Back when I wanted to enroll in IBLP's new law school, I had to take CLEP exams covering two general academic disciplines: Natural Sciences, Social Science & History, or something called Humanities. At nineteen years old, I had no idea what that term meant. My mom said I should take the other two, even though I was not strong in science, because, apparently, "humanities" could involve nudes and other objectionable art. She was surprised IBLP would even suggest it to their students. Of course, I complied, though I always wondered what kind of evils I could have encountered on that test. Looking back, I think the nearest my home education ever got to the humanities was the study of [Koine] Greek.
|Gothard exposing the dangers of humanism for his followers.|
Dietrich Bonhoeffer first introduced me to the phrase Christian humanism. It was a good placeholder until I lost my fear of secular humanism.
My very first blog post was about humanism.
That was over four years ago. Chris and I have changed a lot since then, but this interest in humanity has been a constant. We spent so many years trying to be super-human, to live beyond our senses. We disdained being merely human. Mostly, we tried to be right. We had the willpower to be "better" than human. Now, we would rather be alive.I have not always been encouraged to value humanness. Humanism was warned against as the enemy of both our souls and our society. Mankind’s primary value was presumed to be in his proximity to divinity. An individual’s moral influence, for good or evil, was viewed as his most important attribute. Needs for rest and exercise, proper nourishment, medical care, human touch and friendship, education, self-expression, self-determination—those were secondary, a lower tier of existence. We grew to deem those things weaknesses in ourselves, obstacles to our desire to be our "best".
Last year, I put a special emphasis on learning to be human. Caring for and celebrating my body. Exploring human expression: visual arts and theater and comedy and live music. Learning to dance. Tasting new ethnic foods. Trying new alcoholic drinks. Getting my ears pierced. Exploring my own sexuality. Changing my wardrobe. Spending more time with people, all kinds of people. Listening to them, learning from them, connecting with them, loving them. Letting myself feel... love, passion, anger, fear, joy, jealousy, and a host of other emotions. I finally learned how to let myself have fun!
Since beginning that journey, I have felt so very human.
Fragile, at times.
Driven to express myself, to communicate, to build alliances, to influence my society.
And last fall, Chris and I started talking about a big step toward becoming ordinary humans.
Bigger than buying a new car.
Almost bigger than sex.
A step I'd said for years I would never take...
To be continued!