How did your humanism shape — or reshape — you in 2011?

In the past year, humanism helped me navigate difficult personal situations, especially regarding the health and wellbeing of family members. My sister, for instance, needed attention after suffering a post-surgical stroke. Seeing how debilitated she was by that tragic incident at fifty-one years old was a stark reminder of the fragile hold we have on [...]

How my humanism shaped me in 2011

I began this year with two tremendous responsibilities, and ended it with two more. In January, I was one of the directors not only of the Fellowship of Freethought, but also of Camp Quest Texas. This spring, I also took over from Terry McDonald the role of coordinator for the Dallas/Fort Worth Coalition of Reason, [...]

Summary: Why is music central to Christmas — or any religious story?

This week’s question asks about the use of music at Christmas time, which is seemingly ubiquitous in malls, on car radios, and even streaming on the Internet from Thanksgiving through the end of the year. Marilyn Westfall, First Unitarian Universalist Church in Lubbock: As someone who has experience in theater, I find that music underscores mood, and [...]

Why is music central to Christmas — or any religious story?

Music and spiritual expression go hand-in-hand. The Greeks gave us the Muses, and one was Polyhymnia who inspired religious songs. The Native Americans developed intricate rhythm and vocal expressions for their ceremonies. Buddhists use singing bowls or bells to begin and end meditations. As someone who has experience in theater, I find that music underscores [...]

Let’s Talk About Sex

What is sexual immorality?  What is the definition of sexual immorality?  Is it cheating on a spouse?  Masturbating?  Sex before marriage?  Gay sex?  Lying about sex?  Taking advantage of someone unable to give informed sexual consent (someone who is under the influence, a minor, mentally disabled, etc)? A Google search for ‘sexual immorality’ and ‘sexual [...]

Should sexual immorality disqualify an otherwise capable candidate?

This question could only come up in this country, with its peculiar history of puritanism. Most other (non-theocratic) countries accept that their public figures are mere mortals subject to moral lapses. I am not so concerned about a candidate’s infidelity or dabbling in homosexuality, as I am about how he handles it. Lying is worse [...]