Today’s ‘Interfaith’ Service in Boston Will Exclude Atheists

According to the program (PDF) for today’s “Interfaith Service” at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston, which will be attended by the President and the Governor of Massachusetts, atheists will have no representation there.

Speakers include representatives from the Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim faiths. But no Mormons and no Humanists, surprising given the religious makeup of Boston.

I know some will argue atheists had no business being part of an interfaith service, but there’s plenty to say and plenty who need to mourn without necessarily invoking God. It’s especially disappointing knowing that members of the Humanist Community at Harvard were severely injured from the bombs.

The “interfaith” ceremony begins at 11:00a (ET).

***Update***: The Secular Coalition for Massachusetts just issued this press release:

“It won’t be for lack of trying that we aren’t represented in the collective response to this tragedy,” said Zachary Bos, co-chair of the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts, and State Director for American Atheists. “We know that historically it’s been a easier to engage with people who are religiously-identifying and more likely to be organized. That is why we’ve been pro-active in calling elected officials and reaching out to religious colleagues, to find a way to be involved. If anything, the events of the past week tell us that we should be cultivating these relationships anyway, so that when tragedy does strike we are ready to respond immediately, a community of different philosophies united in common cause.

“We’re telling them we’re here and available to stand beside religious leaders at any interfaith event, so that these public responses can be representative of Bostonians of all ethical traditions. We seek to stand with our neighbors in showing compassion and resolve in the face of terrorism.

“This bombing has affected people of many different faiths and none. We’re doing all we can to give civic leaders the chance to make sure any interfaith event is truly inclusive.”

The attitudes of these leaders are reflected by national secular organizations.

The Boston Atheists community group is a local affiliate of American Atheists, whose President David Silverman said, “These tragedies affect all citizens, including atheists — the fastest growing religious demographic in New England. We deserve not to be shut out of the mourning process. We deserve a place at the table, and at the ceremony.

The group added that a secular memorial service would take place in Boston this weekend. More information will be posted on their Facebook page (and on this site) when it becomes available.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Ryan Jean

    So, they ignore us again… Lather, rinse, repeat.

    This is the tactic as of late: We attempt outreach, and rather than say no they simply ignore us outright. “No” is easier to mount a challenge to, and they know it. I know this all too well from my attempts at outreach to the Army Chaplaincy, which are all too often met with the same silence. We have to demand attention to get any action at all on the things that matter, and in doing so a certain component will always condemn us as shrill, combative, and counter-productive. So we get quieter again, and they ignore us as before…

    This also highlights what I see as the great fallacy in what PZ Myers famously called the “deep rifts” in the atheist community over confrontation and accommodation; it’s not an either/or proposition because both are necessary to fulfill different functions of overall atheist and Humanist outreach. Hemant, you put it well in your Reddit AMA when you said that sometimes people need the bitter pill of reality, but they also need the water with which to wash it down.

    “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.”
    - Frederick Douglass

  • Cindy

    Isn’t Romney speaking? He’s Mormon. And the poor Chinese student who was killed…was she Buddhist? If so, why is there no Buddhist speaking? I would think Boston has a high percentage of non-believers, and it’s appalling that that faction is not represented.

    • Tainda

      I do believe she was Christian. I read something about a picture of her at a Christian retreat.

      Totally beside the point though, I know.

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

        I’ve read articles that say she had become intrigued or interested in Christianity while in the United States. Not sure if she actually joined the religion, but in any case, it seems clear that her family would not be Christian. Surely her family members ought to be represented in some way.

        • Rob

          The most common religious stance in China is atheist, and the most common religion is the Chinese traditional religion that intermixes a lot with Taoism. Christian groups on campus often target Chinese nationals for conversion.

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

            Oh, no doubt she was targeted. I think several of the articles mentioned that she had gotten involved in some sort of campus group.

  • http://twitter.com/tojolaw Thomas J. Lawson

    What do Greg Epstein and Chris Stedman think? Reminds me of Obama’s first inaugural address when he said:

    “To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

    • jeff

      As a devout catholic, I cringe at the fact that a catholic cathedral would allow a Muslim a forum. Islam was inspired by the devil

      • GCT

        Then, they shouldn’t host community events. If they can’t stomach tolerance, then they shouldn’t apply to be at events based on tolerance.

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_Pink_Unicorn Anna

        The Vatican doesn’t agree with you:

        But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place among whom are the Muslims: these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium 16, November 21, 1964).

        The Church has also a high regard for the Muslims. They worship God, who is one, living and subsistent, merciful and almighty, the Creator of
        heaven and earth, who has spoken to men. They strive to submit themselves without reserve to the hidden decrees of God, just as Abraham submitted himself to God’s plan, to whose faith Muslims eagerly link their own. Although not acknowledging him as God, they venerate Jesus as a prophet… (Second Vatican Council, Nostra Aetate (3), October 28, 1965).

        Seems like a self-proclaimed devout Catholic ought to know all that.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Not unexpected. At least the Atheists in the area have a support group; they’re not completely on their own.

    All we can do is keep trying and keep proving the stupid religious slogans about “evil godlessness” wrong. Eventually they have to cave.

  • DougI

    Of course the religious community will point out that the Atheists weren’t there because we must be some heartless people who don’t care about the bombing. Yet, if we were there they’d complain that we were there to cause trouble. Already the godless have been blamed for the bombing despite it following a pattern of terrorist attacks by right-wing, anti-government extremists who tend to be Christian.

    • SeekerLancer

      Yeah, that’s what I said to my girlfriend when she said that it’s “interfaith” and we shouldn’t be included anyway. We’re told we shouldn’t be there because we aren’t a faith yet if we’re not then we’re amoral monsters who only care about ourselves. Can’t win.

  • vincent findley

    I’ll start off. I’m not a Barack fan at all, but he is right ” On days like this there are no republicans or democrats. We are Americans united in concern for our fellow citizens.” just as ” On days like this there are no theists or non-theists. we are Americans united in concern for our fellow citizens.”

    • GCT

      The actions undertaken by the organizers do not reflect the words.

  • http://twitter.com/Annettish Annette A.

    “Speakers include representatives from the Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim faiths. But no Mormons and no Humanists, surprising given the religious makeup of Boston.”

    This paragraph comes off as dim. For one thing, a few religions were represented out of the hundreds out there. Second, Humanism is not a religion. Third, everyone there is a human, and mourning is something human, not religious.

    • rhodent

      The problem is not that there is no atheist representative at this service.

      The problem is that there is no atheist representative at this service, and there wasn’t one at the service in Newtown, and there wasn’t one at the service in Aurora, and there wasn’t one at…

    • GCT

      It’s because us atheists in Boston are meant to feel unwelcome. It’s because religious privilege where exclusion of atheists from public events is not only OK but expected. It’s because we DO want the same representation instead of being treated like second class citizens. I personally had no intention of going either way, but there are some atheists that would like to be part of a community event (like Chris Steadman maybe?) who are now being told they are not welcome. Atheists are part (a large part here) of the community too.

    • FelyxLeiter

      What?

      Humanism may not be a religion, but it’s a particular philosophy that deserves as much respect and representation as any religious point of view, especially at an interfaith service attended by high-ranking government officials. And just because everyone attending the services is human, that doesn’t mean the tenets of humanism are actually being represented. “A person existing” is not the definition of humanism. Just because every single point of view isn’t represented doesn’t mean the excluded ones should throw up their hands and say, “Oh well, lots of us were excluded, so let’s just go home.” Pagans should demand their spot at the table as well.

      Asking for representation is NOT the same as being considered a faith. That’s ridiculous. Not wanting to associate with groups whose existence is based on unprovable assertions is not the same as asking for the same respect that these groups receive. Atheists want to be seen and heard and considered. Asking to have speaking roles and representation, while not being considered a faith group (since atheism doesn’t actually involve faith) isn’t a contradiction. The “those kinds of things” atheists don’t want to identify with are the blind faith and dogma in the face of overwhelming reason. Being represented in the community has nothing to do with that. Apples and oranges.

      My atheistic sister was trapped in the city for hours, about a mile from the bombings. She knew one of the women who died. She’s a member of the community and deserves to be represented and properly mourn with her community as much as anyone else.

    • Taz

      yet at the same time, spend a lot of time saying they don’t want to be associated with those kinds of things.

      What kinds of things? Memorial services? What atheists say that? This should be an event for everyone to come together and mourn and start to heal. If invoking god is the way someone does that, fine. No problem at all. But invoking god should not be the main reason for the gathering. It should not be the stated purpose.

      • r.holmgren

        But that IS the main reason! This was a gathering of “people of faith.” Faith in Creator God. Something of which atheists go out of their way to adamantly state they are not a part. Right? You can’t project faithophobia 364 days a year and on day 365 feign surprise that the objects of your hatred didn’t anticipate your desire to join them.

        • GCT

          The main reason is really to being the community together. It’s religiously privileged rubbish that allows people like you to assume that it has to revolve around faith.

          …that the objects of your hatred and openly displayed scorn and mockery didn’t welcome your desire to join them.

          Says the person who shows hatred towards atheists.

          • r.holmgren

            People of faith organised a rally to deal with a tragedy in a manner in which they are accustomed. i.e. gathering together in the presence of God to comfort and support each other. Those who abhor faith or who get sick when viewing religious symbols want a separate rally in order to gather together to comfort each other, then they should organize such a rally. You were certainly free to attend the interfaith service. But to expect a person who mocks faith to be invited to speak at a service specifically for the expression of faith, that idea is just a ludicrous as the world-view of atheism itself.

            • GCT

              People of faith organised a rally to deal with a tragedy in a manner in which they are accustomed. i.e. gathering together in the presence of God to comfort and support each other.

              Ah, no. The public wanted to hold a rally. People of faith hijacked it and made it about their faith.

              If those who abhor faith or who get sick when viewing religious symbols want a separate rally in order to gather together to comfort each other, then they should organize such a rally.

              I’m sure the mayor, governor, and president will all come to a bunch of different, competing rallies, right? That’s the point. You, soaking in your religious privilege, want your religion and your religious trappings to be the default, to be the place where government comes to address the people, to be free of atheists and those “others.” This atheophobic privilege is ugly and disgusting.

              You were certainly free to attend the interfaith service.

              But not free to attend a service that treats me as a full member of the community (of which I am a member of that community, lest you forget).

              But to expect a person who mocks faith to be invited to speak at a service organized specifically for the expression of faith, that idea is just a ludicrous as the world-view of atheism itself.

              Because it’s NOT SPECIFICALLY FOR THE EXPRESSION OF FAITH. How many times do we have to spell that out for you? If you want something that is specifically for the expression of faith, go to a regular church service. This was a public event for the community, and you and your atheophobic assholes decided that it was a good chance to exclude a large percentage of the population so that you and your religious privilege could be shoved down everyone’s throats. This is bigotry and discrimination writ large.

              • r.holmgren

                You might be right. It seems that you know about how this event was organised than I do.

        • Guesty von Guestheim

          Why do you hate nonbelievers so much? Seriously. You troll this site and attack those who disagree with you with such vitriol. Is this what your god wants?

  • baal

    To the folks who don’t want humanists standing in public and taking part, its worth trying to attend so that the ever so ecumenical interfaith folks look like prats for excluding us.

  • Erp

    The Muslim rep got in because they doubled as the interfaith rep. Given the Islamaphobia going around I think it is more important to have a Muslim rep than a humanist rep. What is surprising is no UU rep. (the UU stronghold is Massachusetts).

  • Faithful person

    I am “Mormon” I belong to the “Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints.” I am not at all hurt that we did not have a representative to speak.(although that would have been nice.) I watched the whole service and thought everyone had something uplifting and good to share. It gives HOPE to families who have been hurt and to look forward to the eternities. Why cry about not being involved if your not even a faith group! You have no faith in anything! Your just people who want to give condolences which is good, but this is in a church with faithful people who believe in GOD. If you don’t even believe in God why contend the fact that you did not have a representative invited. That makes no sense. It is called INTERFAITH.

    • GCT

      That’s the problem. It shouldn’t be “INTERFAITH” when it’s a public event for the whole community, which BTW includes people who do not belong to any faith (50% of us in the Boston area). That’s exclusive towards half of the Boston community: people who lost loved ones, people who were injured or had loved ones injured, people who were there and helped, etc. What you are effectively saying is that all of those people, people who live in Boston and were affected, are not worth being called part of the community. Who the hell do you think you are?

      • Tom

        Who said it is a “public” i.e. government run/sponsored event”? Would you want a religious leader invoking prayer or speaking his beliefs at a public school? I doubt it. Then why do you insist on “being heard” at a church? Its kind of hypocritical for atheists to insist on complete removal of religion from public forums but then insist on their own inclusion at religious ones. This was a service held at a church and attended by politicians who are themselves religious. Can’t Obama go to church? It is “public” in the sense that you are of course welcome into any church and to attend its ceremony, but speaking at a church service is traditionally left to those who are religious. Why is it that atheists can hold “secular” forums and services without religion and that’s considered normal but for religious people to hold their own services without atheist speakers is “exclusive”

        • Edmond

          Then maybe it should say “Healing Our Church” instead of “Healing Our City”, if those are the only people you care about healing.

        • GCT

          Who said it is a “public” i.e. government run/sponsored event”?

          The whole point of this is to be a community event, not an event for religion. And, it is, therefore, a public event.

          Would you want a religious leader invoking prayer or speaking his beliefs at a public school? I doubt it. Then why do you insist on “being heard” at a church?

          Because of the nature of the function. If churches want to hold public events, then they have to abide by public strictures on separation of church and state. They don’t get to have special rights and privileges, no matter how much you think they should.

          Its kind of hypocritical for atheists to insist on complete removal of religion from public forums but then insist on their own inclusion at religious ones.

          It would be hypocritical if that’s what we were doing. Fortunately, we aren’t doing that.

          • Tom

            Again, where did it say this was a “public” event. It is not subject to separation of church and state as it was NOT sponsored by government. By definition all church services are open to the public-including atheists. So by saying “if churches want to hold public events they have to abide by public structures” youre saying this applies to weekly mass? Oh and your comment below where you say that when someone prays to a god they believe in for an entire city, that that’s actually showing contempt, is ridiculous. But anyway, this is an argument that either side is never going to win. Thank God the perpetrators have been caught.

    • Edmond

      Above the part of the title which says “Interfaith” is a part which says “Healing Our City”. Do people without faith require no healing? Is there something good about excluding people or groups, simply because they are not religious? Is the idea of “god” intended to divide people like this?

      Why couldn’t they have called this event “Healing Our City” and then just stopped THERE? By making it a religious event, they automatically set people up for exclusion. Isn’t it more important to include PEOPLE, rather than focusing on who’s a “faith group” and who’s not?
      This kind of event will accomplish more when people DROP the “interfaith” nonsense, and start making these things “intercitizen”. Being without faith doesn’t mean you hurt less, or require healing less, and it doesn’t mean that you don’t mind being snubbed by your fellow humans.

      • Jon

        How does that imply they don’t care about the entire city? That’s quite a stretch you’re making there. They are PRAYING for the whole city. Hence the service. Public schools are also open to all people but you don’t see people saying “by making public schools secular you are saying people of religion don’t deserve to be educated”

        • GCT

          How does that imply they don’t care about the entire city? That’s quite a stretch you’re making there. They are PRAYING for the whole city.

          There’s a lot of religious privilege in this thought of yours. First, it implies they don’t care about the entire city because of one of the following: either they know there are atheists in this city and they wish to exclude them and/or force them to follow their religous strictures, or they don’t even acknowledge that atheists exist which excludes atheists from the get-go. Secondly, the whole idea of praying for the whole city does not show any sort of care, except contempt for the sizeable portion of the city that doesn’t pray.

          Public schools are also open to all people but you don’t see people saying “by making public schools secular you are saying people of religion don’t deserve to be educated”

          Why do you think this is a good analogy? Secular, by definition, means open to all without regard for religion. Religious, by definition, is exclusionary to anyone who is not part of that religion. If anything, your analogy supports our position.

        • Edmond

          It’s nice that they claim to care about the entire city. They could SHOW that they care by discarding the religious nature of the event and making it open to all people, whether they’re religious or not. Those who attend can choose to pray, or not. The way it is now says “This is for people who pray, to show that they care about the city. Those who don’t pray, we don’t care what you do, and we don’t want you here”.
          Think I’m making a stretch? Think of all the people out there like me, people in Boston, making the very same connection. Do churches like this simply not CARE that thousands of people might feel this way? Why does religion have to be so divisive? If nobody cared about appealing to gods A, B and C, we could all just be PEOPLE mourning this event, with no one drawing a circle around their in-group saying “We’re religious, you’re not”.

          GCT is quite right, you appear to misunderstand the word “secular”. Secular means “religion neutral”. It says “we don’t teach religion here, we teach math, science, English, etc. You can teach your religious values at home, and children of ALL religions may attend. Their families may rest assured that their children are not being educated in another religion.”

          And please remember that you’re speaking to atheists, here. We won’t be much impressed by the fact that they’re praying for the whole city. You might as well tell us that they’re twiddling their thumbs for the whole city. Such an effort would have the same effect.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.pierce.75 Joshua Pierce

    I think the bigger issue here is that in previous instances of tragedy people were standing around afterwards saying “where were the atheists in all this.” Now that we try to be part of the event we are told go away.

    It’s damned if you do damned if you don’t. Don’t bitch that we aren’t there to help in the aftermath and then tell us not to show up.

  • Vincent Truman

    This just in: there will be no Quaker speakers. Quakers want to flood internet with butt-hurt stories, but not enough of them have computers.

    • 3lemenope

      Knowledge fail. Quakers do not eschew technology.

  • http://www.facebook.com/linda.riess.7 Linda Riess

    I don’t need a god to feel like a human feels. Care and sorrow are NOT exclusive to the faithful. Shame on those who choose to forget that the godless DO EXIST and are American and counted amongst the loving and thoughtful. It IS a choice…and WAS a choice before it was announced as “interfaith”. Shame on the organizers of this event. Ignore-ance. Go ahead, keep ignoring us. It only emphasises the lack of inclusion and humanism amongst the religious. Sorry for all your anguish, Bostonians. One of the godless keeps you in her thoughts!

  • http://www.facebook.com/garyodrechsel Gary Drechsel

    There could at least be someone from Atheism+ there representing. That’s a religion.

    • GCT

      Yay, someone had to get in an inaccurate dig at people who support diversity and tolerance.

      People died. People are injured. People are right now being told not to go out because it’s too dangerous. (I actually live there, BTW.) And, here you are trying to defend your right to treat women like shit. Fuck you.

  • Steven Helm

    I would hate to see Hermant’s SAT scores because one of those groups is not like the other. Atheist humanism is to faith what creationism is to science. Like someone else has said, some people on here are too butthurt to think rationally.

    • 3lemenope

      Who is this Hermant fellow and why do you fear his SAT scores?

    • GCT

      Well, if you could actually read, you might get a clue.

  • Zorntap

    Obama: “As we pray together, we need to be aware that there are those–all vastly superior in every respect to our type–who consider prayer a vain, moronic, and primitive conceit, and who consider people of faith a deluded, cowardly, science-hostile, progress-hating group of nitwits who deserve to be mocked and scorned on a regular basis. They view events like this one as stupid, utterly pointless, and even vile–as rituals that accomplish nothing, save for convincing morons like you and me that there’s some magical, bearded sky god taking care of us all. Now, in the interest of inclusiveness, we’ve decided to give them as much time at the mike as they wish, so that they can put us down, crow about how brilliant and logical and rational they are, and assure us yet again that their kind will–repeat WILL–replace us in the evolutionary chain, and like that. Anyway, Sam Harris was busy, but we were able to secure the services of Penn Jillette. Penn?”

    • 3lemenope

      I hope you don’t have hay fever.

    • GCT

      It’s nice when the bigots come right out and announce their presence.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Wilson/100000792114894 Robert Wilson

    It’s probably because we don’t have many civic leaders. (I hope I used the right word).

    • GCT

      If you mean that we don’t have many atheists that hold positions of power in this country, well, duh, that’s part of the point.

      If you mean that we don’t have atheist (or humanist) organizations and leaders reaching out from those organizations, then perhaps you should read the articles before speaking.

  • r.holmgren

    Keep your stupid faith to yourself

    Keep your stupid faith out of my life

    Keep your stupid faith out of the community

    Keep your faith, Keep your faith, Keep your stupid faith

    Hey! Why didn’t you invite me to your communion of faith?

    I can’t imagine why atheists would feign surprise that people of faith took the atheist community’s derisory attitude toward people of faith seriously.

    • Zorntap

      Exactly. Besides, how many atheists were barred from attending? None, I’m sure.

    • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

      I want to mourn with everyone. I want to join with my community in seeking healing and some sort of closure. I want to be comforted.

      That’s the purpose of a memorial service, to do all those things, right? What does religion have to do with any of that inherently? A purely secular service would have served, or one that had some religious speakers and some non-religious speakers, or even just some religious speeches and some non-religious speeches. The act of making the memorial service “interfaith” instead of “Bostonian” or “American” is exclusionary. It excludes Bostonians, it excludes Americans, it excludes people who are part of the community and hurting just as badly as everyone else. Talk about adding insult to injury!

      • r.holmgren

        “I want to mourn with everyone. I want to join with my community in seeking healing and some sort of closure. I want to be comforted.”

        I hear you. On the other hand, I think you would have BEEN welcomed and comforted and supported in your grief by others attending. However, for people of faith, who are used to coming together every single week to share a common faith, a common support (our Creator) an interfaith service is NOT just gathering together. It’s gathering together in the conscious acknowledged presence of Creator God. It’s coming together to meditate on our relationship with our Creator in the midst of tragedy.

        And for what it’s worth, while this service would have included things said that atheists mock and ridicule, most of the words of comfort and courage would have been words that we all share, words that you would have understood and accepted.

        As to the rest of what you said, I think you’re right. It could have been handled better.

        • GCT

          On the other hand, I think you would have BEEN welcomed and comforted and supported in your grief by others attending.

          Only if we conform to their ideas of comfort and support. IOW, you are saying that we atheists must fit your ideas, or else we can go suck it.

          However, for people of faith, who are used to coming together every single week to share a common faith, a common support (our Creator) an interfaith service is NOT just gathering together. It’s gathering together in the conscious acknowledged presence of Creator God.

          That is absolute bullshit, and you know it. How many of your weekly church gatherings are “Interfaith?” The whole reason to put the tag of “Interfaith” on it is because it’s supposed to be inclusive and community oriented and someone who was infused with religious privilege thought that calling it “Interfaith” would be inclusive enough. If it’s an explicitly religious function, you’re also admitting that the government is endorsing religion, which is a no-no.

          • r.holmgren

            Well, like I said, it certainly could have been handled better, organized better. I’m curious. If this had been a secular event, with none of the “bullshit” as you call it, what words of comfort do you expect that the speakers would have given in order to, well, comfort you?

        • http://gamesgirlsgods.blogspot.com/ Feminerd

          No, I wouldn’t have been comforted. The comfort offered would have been “God has a plan”, “they’re in Heaven now”, and “pray to God for comfort”. None of that helps me at all. It actually leaves me cold and outside. I imagine looking at all the nodding, solemn people and want to scream at them “but what if I don’t think they’re in Heaven? What if they’re just dead and gone forever?” How does talking about God and Heaven help an atheist to heal? How does that make me feel welcomed and supported, when I think others are being comforted by a pretty lie? When not even a single speaker deigns to acknowledge my existence, how can I feel part of a community?

          If the service is about “gathering together in the conscious acknowledged presence of Creator God”, how can I possibly have a place there? I’m not there to meditate on my nonexistent relationship with a nonexistent Creator God, I’m there to mourn with my fellows, and making it about some Creator God means that I’m inherently excluded from the proceedings.

          • GCT

            That’s what r.holmgren wants. r.holmgren wants to exclude atheists. r.holmgren doesn’t want atheists to be part of the community, or at the very least wants atheists to know their place.

    • 3lemenope

      Since when did “people of faith” corner the market on grief? Memorializing loss is something everyone does, and the city of Boston is much bigger than the secular/sectarian divide. If you can’t figure out a way to include everyone, that’s a failure of your moral imagination, all the less excusable because easy solutions were proposed. If you’d rather take revenge for perceived slights against you for complaints that people have for how you act in other forums with truly hideous and childish posts, then by all means be petty. Just stop whining when you get called out on it.

    • GCT

      Yes, how dare us as a hated minority stand up for our rights. You’re nothing but an atheophobic and religiously privileged bigot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/teddyrodo Ted Rodosovich

    Obama, the “godster” …

  • http://www.facebook.com/teddyrodo Ted Rodosovich

    re: no seculars included — religion is all about exclusion …

  • Rob

    Any Christians on patheos who want to agree that humanists and atheists shouldn’t be excluded in an event like this?


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