“Humanists and Prayer: Who Are You Talking To?”

Whether before a meal, in times of despair, or to begin a new session of Congress, the words “let us pray” often surprise non-theistic humanists. For many of us, calls for collective religious behavior can be difficult to navigate. The balance between respectful tolerance and hypocritical submission to group norms is tricky.  Would it be easier if we asked that we replace the word “prayer” with “invocations” or “blessings” or “benedictions”?  Hugh Taft-Morales explores the civic omnipresence of prayer and suggests ways to deal with it with integrity.

Hugh Taft-Morales serves as Leader of the Philadelphia Ethical Society and the Baltimore Ethical Society and is a member of the Ethical Action Committee of the American Ethical Union (AEU).  Hugh taught philosophy and history for twenty-five years in Washington, D. C., after which he transitioned into Ethical Culture Leadership.  In April of 2009 he graduated from the Humanist Institute and was certified as an Ethical Culture Leader by the AEU in 2010.

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