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Keeping Our Human Light Lit During the Holidays

HumanLight is about celebrating and expressing what fills our lives with love and meaning.

By Roy Speckhardt, December 09, 2012

The winter holiday season is a great time for families and friends to get together and enjoy each other's company. It's among the few times each year that those close to us join to reflect, celebrate, and perhaps eat a bit too much fattening food.

From a humanist perspective, one of the most enriching things we can do is strengthen the connections we share with other human beings, and this time often provides us just such an opportunity. Unfortunately, most of these holidays also have deep religious connections. And depending on how nontheists came to exclude an intervening god from their worldview, some would rather forget those religious connections, and others even find them to be unpalatable.

Most humanists, freethinkers, and other nontheists came to their rational understanding of the world gradually, finding flaws in the faith they were raised in and eventually deciding for themselves on alternatives to the supernatural. Some others were already there, having been raised in secular ethical traditions. But some came to their nontheism more abruptly, as a response to harm experienced from within traditional religions. This could be something dramatic, like the tens of thousands of kids who were molested by Catholic priests, probably only a small portion of whom have sought justice in recent years. It might also be less dramatic, but still significant, like discovering all of a sudden just how ineffective prayer can be.

To read the rest of this Patheos article by American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt, click here.

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