Update: Please note the AUTHOR of this article is Walker Bristol (email@example.com) who welcomes any comments and correspondence)
Where the secular and the devout come together"...Tufts College was founded on a doctrine of illumination. When Charles Tufts declared that he would "put a light on" Walnut Hill, he was likely referring not only to improving nighttime vision, but improving vision in all walks of life, dispelling ignorance and intolerance, and upholding inclusivity and diversity.
The light of religious and spiritual inclusion shines from Goddard Chapel. Now, the students supporting the establishment of a humanist chaplaincy at Tufts are certainly not arguing that it shines particularly dim, only that it could shine even brighter. Humanism is a movement dedicated in large part to encouraging cooperation and compassion among individuals from all backgrounds, whether they espouse passionate religious beliefs or none at all. A humanist chaplain, and the community he or she inherits, would be invested in both approaching the world's problems from a secular perspective, as well as in hearing out the perspectives of his or her religious and spiritual peers...
...Protestantism and humanism face many of the same congregational challenges: When a community lacks a central body from which to derive its values, as Catholicism has with the Vatican, it isn't always easy to come together as a community. Humanism also shares the Buddhist value of ongoing teaching and education as well as the characteristic skepticism and questioning often present in Jewish tradition. In this regard, a humanist chaplain could well serve as the glue with which to bring and hold various other traditions together, thus making it a prime perspective from which to encourage interfaith work.
What sets humanism apart from religious traditions is the belief that one's power lies not in heaven above, but within oneself and others. Despite our differences, we all are so similar and thus responsible for the betterment of ourselves and our community. We shine in this world without reliance on holy illumination; Let us contribute this light to the many that already glimmer from the chapel atop the hill."
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