The AHA, as the American Humanist Association is generally referred to, is a very active and belligerent association by way of advocating its beliefs. For instance, it was reported that:
On July 17, 2013, the AHA managed to block a war memorial in California since it had a cross depicted in it.
“On July 30, 2013 the AHA will consider taking legal action after the U.S. Naval Academy denied a request for a humanist wedding ceremony in the academy’s main chapel.
They promote the National Day of Reason, the Darwin Day to specifically eliminate creationism from being taught in schools; they want Humanist’s chaplaincies in the Navy; they want to have officiants at weddings with no religious affiliations; they oppose any lobbying done by religious groups and naturally only admit their own.
Nonetheless, bringing all humanist groups under one umbrella, having an executive of the association to drive its goals forward; creating a strong lobby to embed its beliefs in society seem not to be enough. Many want something else.
Blogger Alam Shaha writing on the website of the Rationalist Association of the UK on January 13, 2013 had this to say: “I wish I’d had a humanist priest to talk to as I was growing up. Like many atheists, I arrived at the conclusion that I didn’t believe in God at a young age, but unlike my religious friends who had priests, rabbis and imams to talk to about their beliefs, there wasn’t an obvious person for me to turn to about this stuff. Religious people can meet the need to strengthen and deepen their faith by going to a place of worship, and I think many atheists and humanists would get more out of their atheism and humanism if they could do the same. The problem is, it isn’t easy to go along to an atheist gathering as it is to go to a church, mosque, or synagogue, simply because there aren’t many atheist churches around. But that may be about to change.”
Not all atheists are happy with these developments. Deputy Editor of New Humanist, Padraig Reidy says, “It just reinforces the ‘atheism-is-just-as-much-a religion’ argument.” Shaha differs since he concurs with David Belden who in 2005 argued, “We are tribal species. We need communal rituals, songs to sing together, not alone in our rooms. We need ways to care for each other, inspire each other, develop ethics and teach them to our children, through stories, plays, rituals, dances, and music. Yes, you can find all these things in separate places- museums, theatre, evening classes. Why not in a single, humanist place?”
Other similar initiatives have been taking place e.g. at Harvard University by Humanist Chaplain Greg Epstein (cfr. The Christian Post of June 24, 2013); or by former evangelical minister Jerry De Witt in Baton Rouge.
Well, well, well…is my reaction. Humanists (doing good without God), secularists, atheists, rationalists have come round to accept the transcendental nature of humans. Now they want to teach their “religion” to their children! An abomination of the established religion has become it seems an acceptable custom to humanists.
I do not want to poke fun but just underline the fact the act of belief (even in secularists beliefs) is never a solitary affair but a communitarian event. On the other hand horizontal transcendence, in my opinion, will never satisfy the deep longings of the heart that requires a vertical transcendence: towards God as the absolute being.