Just Rambling: Humanist group forming in Winchester

Friends who’ve known me for very long prob­a­bly know I’m not a reli­gious per­son. You could call me a “none” — some­one who does­n’t iden­ti­fy with any reli­gion. You can even call me an agnos­tic. I don’t claim to know whether or not there is a god or gods, but I choose to live as though there are not. 

I gen­er­al­ly iden­ti­fy myself as a Humanist. 

Although def­i­n­i­tions vary, Humanists are basi­cal­ly peo­ple who are sec­u­lar in ori­en­ta­tion and who choose to live a life of ser­vice to humankind and to the plan­et we inhab­it, with­out the promise of an eter­nal par­adise or the threat of eter­nal torment. 

The American Humanist Association uses the tagline, “Good with­out God.” I’m not par­tic­u­lar­ly fond of that phrase because it implies that one can­not be a believ­er in God and be a Humanist. I don’t believe that. I think what sep­a­rates Humanists from many Christians is not sim­ply a lack of belief in God, but belief that one can lead an eth­i­cal, pur­pose­ful, and ful­fill­ing life with­out fear of con­se­quences in the after­life. I know many Christians who deny the com­mon evan­gel­i­cal claim that one can­not be good with­out “Jesus in their heart.” I con­sid­er them Humanists as well. 

A more expan­sive def­i­n­i­tion, also tak­en from the AHA, reads as follows.

Humanism is a pro­gres­sive phi­los­o­phy of life that, with­out the­ism or oth­er super­nat­ur­al beliefs, affirms our abil­i­ty and respon­si­bil­i­ty to lead eth­i­cal lives of per­son­al ful­fill­ment that aspire to the greater good.

– American Humanist Association

A cou­ple of months ago, I hap­pened to be dis­cussing this with a friend who shares my Humanist life stance. Together, we decid­ed to test the waters to see if there were oth­ers in Clark County who would be inter­est­ed in start­ing a Facebook group for local Humanists. Within 24 hours, we had 24 mem­bers. That soon grew to 33. It was­n’t long before peo­ple start­ed ask­ing about hav­ing an in-per­son meetup. 

We quick­ly arranged to meet on Sunday, October 22. Nine of us met at The Hall down­town and quick­ly start­ed get­ting to know one anoth­er and mak­ing plans for future meet­ings. We’ve decid­ed to meet reg­u­lar­ly on the third Wednesday of each month, and for now, we’ll con­tin­ue meet­ing at The Hall. 

I’m not sure where this will go, but I’m excit­ed and ener­gized to know there are oth­ers like me in Clark County. If you con­sid­er your­self a Humanist or are like-mind­ed and curi­ous about our group, we invite you to join us at The Hall this Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. The Hall will not be open to the pub­lic that evening as we have rent­ed it out for our exclu­sive use. Come and see what we are all about. 

The Hall Coffee & Social Club is locat­ed at 17 South Main Street in Winchester (the place for­mer­ly known as The Cairn.) The Humanists of Winchester will be meet­ing there on Wednesday, November 15 at 7 p.m.

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