Letter to the Editor: Humanists speak out for rights of others


I find it difficult to give a reasoned response to Michael Dick’s liberal bashing diatribe (Nov. 26 letter) so instead I would, with reason and compassion as my guide, assure him that as a secular humanist, and worse, one of them “thar bleeding heart liberals” that I nor any of my compatriots have any desire to help ourselves to his possessions, especially his wife and daughters. I earnestly hope that this will relieve his fear and he will sleep well knowing that some secular humanist will not come knocking on his door and “help themselves to what doesn’t belong to them.” In the interest of humanist values, that’s the least I can do.

A look at the 20th century will find that the fight for social justice, which Mr. Dick seems to deride, has made significant progress — women’s suffrage, the civil rights movement that broke the back of segregation, and homosexuals to overcome the prejudice that prevented them from enjoying equal rights in the social order. It is important to note that each of these achievements was accomplished by and large by the secular community and progressive theologians and were resisted by the leadership of Christian fundamentalists.

The 20th century also saw the creation of what pundits have dubbed the greatest generation thanks to big liberal government programs such as the GI bill, Social Security and Medicare, which enabled me and millions of Americans to earn a decent salary, provide for our families and enjoy a comfortable retirement. As a liberal, I am proud of those accomplishments and I do sleep well, thank you.

Finally, as a humanist I am not religious, but I am not anti-religious and I and my fellow humanists speak out only against fundamentalist claims that infringe on the rights of others.

Gene Rigelon, Front Royal