NaBloPoMo 5: My Historical Drinking Buddy
While Benjamin Franklin is my secret love, Mark Twain is my historical drinking buddy. There was a marvelous quote from C.S. Lewis on Note to Self: What draws people to be friends is that they see the same truth. They Share it.
I love the idea of friends sharing the same truth and in the case of Mr. Samuel Clemens, the truth we share is that we’re both irreverent atheists. In 1888 he wrote, “Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense.” His atheism was based on his essential humanism. He said, “The so-called Christian nations are the most enlightened and progressive … but in spite of their religion, not because of it. The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of anesthetic in childbirth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against Eve. And every step in astronomy and geology ever taken has been opposed by bigotry and superstition. The Greeks surpassed us in artistic culture and in architecture five hundred years before Christian religion was born.”
My atheism is grounded in the same ideals, that human beings should help and take care of each other and not use religion to deny people equal rights, or enslave women to their biology where the life of a zygote is more important than she is. Where ethics dictate our relationships and not morals that promise eternal torture or cash and prizes for doing the right thing. I believe in people. Their kindness and dedication to making life better for themselves and those around them.
This post isn’t intended as a polemic, but just an explanation why Mark Twain was a guy I’d love to have a drink with.