Above is the famous “Pale Blue Dot”: a picture of Earth from 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles) away. I make sure to look at it at least once a month, or after an argument, to remind me how small we are and how insignificant our differences are. Now I’m sharing it with you, because many of us still need reminding.
The Pope made waves with his encyclical on climate change last week, and though some non-Catholics (and non-believers) have praised his stance on climate change, there are quite a few who cannot get past their differences with the Pope. In my research for writing last week’s article on the Pope’s encyclical, I came across all kinds of pushback: either saying that “he needs to stay out of politics” (it’s a sorry state of affairs that addressing climate change is now “politics”), or using one of his other quotes as if to say that the immense step he just took for climate change awareness, and ultimately towards a solution, is meaningless.
I am nonreligious. I am also politically liberal. I know, it’s quite a shock for a liberal to write about climate change.
There are many things the Pope has said that I disagree with profoundly, but that does not make his action any less valid or laudable.
One of our goals at TATA, much like at the Center for Inquiry, is to cut across party lines, religious lines, ethnic lines–whatever kind of lines separate us from a solution. We’re not going to get there if we’re afraid to give “the other team” some credit when they do something right. If you’re religious and you read this blog, you’re just as welcome here as anyone else. Conservatives (the oft-labeled “enemies”): you’re welcome here too. For once, let’s focus on what we have in common. If you want to work on fixing this problem, I don’t care how you feel about gay marriage, Obamacare, abortion, or God. You’re part of the solution, and that’s what matters.
To quote the champion of science and humanist hero Carl Sagan in reference to the picture above, “There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the ‘Pale Blue Dot’: the only home we’ve ever known.”