T. S. Eliot. Wilhelm Muller. Albert Camus. (‘in history we set no great store’: individually, and by the great length of the ‘cosmic time lines’ we are just will o’ the wisp’s)
"Modern nations are driven by powerful forces along the roads of power and domination . . . They hardly need our help and, for the moment, they laugh at attempts to hinder them. They will, then, continue. But I will ask only this simple question: what if these forces wind up in a dead end, what if that logic of History on which so many now rely turns out to be a will o’ the wisp?"
Into the deepest mountain chasms
A will o’ wisp lured me;
How to find a way out
Doesn’t worry me much.
I’m used to going astray,
And every way leads to the goal.
Our joys, our sorrows,
Are all a will o’ the wisp’s game !
Through the mountain stream’s dry channel
I wend my way calmly downward.
Every river finds its way to the ocean,
And every sorrow to its grave.
Humanists have always been supportive of equality and human rights, particularly for those who are persecuted due to religious teachings because fewer people are prepared to voice their objections. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues have risen up the agenda again, with the BHA working with many other organisations to make sure these issues are discussed and that human rights are put before religion.
Of course, freedom to express one’s beliefs is also very important, but it cannot be allowed to oppress the rights of others. The BHA, along with the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA) and various local groups, have attended numerous Pride festivals this summer supporting the events and giving out information to raise the profile of Humanism. The BHA also had a stall at the GALHA’s birthday celebration.
Our work on the Equality Bill will see us supporting moves to remove exemptions that religious organisations have in discrimination law, including against those with non-heterosexual lifestyles. We are also supporting the call for an apology for Alan Turing and supporting the Day in Hand campaign to encourage same sex couples and friends to hold hands in public with pride.
So while various religious organisations try to use their ‘religious rights’ to discriminate against others, the BHA will continue to lobby for inclusive legislation and government policy which allows people the freedom to be who they are and speak out against those voices who try to argue that they have a ‘right’ to discriminate.
Airline Bomb Plot 2006 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8242238.stm (vague memories – today, will o’ the wisp’s: frightening chaos and delays – will o’ the wisp’s are going to jail)