Friday, September 9, 2011

    Anita Romanowski: "How I Became a Humanist"

    Was “God” arrogantly created in the image of the human male?  Yes, I think so.

    I don’t like to use the word belief, for believing is not necessarily knowing.  Therefore, I do not believe or disbelieve in what has not been unequivocally proven or disproven.  However, I absolutely do not believe in any god or gods created by man.  Nobody knows how everything came to be.  That saddens me, because I’m quite certain my intense curiosity will not be satisfied before I die.

    How did I become a humanist?  Well, it was a long evolution.  My passionate interest in science has played a huge role. 

    After making my first communion, I went to confession every Saturday so I could receive Jesus into my body on Sunday morning.  Many of us young Catholics actually believed that we could commit any “sin” during the week because we’d be forgiven by the priest on Saturday.  Slowly, I began to think, why do I need to confess my minor transgressions to some mortal human when I really should be taking responsibility for my own actions. 

    I think the death of my maternal grandmother was the beginning of my journey toward rejecting religion.  Why did this wonderful, nurturing woman have to suffer a life of an unhappy, arranged marriage and heart and kidney failure?  After her death my mother forced me to go to church every Sunday and light a candle for her mother.  It got to the point where I just couldn’t take it anymore and stopped going to church altogether.  I was 18 years old.

    Beginning in my preteens, I watched every TV program having to do with science fiction and documentaries on anything related to science, technology and medicine.

    The “birth” of the Hubble Telescope opened up a whole new universe for me, literally.  If it is possible for a person to be head-over-heels in love with an inanimate object, this my feeling towards the Hubble.  I might even be inclined to say that I “worship” the thing.

    I used to think that astronomy was just looking at the stars and identifying the constellations.  Wow, was I ever wrong!  Stars, galaxies, nebulas, black holes, pillars of creation, neutron stars, dark matter, dark energy, antimatter, quasars, supernovas, the list goes on and on.  The more I learn, the more I want to learn and the more questions I have.  It’s absolutely exhilarating!

    In another twist of my evolving non-beliefs, I was listening to sermons in church and watching people pray to plaster statues while I was looking at the live plants arranged at the altar and praying to nature.  Slowly, I began to theorize that God is in nature, indeed is nature.  The mysticism I was hearing just didn’t jive with the reality I was witnessing in the world.  How could a loving benevolent God be allowing so much strife and suffering to occur to all the living things he loves in the world he created?  More and more I began to think, where does all the supernaturalism and mysticism of religion fit into all of this?  Nowhere I can think of.

    I apparently was born with the ability to reason, to analyze situations, to find solutions to solvable problems, to be a free-thinker, to see events as they really are and not as I think they should be.  Eureka – I’m a critical thinker!

    Religious beliefs are so deep-rooted in the psyche of the general human population, that I don’t foresee any earth-shattering changes in the blind faith shared by all believers.

    My childhood was not a very pleasant one, so I built emotional walls against being hurt by people.  With the help of some psychological counseling, I came to realize that my feelings and emotions are valid and I’m entitled to them.  I also realized that the same holds true to everyone and began to become more sensitive to, and accepting of, people.  Ah, the dawn of Humanism on my narrow little mind.

    Upon entering my 30s was becoming more sensitive to the homelessness and abusive situations of animals.  As a long-time volunteer with animal welfare agencies, I’ve become aware of a growing need for pet parenting education.  In my opinion, pet and child parenting are one and the same.  My concern for animals has helped me become more sensitive to some of the problems faced by people.

    After having subscribed to Free Inquiry magazine for many years, I decided to search for a Humanist organization in the Phoenix area.  I found HSGP on line and went to a meeting.  I was so impressed by the camaraderie and the speaker that I immediately joined the membership.  That was three years ago.  I have become extremely involved with the organization, becoming the Membership Chairperson and now am a board member at large.

    Humanism has given me a true, caring family.


    Susan S. said...

    Thank you for sharing this, Anita! Well done, and very touching.

    Anonymous said...

    I very much enjoyed reading your story. THANKS so much for sharing! - Marcus

    Myra and Leo Rubinstein said...

    I loved reading this, Anita.

    Anonymous said...

    I love your story.

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