Letter to the Editor: Heed the advice of Pope Francis


Humanism is a philosophical world view based on reason and compassion. With that in mind, I am compelled to make a sincere attempt to assuage the fears of Christian fundamentalists who, fearing God’s wrath, “tremble for their country” because of the Supreme Court’s ruling making gay marriage legal in all 50 states.

This country is not, as alleged, falling into moral decay. The fact is that as we  become  more secular we are moving ever so slowly to be a nation that a ensures moral, prosperous, safe collective existence. Survey after survey has shown that in democratic nations, those with the highest amount of atheists and agnostics have the most stable, free, peaceful, wealthy and healthy societies and the most religious nations are among the most unstable, violent, oppressive, poor, and destitute.

Fortunately, not all religions share the same dooms day scenario. The House of Deputies of the Episcopalian Church voted overwhelmingly to allow same sex couples to have religious weddings despite opposition from conservatives who either split off or distanced themselves from the national U.S. church. Please note that this comes from devout Christians who believe in the same God. This is just one more sign that, although there is a long way to go,  we are moving in the right direction in becoming a more inclusive nation.

Finally, I know that belief in God provides comfort to individuals, but on a societal level conservatives, instead of railing about social issues such as gay marriage, birth control and women’s right to choose, would do well to heed the advice of Pope Francis. He said that the church’s greatest concern should be for the poor and marginalized since they are the victims of an unjust economic system that prizes profit over people. That is what Christianity and humanism are about.

Gene Rigelon, Front Royal