By Barry Klassel
What do you miss, if anything, from your former religious affiliations? I once asked this of students in a humanist group at Rutgers. The first answer I got was “music, singing.” There are those who, like my wife, attend religious services in large part for the wonderful sense of personal and communal engagement engendered by joining others in song. For many of us, I’ll bet, the joy of singing or listening to favorite music is a welcome release from the stress of the work week. Being open to the inspiration found in music can help us become more expressive and more rounded human beings. Of course this is only if we do so willingly and not out of the need to conform.
I think we should start to be aware of the music that expresses human ideals and human struggles, whether or not it was written by or explicitly for humanists, so that we can think of ways we might incorporate such music into our lives.
I did a memorial ceremony last weekend where the family asked me to include the songs printed below. The songs are about (more…)