The Secular Student Alliance and Foundation Beyond Belief Comment on the Newtown Shootings

Yesterday, the Secular Student Alliance put out this statement in response to the tragedy:

Yesterday’s events were tragic, and our hearts go out to all of the people who were affected. However, some people have taken the opportunity to blame a “lack of god in schools” as the reason for it. We currently reach over 30,000 secular students, and comments like this make them “others” in society. Our students and our country don’t deserve that.

You don’t need religion to be a good person. The world isn’t divided into “good” and “bad” people. The world is full of people who do good and bad things. Every person has the capacity for both good and bad deeds, regardless of their religious beliefs.

Treat people with compassion, but also speak up when you see negative comments toward secular students. It’s more important now than ever before that we show people that secular students are just as good as religious students, because otherwise the stigma will continue.

The Foundation Beyond Belief issued a statement earlier today:

The humanist members and staff of Foundation Beyond Belief join with people around the world in grieving the tragic loss of life in the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting on December 14. Our hearts go out to those whose lives will never be the same after this unimaginably cruel event.

Though never complete, the healing that takes place for the victims of this event will be made possible by the embrace of a compassionate human community. We hope that the pain and outrage of this moment will give rise to a reasoned, courageous, and long-overdue national conversation about how best to prevent the violent tragedies that have become so depressingly familiar in American life.

Because humanists believe that this is our one and only life, our commitment to protecting that life is among our most precious values. For this reason, we at FBB hope and expect that the humanist voice will be a prominent one in the difficult conversation ahead.

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.