Yes, I am a non-theist. I am a Humanist, and an atheist one at that! But I also consider myself to be a person of faith; deep and abiding faith. I know that may sound funny, like an oxymoron, or even make you roll your eyes, and yet I am what I am - a faithful Humanist. There are plenty of definitions and interpretations of definitions of the word 'faith'. For the purposes of my life, experience, and understanding, faith is a really simple word with a simple but powerful meaning. For me, faith is trust.
The deep and abiding trust that I have, and that guides my daily life, is in the goodness of humanity. It is not in a supernatural power, however that might be known or named. I believe that I am good without a god and I have faith in humanity. This doesn't mean that I think everyone should be like me or that anyone whose faith differs from my own is "wrong". My faith in the goodness of humanity extends far beyond myself and beyond those who look or think exactly like me.
My faith abides even in times of chaos and the troubling darkness that seems to cover the world. Even then, while I don't turn to a supernatural power, I have faith. I trust that the potential for unbound compassion and respect will be realized over and over again. And I remain faithful even when it isn't easy (which can be more often than I'd like to admit). Is my faith tested from time to time? Of course it is. But then I meet someone or see something that reminds me of that potential, and that goodness is possible.
I'm always amazed at how the goodness of humanity shows up as a reminder of my faith when I need it most. When there is sadness, evil, violence, and hopelessness filling the news cycle and pressing down on my heart, I search out the people and the stories of my faith. A picture of a police officer playing with children in an urban neighborhood gives me hope. A video of refugee families being welcomed and cared for by strangers brings me tears of joy. Watching children laugh on the playground while their parents of differing ethnicities engage in dialogue with smiles brings a smile to my own face. Meeting with a couple whose wedding I will officiate in the coming months and feeing their palpable love for one another while hearing about their dreams to open an animal rescue farm inspires me. While there are many hurting people in the world and evil is real, the goodness that humanity possesses and is capable of sharing is bountiful. I have faith in, trust, my own capacity for goodness. It is the goodness of humanity that can create positive change and peace. Indeed, I believe it is the only thing that ever has. This is why I'm a faithful Humanist!
I had hoped to post once a week, and did for a short time. Unfortunately, my doctorate research and other obligations have taken priority over the blog. BUT, I will return soon! Some postings may be articles I've written for publication, messages I've delivered in congregational settings, or excerpts from papers written in my doctoral classes.