Washington, D.C. Passes Law to Allow Atheists To Officiate Wedding Ceremonies

It used to be that the only people who could officiate your wedding ceremony in Washington, D.C. were representatives of religious groups:

The officiant is any District of Columbia Judge or anyone who is authorized by a religious organization to officiate marriages, such as a minister, priest, rabbi or imam, so long as he or she is registered with the Marriage Bureau to officiate marriages.

Humanist and Secular Celebrants did not count, so atheists were pretty much left in the dark. They could fake it and get a religious person to solemnize their vows… or they could just have a court wedding.

Back in February, D.C. City Council member (and candidate for Mayor) Tommy Wells tried to change that when he introduced a bill that would create “one-day officiant permit[s]” that didn’t require a religious organization to sponsor you.

Tommy Wells (via The Washington Post)

Today, Mayor Vincent Gray signed that bill, the Marriage Officiant Amendment Act Of 2013, into law.

The act will grant bestow temporary “Civil celebrant” status on secular Americans who perform marriage ceremonies. The registration fee to obtain that status would be $25 or less and would expire after the couple filed for a marriage license.

The Center For Inquiry sees this as a “key milestone in the march toward full social equality for America’s fasted-growing belief group: the nonreligious.”

“The tide of history is turning in the direction of marriage equality, and not just in regard to who may get married to whom, but also to who is empowered to perform the marriage itself,” said Ronald A. Lindsay, the group’s president and CEO. “CFI has long championed the rights of nonreligious couples to have the choice of a wedding officiant that reflects their values and worldview, without being forced to compromise those principles with a church-affiliated ceremony or a pro forma act by a government functionary. Secular Celebrants, officially empowered to solemnize marriages, offer that choice, and give atheist, agnostic, and humanist couples the chance to have a truly meaningful ceremony.”

Because the license is only temporary, though, some have argued that this bill doesn’t really offer the equality it suggests:

“It still treats secular, nonreligious persons as second class,” [Steven Lowe, a board member of the Washington Area Secular Humanists], who previously presented testimony to the Council about the bill, said. “We would prefer that D.C. treat secular marriage officiants equally to religious ones and grant them the option of being certified to perform as a marriage officiant without limit.”

It’s a good first step. But it’s not the last one, in D.C. or elsewhere. This issue is far from being settled.

As I’ve written before, CFI sued the state of Indiana in 2012 over not allowing Secular Celebrants to officiate weddings and their lawsuit was thrown out. Such a shame…

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.

  • Mario Strada

    Where is the religious right throwing a tantrum? Or is it too early? I am sure they will find something to claim they are being discriminated against based on their religion. Just wait.

    • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

      Oh no, Mario brother…It’s only the atheists that throw fits at Christians…like when Valedictorians can’t mention God in their very own and personal speech.

      • Michael W Busch

        You are a liar.

        A public-school graduation speech is school-sponsored forum. Speakers are entirely free to mention their own personal religious beliefs, but cannot use the forum for any acitivity that constitutes government endorsement of any religion or of irreligion. “Every day, I thank god for my teachers” – okay. “Please join me: Our Father who art in heaven…” – right out.

        • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

          Liar??? Wow! Quick to the gun.

          You obviously haven’t watched the news lately. Google it.

          • tsara

            Since you seem to be thinking of a particular incident, why don’t you just find the one you’re thinking of and link it so we can all read it?

          • Sven2547

            Google it.

            Says the guy who refuses to “Google it”.

          • Matt D

            Forget that, we’ll just laugh at your obvious lack of evidence, since you’ve posted none, and never will. HAHAH!

  • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

    Hey Hemant! Are you preparing your courses for this coming school year? I hope you are. After all, those poor kids in Chicago will have a lot to learn. I hope you don’t fail them, like the Chicago Public School system and so many teachers like you have done in the past.
    Can you tell me what degrees you hold in theology?

    • flyb

      1/10

      • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

        Is that the number of Chicago school kids that graduate and earn a bachelor degree?

        WRONG! It’s much lower than that.

        The April 21, 2006 issue of the Chicago Tribune revealed a study released by the Consortium on Chicago School Research that stated that 6 of every 100 CPS freshmen would earn a bachelor’s degree by age 25. 3 in 100 black or Latino men would earn a bachelor’s degree by age 25. The study tracked Chicago high school students who graduated in 1998 and 1999. 35% of CPS students who went to college earned their bachelor’s degree within six years, below the national average of 64%.[23]

        Chicago has a history of high dropout rates, with around half of students failing to graduate for the past 30 years.

        NOW I KNOW WHY? Their teachers are busy writing blogs about atheism!!!

        • RobMcCune

          NOW I KNOW WHY? Their teachers are busy writing blogs about atheism!!!

          Really? Could you list those thousands of teachers? I would like to check out their work.

          • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

            One is enough. Instead of working to make the school system better. He’s writing books not on math but on atheism. He’s probably increasing his income that way so that he can buy a nice boat and use it off Lake Michigan.

            • RobMcCune

              Well it is summer vacation, kinda hard to make the school work better when it’s closed. I hope Hemant does get that boat he wants, not enough teachers in this country have a secure retirement.

              • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                This is that time of year to write a book on math. Or to prepare for classes…maybe have new ideas to getter better graduation results.
                Summer time is ideal for preparing.

                • RobMcCune

                  It is, but what makes you think writing a book on math will help?

                • tsara

                  What business of yours is it what somebody does in hir summer vacation?

            • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

              maybe you should write him a letter “free” of inflammatory language and maybe you all can sit down and have a nice chat but attacking him from the shield of your computer screen doesn’t add to the conversation

              Your just a pussy, who thinks he is intelligent enough to engage in a conversation. Man up or woman up what ever.

              • Michael W Busch

                Cut out the sexist slurs.

                There are plenty of non-bigoted insults that you could apply to today’s troll. Use them instead.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  I’ll try but I want him to get emotional so can you let me slide just a little and I’ll be civil on the next troll, I promise.

                • Michael W Busch

                  There plenty of other ways to needle people than being sexist. Rile up the trolls as much as you want – just don’t use bigoted slurs to do so.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  I’ll leave the civility to you and yours but if you can’t see that I’m on a fishing expedition your really need to stop staring at Rover’s computer read outs.

                • Michael W Busch

                  This isn’t about civility. This is about not being sexist.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  I haven’t even started next I will be calling him a retard

                • Michael W Busch

                  Then you compound your sexism with ableism. When you are called on bigoted speech, it is not a good idea to react with more bigoted speech.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  I think you are suffering from the dunning-Kruger effect perhaps you should stick to your off worldly pursuits and leave the counter trolling to us terrans

                • Michael W Busch

                  “Counter trolling” is not an excuse for bigoted speech. Cut it out.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  Nope. Michael you’ve really got control issues, perhaps you should leave the moderation of this blog to the Moderator. If He feels I am being too inflammatory I’m sure He would use His powers to ban or block me from His blog. Otherwise go start your own blog, I’m sure there is a lot of fun and interesting things to learn about the 7000+ LEO objects and your the man to tell us about it.

                • Michael W Busch

                  It should not be necessary for Hemant to ban or block you for you to understand that sexist and ableist and otherwise bigoted speech is wrong.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  I do understand it is wrong. And at the same time it is not. Your desire to enforce your sense of morality upon me is just as much a problem here as his desire to troll. Think out of the box.

                • Carmelita Spats

                  FWIW, I don’t have a problem with your language…Hell, I have a neighbor who spits chew in a Dr. Pepper can and if I got on to him about his sexistableistracist language, I’d be correcting him all the livelong day like an overstuffed church lady on Bud Light…pickin’ at his words like a church lady picks at her facial hair. Case in point: He often lets me know that he is “as happy as a busload of retards arriving at the Chucky Cheese parking lot” and that his girlfriend is so bucktoothed that she can eat corn on the cob through a keyhole. His favorite fish at the aquarium is the “bucktoothed tetra” (should we call it the tetra with an overbite?) and he uses ableist language when he states that his boss-man “couldn’t make a plug for a dog’s asshole with a shit for a pattern.” When I’m fixin’ to whack him with a sock full of wooden screws for spittin’ chew all over my driveway, he claims that the difference between a woman and a vulture is that a vulture circles at least once before it chews your ass out. I’m Mexican so he calls me “Miss Freejolito” (frijolito=bean). I have no problem with your language. Express yourself to your heart’s content.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  So why don’t you just give it back to him as he dishes it out. You might find that he will back off when he realizes that fair is fair.

        • flyb

          Actually, the 1/10 is your “troll” grade. But given the amount of responses you’ve generated, I need to adjust it to 10 out of 10.

    • Michael W Busch

      Well, that’s all entirely irrelevant here.

      Also: citation needed that Hemant has failed in any way in teaching mathematics to his students.

      And re. your assertion that holding degrees in theology is at all relevant to the question of if any gods exist: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2006/12/24/the-courtiers-reply/ .

      • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

        Do you own homework. I did. (And you know what? That’s usually what atheists say when their wrong!).

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

          Wow you can study apparently it didn’t make you any more intelligent.

          • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

            It did. You’re answer is no answer at all, just a distraction.

            • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

              yup better like it ‘cus that what I do and you opened yourself up to being targeted by me.

              • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                Then don’t give me the ad hominem argument you whimp.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  you are just a scared little be-otch, hiding behind your anonymity whereas you can see my history of comments but this is typical of most trolls of this site

                  do you masturbate while you type I’m asking because I know you get off doing this but is it more like the way an arsonist gets off

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  No, but you must have.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  and I fantasise that my spurts are spewing all over your chesticles

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  that’s funny! That’s a good one. You’re not so unimaginative after all.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  our intercourse has been quite entertaining

                • baal

                  So, F&SlH, have you considered seeing a therapist instead of getting your jollies by spamming an atheism blog?

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  Isn’t that what you guys do with religious blogs?
                  You hypocrite!

                • baal

                  Well, um, no.

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  Well, um, YES!!!! Go on some of them and take a look.

                • baal

                  Vengeance belongeth to the lord not you troll.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  So your only ethical position if that if you see someone doing something you don’t like, it’s then acceptable for you to do it to a third party and blame it on them. Sad, sad little angrums.

        • RobMcCune

          Yes I own homework, I tend to not throw things away, so every now and again I find an old assignment

      • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

        Is holding a Math degree make you a great teacher?

        • Michael W Busch

          Actually, no. Holding a math degree means that you know something about math. Being a great teacher is a different skill set. I say that as someone who did physics and astronomy with a math minor, but who needs to work on being an effective educator.

          • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

            You’re absolutely right. :) I am all for holding degrees. I am all for understanding others. What I don’t like is when someone, like Hemat, writes in an area that he knows nearly absolutely nothing about, except what he has read from fundamentalists and the most illiterate of theists.
            If I were him, I would take a course in theology from a University like Notre Dame or Georgetown or Boston College. There, the professors are reputable. There, they are knowledgeable. There, they know how to mix faith and reason. Not these ding bat universities that continue to spew out idiots.
            Or, as in the case highlighted today of a pastor who was made a pastor at 19 years of age! For goodness sake! The fact that he became an atheist surprises no one!

        • RobMcCune

          Holding a math degree is make you competent to teach math.

          • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

            then holding a theology degree makes you competent in interpreting scripture and the things of God.
            Thank you!
            How many theology degrees does this guy have? Answer the question…if you dare!!!

            • RobMcCune

              Where did Matthew, Mark, Luke and John get their theology degrees?

              • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                From the synagogue and the Pharisees, and then from Jesus. They could not read in the synagogues unless they had mastered the Scriptures
                But are you telling me that Hemant got his from….JESUS???

                • tsara

                  I got mine from King Arthur. *shrugs*

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  And you can get a math degree on line. :) Just as bad.

                • RobMcCune

                  Are those accredited institutions? You’re the one maintaining that only a degree qualifies a person to speak on religion. Btw, what about the hundreds of millions of christians without theology degrees? Are they qualified to have an opinion on their own religion?

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  Their qualified to believe it. They are undoubtedly not very qualified to explain it.
                  Atheism is much easier to explain: “There are no gods.”
                  Unfortunately, atheists have a hard time agreeing with anything else after that. Which doesn’t necessarily mean that there is something wrong with atheists, but maybe with atheism.

                • RobMcCune

                  Why would imply there is something wrong with atheism? People believe there are gods have very strong disagreements over all sorts of things.

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  Not exactly. They also believe in an after life. But since atheists can only agree on one thing, then that’s as useful as not believing in life on other planets. Right?

                • tsara

                  You’re not making any sense at all.

                • baal

                  Wrong. I don’t see any conflict with thinking life may be on other planets and being an atheist.

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  you didn’t understand what I wrote. But that’s okay. Believing in life on other planets is just as useful as believing in no god. That is, not very useful at all.
                  They haven’t been able to agree on a moral code after nearly two hundred years of a strong presence. How sad.

                • baal

                  Maybe their bathing helped with the strong presence issue? Totally not sad.

                • RobMcCune

                  People who believe haven’t been able to come to a consensus in thousands of years, I don’t see how this problem is unique to atheists.

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  It isn’t any different. But at least they have one, which is different from atheism that has none.
                  Hence, it’s useless – practically speaking.

                • RobMcCune

                  One what?

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  They all have a moral code. They don’t all agree, but at least they have formulated one.

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  I should say their own.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  moral codes are useful only with-in the context of what is being debated. some generalized moral code that covers all situations does not exist. so having a stringent and binding moral code is practically useless.

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  And having none is even more useless since it opens up everything to survival of the fittest. That’s my creed.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  It’s a good creed to have. Be the maker of your own moral code, I say do it.

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  But the government won’t let me. There is always a God – a power – somewhere…just with a different name and maybe even very human.

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  I gotta go.

                • Deeper…Harder…UUUUGH

                  Sometimes Hitchens would pour scotch down my ass and drink it.. just saying

                • RobMcCune

                  Your fantasies are weird, particularly for someone who hates athiests. Is all your hatred just unresolved sexual tension on your part?

                • Deeper…Harder…UUUUGH

                  im a nihilist atheist dumb nuts

                • RobMcCune

                  Well you’re certainly a nihilist, but clearly the theist kind. Where else would you get a hatred for the world?

                • Deeper…Harder…UUUUGH

                  You just hate knowing I belong to the movement, asshole

                • RobMcCune

                  Still trying to maintain your facade, that’s kinda pathetic.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  Sexy times whoohoo!

                • RobMcCune

                  Again, not seeing a difference, except that you are inconsistent as to what constitutes a positive trait. Different moral codes are good for people who believe in gods, but bad for people who do not is a double standard.

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  Okay. Then atheism is like theism: useless since it cannot unite people on the most basic things.
                  But then again, didn’t I read how some atheists put up a monument somewhere and they put together some creed? Like “An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a Church…” Or something like that.
                  I found it depressing…after 200 years…that’s it?? Three simpleton statements. Nothing deep? And worse thing about it, is that most believers have built hospitals! So, that’s not even original!!!

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  Atheism is an answer to a question. Humanism on the other hand is a philosophy that many (not all) atheist subscribe to. Personally I like Absurdism though there is not much philosophy involved with it.

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  I actually agree with you AGAIN! Life is absurd. But this has led me more and more to believe in a superior being that is CRAZY!

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  I forgot to mention. That maybe humanism, but the atheists that put it up did not state that.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  I don’t know about that, to me there is too much chaos at work to support even a crazy superior being. It is impossible, for our weak minds, to calculate the sheer amount of data the universe holds, even though much of it seems governed by some set of laws, that to say some mad scientist like mega being would have the mental capacity to control every bit (like byte) of it. He would have to have a mind larger than the largest sum of all the data. Yet to do so he would also have to add that capacity to calculate into that data summation, in this manner it seems like each attempt to calculate this data plus the mind doing the calculation would result in an infinite loop. It doesn’t seem plausible.

                • Chris

                  Doesn’t seem plausible in the tiny minds of humans

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  Yea I said that, but for our tiny minds to make an assumption that some massive mind has that capability is also implausible, because we would had, to have had, that capacity to know or even imagine what that means, the calculation of all data in the universe. We just don’t. Not even the collective knowledge of 2000+ years of theology has shown that any single human could grasp that capability, to assume anyone does is a major leap of faith.

                • RobMcCune

                  Well maybe you shouldn’t get your information from benches and bumper stickers then. This is again a double standard since you believe that judgement can only be passed on a belief system if someone has a degree in it’s study.

                • RobMcCune

                  By definition atheists only agree on one thing. Also according to your description people who believe in gods only believe in one thing, and thats an afterlife. They profoundly disagree on who and what gods are, so they disagree on their defining characteristic.

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  No. They also believe in a supernatural being that is powerful and intelligent. That’s a lot better than one thing and maybe just as useful as one thing.

                • RobMcCune

                  No, they believe in numerous supernatural beings that are powerful and intelligent and disagree over which ones are real. Besides the number of things that people agree on is a useless metric.

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  I totally disagree with you. In the world federation of religions that represents 99% of the world’s religions, they have agreed on that definition.
                  Regardless of that, the fact that atheists can only agree on one thing (that there is no god), makes atheism useless – practically speaking.

                • baal

                  “makes atheism useless – practically speaking.” Except that it’s the Truth and the Truth will set you free. It’s so forbidden a Truth that atheist were denied the right to marry people in DC until recently and it’s enough of a Truth to get you killed in Egypt or arrested in India.

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  It’s the Truth and the Truth will set you free

                  Yep. And it’s unfortunate that a Jew said that.
                  But so what? What freedom do you have? Do you not pay taxes? Are you not pulled over by the police for speeding? Do you not have rules that you must follow? Do you not have a boss?
                  Spare me, please. That’s all bullshit. You’re as free as a lion in a zoo.

                  Oh, spare me…it’s forbidden to have an incestuous relationship. They still don’t get any respect; and polygamists. But give it some time and everything will be acceptable. You can count on that.

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  And it won’t have anything to do with atheism, since most believers are supporters of homosexual rights, etc…

                • RobMcCune

                  Then practically speaking, believing in god is also useless. How many of the leader of the world federation of religion have theology degrees?

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  since Atheism is neither a religion nor a philosophy sure by your definition it is useless but since it is nearly a position of non-belief it has significant purpose, one of those is making people, such as your self, get their panties in a twist

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  like what?

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  is making people, such as your self, get their panties in a twist

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  stop making me laugh. I’m trying to debate.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  And look! You are not using personal attacks nor inflammatory language any more.

            • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

              you are just an asshate theology degrees are for stupid people who want to appear smart

              • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                Usually people who don’t have any degree at all can say that a degree is worth nothing. But that’s okay. I understand. Please don’t tell me you have a degree? IF you want, you can make it in nuclear science. I won’t mind.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  Matter of fact I have no education degree’s at all (not even a high school diploma) I’m about as ignorant as most theists who accept religion as fact but oddly enough I am an Atheist. How can that be?

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  Because you’re ignorant, and you just admitted it. I hope a lot of people are readings this.

                • Matt D

                  People reading this will simply see you’re not old enough to be discussing these issues at all, for starters.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  Generally ignorant people don’t question authorities, like religion or government. Admitting my ignorance doesn’t make me less intelligent it only proves that you don’t have to be smart to accept that there are no deities. Degree’s of education do not define a person breadth of knowledge.

            • tsara

              Do you know how many degrees one requires in order to run a blog? None.
              Hemant cites his sources and lets his readers do their own fact-checking and interpreting.
              Unless you have evidence of Hemant being dishonest*, fuck off about his qualification.

              *I seriously doubt it.

              • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                You obviously haven’t done any homework. He recently had a blog that associated Christianity with prison, where with one type of data he drew a comparison to prisoners and religious beliefs.
                I wrote back then that he should try to get it published in the American Sociological Association and publish the letter that comes back to him.
                He obviously didn’t.
                Oh, and I love his little slogan: “Friendly and Skeptical.” Hah! He’s as unfriendly towards those who do not believe like does and as entrenched in his ideas as a bigot.

                • tsara

                  …do you mean the freedom of information request he published the results of?

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  Yes. The one in which he associated religious belief with prison.
                  And completely ignored all other data. I told him he should publish it in a scholarly journal. I’m surprised the idiot hasn’t done it yet.

                • tsara

                  Uhm… he published the results of a freedom of information request. He didn’t make the association, reality did. Also, it makes perfect sense that more Christians than any other religious group end up in jail in the US, because there are more Christians than any other religious group in the general population of the US. Add other factors to that, and the association makes even more sense.

                  But tell me, what data did he miss?

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  I wrote it in that blog. You can look it up.
                  Also, did you read the blog? That’s not what he wrote. Otherwise, that would not have taken more than three sentences.
                  You obviously didn’t read the blog.
                  Finally, what makes you think that these individuals actually participated in the life of their Church or temples?
                  As I stated, one source of information regarding one bit of information makes it possible to draw conclusions…WRONG CONCLUSIONS.
                  Again, you obviously didn’t read the blog.
                  But let me ask you. Has Hemant ever made a mistake in his blogs or apologized for what he wrote? IF so, can you tell me where?
                  OR do you think he is….you know….GOD??? And I’m just too stupid to realize it.

                • baal

                  “But let me ask you. Has Hemant ever made a mistake in his blogs or
                  apologized for what he wrote? IF so, can you tell me where?”
                  Asked and answered. If you weren’t so busy troll spamming you would have seen me tell you to check out the FB post with UPDATE#2 on it, from today.

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  where?? I would love to see it. Honestly! Can you send me the link? I’m serious. For a minute there, I thought he might be the anointed one (another one like Obama).

                • baal

                  In your own words, “You can look it up. Also, did you read the blog?”

                • RobMcCune

                  What does it matter if hemant is anointed? Since the supernatural doesn’t exist, being anointed just means a person has been made oilier.

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  And perfect!!! I have visited this site on numerous occasions. I have noticed how atheists rally behind Hemant…ALL THE TIME!!!
                  Why believe in a God when you have him at your side?

                • Guest

                  It’s just one site of many, like /r/atheism where I doubt you would last as long as you have here

                • RobMcCune

                  What is perfect? That anointing is a silly superstition? That has nothing to do with the rest of your post.

                • Guest

                  bet your going to claim your not a republitard now either?

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  From a Joseph Campbell perspective we are all gods

                • tsara

                  Uhm, no. I read the blog post. The conclusions he drew seemed well-proportioned to the evidence and quite tentatively phrased. Maybe you should go back and reread the post?

        • Matt D

          Does having acccess to the internet make you a grownup?

      • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

        I noticed the link….So science makes you an atheist? Science is supposed to discover a spiritual God?

        • Michael W Busch

          You have completely missed the point.

          Holding degrees in theology is irrelevant to the question of if there is a god or not. Theologians assume, wrongly, that whatever gods they believe in exist. A degree in an appropriate type of theology would be relevant to discussing the subtleties of a religion, but that’s not the same as if a god exists.

          And I will not indulge your derailment further.

          • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

            You just showed how stupid you are. Theology is not meant to prove that God exists. Philosophy is used. Logic is used. But theology helps to interpret the things of God. Every time this idiot writes in his blog what Christians believe, he makes a fool out of himself.
            It’s as if I took the most ridiculous statements made by atheists and used those statements against atheists.

            • RobMcCune

              And every time christians write about what they believe, they make fools of themselves. It’s like a real life Yakov Smirnoff joke.

              • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                I’m not a Christian you fool. I wouldn’t be writing like this if I were. But like a good atheist, you now how to assume everything. You have a universal knowledge of everything as well, right?
                But it definitely seems as though Hemant has a thing for Christians. I’m waiting for him to put something about Islam, especially about their prophet?
                Can anyone direct me to one of his posts that speak of Mohammad and his child bride? He recently posted something to that affect from the Old Testament.

                • RobMcCune

                  I never said you were christian, saying christians make fools of themselves means they make fools of themselves. Why did you assume I was talking specifically about you? Granted you make a fool of yourself every time you write, but it’s hardly a christian specific trait.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  Mohammad is a pussy little sap sucking cunt neckbeaerded whinny bitch who didn’t even have any testicles

                • baal

                  Whoa there fella. You seem as unhinged as our new friend friendlyASLH.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  nope I’m just fishing

                • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                  Now, that’s good TBJ. We finally have something we can agree on.
                  But….has Hemant…ever written anything about Mohammad or is he the pussy and his atheism as weak as his neck?

                • The Captain

                  Awwww look everyone… an internet tough guy. The pussiest of “tough guys” calling other people “pussys”

                • Guest

                  I’m not a Christian you fool. I wouldn’t be writing like this if I were.

                  To the contrary, you write like most Christian trolls I’ve seen.

    • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

      Awe the poor little christian has had his feelings hurt whine whine whine.

      • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

        I’m not here to whine. Don’t you worry about that. I’m here to debate. And I’m not a Christian. Typical atheist, always assumes too much.

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

          Awe the poor little not a christian wants to debate but starts his debate with an ad hominem. Don’t know much about debating other than maybe master-debating

          • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

            Ad hominem attack is exactly what atheists do all the time to Christians: “poor little Christian” What do you think that is atheist? Boy, you just put your hoof in your mouth.

            • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

              All is equal in love, war and blog comments. I’m not here to debate I’m here to distract you and use as many ad hominems as I like. I’m like a red herring in your soup.

              • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

                No, your like a fly in my soap. You’re the one that started with the baby ad hominem argument.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  a jihad of words? doesn’t seem very peace oriented to me maybe you need to read more of your false prophets teachings before you take on skeptics

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  “Can you tell me what degrees you hold in theology?”

                  So you are not calling this an ad hominem? It sure reads like one to me.

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

          “Typical Atheist” Um next I bet you will be calling us neck beards or basement dwellers.

        • RobMcCune

          Really? If you’re debating you’re doing a very poor job, you don’t even have a discernable topic.

          • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

            But look at all the responses!!! Instead of ignoring me your rushing to your savior’s salvation.
            You know, there’s a lot of similarities between atheists and believers. You have your pastor (Pastor Hemant), who shepherds his stupid flock (you), and feeds them a bunch of shit and they all eat it up without doubting a single thing.
            Tell me something,did Hemant ever right anything that was wrong?

            • friendlyandskepticallikeHemant

              “write”

            • baal

              “Tell me something,did Hemant ever right anything that was wrong?”
              Did you see the post on the FB page from today?

            • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

              at least when he passes he won’t be flying of in a chariot with winged horses now there is a nursery rhyme if I ever heard one

            • RobMcCune

              Why should I ignore you? We’re having a conversation, it’s just not a debate. Also I have no savior, since I am an atheist.
              It’s very christian (and stupid) to assume authority in every association. Hemant has been wrong on a number of things. Just yesterday he posted about a facebook page being taken down and was completely wrong only citing one side of the story. I could think of more, but I am not too invested in things Hemant says.

    • Buckley

      His teaching math and his atheism are not connected in the classroom, and neither is mine. Your implication that he is a bad teacher because he doesn’t believe in your nonsense is a bull shit argument. Try again Fundy. More Xians do that than we do.

    • baal

      Reported for vacuousness.

      • duke_of_omnium

        DFTT

  • Brian Westley

    I can’t see how not allowing permanent atheist celebrants isn’t a violation of Article VI, unless officially recognized marriage officiates don’t fall under “public trust”, which I also can’t see how.

  • Michael W Busch

    Isn’t DC a bit behind the curve on this one? When my wife and I got married, there was an option to get any adult deputized as a temporary celebrant. Or is California just ahead of the curve?

  • Michael W Busch

    Not everything is sexist. However, you are being sexist. Cut it out.

    • BigDickInYoAss

      Why should I cut it out? I have freedom of speech. You’re just an oversensitive little bitch who can’t take it in a MAN’S WORLD.

      • Michael W Busch

        You have freedom of speech. But sexism and all other forms of bigotry are wrong and cause active harm to society. So: stop being a bigot.

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

          Active bigotry, like say denying a person a position at a space listening post in southern California because he has distinctly different coloured skin is wrong. But this is the interwebs and therefore it is not the seat of truth nor does it really matter what people say.

          • Michael W Busch

            Wrong. What people say online matters just as much as what people say in any other forum. And bigoted speech is wrong regardless of the form, because it contributes to a culture that excuses bigoted actions.

  • tsara

    The fuck is wrong with this thread? Is this some kind of weird post-modern performance art?

    • Michael W Busch

      I say Hemant should nuke it from orbit.

      • RobMcCune

        It’s the only way to be sure, flagged.

      • tsara

        Agreed.

      • flyb

        But this thread has a substantial dollar value attached to it.

    • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

      It’s Absurdist Art.

      • baal

        How about you unprivate your post history TBJ?

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

          Oops I thought it was. Changes made.

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

          There they are back to being open to be read, I hope you enjoy a long read.

  • Michael W Busch

    Cut out your sexist bullshit. Now.

    • CoboWowbo

      Just flag him..

      • Michael W Busch

        I did. But flags take time to process, and it is important to not let bigotry go unchallenged.

    • Guest

      Here is a novel idea, maybe you are the cause of his inflammatory language. perhaps you should rethink you own language towards redirecting his away from the things you despise.

      • Menarebetterthanwomen

        Thank you!! I can be quite civil… I just enjoy seeing the hypocrisy in these so-called “humanists”

        Some people’s buttons are just easier to push it seems

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

          This is at least true of this blog. Some here have real hang ups that need professional help, and they totally want to sit in their in poop denying their hang-ups while blaming others for their avoidance of their issues.

          • Menarebetterthanwomen

            It’s funny because they refuse to believe there can be more than one troll or person stirring the shit pot at one time. It’s the Internet and there are literally millions of people that could be passing through. Christian, atheist, whatever, someone could be looking for troll-fun and sometimes the most voracious people are the victims.

            People here must reeeeally get upset when a religious persons decides to intrude on their fun.

            • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

              I’m pretty certain and comfortable in my belief that life is absurd. A lot of people I have observed need to define some meaning from Atheism, when there isn’t any. They get pretty butt hurt when people challenge their non-beliefs.

              • Menarebetterthanwomen

                Maybe whereas religious people believe they have a purpose through God, Heaven etc. some atheists really aren’t all that comfortable with their non-beliefs so they try to define atheism as something more than it is, something more meaningful. Atheism = no belief in gods. Atheism does not equal humanism (clearly..), equality, science etc so people need to stop trying to equate them.

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  I think that’s a valid statement. If this were the “Friendly Humanist” blog then all of this would be a whole different ball of wax. Or a blog about “Moronic Family Members of Female Handicapped People” it would also be a different story. Too many people bring their baggage along with their Atheism when Atheism requires no baggage in the first place.

                • guest of TBJ

                  FYI this blog’s formatting and code have a way of making peoples profiles seem like they are the same. so it is possible to be commenting on someone’s comments out of context.

            • Michael W Busch

              I am going to make one observation:

              You appear to be trolling simply for the sake of trolling. If so, there is a lesson you must learn. Your going around and provoking people for the fun of it does exactly nothing to excuse your bigotry. You are sexist, racist, homophobic, heteronormative, queerphobic, and several other bad things.

              Cut out all of them.

              • Menarebetterthanwomen

                I’m in an interracial relationship and a lot of my friends are gay (work in the fashion industry) so I really doubt I’m the majority of what you accuse me to do, bro.

              • Guest

                Cut out all them.

                WTF?

          • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

            I rest my case upon two or more down votes.

      • Michael W Busch

        I merely call out bigoted speech. If people did not say bigoted things or find it necessary to attempt to defend them, this thread would be far shorter than it is.

        • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

          Denying the use of such language is far worse than saying or writing it. Paraphrased from Maya Angelou

          • Michael W Busch

            Better still is people not using bigoted speech in the first place.

            • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

              Some proto-amoeba feels like everyone is pointing fingers at it. Using such language de-emphasise it’s impact. Avoiding it gives credence to its inflammatory nature. It’s more bigoted to not use it.

              • Michael W Busch

                You have just stated “it is more bigoted to not be a bigot”. Please go and think about how nonsensical that is, rather than continuing to try and defend bigotry. Goodbye.

                • Menarebetterthanwomen

                  Michael, are you an anti-white, feminist loving liberal with an agenda to censor anything you deem inappropriate? Honestly, you’re worse than Christians..

                • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                  Nope didn’t say that, you might have interpreted it that way but not what I said. I’m not defending bigotry I am defending the usage of the language for the purpose of de-emphasising its impact upon the people it is used against. But of course it’s mighty white of you to miss that point.

  • tsara

    Fuck off.
    (Also, I’m genderqueer.)

  • RobMcCune

    Troll is getting desperate, time to get of the computer and go to bed.

    …oh wait your real life is way more desperate, that’s a real dilemma.

  • Michael W Busch

    The appropriate response to being called on bigoted speech is to go and rethink your words, not to go on a “I can say whatever I want” tear.

  • Michael W Busch

    Cut out the heteronormativity and queerphobia.

  • RobMcCune

    More than 2 options confuse troll! Troll SMASH!!!!

  • tsara

    How is it any of your fucking business? The only person who needs to know is my endocrinologist, when I get one.

  • RobMcCune

    Most atheist women are better thinkest than you.

  • Michael W Busch

    You can say whatever you want. But you are also responsible for your words and the harm that they do. So cut out the nonsense.

  • RobMcCune

    Oh come on, you’re the guy who asks “Do you own homework” and “Is holding a Math degree make you a great teacher?”.

    You’re a joke.

  • sparks

    So, I have a question for atheists. I am writing a research paper and I would like to know what atheists say we are.

    • tsara

      This is probably not the thread to be asking good-faith questions on, as we’ve got an infestation of trolls here.

      • sparks

        I’ve tried looking it up but I can’t really seem to find a good website that says exactly what atheists believe we are. May I ask if you know of any?

        • tsara

          Depends on who you mean by ‘we’.

          • sparks

            We meaning humans. Like Christians believe we are created in the image of God and pantheism(New Age) says god is everything. So what do atheists say humans are?

            • Sven2547

              Humans are lots of things. Can you be more specific?

              • sparks

                tsara answered my question but thank you all the same:) God bless ya!:))

                • baal

                  May Gandalf polish your shoes!

            • tsara

              Ah. Generally, atheists believe that humans are sentient, carbon-based lifeforms.
              I recommend Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality for a good humanist view of what that can mean (the good and the bad), though the author is not universally agreed with.
              http://hpmor.com/

              For a more metaphorical take, Terry Pratchett has a good quotable bit here:
              http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/66591-all-right-said-susan-i-m-not-stupid-you-re-saying-humans

              • sparks

                Thank you! Thats very helpful!:) You may or may not believe but God bless you and have a wonderful day!:)

              • indorri

                Lot of HPMoR fans here, I noticed.

            • Skippy

              We are stardust. Or decayed nuclear waste, depending on your perspective. Also primates.

  • FaithIsGlorifiedDelusion

    And on the eighth day, God said: “Let the Trolls come forth from under the bridges so they can infest atheist blogs with their childish loser antics.” And man saw what God had made, and it was not good.

  • tsara

    And now homophobia. Wonderful.

  • FaithIsGlorifiedDelusion

    Word of advice.

    • Michael W Busch

      When not feeding the trolls means letting bigotry pass unchallenged, then it is better to feed them until they explode.

  • indorri
  • RobMcCune

    You’re a worse liar than you are troll.

    • RobMcCune’sAssMaster

      lol.. can I cuddle you, sweety? come under my bridge

      • RobMcCune

        Seems I got your panties in bunch. You mad bro?

  • Matt D

    So, how many nicknames do you have to hide your weak arguments? I’ve seen “friendlyandskepticallikeHemant” and now something more attention grabbing, since you cowardly lost the debate with the first one, eh?

    • Yoda

      You just assume there can be only one troll at a time? This is why you fail

      • RobMcCune

        And you would know about FAIL.

      • baal

        [i'm being nice so edited myself out]

        • Guest

          well if he doesn’t I know I do

          • Guest

            no you don’t

            • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

              yes I do

              • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

                shut up and stop making abilist remarks

  • RobMcCune

    You’re getting really desperate aren’t you?

    • RobMcCuneIsAClosetMuslim

      You keep replying, brah. Even to the ones that aren’t addressed to you so it seems you have your neckbeard in a knot. You have some boner for trolls. You really hate when non-atheists come take a meaty dump in your pond?

      • RobMcCune

        You’re so funny, so about me earns the extra special hate from a douchebag like you? Or are you just up past your bedtime? Is that why you’re so cranky?

        • Yoda

          The butthurt be strong with this one

          You’re just mad Hitchens came out to me on his deathbed…

          • RobMcCune

            What, no more RobMcCune names? They illustrated your hurt feefees so well.

            • RobMcCuneLovesGodAndHateHemant

              Because that’s a Star Wars quote so I used Yoda. Fuck you’re embarrassing to atheism and science fiction. Please remove yourself from the movement founded by my deathbed lover Hitchens.

  • Sam

    It’s a good beginning. Congratulations, Washitonites!

    • Troll

      stop trying to make this about the article and let the trolls have their fun

      • Sam

        Maybe I’m trolling the trolls by commenting on the article instead of taking their bait and am thus a troll myself. Didn’t think of that, eh?

        This law seems more like it’s designed for the friends and family of a couple to perform the ceremony for them than for a ‘professional’ humanist celebrant who wants to make a career out of it. Still, it’s nice to have options.

        • 9gag

          True, but I find that I’d rather troll troll troll da troll troll troll, because you see, when troll troll troll da troll troll trolltroll troll troll da troll troll trolltroll troll troll da troll troll trolltroll troll troll da troll troll trolltroll troll troll da troll troll trolltroll troll troll da troll troll troll

          • Guest

            That was fun, we should do this again. Only it would be easier to recognize your profile if you didn’t change it so often, then we could collaborate far quicker. Damn it’s 85 degrees out and not even worth going down to bert’s for a smoothy.

  • End Third Party Marriage

    “It’s a good first step.”

    I disagree. A good first step would be to stop asking for permission to spend your life with the person of your choosing.

    • Yoda

      Do non-religious people have to have a sit-down with someone to see if they’re fit for marriage like Christians do with priests? Or is that just Christian couples wanting to get married in the church?

    • Sam

      You mean, abolish marriage? I don’t think vows are so much about asking permission (I mean, look at all the people co-habiting before marriage) as they are about annoucing your love to the world, your family and friends, and the government. Marriage also confers a host of benefits.
      Otoh it might be good for couple to sit down with a counselor or a relationship psychologist before getting hitched, to see it they’re really right for each other. But who would pay for that?

      • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

        My husband and I did. Small investment when you consider the long-term gain. It was good to have an outside perspective and make sure we were on the same page.

    • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

      I know loads of happy couples who have been living together for years unmarried, in the legal sense. The only organizations that really seem to care whether people are married is government welfare, the IRS, credit agencies and estate lawyers. Beyond that marriage is unnatural.

      • Mario Strada

        Immigration is also pretty insistent on having valid papers.

        • Spuddie

          As do property tax assessors, lending institutions, and schools.

  • RobMcCune

    Sorry, someone as fuck ugly as you should try dating with a paper bag over his head.

    • RobMcCune

      I care about humans, not heaping bags of human waste. It’s been fun, you are so sensitive and your insults are full fail. I haven’t seen a worse troll in a long time.

      See ya.

      P.S. I know you’re a pathetic horney neckbeard, but don’t stalk me .

  • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

    Censorship wins the day!

    • baal

      I’m not convinced you aren’t friends with or are the troll.

      • http://absurdlypointless.blogspot.com/ TBJ

        We are legion.

    • Mario Strada

      A private citizen has every right to censor another private citizen. Especially if the latter is disruptive and, as in this case, consistently off-topic.

      When we speak of freedom of speech and censorship we only do it in regard to government and some specific institutions.

      A personal blog has editorial discretion and can apply all the censorship the owner wants. You can choose not to read it.

  • Lori F

    Where are the comments that have to do with the article – ‘Washington, D.C. Passes Law to Allow Atheists To Officiate Wedding Ceremonies’?

    • allein

      I was wondering that myself…I saw 100+ comments and thought I was in for a decent discussion…apparently not.

  • Ton_Chrysoprase

    I was about to say I’d rather change the “judge or anyone who is autorized by a religions organization…” to “judge.”, but instead I’ll go with WTF, who left the drugs lying around?

  • Hi father!

    Wow, lots of deleted comments. I cannot say with 100% certainty, but I am fairly sure “friendlyandskepticallikeHemant” aka friendlyandskeptical” aka “goddess” aka “godless” aka I don’t remember what other names he has used before is none other than Father Alfonse (daily meditations with father Alfonse). You may remember him from a while back claiming god either does or doesn’t exist so there is a 50:50 chance he does. I check his site every once in a while to see if he’s posted anything else as pitiful (he hasn’t but some of his debates do make him look pretty inept) and finally realized this troll here has very a similar style and language.

    Everyone go over and say hi!

  • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

    I looked on the DC Courts website (http://www.dccourts.gov/internet/public/aud_marriage/marriage.jsf) and it says

    “Application for Authorization to Celebrate Marriages (D.C. Code § 46-406).
    The application fee for authorization to celebrate marriages in the District of Columbia is $35 (cash). You must have an endorser from the same religious society, who is from currently registered with the Marriage Bureau Section, Family Court. If there is no endorser, you must request the written “Procedures for the Registration of Clergy Without Endorser.” Authorization is indefinite for District of Columbia marriage ceremonies.”

    So $35 for indefinite authorization to officiate or $25 for a one-time deal with this law.

    So the firstgroup that gets an endorser

    • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

      Crap. It won’t let me edit.

      What I was going to say was: so the first Humanist group that gets endorsed would allow further endorsements. Guess I’ll have to look up that code.

    • http://bearlyatheist.wordpress.com/ Bear Millotts

      Well, looking at http://dccode.org/simple/sections/46-406.html

      a
      For the purposes of this section, the term:
      1
      “Religious” includes or pertains to a belief in a theological doctrine, a belief in and worship of a divine ruling power, a recognition of a supernatural power controlling man’s destiny, or a devotion to some principle, strict fidelity or faithfulness, conscientiousness, pious affection, or attachment.
      2
      “Society” means a voluntary association of individuals for religious purposes.
      b
      For the purpose of preserving the evidence of marriages in the District of Columbia, every minister of any religious society approved or ordained according to the ceremonies of his religious society, whether his residence is in the District of Columbia or elsewhere in the United States or the territories, may be authorized by any judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to celebrate marriages in the District of Columbia. Marriages may also be performed by any judge or justice of any court of record; provided, that marriages of any religious society which does not by its own custom require the intervention of a minister for the celebration of marriages may be solemnized in the manner prescribed and practiced in any such religious society, the license in such case to be issued to, and returns to be made by, a person appointed by such religious society for that purpose. The Clerk of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia or such deputy clerks of the Court as may, in writing, be designated by the Clerk and approved by the Chief Judge, may celebrate marriages in the District of Columbia.

  • pagansister

    GOOD!


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X