In The New Republic, sociobiologist E.O Wilson, a Southerner by upbringing, makes an impassioned plea to an imagined Southern Baptist pastor on behalf of the environment, just as some evangelicals begin to go green. I would not describe myself -- as Wilson does -- as a secular humanist, but I like the rare and eloquent modesty of his claims for that position:
I write to you now for your counsel and help. Of course, in doing so, I see no way to avoid the fundamental differences in our worldviews. You are a strict interpreter of Christian Holy Scripture; I am a secular humanist. You believe that each person's soul is immortal, making this planet a waystation to a second, eternal life; I think heaven and hell are what we create for ourselves, on this planet. For you, the belief in God made flesh to save mankind; for me, the belief in Promethean fire seized to set men free. You have found your final truth; I am still searching. You may be wrong; I may be wrong. We both may be partly right.
Do these differences in worldview separate us in all things? They do not. You and I and every other human being strive for the same imperatives of security, freedom of choice, personal dignity, and a cause to believe in that is larger than ourselves. Let us see, then, if we can meet on the near side of metaphysics in order to deal with the real world we share. You have the power to help solve a great problem about which I care deeply. I hope you have the same concern. I suggest that we set aside our differences in order to save the Creation.
That's lovely, isn't it? I hope you can read the whole thing. It may require a free trial subscription.