Journeys to Humanism: Arriving at a Respectful Humanism The Humanist

Journeys to Humanism,’s regular series, features real stories from humanists in our community. From heartwarming narratives of growth, to more difficult journeys, our readers open up about their experiences coming to humanism.

Steve Ghikadis
Cottam, Ontario, Canada

My journey to humanism was a giant circle. I was raised accidentally as a freethinker by my mom. She followed the best practices for secular humanism without knowing it at the time. I grew up around others of different faiths, we always talked about different religions, and nothing was off the table for discussion.

It wasn’t until I met my wife, who is a Christian, that I had to navigate the religious world. Her family was very religious and I would attend church services with them to fit in and be accepted. When it got to the point where I was being volunteered to light the candles and pass the plate around, I could not pretend any longer. I told my wife that I was having major reservations about attending church and felt like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

I went through a very angry atheist stage, where I was more mad at myself for duping others into thinking I was someone who I wasn’t. I lashed out at my wife about her beliefs and acted very rude towards her faith. Then I discovered Anthony Magnabosco, Street Epistemologist. I knew that I would benefit in my relationship, if I could only master the techniques of Socratic questioning. I also found Dale McGowan’s book In Faith and in Doubt which really changed my perspective on mixed-faith relationships. My biggest takeaway was that my wife and I shared the same views on 99% of our worldview, we just disagreed on the tiny things, like god. This sounds funny, but if she had a negative view of LGBTQIA people, we would not have been very compatible. But she believes in a god…so what?

My life had changed at this point and I had a new goal, it was to create a bridge between believers and non-believers. A shared understanding that we are in this life together, for better or worse, and we have to get along.

This doesn’t mean we always see eye to eye. It doesn’t mean I have to accept the harms of religious dogma or ideas that cause harm to others…but I have to respect the person and try to offer a hand to guide them and an ear to listen.

I started volunteering for Recovering from Religion during the pandemic and I’ve been on the receiving end of a vast array of calls with people who have been hurt and even traumatized by religion in one way or another. Our job is not to solve their problems, but give them the resources and tools to rise above their issues and aide in their healing.

I have found my calling in helping my fellow humans fulfill their potential by offering a platform of stability in a non-religious worldview. My next goal is to become a Humanist Officiant. I will be able to offer those seeking non-religious services, an option for weddings, funerals, naming ceremonies, etc. My journey has come full circle. From freethinking humanist to churchgoer to staunch atheist and back to humanist. The best foundations are the ones you build through experience, love and contemplation.

We all have our own stories of how we came to be humanists, and we want to hear yours! Fill out the form here to be featured in this series.

The post Journeys to Humanism: Arriving at a Respectful Humanism appeared first on

“The best foundations are the ones you build through experience, love and contemplation.”
The post Journeys to Humanism: Arriving at a Respectful Humanism appeared first on