Not Enough Marthas

March 31, 2010

In my years of attending church services, I heard this story many times:

Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, "Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her" (Luke 10:38-42).

I always thought that Jesus had it backwards.  I identified more with Martha and thought she was doing the right thing by being the action person rather than just sitting around and listening.  Secular Humanists are different from the religious in that they do not just listen and hang on every word of a leader.  They ask questions.  They dispute and argue.   However, many in this camp seem to be content with spending their time disputing and arguing over semantics and interpretations but never get around to taking any action.

Which Free Thinking blogs engender the most comments?   Which discussions become the more heated?  Paul Kurtz has described Center for Inquiry and its affiliate organizations as a “think tank.”  However, he has also said that there should be a CFI branch in every city and he was instrumental in establishing the CFI Office of Public Policy in DC. 

When I was first introduced to Secular Humanism about 12 years ago and attended some national events, I learned that there were local groups in some communities but none in Indiana.  So, I started one.  Since then I have noticed that when I attend national events, many people that I talk with read the magazines and come to national conferences but have no local group.  They complain and moan about how conservative their community is but seem content to just talk.  

When I tell them about our center, they may say,   “I wish we had something like that in (wherever  they live).”   And I answer, “Then, start one.”    The usual answer is that they just couldn’t do that because there are no people in their community who think like they do.  I answer, “I didn’t think so either until I started the group.”   Of course, physical centers cost money and that is a barrier.  However, a local discussion group does not.  So—why don’t they take action?

How many of the people who spend hours writing comments on the blog are going to CFI Civic Days in DC, April 24-27?   Did anyone read my blog about CFI Indiana’s Darwin Day for Kids and look at the pictures of children learning and being excited about science?   If they did, no one bothered to write a comment.  

Hey, folks, there’s where the action is. We need more Marthas.