I’m Christian and Humanist

And neither one of those things mean what you think.

I’m Christian. Yes, I’m not baptized, and I don’t think Jesus was God. But I consider myself a Christian, or to use a phrase I hear more lately, a follower of Jesus. I think Jesus, at least the Jesus I know through the Gospels, was onto something. He had an idea, a brilliant idea, about how to live a life of love and integrity; even if it means your own death. I find so much wisdom, so much love, in the ideas and life of Jesus. He’s not perfect (insulting the Syrophoenician woman or totally losing it in the temple come to mind) but he’s so often right and insightful, and his parables and teachings always blow me away.

I’m humanist. In UU circles, that’s come to usually mean atheist or at least agnostic, but I’m not sure why. I’m humanist in that I am concerned with the plight of humanity, both individuals and as a whole, and in that I think we have a significant role in our own destiny. This matters. I’m no nihilist, and I don’t think we can wait for God or anyone else to come take care of things. We have to make a better world ourselves. And we have to do it because this world is messed up, and I value every human life, and all the creatures we live with in this world.

I’m Christian and humanist. In today’s Unitarian Universalism (actually, it’s yesterday’s UUism, but it’s still hanging around in too many places) that’s often seen as a contradiction. It’s not.

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