We compiled the best, funniest, and insightful comments on the American Humanist Association’s Facebook page and share them with readers. Be sure to “like” the American Humanist Association’s Facebook page at www.facebook .com/americanhumanist, and see what your fellow humanists are saying about today’s issues.
All comments are reprinted below (edited for grammar) with permission or noted as anonymous.
Anonymous: Really, it’s just a second slap to the other religious constituents too. “I’m sorry that I offended you” is a backhanded non-apology. It’s really more of a lament than an apology: “I regret these statements not because I understand that they were wrong, but because they have made my job more difficult.” Or, “I just want my life back.”
A sincere apology would be along the lines of “I was wrong, and I’m deeply ashamed of my behavior; no representative of the citizenry should make such statements; anyone who was offended absolutely should have been, because my statement was, in fact, offensive, and here’s why.” If you were a parent, would you let your kid get away with not “I’m sorry I hit someone/stole something/lied/etc.,” but merely “I’m sorry that I upset you and got my toys taken away”?
MarJean Corkran: As a humanist citizen of Alabama—also a tenured college instructor in a small community college in south Alabama—I can tell you this is NOT a “trivial battle not worth fighting.” This attitude is pervasive here, so much so that even in higher education and with tenure, I feel I have to guard myself from heavy social and possible professional persecution.
Katelynn J.: Oh thank goodness, my family is crazy enough as it is.
William Tazewell Flowers: I wonder what the response would be if Gov. Bentley had said the following instead: “So anybody here today who has not accepted Muhammad as Allah’s final divine prophet and does not believe the Qur’an to be the final revelation and true word of God, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother.” It’s just as wrong.
John Case: Looks like I’m the voice of dissent here. I don’t like religious presence in government any more than anyone else, but I think we need to take a deep breath and consider context here.
The man was in a church speaking in a very explicit religious context. That Christians are brothers and sisters in the Lord is a pretty fundamental idea for the faith. I think the knee-jerk “he’s a crazy, superstitious bigot” is a bit much. He’s a Christian who spoke about spiritual relatedness during a church service. Sure, one can clearly infer that being non-Christian means that Bentley does not consider himself to be your spiritual brother. Aren’t we Atheists? I don’t even consider myself to have a spirit, let alone consider that my spirit could be the brother of someone else’s if we share the same belief. So Bentley isn’t my spirit-brother. Should I be up in arms? I simply don’t care.
Put as simply as possible, Bentley is a Governor. He was elected to govern and, when speaking in context as the Governor, seems to have expressed at least the intent to be just and fair to all of his constituents. Let’s judge him on that and not on what he says in church.
American Humanist Association: Philosopher of Religion [Dr. Keith Parsons] can no longer defend theism, intelligent design, and the existence of God. Skepticism and rationality have led him to believe religion is “a fraud.”
Anonymous: It takes a mature personality to announce that decades of work were, perhaps, a waste of time, and a long-held and defended position was wrong. It may, eventually, cost him his professional position. The article doesn’t mention what repercussions he may experience.
Sheila Evans Mengel: I don’t understand why people have a problem with separating religion and government. We are not a Christian nation…we are a nation with many Christians, Jews, Muslims, and yes, even nonbelievers!
Kimberly S: Who’s he calling “namby-pamby”? I thought we were “evil” and the like?! Also, he’s criticizing Obama for asking for “prayer or reflection” for the victims in Arizona…really? These people are exhausting.
Anonymous: Why is it important to Christians, or any other religious faith for that matter, what I believe or don’t believe. Is it because they want me to be just like them? Or is it because my lack of faith may result in them questioning their beliefs?
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