Awaking the Christian Humanist in Everyone
My current project is the book I am writing: "Shaming God - How Insiders do it best". Over many years I've thought about the harm done to the Christian church by extremists but recently my thinking went further. If the church is harmed by extremism then if God feels and experiences the pain of creation, then God too suffers. How sad to those fundamentalist hard right (some say hard left but I'm not sure about that) people carrying their crosses as they stormed Congress at the whim of a President who seems to have lost his mind. What kind of message does that convey to people who aren't Christians?
It confirms the beliefs of atheists, the doubts of agnostics, and the weariness of Christians who are simply trying to love others because that is what they believe it is all about.
And so it is. In my view I have questioned many things about the faith I hold but today I'm happy to say that I remain a Christian Humanist. I believe in the message of love that I find in the New Testament and in the character of Jesus in the Gospels. Now this blogsite may not be of interest to everyone who holds or rejects faith. I hope it challenges those who might support the hard right, white supremacists and ultra conservative Christians who believe they know best and the world has to sing to their tune.
So, as you see in the photo of the great world evangelist Billy Graham he wasn't all that excited about a merger between the political right and religious fundamentalists, and yet, sadly his son is one of those religious fundamentalists who embraced the religious right as they so wrongly endorsed Donald J Trump for President of the USA. Now, just in case you doubt whether Billy Graham said the words above I found a great article on another blogsite which you can access here. He said it, and a whole lot more. Oh dear what would Billy say today if he was alive to hear his son Franklin warn people not to criticise Trump because he was God's Anointed. Check it out on Snopes https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/billy-graham-mixing-religion-politics/
So why, Awaking the Christian Humanist in Everyone? You might note I didn't say Humanist Christian and for a very good reason. I believe every Christian should be a humanist. Full stop. Some humanists on the other hand might well be Christian. Generally humanists hold to the law of reciprocity. It's in the Bible commonly called "The Golden Rule" but it is also in every major religion, philosophy and it accepted as a societal ethic.
In everything, do unto others what you would have them do to you. For this sums up the law and the prophets. Matthew 7:12
Do not offend others as you would not want to be offended.
None of you are true believers until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.
What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary.
Hillel, Talmud, Shabbat 31a
Tzu-kung asked, “Is there one word which can serve as the guiding principle for conduct throughout life?” Confucius said, “It is the word altruism (shu). Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you.”
Guru Granth Sahib, pg. 1299
I am a stranger to no one; and no one is a stranger to me. Indeed, I am a friend to all.
Regard your neighbor’s gain as your own gain and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.
T’ai Shang Kan Ying P’ien, 213–218
One should treat all creatures in the world as one would like to be treated.
We are much alive as we keep the Earth alive.
Chief Dan George
In 2017 students from St Ivo School in Cambridgeshire were given the task of studying how the Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations came into being and the role the Golden Rule plays in that. As a result of their studies that left them saddened that there are people in the world who are treated equally or kindly as they should be. The students decided do their own posters to bring the Golden Rule into modern life. Here are three of them from the website. I love the one of the left best of of all. Here's the link if you want to read more https://www.standup4humanrights.org/en/highlight_goldenrule.html