Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Anne Rice on being a (Religious?) Humanist

Trying to chart her religious beliefs may be a sucker's game since she switches around a lot, but lately she seems to have settled on Humanism, and her views, as recently expressed in an interview in the Examiner.com, are of interest. Asked the usual question about how the non-religious "have no standard of right and wrong to live up to" and therefore have no grounds upon which to critique religion, Rice says:
First off, I have never known any non religious person who tried to impose his "beliefs" on anyone.  The humanist approach to laws in this country is to persuade through reason in the courts and in the legislatures.   There is no claim that our humanist beliefs are "revealed" or written in a holy book.  We proceed legally to persuade, as people in America have done since it's inception.  Liberal, progressive, conservative, we work together to achieve our goals in the recognized legal ways.  ---- This is not an imposition of our beliefs.  It is legitimate engagement in the public square.  --------  And American history clearly illustrates that we humanists have standards.  The Founding Fathers were humanists and they had standards.   -----  The idea that one cannot be moral without religion is a pernicious and unprovable idea.  It does immense harm.  ------- And frankly, from what I have seen in my life it is Christians and Catholics who are seeking in our country to impose their beliefs on others.  They are the ones seeking to get all the rest of us to conform to their revealed "religion" and they can use some pretty unwholesome and dishonest tactics to do this.  I've seen it time and again that Christians do not respect our laws, our morality and our standards.
Rice also elaborates on her fascination which Jesus and her rather singular version of Christianity.

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