People have asked me why, as a Humanist, I'm involved in the interfaith events and why I think the BC Humanists should be involved in the interfaith movement in general. After all, what are a bunch of non-believers doing associating with religionists?
There are a few reasons why I believe it is important that we take part in interfaith activities. It helps to boost our name in the larger community. It allows people of faith to learn about us. And it is one way of showing the world and each other that we care for our fellow humans and are able to put differences of worldview aside in order to accomplish a greater good.
When any of us are involved in charity works and representing the BC Humanist Association, we get free advertising for our group. When I volunteered at a “food ministry” handing out food that I prepared myself, the people working around me were aware that I am an atheist representing the BCHA.
At the last interfaith meeting I attended, one of the organizers singled out a Muslim and myself to thank us publicly for our involvement at the Christmas day brunch for needy folks.
While we were in the serving line, we talked and the folks from the faith groups learned as much about me as I did about them. They were able to see that Humanists are no different than themselves. In fact, for that time, we were part of one community; feeding the hungry was our common goal.
By working with religious organizations in this way, we can learn how to improve and expand our own organization. How, for example, do they organize blood drives or food drives, and how is it that they are able to run schools and day-cares for their members?
Finally, the outreach we do with different faith organizations actually serves to promote our organization to other Humanists. As we become known in our communities, more people will join with us and help us to achieve our objectives. By working with faith groups to accomplish common goals, we only make ourselves stronger.