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Newsletter #14 - The Church of Spiritual Humanism

September 15, 2003 - Philadelphia www.SpiritualHumanism.org

Autumnal Equinox Religious Traditions

September 23rd is the autumnal equinox this year. At 6:47 AM EST the Earth's north and south poles will be equal distance from the sun. Aside from one of the two days a year of equal night and day the fall equinox also marks the change of the seasons with the first day of autumn. In many traditions this astronomical event coincides with the harvest and is an important time for religious rituals and celebrations. From Mabon in pre-christian Europe, to the pyramid builders at Chichen Itza in Mexico, to Higan rituals of remembrance in Japan this astronomical event has long been a focus of religious inspiration and awe.

Take some time to mark this turning of the seasons, which affects all people and other creatures on our planet. Here is an invocation appropriate for your equinox feast or other celebration:

The orbit of the Earth has turned again and brought us to the Autumn Equinox. Here on the nights will grow longer. But this harvest will sustain us until the light and the warmth return.

Today, as in Ancient times, we gather to give thanks for all that has been given to us.
For this plentiful season, for our family and friends, may this good fortune be amplified in the coming seasons!

IN THE NEWS

An overdue statement on equality: Ohio finally ratifies 14th Amendment

Ohio will finalize the ratification of the 14th Amendment 135 years after it became law.

Last year, University of Cincinnati law students discovered that Ohio had rescinded its ratification of the amendment in 1868.

The original ratification of the amendment was rescinded when opponents of African American suffrage gained control of the General Assembly.

see full story at
http://www.chillicothegazette.com/news/stories/20030914/opinion/258855.html

EDITORS NOTE:

Yeah, sure better late then never. Regressive authoritarian control is nothing new, even in the US. Equality is important not only because it is required to reduce suffering and misery, but it is also the path to truth. Often the status quo is preserved by the powerful by untruths and the distortion of reality. If we are to find and embrace the true nature of the universe and our place in it we must recognize that more truth can come from the underdog than from those motivated by preserving their position of power.

READERS WRITE IN

If you have a question feel free to email me at info ( at ) spiritual humanism.org
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Hello. I understand that as Spiritual Humanist you require proof for spiritual beliefs. You want something you can see, touch and prove and I completely agree. Recently I was reading the National Atheists' Monthly Newsletter, and was appalled at the fact that they're practically waging war on the Christians. I understand and support them in what they believe, but I treat everyone that way, because I believe that everyone has the right to believe whatever they wish.

My grandmother is the perfect example. She has herself convinced that I am mentally ill but God will forgive me and allow me into Heaven just as he forgives the mentally challenged, because they don't have the awareness to know right from wrong. I am not insane, but I know that believing that helps her sleep at night and not worry about my "eternal soul". Some people simply sleep better at night "knowing" that their eternity is secure. I don't think we have the right to try to force them out of their delusions and so long as they don't try to convert us, we should let them be. My question is do you agree? Do you believe that people should be left to believe what they wish or that you should (as I've noticed many Atheist and Christians alike) try to convert unwilling people to your way of thinking?
~Chaela

REPLY

Chaela,
The Church of Spiritual Humanism 's position is that people have the right to be left alone and they have the right to believe whatever they wish. However we also recognize that one of the reasons fundamentalist religions are growing so fast is that they actively spread their message and recruit new members. So if some one chooses to engage a Spiritual Humanist in a discussion of religion it is our right and duty to explain and promote our religion.

My problem with many atheist groups and individuals is that they only attack other systems without offering a functional alternative. If you can offer a positive instead of spouting a negative you are more likely to meet with success.

While your grandmother may not approve of your beliefs its also very likely that your great, great, grandmother would not approve of hers. Contrary to appearances religion has always been evolving and it does change with every generation.

RA Zorger

CONCLUSION

Yes Ordained Clergy Packages are available in our online store. The Ordination Certificates are printed on acid free paper for extra long life, and Clergy Wallet ID Cards are nice to have. The Officiant's Manual includes information on celebrating the equinox, sample ceremonies, etc., and the companion CD has marriage laws for all 50 states. The fees charged for these packs are our only income and help defer the cost of the web site, advertising, PO Box, and fund the purchase of a permanent location for our regular religious services.

RA Zorger
President, The Church of Spiritual Humanism



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