American Atheists Expresses Condolences for Sikh Community Following Shooting

American Atheists has issued a press release to express their sympathies for the victims and families of the recent Sikh temple shootings in Wisconsin:

Amardeep Kaleka, center, comforts members of the temple following Monday’s shootings (Spencer Green – AP/M)

American Atheists wish to express condolences to the victims and families affected by the recent shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. The shooting took place when temple members were reading scriptures and cooking food in preparation for the main Sunday service and community lunch. It came two weeks after a massacre at a Colorado movie theater that left 12 dead and 58 others wounded.

Teresa MacBain, Public Relations Director, stated, “We express our deep sympathies and offer our full support to the victims, their families, and those who were wounded in this terrible tragedy.”

“Our country is reeling with these two shootings over the last two weeks. We want these communities to know that our thoughts are with them.” Commented David Silverman, President of American Atheists.

It’s a simple gesture, but it’s one any atheist group could make at a time like this. It flies in the face of anyone who thinks atheist groups delight in any tragedy involving religious people. While we think Sikhs’ beliefs are false, no one wants to see them denied the ability to practice their faith safely.

Where are more press releases like this?

***Update***: The Secular Student Alliance issued a brief statement on Facebook:

While we are a non-religious organization, we do not condone or support any violent acts directed at people for their religious beliefs.

Our hearts go out to the people affected by this attack.


About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Guest

    “It flies in the face of anyone who thinks atheist groups delight in any tragedy involving religious people.”

    The nice thing?  In all of the comments, I’ve not read any that suggested atheists would delight in such a thing.  Oh, I’m sure there are some.  There are some in any group.  Just like there are atheists who say religious people delight in horrible things.  But on the whole, your average common sense person knows better. 

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      Only Pat Robertson

      But yes, I don’t think he belongs in the set of average common sense people.

      • Margaret Whitestone

         Pat Robertson is a hateful old fool. 

        That being said, I’m glad to see statements like this get out.  We need more like this. 

  • YS

    “While we think Sikhs’ beliefs are false, no one wants to see them denied the ability to practice their faith safely.”

    Why do you have to water down your sympathy by denouncing their beliefs? It seems unnecessary. Belaboring the whole look-at-me-I-disagree-with-you-but-I’m-still-defending-you shtick does not make you the gracious martyr, it makes you the insecure teenager. See: “I’m straight, but I totally support gay marriage.”

  • Digidoc15

    I belong to a Sikh family and I really appreciate your gesture.. I have my doubts on the existence of God..I myself feel the major reason for killings is so many religions itself.. like every religion they do have some good ideals..the one I like of Sikhism is non discrimination..Every religion is welcome to a Gurudwara. They offer free food and shelter to every one..Noone is ever stopped. Misusing such liberty is indeed shameful.. I wish I could wipe all religions, castes, colours and other ways of categorizing humanity


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