Margaret Downey on Atheist Naming Ceremonies

Margaret Downey, president of Atheist Alliance International, appeared on the PBS show Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly yesterday to talk about naming ceremonies.

You can now see the video of her appearance.

Here’s some of the transcript:

Our ceremonies are based on real things such as love and honesty and commitment and the beauty of nature.

We conduct “Welcome to the World” ceremonies, and they focus on appreciation of the birth of a child. In our case, we had two children to appreciate.

We officially announce their names to friends and family.

We also give our promises to be mentors and “guideparents.” We don’t have godparents, so we use the terminology “guideparents.”

Sometimes we do readings. We typically research so that we make sure the poems and the prose do not contain religious jargon.

We like ceremonies because it reinforces the fact that we have family and friends. It reinforces a date, a time, a marking in someone’s life, a special event, and atheists need that, too.

As always, Margaret is positive and smiling :) Gotta love it.

And if you look closely, you catch glimpses of Richard Dawkins and Dale McGowan!


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