This I Believe

Catherine T - Spokane, Washington
Entered on November 20, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: humanism

I believe in humanism. I believe very much in a liberal philosophy based on the principles of humanism. Many years ago, in high school, I read of Thomas Moore, the author of Utopia, and his friend, Ersmus. They were Christian Humanisist. I have defined myself as such ever since.

Recently I read an article which reported that conservatives are much more generous than liberals; that they give to more money to causes. The tenor of the article scoffed at liberals who think they are more generous. It remeinded me of a book I read years ago: And Ladies of the Club”. The mill owners in the story were very generous with their lazy, drunken Irishmen. They kept wages low, but provided coal in the winter and food baskets; generous concervative-giving to be sure.

Well, my cousins and I come from a line of those lazy drunken Irishmen.

My grandfather moved west and drove a beer wagon. Given the opportunity, he also read for the law, passed the bar, worked for our city, and eventually became a judge in the Washington State Supreme Court. His brother owned a newspaper in Indiana, but sold it to move west to provide more opportunity for his children. My aunts were nuns, my uncles were attorneys, an artist, an entrepreneur, and one was Art Editor for the New Yorker Magazine for 37 years. d My cousins are doctors, nurses, attorneys, reporters, social workers, and business owners. Very few of us have needed the dole.

Conservatives are very generous. They’ll share their fish with you. Maybe not their last fish, but their fish, nevertheless. Liberals will see to it that you have the poles, hooks, bait and instructions.

It was the liberal element, working with labor unions that gave us a living wage; a forty-hour-five day work week; employer paid medical coverage; money for education opportunities; civil rights and voting rights. The liberalism of Roosevelt and Truman saw to it that our veteran’s of World War II were compensated for their sacrifices with a Veteran’s Administration that responded to needs, and a GI bill that raised the educational level of our country. The liberalism of Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty. While it was not one hunderd percent successful, it was a true effort, and nothing says that it could still not be accomplished in our country.

Christ, Mohammed, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Eleanor Roosevelt were all humanists. I believe in that liberal philosophy, based on humanism. I don’t apologize for this belief.