Monday, March 16, 2009

Stem Cells, Gays and Religion...Oh My!

WOW! This mornings perusal of the news surely gave us much food for thought. At one point in time I believe that I had at least fifteen tabs open. Not all of it revolves around Rush or Jon Stewart. There is actually some other news being reported today. Lucky for me they are all hot button issues that make people want to gnash their teeth and wear sack cloth, or something like that.

The first bit comes to us courtesy of U.S. News and World Report. A nice little piece that talks about the ten diseases that might be cured with embryonic stem cell research.
To be fair they also say that maybe they won't be cured, but hasn't that always been the deal with science/research? Sometimes things work and sometimes they don't. You just have to keep moving forward and trying things. Nothing would have ever been developed or cured etc. if we did not constantly move forward and try new things.

Next we move to marriage or should I say the idea of gay marriage. Time magazine proposes that instead of worrying about gays marrying why not just go away with the whole business of marriage!! Then no one would have to worry about or get their panties all in a bunch because a gay couple wants to get hitched! None of us would need to marry. How progressive and liberating. "
There is no baptism certificate issued by the local courthouse, and no federal tax benefits attached to the confessional booth, the into-the-water-and-out born-again ceremony or any of the other sacraments that believers hold sacred.

Only marriage gets that treatment, and it's a tradition that some legal scholars have been arguing should be abandoned. Two law professors from Pepperdine University issued a call to re-examine the role the government plays in marriage in a paper published March 2 in the San Francisco Chronicle. The authors — one of who voted for and one against Prop 8, which successfully ended gay marriage in California — say the best way out of the intractable legal wars over gay marriage is to take marriage out of the hands of the government altogether."

Seriously, I may have been a bit tongue-in-cheek here, but I really have no problem with the concept. We can either all marry or none. Why not let everyone share in the bliss!

Finally, we come to our favorite topic....religion. This has also been a much discussed topic in the religious arena as of late. U.S. News also reported today that the "non-religious" part of America is the fastest growing segment.

. In fact, Epstein and the nonreligious students he leads are part of the fastest-growing demographic on the American religious landscape: those who claim no religion whatsoever.

According to a comprehensive national survey released this week by the Program on Public Values at Trinity College, those identifying with no religious tradition, or as atheists or agnostics, account for 15 percent of the population, up from about 8 percent in 1990. "No religion" Americans are the only religious demographic that's growing in every single state."

There is a reason that we are reading, hearing and talking so much on this topic. We are becoming a smarter, more well tread and thinking society. People are becoming tired of being spoon fed the "less than nourishing" stuff that comes out of the organized religions.

"And Kosmin says that many of the 750,000 additional American adults who each year identify as having "no religion" are reacting to what he calls the "triumphalism and judgementalism of the Christian right."

When I was a part of an organized religious group that was where they wanted me to hang out. They want you to come to every thing they sponsor, they want your kids to be in every group. They want you to spend your time there and with all the others as opposed to people outside the group. You become desensitized to the real world. All they want to do is talk about how bad and negative the world is and how they know what is best for you as well as the rest of the sinning population.

"When Greg Epstein arrived as humanist chaplain at Harvard University four years ago, just a handful of students would show up at his events, intended for nonreligious young people looking for a values system and a sense of community. The school's humanist chaplain, first installed on campus in the 1970s, had always taken what Epstein calls a "shy, retiring approach to his presence on campus."

But not Epstein. "The watchword now for young humanists and nonreligious communities like mine around the country is that we're going to be loud and proud," he says. "The time has come to recognize that whatever you choose to call us nonreligious people, we are an integral part of society and culture."

The message has found a receptive audience. All 1,000 tickets to Harvard's big annual event for secular humanists next month—a ceremony to present a humanist lifetime achievement award—have already been sold. And Epstein can't schedule more events quickly enough. "An enormous number of young people have left traditional religion behind," he says. "I'm overwhelmed by the number of people coming to me."

The fact that more people are looking towards Humanism tells us that with knowledge comes power. More and more people are going to look at the God of the bible and realize that any one or person that would ask someone to kill their own son, or commit the violent and vengeful acts that He does, is not something that intelligent people want to be a part of or belong to.

No comments: