Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Barack Obama – A Humanist President?

I don't think Obama is a Humanist - but he is a Secularist & Rationalist (of sorts) - crabsallover

by Sangeeta Mall, Editor in IHEU News

Is Obama a Humanist? Certainly he is religious, a church going Christian who was willing to stick his neck out for his pastor. But so far he hasn’t allowed his religion to come in the way of his politics. And, as his speech on religion and politics reproduced on page _ shows, he has consistently made allowance for both diversity and belief in secular laws.

He is a rationalist who has never worn his religion on his sleeve, or tried to thrust it down the throat of the unwilling.

It is this tolerance for the other that Humanism celebrates and welcomes.

The world today is haunted by intolerance and division. The West has to own up to its share of culpability in this state of affairs. It is no less guilty than the Islamic world in encouraging the politics of identity on a global scale. The Church has managed to woo most political leaders into believing that the world is essentially divided, and the only way to make “our” world more secure is by encouraging this divisiveness. Perhaps Mr. Obama will take the lead in proving that the Church, as much as the mullahs, is wrong in this as well. The United States might just, for a change, lead the world from the front in uniting humanity. Someday other nations too might think of treating all their citizens, irrespective of caste, race, sex or religion, as equals. Sceptics will declare that Barack Obama’s victory does not signify that America has overcome its traditional intolerance towards its largest minority group. Certainly that would be a miracle. But on the other hand, it has made that great leap of imagination of according leadership to a man who, traditionally, belongs to the ‘other’. How many of us can do that? And isn’t it high time we tried?

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