Evaluating the Merits of Secular Humanism vs. Conservative Christianity

Conservative Christian:

Yeah, we’ve seen the results from the 70 million Ukrainians starved to death by Stalin to the 55 + million babies killed by abortion in America alone since 1973… The glories of secular humanism never cease.

You must appreciate the utter hypocrisy of living off the moral capital of Christianity while spitting in Christ’s face.

Gary

First we need to be clear:  atheism and secular humanism are not synonymous.  Neither Stalin nor Mao were humanists.

Secular humanism seeks to maximize the well-being and happiness of the individual.  The individual is the focus of secular humanism.  The individual is not the focus of communism.  However, there are limitations:  one person’s happiness and well-being must not result in the unhappiness and detriment of another human being.  This is the delicate balance that Secular Humanism encourages human beings to continually fine tune.

Let’s take a look at some major issues that have confronted the people of North America and see how conservative Christians and humanists have approached them:

1.      Tolerance of religious diversity.

It is true that America was founded by persons seeking religious freedom, but the truth is that they were seeking religious freedom only for themselves, not others.  The history of the American colonies is full of horrific persecution of religious minorities.  Humanists (deists) such as Franklin, Jefferson, and others proposed religious tolerance mainly due to the abuses of conservative Christians in the colonies, not that in mother England.

2.      Slavery

One of the most horrific practices of mankind was trumpeted by conservative Christians for 1,800 years as an institution condoned by God.  The Old and New Testament both condone the keeping of slaves.  Liberal Christians and deists (humanists) opposed this institution as contrary to the principles of democracy and individual human rights, regardless of what the Christian holy book stated.  The majority of Americans decided that in the case of slavery, the principles of Secular Humanism were more important than following the Holy Bible.

3.      Subjugation of Women


For 1,900 years, conservative/orthodox Christianity supported the subjugation of women in society, denying women positions of leadership and denying them the right to participate in government and to vote.   The principles of humanism gave women the right to vote, not conservative Christianity and its support of the biblical position of the “submission of women” to men in the church and home, and by insinuation—society.

 
4.      Sabbath Laws


Why should a Jew, Muslim, or secular humanist be forced to close his or her business on the Christian holy day?  Yet, conservative Christians have imposed “blue laws” on non-Christians for almost 2,000 years.

5.      Segregation/Jim Crow


Once again, conservative Christians used the Bible to discriminate against persons of African descent due to an alleged curse placed by God on the ancestor of the black race.  The separation of the races, especially in the case of mixed-race marriages, was touted as the will of the Christian God.  Humanists helped to defeat this conservative Christian social injustice.

6. Sexuality


No sector of human activity is more regulated by conservative Christianity than what one does with his or her genitals, even what happens with them in the privacy of one’s own bedroom.  Fornication laws were rampant in the colonies.  Placing “fornicators” in the stocks and even branding them was common practice.   Today, conservative Christians for the most part have given up trying to regulate what heterosexual adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms, but conservative Christians still want to deny same-sex adults the right to exercise personal liberty in their bedrooms.  If it were not for Secular Humanism, conservative Christianity would have Big Brother sitting in your bedroom, monitoring your every move!

In conclusion, the history of the United States is one of an intense, ongoing struggle between the forces of conservative Christianity and their desire for a Christian Theocracy, against the forces of liberal Christians, deists, and humanists and their desire for a secular society in which the flourishing and happiness of the individual is the utmost priority, free of religious dogma and superstition.
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