In a previous post I discussed the concept that Humanism crosses religious boundaries. As an extension of this I would like to speak further about religion and Humanism. Since my life experiences are limited to living in the South, my focus will be on Christianity.
As I’ve said before, you can be of pretty much any religious tradition and also be a Humanist. The terms are not mutually exclusive. If you strive to make things better for humans of any religious tradition and recognize that they have hopes, dreams, needs, and insecurities like everyone else you are a Humanist.
Some elements in the Humanist community define Humanism only in terms of excluding any religious frameworks. I find this to be limiting both in the definition of Humanism and in its application. If, for political reason, you exclude people from your definition of what a Humanist is, are you not putting restrictions on it? Shouldn’t Humanism be measured on how a person acts and behaves rather than on artificially drawn lines of belief?
Living in the South, I’ve encountered many different types of Christian. The ones I associate best with are those who have empathy for their fellow human beings. They take the lessons of humility, service, kindness, and respect to heart. They leave behind the anger, hate, and judgment that is so prevalent in some of the other Christian religious traditions. Those who would live a life of service, no matter what religious tradition, have my utmost respect and I will happily reach across any sectarian divide to achieve the common goal of helping others.