Dear Bill Maher, Isn’t Humanism Also a Religion?

April 12th, 2015

Dear Mr. Maher,

Thank you, along with many other comedic pundits who have helped so many of us laugh in understanding over the years. Tonight, I’m writing to look into your opinions about humanism, as opposed to religion.

I truly enjoy your pokes at ‘dogmatism’ but also believe that to be a characteristic of humanists as well. The other week, you interviewed a reverend and questioned him repeatedly about how he can believe in an invisible deity whose scribes, (by inspiration, if not via dictation), approved of slavery and sacrificial offerings of meat.

My question to humanists (not to infer that religiously oriented people lack those attributes), is whether you believe in ‘freedom’. I ask this question because freedom is an invisible idea(l) that few have seen in their lifetimes, yet express the firm belief that it exists.

We are all bound to the dictates of human physiology, laws that – if broken – take away our abilities to breathe, eat, sleep, think and procreate, absent painful impediments. We are also bound to levels of expression and action congruent with those at the lower end of our community spectrums. Those at the higher end must then spend most of their time guarding their advantages from the remainder who view the remote concept of freedom as a privilege they can either transfer to themselves, or revoke for everybody. A humanist must address the fact that ‘humans’ commit atrocities daily and huge numbers profess to have no religion under various political regimes.

Apparently, humanists will have to prove ‘freedom’ is alive in the world today if you expect anybody to believe in that English word.

Best regards,
Barbara Rubin

Palm Desert, CA. And
Jerusalem, Israel

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