In God We Don’t Trust: Secular Reason Rallies in DC this Week

This is so long overdue. Just like the growing number of independents in politics, finally, those who believe in science and reason are coming out of their grouplets and their numbers are growing. Organized religion in the US and not just the fundamentalists need to be challenged.

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About Bruce Lerro

Bruce Lerro has taught for 25 years as an adjunct college professor of psychology at Golden Gate University, Dominican University and Diablo Valley College. He has applied a Vygotskian socio-historical perspective to his five books: "From Earth-Spirits to Sky-Gods: the Socio-ecological Origins of Monotheism, Individualism and Hyper-Abstract Reasoning", "Power in Eden: The Emergence of Gender Hierarchies in the Ancient World" (co-authored with Christopher Chase-Dunn), "Social Change: Globalization from the Stone Age to the Present", "Lucifer's Labyrinth: Individualism, Hyper-Abstract Thinking and the Process of Becoming Civilized", and "The Magickal Enchantment of Materialism: Why Marxists Need Neopaganism". He is also a representational artist specializing in pen-and-ink drawings. Bruce is a libertarian communist and lives in Olympia, WA.

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2 Comments on “In God We Don’t Trust: Secular Reason Rallies in DC this Week”

  1. Here is a quote from the linked article to which I would direct the attention: “We’re not going to treat religion with kid gloves by any means, but to reach our bigger goals of bringing reason to public policy and creating a reasonable society, we need to come together with a couple of religious groups.”

    I just finished reading, for the 6th or 7th time, “The Acquisitive Society” by Christian socialist R.H. Tawney, a book published in 1920 by one of that era’s most seminal economic and social thinkers. The first four chapters of that book provide one of the most persuasive and passionate condemnations of capitalism ever written. I myself am an ordained American Baptist minister (although I made my modest living as a public interest attorney) who graduated from one of the most radical institutions of higher education in the entire country, Chicago Theological Seminary. One would be hard pressed to find a graduate school that has been more front and center, decade after decade, struggle after struggle, in the movement for economic/social justice and human liberation.

    Indeed, my politics are likely to the left of many readers of this website, and I can assure you that I am not alone. A good number of the clergy or leftist “Christians” (we’re always uneasy with that word) who I count among my friends stake out political positions at least as radical and confrontational as our socialist brothers and sisters who are atheist or agnostic. It would be a great tragedy if differences of metaphysics were emphasized so as to create counterproductive friction in the effort to bring union and solidarity to the radical left.

    Having stumbled upon this interesting and informative website, I will continue to visit it and learn from it. But please consider that some of us with a different understanding of the ultimate context of human life–an understanding that in its own way, as much as dialectical materialism may do for others, drives us into the trenches of battle against the obscene evils of global capitalism and its inherent racism, sexism, etc.–are worthy of respect and are as eager and determined as you are to bring down the beast and build a society based upon brotherhood, sisterhood, human freedom, and, to use Schweitzer’s exquisite term, reverence for life.

    1. Hi Newton:
      I think you make some very good points. I’ve read Tawney myself many years ago and was very impressed with him. I had no idea he was a Christian socialist.
      I also agree that there are some positions within the religious traditions that are to the left of atheists and agnostics. Many years ago, I was a member of the Humanist community here in northern California and they were basically New Deal liberals. In fact, my guess is that outside the Marxist and anarchists traditions there are very few socialists among atheists or agnostics.
      I also have a degree from a “spiritual institution” and consider myself pretty good at not throwing the baby out with the bath water when it comes to talking to people who are religious even though I am a materialist. I agree that the ontological differences between us should not get in the way of bringing about a better world.
      I think you would agree that many, many horrible things have been done in the name of religion, and when you witness this as an atheist and at the same time do not have legitimate institutions to express this dissatisfaction, when it does come out as in the Reason article there is a desire to strike out, even when it is undialectical to do so.
      The same is true for Marxists. I’m glad you are able to see that Marx is not Stalin or Mao and the horrible things they did does not mean that’s all of what socialism is.
      Delighted you like our website and please do stay in touch
      Bruce for Planning Beyond Capitalism

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