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MESSAGE FROM THE EDITOR: Can Atheists Experience Awe and Wonder?

 

Can atheists experience awe and wonder? Of course we can! That’s why humanists are understandably peeved with Oprah Winfrey right now after interviewing famed marathon swimmer Diana Nyad. Clearly identifying herself as an atheist, Nyad stated, “To me, my definition of ‘God’ is humanity, and the love of humanity,” but Oprah seemed unable to accept the atheist label, implying that Nyad’s belief in the “awe, wonder and mystery” of the world equals belief in God. We’re pleased with Nyad’s views, which sounds like humanism to us, but Oprah’s attempt to make a believer out of an atheist is unnecessary, even harmful.

Oprah’s words matter to millions of people, and her unfortunate comments are exactly why we need to educate the general public about what humanism is all about. And we should speak out when negative assumptions about and prejudice against atheists happen in the media. Tell Oprah what you think via Twitter or her website. And tell us your thoughts at hnn@americanhumanist.org.

Maggie Ardiente
Editor
@MaggieArdiente

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