EandCMom,

Let’s be honest – we *all* have eccentric religious beliefs! No one really knows the ultimate nature of reality, the full role of consciousness in the universe (the role of “spirit,” if you will), etc. We’re all like the blind men and the elephant.

As a physicist, I am particularly amused when someone declares that science has proved that there is nothing except matter in motion and that our sense of our own consciousness is just an illusion. (Incidentally, you don’t hear that from top-notch scientists very often – actually knowing science tends to induce a bit more humility.)

I am always a bit surprised by people who are so sure on matters having to do with religion, when it is so difficult to know the whole truth. But one of the nice things about being a “humanist” (I’m not thrilled with the label, but I think you’ll understand my point) is that, even if the “true believers” want to exclude me, I certainly do not wish to exclude them. As Terence said, “Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto” (I am a human: nothing human is alien to me).

Whatever your religious beliefs, if you’re with me on that, we’re on the same side.

One of the reasons we’re homeschooling is that I want my kids to internalize that perspective. Yes, we are Californians, and Americans, and participants in Western civilization. But we are also heirs to the achievements and insights of Chinese, Islamic, Indian, etc. civilizations. And while we are not Christian believers, the great cultural achievements of Christianity – Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” Aquinas’ philosophy, Chartres Cathedral, etc. – belong to us also, simply because we also are human beings.

All the best,

Dave