I’m offering a vision for what might be, and will be if we make it so. For me, religious Humanism means that Humanism addresses my central concerns and provides a framework for living.
Tell us more about the central concerns and the framework. I don’t see what you mean yet. Is it different that what you see the CFI doing now-a-days. What else do you want? I’m only curious, whatever you like is your choice.
The central concerns are all the things people care about. We want to build lives that work, i.e., are productive, rewarding and satisfying. As in the Steve Earle song, “we are all pilgrims on this road,” trying to make sense of things and navigate through life as best we can.
Humanism can be as satisfying and as appealing as the most successful religion, more so in my opinion because we have no need to employ any fantasies, in fact we recognize the dangers in doing so. That makes our challenge harder but if we succeed, it will also make our endeavors more satisfying because we will know that we have not compromised ourselves.
Not everyone will wish to become a member in a Humanist organization but I wish there were some that were as satisfying in the aspects of community and optimism as a Unity church I attended some dozen or so years ago. There’s a market for that but we are not capturing it. We aren’t even trying, and the resistance to such a thing tends to shut it down. It’s shocking to me, and disappointing, that more secularists are not interested in it. So yes, it’s very different from what CFI, or any other Humanist organization is doing. We don’t celebrate together and we pay almost no attention to members’ personal concerns. How many times do you hear people in our groups talk about love for each other, or about love at all? How often do we talk about supporting members who are having problems? In my experience, almost never. We will never come anywhere close to realizing our full potential that way.
The framework is based on an understanding of what makes a human being tick. I learned it from Calvin Chatlos (see http://www.humanismtoday.org/vol13/chatlos.html - I was the person one of the other members found intimidating, see the article) and have since expanded on it. I opened a topic a couple years ago to present it here but people lost interest and I haven’t brought it up since. I am working on a website but it’s a major undertaking and may not be up and running for a couple years or more. If you’re interested in the model, I can explain it to you in more detail than you probably care to read about.