Secular Humanist Ramblings

I spent a little over an hour at the laundromat tonight.  It was…nice.  Okay, it wasn’t nice.  It was a pain in the ass.  Laundry is always an inconvenience, if you ask me.  It’s nice to have clean stuff, but if I could hire a maid to do just one household task, it would be laundry.

But it was nice because it was 5:30ish on a Friday afternoon, I had the place to myself, and I could easily get all my loads done at once.  Just me and the machines.  And C-Span.  Ugh.  I now have a very strong opinion about this healthcare reform thing.  I didn’t really care before.  I don’t know much about economics, politics, passing a bill…or healthcare, for that matter…but if I could be in charge of this healthcare reform bill, I think things would go better up there on the Hill.

Or not.

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On the way home from work today, I was listening to Catholic talk radio for a little while.  Strange, I know, but sometimes I like talk radio in the car.  I didn’t hear the beginning or the end of the program, so I don’t know who it was, but someone was being interviewed about education.  Since I didn’t hear the beginning or end, or who this man was or why he had things to say about education, most of the interview didn’t stick in my mind.  But one thing did:

This man suggested that in the effort to separate church and state, public education has actually become its own parochial school of sorts.  Secular humanism.  Parents can choose a Catholic school, or an Evangelical Christian school, or a Jewish school, or a secular humanist school.  I’ve heard the term “secular humanism,” but I wanted to know what people meant by it.  According to www.secularhumanism.org :

Secular humanism is a comprehensive, nonreligious lifestance incorporating:

»  A naturalistic philosophy

»  A cosmic outlook rooted in science

»  A consequentialist ethical system

Paraphrasing the explanations of all those:  The natural world, the world of everyday physical experience, is all there is.  Our lives are grounded in the universe in which we live, relying on methods demonstrated by science.  And ethics are to be judged by results they produce in people’s lives.

Another quote from the main page:  “It’s liberating to recognize that supernatural beings are human creations … that there’s no such thing as ‘spirit’ … that people are undesigned, unintended, and responsible for themselves.”

Hmm… 

Anywho, I want to validate this man’s point.  It may very well be impossible to educate a child for thirteen years without imparting some sort of worldview, some system of values.  It may very well be that a child isn’t raised into nothingness.  And in my five-minute study of the values of secular humanism, I can see where what happens in my classroom supports all that. 

And the principles of secular humanism…they’re not all bad.  They’re just not fundamentally…true.  Nature isn’t all there is.  Humans are not undesigned, unintended, and responsible for themselves.  There is such a thing as spirit, and Creator, and Savior.  But…there is certainly value in studying the universe in which we live and using methods demonstrated by science.  And there is value in paying attention to the consequences of ethics and how our actions and choices affect others’ lives.

My point is…I’m usually not a big picture person.  But I can see that, in the big picture, we should stop claiming that public education is morally unbiased. 

Something to think about more…

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In 37 minutes, I will be 28.  I will be 28, and I have not bought a house.  Or begun my masters.  Or gotten married.  Or had any children.  (You realize I so did not put those in the order of importance that I think they should be, right?)  28 isn’t even like a milestone birthday.  This is getting too deep for 37 minutes before my birthday but…I’ve been waiting.  It might have looked like living, but it was deceiving you.  It was waiting.  Waiting because what I want hasn’t happened to me yet.  Waiting because I don’t know what to do.  Waiting because I can’t predict the future.  Waiting because moving ahead with a second choice when the first choice hasn’t been ruled out…  Waiting because I’m still hopeful about my first choice. 

If I can ask for one birthday gift…  Do not tell me anything along the lines of “Oh, you’re so young, don’t be concerned with all that.”  Especially if you got married when you were 22 or something.  I’m fine, but…  Really, I’m fine, everything is fine, just the way it is, and if it’s supposed to happen it will, and if not, I am happy and having fun and living purposefully…but it’s hard to let go of what you’ve always wanted, and in the year I was 27 I had to watch a lot of other people get what I want…so bite me.

Believe it or not, if I were a secular humanist, this would be a lot harder.

In 37 minutes I will be happy and cheerful and celebrate my birthday.  So thanks for letting my blog absorb the bitterness.  Bitter isn’t pretty, but if I’m bitter here, it doesn’t have to seep into real life.

You have to write it thinking no one’s ever going to hear it.  Sometimes you sit down, and it just pours out of you like it’s already been written, and you’re just singing it.  And sometimes it takes months and months to get it just the way you want it.

As a writer, it’s supposed to represent the best and the worst of you at the same time.  I think if you use it in the right way, you can take all your depressing stuff and get it out of you, and put it down, and have a place for it.  And then you can be happy most of the time, and you can go on with the rest of your life.

–Rob Thomas

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mom
    Dec 13, 2009 @ 20:37:08

    It is not living what you want OR waiting for what you want. Living is what you do while you are waiting. Because none of us have what we want totally. That is part of the human condition. We always yearn for something more, something else.

    Reply

  2. Doris Jacobs
    Dec 15, 2009 @ 09:38:04

    “A lifetime is not what is between
    The moments of birth and death,
    A lifetime is one moment
    Between my two little breaths,
    The present, the here, the now,
    That’s all the life I get.
    I live each moment in full,
    In kindness, in peace, without regret.”

    Chade Meng, Taoist poet

    Reply

  3. Ira Eoff
    Apr 10, 2011 @ 08:45:52

    Hi, I think your website may very well be having cell phone browser compatibility problems. When I look at the website in Opera, it looks very good but when opening in Firefox, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

    Reply

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