As we gather here today, let us reflect for a moment on our lives here when the meaning of the holidays has changed for us,
When the Winter Solstice reminds us that even in the bleakest winter, the warming spring will return and with it renewal of the earth and ourselves.
I have read in the media, including our local paper, lots of talk about prayer.
Prayer, in my view, is magical thinking.
I suppose people who practice it do so with good intentions. I am not sure how they explain why some people who pray suffer dire consequences. I suppose they attribute it to a higher plan.
I am not a fan of magical thinking for two reasons.
One is that it avoids the hard work. Science is hard work. It is going to be the hard work and difficult decisions that will address climate change.
Two is that it absolves humans of responsibility. I am reminded of the student who prays before a test as they have not studied. For some reason the student feels she/he can avoid responsibility for poor study habits. We humans use it to avoid responsibility for the work needed for peace and justice.
I remain hopeful about the future. I do so not because of some grand plan. I do so because humans adapt. We need science and reason to address the issues confronting us. If we do use them, we will succeed.
The Ogden Preservation Group, with inspired participation from Mike and Susanne Werner, led the effort to save Wilmington’s magnificent live oaks from clear cutting.
Initiatives like those of the Odgen Preservation Group, are brilliantly in alignment with the Bylaws of the Humanists & Freethinkers of Cape Fear, in which the effort to “promote the welfare of humanity and the biosphere of which we are part,” is an important part of the stated purpose.
Enjoy the following video, produced by the City of Wilmington, and featuring Mike Werner.
Writer and activist Alix Jules presented a program, Race and Racism in America, which explored topics including racial tones in culture, religion, and their effect on US politics. He reviewed some of the current stats and prevailing theories that continue to shape racial dynamics, while examining the concept of privilege in the Era of Trump. The writer also shared a candid, but humorous look at why Humanists often struggle with finding proper footing when discussing these topics. Jules touched on the backlash against PC culture and why words like “diversity” became a pejorative.
This program was underwritten in part by a Harvey LeBrun Chapter Grant through the American Humanist Association.