This is a guest post by Herb Silverman. He’s the founder and President-Emeritus of the Secular Coalition for America.
Catholic League president Bill Donohue recently called Humanists for Biden anti-Catholic bigots. That sounds a bit strange, because they are supporting a Catholic for president. Joe Biden’s opponent calls himself a Christian, but that seems unlikely, since I can’t picture Donald Trump believing in a power higher than himself.
On the Catholic League website, Donohue claims Humanists for Biden believe in nothing and are religiously confused. Not true. Humanists believe in the worth and dignity of all human beings and follow scientific evidence. We are not religiously confused. Most of us rejected the religious beliefs in which we were raised because those beliefs were confusing and made no sense to us.
Donohue said that Humanists do not value innocent human life, meaning we are “pro-abortion.” I know of no one who fits his definition of the word. Abortions often take place because the situations that led to them were worse, but even if that’s not the case, it’s no one else’s business. Humanists support a woman’s right to choose. We also know the way to reduce abortions is to provide science-based sex education in schools and contraception for those who want it, both options which Donohue opposes.
Donohue also asks why we consider some Christian Nationalists a threat to our democracy. That’s self explanatory. It’s because Christian Nationalists want to turn America into a “Christian nation,” replacing the secular nation we are. They represent the base supporters of our Republican president.
Donohue sent me back down memory lane, when he also mentioned that on February 26, 2010, representatives from the Secular Coalition for America met with White House officials. I spoke on that occasion. When he learned about the meeting, Donohue referred to us as some of the “most rabid Christian haters in the nation,” and that our goal was to crush Christianity. He warned, “It is important that the public learn of the contents of this meeting. We will do what we can to find out what happened.”
Donohue never contacted the Secular Coalition to ask about the White House meeting, but there was nothing to hide. We focused on military proselytizing and coercion, childhood medical neglect and abuse, and fixing the administration’s faith-based initiatives in order to make sure taxpayer dollars weren’t being used to discriminate. (If that sounds like Christian bashing, so be it.)
We pointed out to White House officials that we atheists and humanists were not looking for special rights. We support the right of all Americans to hold their religious beliefs — and the right to reject them, also.
Yet a decade later, the Catholic League, under Donohue’s guidance, continues to treat us as bogeymen instead of patriots while neglecting to assert that basic human and American right to freedom of and from religion.