Newsletter #19 – The Church of Spiritual Humanism
March 18, 2004 – Philadelphia www.SpiritualHumanism.org
The Vernal Equinox is right around the corner. This year it falls on Saturday, March 20 at approximately 2:49 AM Eastern Time. That might be a little early to be up for a religious service, but you can still mark this astronomical event later in the day. Also known as the Spring Equinox, this astronomical occurrence is a harbinger of warmer weather and has had great influence upon religious practices in cultures around the globe. From Mayan gatherings at the pyramid at Chichen Itza, to Christians adoption of the trappings of the pagan goddess Easter (or Ostara or Eostre), the persistence of thousands of years of human behavior centering on this observance is truly
This Equinox when you go through the ritual of decorating an egg or buying a chocolate bunny, take a moment to reflect that these things are more than just some symbols of an a forgotten goddess. These trinkets and habits actually tie the past, present, and future of humanity together.
Through logic and persistence we have deduced that the days lengthen in spring because of the mechanics of the Earth’s orbit and rotation, not due to the worship of any supernatural being. Through our efforts today, the knowledge and wisdom of future generations will come to dwarf all we now know. Through logic and persistence the world will become a better place. That’s more than enough reason for hope.
IN THE NEWS
How Bush Treats Women 3/17/2004
Last week President Bush marked International Women’s Day by touting his military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, claiming they have liberated thousands of women from lives of tyranny and oppression.
The president’s unusual focus on the feminist side of his foreign policy may have been designed to deflect attention from a domestic agenda that is decidedly unpopular with many women. But the speech actually obscured actions the Bush administration was taking almost simultaneously in Santiago, Chile, where it dropped its commitment to the health and survival of millions of poor
see full story at
Power through ignorance is a means to bend the world to your will; but misery and suffering can only be eliminated through education and equality.
READERS WRITE IN
If you have a question feel free to email me at info ( at ) spiritual humanism.org
To whom it may concern: I saw a recent newsletter from y’all it was stated: “The scientific method is the best way we have of determining truth and the nature of the universe.” But yet, to limit truth to mere science is to deny some possible truths. Science is only a different system of beliefs. The foundation of several branches of science, mainly evolutionary theories are based upon assumptions and presuppositions that are unobservable, un-testable, and currently being seriously challenged by many degreed scientists. How then is this any different than any other system of beliefs? Are we to look solely at fallible man and science, even when it continuously changes from day to day? I’m sorry. Too many holes in billions of years theories. And yes, I know the definition of theory by science so let’s not go there.
It is the nature of science that its theories can be challenged and tested. That’s how knowledge is built; you keep refining what you know to bring it closer to the truth. While scientist may quibble over details there are certain central ideas that are accepted by the overwhelming majority of scientists as facts because so much of what we understand about the universe collaborates these points.
Mere science? There is no other way to learn about the universe. Can you build any usable electrical device based on the information provided in the Bible? Which would you want to be operated on by: some one who studied eight years in a seminary or at a school of medical science? When drug companies spend billions of dollars to develop new life saving treatments they use science not some type of divinely revealed wisdom. And the science they use directly relies on the facts that the universe is tens of billions of years old and humans evolved from more primitive forms of life. All modern medicine relies on these points as facts.
When the courts hear a case are their expert witnesses psychics or holy men? No of course not, if they were justice would be but a farce. They rely on scientists who use the scientific method, whose conclusions are derived from previous facts determined by that method. Facts like genetic information is unique to an individual and is a product of evolution. To deny that science is the best method we now have to determine the true nature of the universe is to deny truth itself.
Yes Clergy Packages are available in our online store
http://www.spiritualhumanism.org/shop.php The Ordination Certificates are printed on acid free paper for extra long life, and Clergy Wallet ID Cards are nice to have. The Officiant’s Manual includes information on celebrating the equinoxes, sample ceremonies, etc., and the companion CD has marriage laws for
all 50 states. The fees charged for these packs are our only income and help defer the cost of the web site, advertising, PO Box, and fund the purchase of a permanent location for our regular religious services.
President, The Church of Spiritual Humanism