I’ve said elsewhere that we need to focus on humanism and not humanism’s components - atheism, science advocacy and/or secularism - alone, and there are many reasons for this…
Humanists need to have their priorities in order.
During an interview with journalist Stephanie Hendricks, author of [i:2c83cdb300]Divine Destruction: Dominion Theology and American Environmental Policy,[/i:2c83cdb300] Hendricks talks about the religious Right and their assult on the environment thru the Bush admistration and correctly sees the forest for the trees:
Hendricks: "If we don’t deal (with) environmental issues, if we don’t deal (with) war and genocide that’s going on right now, the other issues like teaching intelligent design aren’t gonna matter because we won’t be alive to debate those issues. Things have gotten down, in my opinion, to the point where we really have to hone in on basic survival…"
[i:2c83cdb300]ETFF: Do you think the ‘wise use’ movement and this whole fundamentalist movement to roll back environmental protections… Do you think it is shaped more by Dominionst theology or is the use of theology for (what you can call) Machiavellian ends?[/i:2c83cdb300]
Hendricks: "I say it’s the latter. I say it’s industry driven, a deliberate disinformation campaign while exploiting religion. There’s nothing new with this, this has been going in since time and memorial. This is where some hope (lies) because a lot of these religious people, let’s face it, are driven into religion [u:2c83cdb300]out of fear[/u:2c83cdb300] and their looking for a sense of community… They’re looking for answers, they want to be reassured (but) now they’re waking up and realizing they’ve been exploited, so we have an opportunity now to gain some common ground with them on these ... issues."
Fear is the key word in this last quote… and we need to address this fear before we can address religious fundementalism with any hopes of success. This is why Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and CFI/CSH are wrong in their apporach. As Noam Chomsky says in a great interview with David Niose of [i:2c83cdb300]The Humanist[/i:2c83cdb300]:
"One striking element of this country’s culture, which is conceivably related to religious extremism, is fear. This is one of the most frightened societies in the world. Take the start of the war in Iraq. A large portion of the American population, maybe 60 present, really was frightened. You have to respect that fear as authentic. They believed that Saddam was coming to get us, and we had to stop him before he did. We had to defend ourselves. Right now, I get letters from people saying, how can you support Iran, Cuba and Venezuela, when they are organizing to destroy us? If you look at it objectively, their military forces are maybe 2% of ours. But people feel they’re about to destroy us, that we can barely protect ourselves."