Part of a Series: American Humanist Retreat Center
“I’m a Catholic, but I used to love going to Vacation Bible School with my fundamentalist friends.” – Paul Begala
I’ve been writing these blogs for a few months now, trying to drum up some enthusiasm for a national Humanist Retreat Center. To be honest, I’m not getting a whole lot of response. I’ve written about it being my dream and I’ve written about who I envision sharing the dream with.
But is it just me? Maybe other Humanists don’t share the dream or want to share it. Other Humanists I know (mostly in Arizona, because that is where I have lived in recent years, but also in South Carolina where I have family members in the Humanist community), seem agreed that the Humanist movement needs to be advanced, to be more visible, to be more…… human …… in the public arena.
To advance, more of us need to come out publicly as Humanists, just as our LGBT friends and relatives (and some of us are part of that community as well) have been coming out. More and more the people who are coming out as LGBT are not really surprising or shocking the public (for example the sitcom actor, Jim Parsons, who came out this week) and I take that as a major sign of it being more acceptable than it once was to be out as LGBT. As more of us come out as Atheists, hopefully that will become more acceptable as well, to our religious family, friends and neighbors.
So if we’re advancing, why retreat? We need to take time to retreat occasionally from the day-to-day religiously infused world, to have some time to think alone and/or to interact with others who are on the same page we are (or one close by). We need to take the time to immerse ourselves in some non-traditional reading, lectures, movies, discussions, art, poetry…. It really could be any or all of the above or something else but every once in a while we need to take a vacation or a retreat from where we are to better assess where we are and where we want to be.
Just as Paul Begala, in the quote above, retreated from his Catholic home into the fundamentalist world of his friends for Vacation Bible School, so do we Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists and Freethinkers need to retreat… for a weekend, a week, a month… even longer.
Sometimes we need to retreat in order to advance.
So who’s with me?