In another breakthrough East London Humanists have been invited to contribute to the ‘Spiritual Life’ column in the Ilford Recorder and sister publications in LB Redbridge. This is the first article, due for publication in October.
‘An atheist contributing to the Spiritual Life column? Surely some sort of mistake! In fact belief in a God isn’t necessary to appreciate the rich wonder of life, to stare in awe at the night sky, to be moved by great music or art, or to feel love and compassion for our fellow creatures. These are all sides of our lives which can be described as spiritual. The term has also been applied to activities as diverse and Godless as crystal healing and tarot card reading. Spirituality has such a broad meaning that it is difficult to see any good reason why Humanists should not have been able to contribute in the past.
Humanists also have much in common with those of faith who contribute to this column. Humanism is much more than just a lack of religious belief. We too think that the way we live our lives is important. We share many of the same values, not least that we should treat others as we would wish to be treated. The difference is that we do not attribute our values and beliefs to any holy books or revelations.
It is our values and how we apply them to issues such as respect, peace and justice that really counts. We should oppose all attempts to sew division based on religious belief, or lack of belief. Humanists therefore welcome this opportunity to contribute our views on the great challenges of today from a non-religious ethical perspective. ‘
Chair East London Humanists