Tag: Humanity

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I made “Humanist Manifestos I & II” part of my earliest teaching curriculum. Why? I wanted my students to interact with what others taught – not what I said that humanists taught – so that young people could grapple with the basic issues of life. Authority. Humanity. Sin. Salvation. I tell stories about how students […]

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Then and Now, on the Fly

 

A friend emailed me just the other day to ask for my prayers for his father, who is hospitalized because of a blood clot in his leg. He had gotten the Pfizer booster last Wednesday and … you can fill in the blanks.

Then … we trusted medical professionals, relied on our family doctor, and knew that all outcomes were not propitious. Being human meant death, in the long run, and sadly, sometimes not the long run. But we knew and trusted those who cared for our bodies (as we did those who cared for our souls).

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Dear American Medical Establishment:  As an infuriated American citizen who’s had it up to here, I’m writing this letter regarding your crimes against humanity as they pertain to your response to COVID.  That’s right, you read that correctly: crimes against humanity.  That is not hyperbole, it is real and spot on.  In fact, formal charges […]

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“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights” is a United Nations document that assumes some ideas preexist others. Here’s what I mean. The idea that all people have worth, value, and dignity is a preexisting idea. The idea is in the first line of the U.N. document. Any group or nation which defends the rights of […]

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Quote of the Day: Becoming Less Human

 

“When human beings try to become more than human, they become less than human.” –Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

Originally when I signed up for this date, I didn’t realize that it was Election Day. But then I realized that it was an apt quotation, given the state of our country. Will the people we elect honor our humanity, or will they degrade their own?

What does it mean to try to become more than human? I’d suggest it refers to those people who consider themselves “the elite”; they know better than the riff-raff of the country what the country needs. They know what is best for all of us as a people. They have no respect for America, describing our country as evil and decadent. They think they can transform people into “the right kind” of people, those who will give up everything that is important to them: the family unit, religion, American values, restraint in making changes, and that we will defer quietly to their decisions. They believe we are foolish enough to be tempted by bad ideas.

John Wood Jr. comes by to talk about Braver Angels, the largest grassroots bipartisan organization in America, focused on the work of political de-polarization. Along the way he and Bridget have a fascinating conversation about his experience being raised by a mother who’s a liberal black Democrat from inner city LA and father who’s a conservative white Republican from Tennessee, and how his white father emphasized the greatness of black culture in the context of the greatness of America and made him proud of being a black man.  He and Bridget bond over their similar experiences dealing with their parents’ divorces. They cover how you can engage conflict without suffering the debilitating impact of hatred in your own psychology, being chameleons growing up and learning to integrate all the different parts of themselves as they grew older, how important it is to see the human behind the opinion – especially when it’s one you don’t agree with,  what’s truly noble and redeemable in all of our American traditions, and whether Trump is actually racist.

Glenn Beck is a conservative political commentator, radio host and television producer. He and Bridget discuss the early evolution of his career, his love affair with radio, the transition from CNN to Fox News, attending Yale at age 30, and mistakes he’s made along the way. They delve into the value of struggle and overcoming hardship, the cultural celebration of “victimhood,” how tribalism and the culture wars trick people into thinking that the problem is outside themselves, and the dangers of buying into your own fame. They explore the importance of being able to say “I don’t know,” the loss of compassion that occurs when we stop seeing the humanity of the people we disagree with, Glenn’s surprising conversion to Mormonism, and what he found in the depths of his most recent dark night of the soul.

Full transcript available here: WiW46-GlennBeck-Transcript

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Thanks to James Freeman of the Wall Street Journal (in his Best of the Web newsletter yesterday) for excerpting this “Pravda on the Hudson”, AKA New York Times, Op-Ed, by someone called Todd May.  The title of the column is “Would Human Extinction be a Tragedy?”  Emphasis mine. One might ask here whether…it would…be a […]

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