Religious Humanism in America

John Dietrich was an
early Humanist pioneer
Most people think of Humanism as being irreligious.  So the idea that there would be a religious Humanism confuses a lot of people.  But when Humanism was first being conceived of and spoken about in America, it was often thought of as an alternative to religion, one that was focused on human potential and not on god or anything supernatural.

Several Unitarian Universalist ministers were at the forefront of this movement and make no mistake, their Humanism, even though they used the term religious in conjunction with it was not theistic. They simply thought that the framework of religious practice had value and that you didn’t need to abandon that framework for considering morality just because you abandoned the concept of god.

Anyway, there is a great article about this by Rev. Tess Baumberger who is a UU minister up in Massachusetts.  In addition to her article being very informative, she includes some quotes from the origninators of the religious humanism movement, many of whom were UU Ministers.

My favorite is by John Dietrich who apparently began using the word “humanism” in his preaching in 1916. Anyway, he said “If we live in a great impersonal universe with no friend to guide, it matters tremendously how we conduct ourselves, for we are actually the makers of human destiny.” He also said that ur responsibility “is to put beauty in place of ugliness, good in place of evil, laughter in place of tears; to dispel error with knowledge, hatred with love; displace strife and contention with peace and co-operation.”

Here is a link to her entire article:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...