Go, Joseph, and tweet-sin no more

Kevin Smith of CFI-Canada did another “Ask the Experts” for the Ottawa Citizen – this one on the burning question, “What are your ‘spiritual’ New Year’s resolutions?”

Dam’ fool question. To be nicer to my fellow humans? To see more spooky things? To be a better dualist?

Kevin hints at a similar sort of doubt, but then gives them a reply anyway.

My motivation comes from an unlikely source: the Pope. God’s deputy has taken up  Twitter, and he’s surprisingly adept at pontificating in 140 characters or less.  Recently, he committed what I consider his first tweet-sin, when he charged  atheists with denying human dignity. He wrote, “When you deny God, you deny  human dignity. Whoever defends God is defending the human person.”

That’s a tweet-sin all right. What utter bullshit. Human dignity is not dependent on “god” and in many ways “god” is degrading to human dignity. Whoever tells humans that their first duty is to obey a hidden non-responsive deity which is indistinguishable from a deity that doesn’t exist at all, is defending slavish obedience at the expense of the human person.

But that’s me. I’ll let Kevin talk.

In the spirit of defending my humanist principles, I resolve to do the  following:

I will continue my commitment to skeptical inquiry, accepting nothing at  faith value.

I will continue to be an activist for the rights of my fellow human beings,  regardless of skin colour, sexual orientation or gender, including the  transgendered. I will speak out particularly against those who take advantage of  their position of power, inciting hatred towards homosexuals solely on the basis  of mythological dogma.

Oh, zing! Gotcha, popie.

I resolve to persist as an advocate for church-state separation, where one  religion alone cannot influence public policy at the expense of the rights of  our country’s citizens.

For many, a new year ushers in an opportunity for change. It would be  commendable for those who are “spiritually inclined” to adopt such resolutions  for the good of humanity.

Although most resolutions never see the light of New Year’s Day, I remain  optimistic. I believe that humans have a capacity for kindness and  inclusiveness, despite those who seek to divide us with hostile edicts — or a  reckless tweet.

There you go, Joe! Do better next year. Not that you will, of course.