC collectively and so all have a stake in what is done there.

Obviously, DC has a bunch of beautiful classic architectural buildings and monuments and when new monuments are proposed there is always a debate about whether it should be a classical or modern piece.  But did you know Humanists were involved with this debate?  Neither did I.  Guess which side the Humanists are taking?

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Open letter to my anti-theist friends

Angry Atheists need to find some compassionOpen letter to my anti-theist friends

I’ve got something I want to say and I’ve wanted to say it for some time. I’ve hesitated because while I don’t agree with you, I respect your right to hold your opinions and advocate for them as you think best. I would never want or to try and silence you.  In fact, I think your voice is important to hear in the public arena. The problem is you aren’t extended that same respect back to me and my fellow Humanists.

Humanism is a philosophy that is based in compassion. Compassion for everyone, including people we disagree with. This is not an abstract concept for us. We feel it deeply with every individual human we meet. It isn’t our lack of belief that defines us as Humanists. It is our compassion. When you denigrate people of faith, we feel pain and sorrow that anyone could be that mean to another human. It makes me want to cry just thinking of how much ugliness your approach is adding to the world.

This is a visceral reaction for me. It is based on my compassion for my fellow humans. When you yell at me and my fellow Humanists telling us we just don’t understand why you are so angry at religion, all I can think is how sad it is that you really don’t understand the power of compassion.

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