This is a new series where I find Humanist themes in pieces of media. Chances are the themes I extract were unintentionally placed, but art is meant to be interpreted by the individual. This is what I see in these pieces, and to me that makes the themes valid.
My personal list, anyway. There, that should take care of any potential arguments.
When asked what the best punk rock band is my answer always has been and always will be Bad Religion.
A group composed of fiercely intelligent members, spearheaded by Greg Graffin (winner of the 2014 Humanist Arts award) and Brett Gurewitz (owner of Epitaph Records), Bad Religion is punk music that doesn’t debase itself by mindlessly shouting “fuck the government.” The majority of their songs contain allusions to literature, scripture, or real events and they’re not shy about criticizing attitudes many punk rockers may have.
I discovered them when I was a teenager and recent convert to atheist. The name was, obviously, extremely appealing to me. When I was too ignorant and angry to really understand what they were all about I simply liked the fact that it was a band that said things other people didn’t like (Cause I was a teenager, you see). As I grew older and listened to more of their work (and started keeping a dictionary handy) I started to appreciate the incredible amount of thought and philosophy they put into their lyrics. This isn’t regular “Scream a lot” punk rock. These are songs that challenged me to think and criticized a lot more than what George Bush was doing wrong (though there’s plenty of that as well).
If you think you’re too old for punk rock, take a listen to some of these songs. BR has brilliantly made their music adaptable to changing philosophies. Even as I got older and mellowed out I still loved listening to them because their work isn’t about obstinate anger against the system, it’s about taking a deeper, more critical look at the world around you.
This has nothing to do with humanism or anything else. I wrote this for my writing portfolio and felt like sharing.
I spent three months working in a call center. That may not sound like very long, but trust me it felt like a lifetime. In the time I was there I learned a few things everyone should know about working in telemarketing.
We know the bible is a work of fiction. Even Christians should be able to admit that by now, and it is only the stubborn, evangelical types that will insist Adam and Eve were real.
We know the bible is full of contradictions and moral ambiguity. It is up to the man who reads it to figure out which message resonates with him and accept it into his character.
We know the bible is the tool of the stubborn and ignorant to make foolish arguments and obstinate claims that can lead to prejudice, war, and even genocide.
So why shouldn’t we hate the bible? Well the bible itself isn’t responsible for how irresponsibly people use it. When many people outside of faith read it they only see it as a wretched pile of lies and contradictions that certain Christians cling to in order to make the same argument over, and over again: The bible says, the bible says, the bible says…. Ugh. Use a different book for once!
I just spent three days in my car moving from Georgia to California so I’m way too fried to think of anything good to say, but I saw a lot of billboards asking… no that’s not the right word- demanding that I call christian hotlines to avoid going to hell, and that reminded me of these. I did not make them I just found them
And just for the hell of it