I sent the group a few questions to think about:
1) Why have a secular voice in the Religion section of a newspaper? (I’ve been writing these every week for over 3 years. Are there other non-religious columnists writing regular articles on religious issues, especially in the South?).
2) What is the “common ground” for people of faith and those without? (hint: it helps that I was an interfaith chaplain for years, and taught courses in “world wisdom” and “sacred scriptures”).
3) As I see it, a “Freethinker” can be an atheist, agnostic or (unorthodox) believer (see Susan Jacoby’s definition in her book, Freethinkers). I consider Thomas Paine, Jefferson, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., the Dalai Lama, etc, Freethinkers. Robert Ingersoll was a freethinking agnostic.
4) What does the group think of the use of the word “gospel” in the title? Or the word “sacred” in the subtitle? (how does the use of old terminology help or hurt when communicating across the “borders” and barriers?).
5) As I say in the Introduction, I’m a bridge-builder, interested in finding ways to communicate, include, listen. What are other ways secular people can build bridges instead of walls?
btw, I like the description of SCOTT:
“A lot of us have lost communication with family members and friends because we thought differently about the existential questions of life. A lot of us haven’t been able to find a place that welcomes people who don’t want to be a part of a bronze age way of thinking. A lot of us get tired of hearing the question, “So, where do you go to church?” A lot of us are transplants, new to the area, and are looking for a community. There are Secularists, Humanists, Unitarians, Atheists, Agnostics, and even a religious person or two who have their own reasons for coming – ask them.”