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Thu Apr 18, 2013, 01:50 PM

Nonbelievers Excluded from Interfaith Service, Despite Two Humanist Victims in Monday’s Bombing

Washington, DC— The Secular Coalition for America is disappointed and saddened that the nontheist community was excluded from the Interfaith Service taking place in the wake of Monday's marathon bombing—despite that at least two of the victims of the bombing were part of the nontheist community.

Celeste Corcoran of Lowell, Massachusetts, who lost both her legs at the knees in one of the bomb blasts, and her 18 year-old daughter, Sydney, who suffered severe injuries as a result of being hit by shrapnel, were part of the greater-Boston humanist community.

The Interfaith event, called “Healing Our City” is taking place at Cathedral of the Holy Cross and will be attended by President Obama and representatives from the Protestant, Greek Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim faiths.

“The tragic events on Monday affected people of many different faiths and none,” said Edwina Rogers, executive director of the Secular Coalition for America. “The organizers said they want to ‘heal the city’ and to do that, we need to come together as a community in these times of need despite our differing beliefs.”

--snip--


“The very purpose of these types of programs are put on is to comfort the victims, their families and the community at large,” Rogers said. “To exclude the very community that at least some of the victims were a part of not only alienates the victims themselves, but also Boston’s vibrant nontheistic community and the nearly 20 percent of Americans who choose not to identify with a religion. We are grieving too.”

http://secular.org/news/nonbelievers-excluded-interfaith-service-despite-two-humanist-victims-monday’s-bombing

32 replies, 2893 views

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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply Nonbelievers Excluded from Interfaith Service, Despite Two Humanist Victims in Monday’s Bombing (Original post)
cleanhippie Apr 2013 OP
still_one Apr 2013 #1
trotsky Apr 2013 #2
wryter2000 Apr 2013 #3
ladjf Apr 2013 #4
sinkingfeeling Apr 2013 #5
struggle4progress Apr 2013 #25
ladjf Apr 2013 #6
Jim__ Apr 2013 #10
pinto Apr 2013 #7
Jim__ Apr 2013 #9
msongs Apr 2013 #8
Thats my opinion Apr 2013 #23
Act_of_Reparation Apr 2013 #26
xfundy Apr 2013 #11
madrchsod Apr 2013 #12
rug Apr 2013 #13
Act_of_Reparation Apr 2013 #14
rug Apr 2013 #15
Act_of_Reparation Apr 2013 #18
rug Apr 2013 #19
Act_of_Reparation Apr 2013 #20
rug Apr 2013 #22
Act_of_Reparation Apr 2013 #32
rexcat Apr 2013 #16
Phillip McCleod Apr 2013 #17
hrmjustin Apr 2013 #21
georges641 Apr 2013 #24
Act_of_Reparation Apr 2013 #27
rug Apr 2013 #28
Act_of_Reparation Apr 2013 #30
georges641 Apr 2013 #29
Act_of_Reparation Apr 2013 #31

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 01:53 PM

1. Just curios how would they know someone is a non-believer?

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Response to still_one (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 01:58 PM

2. How about we just assume some people are, and make things like this...

available to everyone?

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Response to still_one (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 01:58 PM

3. They said the two women were members of a non-theist organization

Assuming this organization followed procedures like the religious organizations did, this is truly stupid.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 02:01 PM

4. More discouraging news about our Country. nt

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 02:03 PM

5. OK, link doesn't work so who exactly refused to allow participation?

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 20, 2013, 01:01 PM

25. Atheists Say Boston Prayer Organizers Snubbed Them

April 18, 2013
The Secular Coalition for America released the following statement this morning ... http://www.talkradionews.com/religion/2013/04/18/atheists-say-boston-prayer-organizers-snubbed-them.html

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 02:03 PM

6. They should have attended anyway. And, if they were physically restrained, it would

have strengthened the lawsuit that should follow this unlawful exclusion.

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Response to ladjf (Reply #6)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 03:27 PM

10. Nonbelievers were not excluded from attending.

At least that's my reading. They didn't have a representative at the meeting:

The Secular Coalition – in conjunction with the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts and Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University and Vice President of the Harvard Chaplains – work worked diligently to secure the inclusion of a representative from the nontheist community. For several days, the Coalition contacted representatives of all aspects of the planning and coordination of the event, including White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, the Office of Community Affairs in the Governor’s office, the Archdiocese of Boston, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the Massachusetts Council of Churches, the Office of the Mayor and the Boston City Council.


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Response to pinto (Reply #7)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 03:22 PM

9. Thanks for that.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 02:38 PM

8. since their god(s) allowed the explosion they were afraid of truth tellling? nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 01:43 PM

23. Who is they and what gods were you talking about? Nobody I know,

and I have a pretty wide knowledge of the people who planned this event, and NOBODY would take your snarky definition seriously. If you are going to make sarcastic comments about anybody perhaps you might take a look at what they actually believe.

No one of any persuasion should have been be excluded. What is the evidence that they were blocked at the door?

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #23)

Sun Apr 21, 2013, 10:32 AM

26. Who said they were blocked at the door?

The Secular Coalition – in conjunction with the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts and Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University and Vice President of the Harvard Chaplains – work worked diligently to secure the inclusion of a representative from the nontheist community.


Anyone who wanted to show up could show up. But that's not the point.

The issue is the non-believing community was denied representation.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 03:37 PM

11. Yet more evidence

Religion has become Politics. Period.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 04:01 PM

12. so no one asked them?

yet i just read where they were but never replied.if they do`t believe in a higher power would`t they be uncomfortable? i find it really hard to believe that the interfaith coalition would exclude the non believer organization from joining in the service

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 04:27 PM

13. I find it hard to believe that no phone calls were returned.

 

The Secular Coalition – in conjunction with the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts and Greg Epstein, Humanist Chaplain at Harvard University and Vice President of the Harvard Chaplains – work worked diligently to secure the inclusion of a representative from the nontheist community. For several days, the Coalition contacted representatives of all aspects of the planning and coordination of the event, including White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, the Office of Community Affairs in the Governor’s office, the Archdiocese of Boston, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the Massachusetts Council of Churches, the Office of the Mayor and the Boston City Council.


I wonder why the response is not reported.

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Response to rug (Reply #13)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 06:36 PM

14. I don't.

See what I did there?

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #14)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 06:37 PM

15. Why yes, you asserted a belief without evidence.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 01:19 AM

18. So it is your position they should have provided evidence for the nonexistence of returned calls?

Clever.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #18)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 01:27 AM

19. So, what did they say?

 

“We gave the White House an opportunity to exert a little more influence to help include us, and I’m disappointed that didn’t happen,” Epstein added. “We spoke to high ranking members of the governor’s staff multiple times — people we know for a fact were involved in organizing the vigil — in fact we called them every hour on the hour. And when I say we, I don’t mean me: I mean our lobbying office, the Secular Coalition for America.”


http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/04/18/harvard-atheists-shocked-at-exclusion-from-boston-bombing-memorial-service/

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Response to rug (Reply #19)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 10:13 AM

20. To be fair, it was you who suggested the calls were not returned.

But since this question is very pressing (no doubt the evil atheists are making this shit up for publicity's sake), I've taken the liberty of sending an email over to the Secular Coalition's PR department. I will post here whatever they reply, if they reply.

I hope you don't mind me preempting you. As suspicious as you are, no doubt you were planning to ask them yourself... right after you finished impugning their integrity.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #20)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:37 PM

22. I look forward to the update.

 

BTW, skepticism is far from suspicion.

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Response to rug (Reply #22)

Mon Apr 22, 2013, 02:42 AM

32. Here is a more revealing article

No Room for Non-Theists at Boston Interfaith Service

According to Lauren Anderson Youngblood, Communications Manager for the SCA, they had been working since Tuesday to make sure that the non-theist community was a part of the service. “We were consistently given the run-around, relayed to other people, told we would be called back, and so forth.” The White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships stated they were not responsible for the planning of the event and directed them to call the local organizers. Youngblood recounts their efforts:

We reached out to the Office of Community Affairs in the Governor’s office, the Archdiocese of Boston, the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, the Massachusetts Council of Churches, the Office of the Mayor and the Boston City Council. We spent the entire day doing this and were repeatedly brushed off by each person we called. Our lobbyist, Kelly Damerow, called the Governor’s office every hour yesterday, and was still trying this morning, before the event, at which point we finally realized it wasn’t going to happen.


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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:05 AM

16. Could it have something to do...

with the services being held at a catholic church? The RCC is not keen on atheists.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 01:00 AM

17. so wearingly typical..

 

..there are those who are insulted at the very idea of grieving without god.

to have atheists around would be an affront to their pain and their way of dealing with it.

i think the decision was consciously made not to call SCA back.. or to pretend to not notice until it was too late.. to save the tender feelings to hypersensitive believers.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 11:47 AM

21. I agree they should have been able to participate.

 

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sat Apr 20, 2013, 12:07 PM

24. I have my doubts about this.

 

How would anyone know that someone is a nonbeliever?

Besides, I don't believe anyone would be excluded.

I'm a Catholic and I know for certain that anyone may attend our services. Non-believers are not excluded. And I can't think of any church that doesn't allow visitors and the curious. After-all, that could be the first step to becoming a believer.

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Response to georges641 (Reply #24)

Sun Apr 21, 2013, 10:34 AM

27. You misunderstand

Anyone who wanted to attend the interfaith service could have done so.

The issue is that the non-believing community was denied representation alongside the various clergymen who were invited to speak.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #27)

Sun Apr 21, 2013, 10:56 AM

28. Did you get an aswer to your email?

 

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Response to rug (Reply #28)

Mon Apr 22, 2013, 02:11 AM

30. As I stated...

...if a reply is forthcoming, I will post it.

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Response to Act_of_Reparation (Reply #27)

Sun Apr 21, 2013, 06:37 PM

29. So who represents the non-believing community?

 

I was at one time a non-believer of sorts, but never identified with any particular non-believing group. My guess is that any group that would stand up and claim to be "the voice" of non-believers is a very tiny subset, and speaking up without the consent or knowledge of all unbelievers.

There is no group or person that represents non-believers as there are in the case of believers, such as Muslims, Christians, Jews, etc.

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Response to georges641 (Reply #29)

Mon Apr 22, 2013, 02:27 AM

31. Again, you are mistaken

None of the clergy invited to attend the interfaith service "represent" the entirety of their faith. A singular priest does not represent the Catholic church entire. Moreover, there is no "Muslim", "Jewish", or "Christian" church of which to speak. The speakers each represent constituent demographics of the affected community, nothing more.

Those who expressed interest in representing Boston's non-believing community were members of local secular or humanist societies, as was clearly indicated in the OP. Whether "most" non-believers belong to these societies isn't relevant. Services such as these are a forum through which communities find solidarity through hardship. They are about coming together to help each other out, regardless of sectarian differences. The exclusion of non-believing speakers from this event is prohibitive to this end.

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