What is an Oxymoron?

Have you heard of religious humanism? Can compassionate folk use that title to show tolerance toward their religious neighbors? I think not. Unless people define Humanism as a religion and "religiously" practices in modern ways with refusal to worship and intent to proselytize, it is my contention that they hide their heads in the sand.

Humanists. Atheists. Agnostics. They close their eyes to the practice of organized religion all around them, accepting that other folks should have their own brand of comfort. That seems to be the compassionate thing to do. But many times they do not stop at turning away and letting the religious do their own thing. They have a need for socializing, and are lured into friendly meetings of organized religions where fun and games are emphasized and god is only mentioned in "harmless" universal prayers. The minglers never the recognize the subtle brainwashing. Perhaps in this age of instant communication we should look for safer kindred spirits.

There is no doubt that there are "good" people who call themselves by any one of hundreds of recognized religious terms. There is no doubt that some of those who maintain "their" church's dogma are honest, compassionate, and helpful folks living with intent to do "good." In the total picture those people are the innocent ice and dangerous waters lurk below.

To call oneself a "religious humanist" and live natural human lives without a mythological manipulator but at the same time pretend that attitudes are in sync with "friends" when they go into churches deals humanism a most grievous blow.

What is the foundation used to lure the unsuspecting into submission and acceptance of the fairy tale?

It is the best selling, least read book, The Holy Bible. It is the same holy bible that every decent neighbor clutches when they go to "their" church. The "good" verses are the ones expounded upon to be embraced and lived by. Oh, if only everyone did!

That same bible contains justification for murder, segregation, slavery, rape, shunning, mutilation, and dozens of heinous actions against humans, sanctioned by the very "God" we're told is good. And those are the parts encouraged in order to keep us so distracted we can't see why we accept violence and conflict as the "natural" side of the human condition.

The New Testament brought a kind and loving Jesus into the picture to soften the vengeful god of the ancients changing the malevolent into the forgiving.

The modern story still demands human sacrifice. And furthermore the story insists that each and every one of the "chosen" are at fault for the killing.

As if a death were not enough, weekly feasting on the flesh and blood is symbolically required. Feasting. Celebrating. On flesh and blood. How revolting can one get?

It is this underlying duplicity that insists "religious" folks repudiate humanists. Never once is the kindly neighbor at fault on the surface. But as long as the real message is subverted by humanists and translated into good and compassionate neighbors the supernatural god will persist and prevail, justifying the wars and genocide in the world, and the violence and competition in our homes and neighborhoods.

Religious Humanism is indeed an oxymoron, the word stemming from the Greek definition meaning pointedly absurd.

Naomi Sherer