Newsletter #30 – The Church of Spiritual Humanism
March 17, 2016 – Philadelphia www.SpiritualHumanism.org
Spring Equinox Message
We are a decade and six years into the new millennia and a sound mind could argue we have entered into an absurdist reality. I’d wager it would take a gifted artist to paint a more colorful cast of characters than those we have had lined up as candidates for this cycle’s presidential election. On the technological front Google has chosen to demonstrate its expertise with video clips of how its latest robots can be repeatedly pushed, shoved and knocked down by humans, only to pull themselves up time and time again. Internationally the widespread strife in the Middle East has led to the ascent of the Islamic State, which despite being almost cartoonishly evil, has little trouble recruiting minions. The litany goes on.
At this point there is little that could surprise me. But as the great nineteenth century orator, Robert Ingersoll said â€œa leaf falls, in the far forest, a babe is born, and the great world sweeps on.â€ And thus the Earth sweeps on in its orbit round the sun. In a few days we will be able to plainly observe the tireless progression of our home planet’s wanderings when we reach that point in our orbit that manifests as the Spring Equinox. The concept of Equinox is one of equality, equal amount of daylight and nighttime. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Spring Equinox is perhaps more joyous than the Autumn because it heralds in the longer days to come and the promise of more pleasant weather.
Mark your calendar for the 20th of March and be sure make some time on that day to wonder at the great world we live on and to contemplate the beauty and complexity of our universe. Spiritual Humanism is about making a personal spiritual connection to nature and the universe within the context of the knowledge gained through the scientific method.
IN THE NEWS
Voters who oppose politicians are the most active
Author Richard Petty
Did you ever wonder why there are so many political attack ads? Of course, politicians have the obvious desire to tear down the opposition in the hopes of building up their own position.
But there is another dynamic at work: candidates and campaigns are seeking to exploit the lesser-known psychological advantage that opposing the other candidate has over supporting one’s own.
…being an opposer is more powerful than being a supporter fits with other psychological research showing that negative traits and information are typically weighed more heavily in judgments than positive traits and with the prospect theory notion that losses loom larger than gains.
see full story at http://theconversation.com/voters-who-oppose-politicians-are-the-most-active-54451
A preference for extremism seems to be wired into our brains. But there must be something more at play here–otherwise everyone would be an extremist of one sort or another. What are the forces that promote compromise and centrist positions? Anecdotally it does seem as if there has been a rise in the number of people in positions of power with irrational extremist ideas. I have to wonder if this is a cyclic rise or if there is some other exacerbating circumstance that is cultivating the potency of fanatical ideology.
Incidentally I want to take a moment to emphatically note Spiritual Humanism’s stern opposition to the use of ancient muddled thinking as the basis of human morality and ethics. To accept supposed revelations of any kind over logic and careful experimentation has been the greatest of human follies. We know so much more now. We must keep the foundations of human conduct up to date.
READERS WRITE IN
If you have a question feel free to email me at email@example.com
First, thank you for the wonderful experiences I have had as ordained clergy via the Church of Spiritual Humanism. Ordained online in 2004, I have officiated several funerals and weddings. I would be glad to offer any kind of endorsement testimonial.
Second, I’ve worn out my Ordained Clergy Member plastic identification card. I’d like a replacement; should I ‘reordain’ myself and order from the online shop?
Third, I’ve been asked to officiate a same sex marriage in California. Am I authorized for that ceremony? I hope so.
I am delighted to hear of your positive experiences. Yes, of course, you and all other Spiritual Humanist clergy are fully authorized to perform same sex wedding ceremonies. For a replacement ID card you do not need to be re-ordained. Just send in $7.50 (plus shipping and handling) via Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the PO Box listed below.
You may be wondering how we can stay in business while charging such incredible low fees. The answer is we can’t! At least not with your support. Please promote a future based on reason by purchasing from the online shop or sending in a donation.
The online store http://www.spiritualhumanism.org/shop.php eatures Clergy Packages, ID cards and clergy supplies. The Ordination Certificates are printed on acid free paper for extra long life, and Clergy Wallet ID Cards are a fantastic way to be a card carrying Spiritual Humanist. The Officiant’s Manual includes information on celebrating the solstices, sample ceremonies, etc., and the companion CD is packed with information. 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 promotion of a religion based on reason.
President, The Church of Spiritual Humanism