The Humanist Pledge – Shared by Praveen Talwar, who received in one of those chain emails.
UPDATE: Originally written by Anita Jose,
‘Thoughts From A Secular Humanist’ at Nirmukta.
What do you think?
The Humanist Pledge
I have no invisible authority
I am not mentally enslaved,
I am not an unworthy sinner
Who is waiting to be saved.
My actions are my own
Responsibility for which I will take,
Credit for the good and penalty for the bad
The payment for my deeds only I can make.
I’m not the innocent, confused child;
‘Humble’ messengers try to find,
I’m a skeptic with adult reasoning
Who has left Faith behind.
The answers gifted by logic and reason
Are far more appealing to me,
I keep searching for the still unknown
Not fitting baseless assumptions dishonestly.
Morality for me is not derived from an ancient book
With tiring tales of brutality and occasional verses of love,
To be good and to care for my fellow beings
I don’t need promises of gifts from above.
The knowledge and wisdom accumulated by science
Sincere and provable, without disguise,
Is what I find more comforting and reality revealing
Than ones given by power-hungry cults fighting over lies.
I’m not someone who thinks women
Compared to men, are any less,
When her right to say ‘No’ is violated
I don’t blame it on her dress.
Her body is her own, her character not just her face
Rather than a world of fear and suppression,
They deserve a better place.
Things that others do without harming anyone or you
Are reason enough to make some disgusted or depressed
But when I come to know he loves another ‘he’,
I find myself hardly distressed.
It is better to judge people based on their actions
Not for ‘what’ they are,
Whether your genes played well or decided to change the rules
All of us are equal humans, who’ve managed to come this far.
My love for this world and concern for its inhabitants
Is not restricted by any boundary line,
Whether you’re from the West and I’m from the East
We’re still on the same beautiful planet
So ought we not to get along fine?
I respect your right to believe what you want
I respect your right to choose,
But at times when what you believe and choose has a bearing on me
Don’t expect me to keep shut or not refuse.
As you read these words, if you find yourself offended
And feel that you need to complain,
I hope you’ll first pause for a second and try not to forget
How not being allowed to say it had once led our species
Into the Dark Ages of suffering and pain.