Newsletter #26 - The Church of Spiritual Humanism
August 23, 2015 - Philadelphia www.SpiritualHumanism.org
The deep greens of mid-summer and the accompanying abundance of wildlife make it easy to appreciate the intricate web of life which has evolved on Earth. It's taken billions of years of random trial and error iterations for life to evolve to fill each specialized niche that we have the privilege of enjoying. The origin of every cherry tree, every squirrel and hummingbird was dependent upon billions of small steps, many of which were failures. Yet somehow here we are, products of the natural world around us. Right now we can appreciate our world more than any time in human history. Our understanding of its intricate workings has become greater through the power of science and the body of knowledge i! t has created.
Today's common medical and engineering technologies have vastly improved our quality of life even compared with only one or two generations ago. For these same reasons we must learn to apply our new knowledge and techniques to our ethics, morality and spiritual understanding of the universe. Our knowledge of the universe is rapidly increasing and our morality must be able to adapt just as quickly and nimbly to this changing environment or we will continue to be subject to unnecessary suffering and disasters.
IN THE NEWS
Conservatives Are Not Happy With Pope Francis, Gallup Poll Shows
The “Francis effect," a phrase used to signify the new energy that Pope Francis' election injected into the global Catholic church, appears to be simmering down among American conservatives, according to a Gallup poll released on Wednesday.
The pontiff’s favorability rating among conservatives has plunged to about 45 percent, compared with a lofty 72 percent in 2014, the poll finds.
Art Swift, a writer at Gallup, chalks the change up to the pope’s stance on social and economic issues.
“This decline may be attributable to the pope's denouncing of 'the idolatry of money' and linking climate change partially to human activity, along with his passionate focus on income inequality -- all issues that are at odds with many conservatives' beliefs,” Swift writes.
During his papacy, Pope Francis has tried to shift focus away from the culture wars, saying that the church has become "obsessed" with hot-button issues like abortion, contraception and homosexuality...
see full story at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/pope-francis-favorability-gallup-poll_55afdec8e4b08f57d5d354ca
You can be forgiven if you cannot keep up with who the latest Pope is. They seem to be coming and going with increasing frequency lately. The newest, Pope Francis, is trying to make the Church relevant again in the 21st Century. But between the thousands of pedophile priests scandals and the increased average level of education in developed countries, the Vatican has come to rely on the support of the poor and uneducated like never before.
The shrill voices of the anti-choice movement are expressing confusion and frustration at Francis' lack of vitriol. One might think that the internal politics of the Vatican are playing a much larger role on papal policies and statements than dogma. However just because Francis has decided to emphasize his stances on climate change and income inequality he still has to be held accountable for the outrageous version of morality that his church pushes on so many other issues.
Francis may harangue his faithful about the inequality he sees inherent to the capitalist system, but he has made it clear he doesn't care about the inequalities of his church when it comes to allowing women to be ordained. While Francis has muddied the waters on what the official position is on the acceptance of gays as members of the Church, he has not changed any of the homophobic policies set by his predecessors. And finally, while he recognizes the validity of the science of climate change indicating human's impact on the environment, he stands as the most powerful individual opposing contraception, family planning and reproductive rights. All of which makes him a direct source of much human s! uffering.
Francis is visiting the United States this September and I am sure I will have more to comment on about his time here in a future newsletter.
READERS WRITE IN
James, the position of the Church of Spiritual Humanism has always been in support of marriage equality. We recognize and affirm the right of consenting adults to enter into and celebrate a committed union with each other regardless of their orientation or gender. There is no moral or religious reason that couples of any orientation should be denied the right to be joined in marriage.
Yes you can find Clergy Packages 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 solstices, 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 operational cost of the Church.
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