MA Gov. Patrick Declare Dec. 8 “Humanist Community Day”

The Humanist Community at Harvard announces a proclamation acknowledging the humanist community “as one among the many ethical communities of conscience, striving together toward the common good” will be coming Sunday in Massachusetts, from Governor Deval Patrick.

Here’s the text:

Whereas December 8, 2013 marks the first-ever public event at the Humanist Hub, a center supporting community life for Humanists, atheists, agnostics and the nonreligious in Cambridge and beyond; and

Whereas the Humanist Hub of the Humanist Community at Harvard is the first such center for Humanist community life in the history of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and

Whereas this landmark event is part of a larger movement to build inclusive and inspiring, multi-cultural and multi-generational Humanist communities to serve the rapidly growing nonreligious population across the nation, while partnering with neighboring religious communities in acts of service to those in need; and

Whereas Humanists have made profound contributions to American history and society as a whole through their passionate promotion of universal human values such as reason, compassion, integrity, equality, and justice; and

Whereas the Humanist community may be viewed, from the perspective of the government and people of the Commonwealth, as one among the many ethical communities of conscience, striving together toward the common good;

Now, therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim December 8, 2013 to be


And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to welcome the Humanist Hub into the mosaic of our broader community, acknowledging, in the spirit of friendship and respect, that its members can contribute positively to the Commonwealth’s proud tradition of pluralism.

Historic stuff. For so long as acknowledgments of religious groups and precepts are commonplace, it is only fair that our equal moral status in the community also get recognized. As a matter of fairness, given the way things are, it’s an important acknowledgment, hopefully a meaningful signal to others to fight stigmas against us, and a step towards greater inclusion of humanists in the future, which became an issue this past spring in Massachusetts specifically after we were pretty upsettingly frozen out of the ecumenical service in the wake of the Boston Marathon.

Hearty congratulations to the Humanist Community at Harvard, who continues to make us very proud.

Read more.

Your Thoughts?

“The History of Philosophy” and “Philosophy and Suicide”
Alix Jules On Being An African American Humanist
City on a Hill
Alix Jules On Being An African American Humanist
About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Anton

    I’d like to think this is more than lip service to the nonreligious after the state’s disgraceful behavior during the aftermath of the bombing. I guess we’ll have to wait for the next incident of mass hysteria to know for sure.

  • Zachary_Bos

    re: being “frozen out” of that memorial service…

    The Harvard Humanists were among several groups in dialogue with the Governor’s Office at that time; others include the Secular Coalition and the AHA. That said, a group of secular community leaders including Greg and myself met with the Governor this summer to address our exclusion and to further the conversation. This Proclamation is one of the outcomes. I think we have every reason to celebrate it.

    I should note too that a number of Boston-area secular groups, and their allies from local faith-based organizations, held our own memorial service, where folks in our community could feel like their feelings could be expressed safely. Video:

  • Little_Magpie

    Big props to Gov. Patrick. Bravo! (claps)