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Fri Apr 19, 2013, 11:40 AM

Harvard Atheists Shocked At Exclusion From Boston Bombing Memorial Service

The Harvard Humanist Community was shocked Thursday when their members were, in the carefully-chosen words of New York Times best-selling author Greg M. Epstein, “blown off” and excluded from an inter-faith memorial ceremony for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

“We have friends and family who are in the hospital in critical condition, who nearly died,” he told Raw Story. “It wouldn’t have been so difficult for those who organized the vigil today to make some kind of nod to us, and that’s all we would have wanted.”

The Harvard humanist chaplain and author of “Good Without God” explained that the exclusion of non-religious Bostonians was particularly shocking because someone dear to the Harvard Humanist Community was gravely wounded in the bombings.

Celeste Corcoran, who was caught in the blast with her daughter and subsequently lost both of her legs to amputation, was a volunteer for the Harvard Humanist Community, Epstein said. She was also something of an “aunt” to Sarah Chandonnet, the group’s outreach and development manager and “second senior-most member,” he added.

MORE...

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

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Reply Harvard Atheists Shocked At Exclusion From Boston Bombing Memorial Service (Original post)
Purveyor Apr 2013 OP
avaistheone1 Apr 2013 #1
TheManInTheMac Apr 2013 #5
avaistheone1 Apr 2013 #14
eomer Apr 2013 #10
snooper2 Apr 2013 #2
frogmarch Apr 2013 #3
Arugula Latte Apr 2013 #6
BainsBane Apr 2013 #4
Chan790 Apr 2013 #7
BainsBane Apr 2013 #20
Hissyspit Apr 2013 #8
barbtries Apr 2013 #13
mainer Apr 2013 #9
Matariki Apr 2013 #11
eShirl Apr 2013 #22
Matariki Apr 2013 #23
Sugarcoated Apr 2013 #31
SomeGuyInEagan Apr 2013 #37
Matariki Apr 2013 #40
Matariki Apr 2013 #38
JVS Apr 2013 #12
barbtries Apr 2013 #15
JVS Apr 2013 #16
barbtries Apr 2013 #17
Phillip McCleod Apr 2013 #21
Rex Apr 2013 #35
JVS Apr 2013 #42
Rex Apr 2013 #43
JVS Apr 2013 #45
Fumesucker Apr 2013 #18
sarisataka Apr 2013 #19
Matariki Apr 2013 #25
Rex Apr 2013 #24
smirkymonkey Apr 2013 #32
Rex Apr 2013 #33
Nye Bevan Apr 2013 #26
Rex Apr 2013 #34
Bernardo de La Paz Apr 2013 #36
blackspade Apr 2013 #39
Llewlladdwr Apr 2013 #47
hunter Apr 2013 #27
Demo_Chris Apr 2013 #28
LanternWaste Apr 2013 #29
Demo_Chris Apr 2013 #30
cemaphonic Apr 2013 #41
JVS Apr 2013 #46
cemaphonic Apr 2013 #54
Llewlladdwr Apr 2013 #44
HangOnKids Apr 2013 #48
Llewlladdwr Apr 2013 #49
HangOnKids Apr 2013 #50
Llewlladdwr Apr 2013 #51
HangOnKids Apr 2013 #52
Phillip McCleod Apr 2013 #56
JRLeft Apr 2013 #53
DonCoquixote Apr 2013 #55
Phillip McCleod Apr 2013 #57

Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 11:42 AM

1. I didn't think humanists were necessarily atheists.

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Response to avaistheone1 (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:27 PM

5. They aren't. And atheists are by no means necessarily humanists.

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Response to TheManInTheMac (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:44 PM

14. That is pretty much what I thought.

Thanks for that.

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Response to avaistheone1 (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:33 PM

10. They are fairly explicit about being atheist.

From the website of the Humanist Community at Harvard:

Our Philosophy

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

http://harvardhumanist.org/explore-2/mission-statement/


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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 11:43 AM

2. fundies are scared of atheists

They think it might rub off by touch or even just casual conversation

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 11:50 AM

3. The inviters probably

assumed that because of the awful tragedy and the “fact” that there are no atheists in foxholes, all the atheists had converted to Christianity.

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Response to frogmarch (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:30 PM

6. Yes, because who wouldn't want to worship an omnipotent deity that either caused or failed

to prevent murder and carnage through a bombing?!

I mean, what a guy, that God/Jesus! Praaaaise him/them!

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:22 PM

4. I don't understand this

Last edited Fri Apr 19, 2013, 05:58 PM - Edit history (1)

Why would atheists be included in an inter-faith service. Isn't that proclaiming that atheism itself is a faith?

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:30 PM

7. Some points:

1.) Not all Humanists are atheists.
2.) Some atheists actually have/conduct/whatever weekly "church-like" meetings. (I used to attend such meetings at the Washington Humanist Society here in DC.)
3.) Wouldn't you want to be included in an ecumenical non-denom. service in these circumstances to memorialize your dead/wounded?
4.) Some Atheists do assert that Atheism as the rejection of faiths is a moral stance. (To put it another way, while they would never use the word "faith"...yeah, asserting that Atheism is one.)

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Response to Chan790 (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 01:08 PM

20. Yes, they should be included

as participants, to be sure. Does that mean they couldn't attend or weren't invited to participate in leading the service?

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:32 PM

8. So maybe it should be an inter-faith and non-faith MEMORIAL service?

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:43 PM

13. faith can and does exist

outside of a belief in gawd. they should have been invited as part of the grieving community of Boston.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:32 PM

9. This makes no sense in the least religious state in the country

I can't imagine how this happened.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:37 PM

11. Since when do Atheists consider their beliefs to be a 'faith'?

and who wants to hear someone mocking other peoples' faith, which seems to be the general tenets of Atheism? ESPECIALLY at an inter-faith memorial?

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Response to Matariki (Reply #11)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 01:11 PM

22. Rudeness isn't a feature exclusive to those who have no belief in deities.

Apparently.

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Response to eShirl (Reply #22)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 01:36 PM

23. I was asking a question and making an observation

The question was why would a group of people who are adamant that their beliefs are explicitly NOT 'Faith' want to be included in an inter-faith memorial?

And, I've noticed that many atheists, or probably just the vocal ones, seem to only be able to define their beliefs in terms of denigrating others' beliefs. I absolutely respect everyone's right to hold whatever philosophy they choose, including atheism - but that respect doesn't extend to either fundie religious bigotry or to snarky comments about 'invisible sky wizards'.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #23)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 02:30 PM

31. Yep

All you have to do is look at threads here at the DU to see that. I don' t get the need to ridicule people here who have spiritual beliefs, especially here where we're supposedly tolerant of others...seems to be an exception for good Dems who happen to be believers of an afterlife, or even those who are just pondering these concepts.

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Response to Matariki (Reply #23)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 02:48 PM

37. "or probably just the vocal ones" is the operative phrase in your post.

I know a few atheists who openly challenge and sometimes attack those with a differing belief system. But I know far, far more who quietly go about their business and only discuss it when asked and do so politely if pressed.

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Response to SomeGuyInEagan (Reply #37)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 02:54 PM

40. True.

And my respect goes with them. Everyone has their own way of dealing with the big questions in life and it seems like that's a deeply personal thing.

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Response to eShirl (Reply #22)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 02:51 PM

38. And, as if to make my point, see Demo_Chris's comment below

sadly common DU snark

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:43 PM

12. Atheism isn't a faith, hence it doesn't belong at inter-faith.

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Response to JVS (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:45 PM

15. an atheist may have faith

(just not in gawd), hence the people belonged at the gathering.

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Response to barbtries (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:48 PM

16. No. They belong at the inter-proof ceremony, where people discuss what they know and not what they..

believe.

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Response to JVS (Reply #16)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:50 PM

17. huh

i thought this was to remember the victims.

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Response to JVS (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 01:09 PM

21. yeh the term 'inter-faith' is misleading..

 

.. but most of the time it means that non-believers are welcome, too.

don't let that get in the way of piling on the hate, tho.

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Response to JVS (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 02:42 PM

35. So atheists cannot mourn the dead?

Some really sad posting going on in this thread.

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Response to Rex (Reply #35)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 03:14 PM

42. Who said or even implied that?

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Response to JVS (Reply #42)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 03:16 PM

43. You did.

nt.

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Response to Rex (Reply #43)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 03:44 PM

45. No, I didn't.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:53 PM

18. Atheists don't share human emotions like grief

We are all coldly and unemotionally logical all the time, Spock-like you might say.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 12:53 PM

19. Despite the recent

mocking and ridicule I have received for believing in a fairy tale made up guy in the sky and told how prayer causes more harm than good

I believe if there is an atheist/humanist/whateverist group with their own beliefs and a chaplain/minister/wise woman they should be included in an interfaith service.
To do otherwise is 'un-American'

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Response to sarisataka (Reply #19)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 01:38 PM

25. +1

agree with you on all accounts.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 01:37 PM

24. Just because atheists don't pray, does not mean they cannot mourn!

What a bonehead move.

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Response to Rex (Reply #24)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 02:35 PM

32. +1000

Agnostic UU here, but I totally agree!

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #32)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 02:40 PM

33. Agnostic as well.

That was a slap in the face to those that want to mourn with the community.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 01:49 PM

26. Why would an atheist want to attend a memorial service?

To make a speech about the ridiculousness of "invisible sky monsters"?

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #26)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 02:41 PM

34. To mourn maybe? You know a memorial service

doesn't mean it is strictly for religious persons.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #26)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 02:45 PM

36. To remember. To praise the memories. To keep the wounded in people's minds.

"Memorial" has the same root as "remember" and "memory".

From Proto-Indo-European *mer-mer-, a reduplicated form of Proto-Indo-European *(s)mer- (“to fall into thinking, remember, care for”).

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #26)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 02:51 PM

39. Maybe to mourn the dead and wounded?

It is a Memorial service, not a religious service.
Some can talk about how their loved ones are in the arms of Jesus and others can talk about what great people they were.
As an agnostic I have no problem with folks being memorialized by people of faith.
They remember folks one way, I remember them another.

Excluding these folks was decidedly uncool.

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Response to Nye Bevan (Reply #26)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 03:55 PM

47. Make fun of the invisible man in the sky?

Remind everyone that there is no afterlife?

Point out the foolishness of adults who believe in fairy tales?

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 02:02 PM

27. Everyone has got some kind of faith.

If not gods, then family, friends, community, humanity, or even simple things like their own physical existence.

As humans it's not in most of us to live as simple machines doing what we were programmed to do without any self reflection.

Frankly, I think Humanism is one of the deeper, more robust faiths. Religious people who've had their own faith "tested" or "shaken" are not comfortable with faiths that are either firmly rooted in physical reality, or those that see the entire universe as a shimmering, shifting illusion superimposed upon an entirely spiritual and mostly unseen landscape.

These "faithful" who would exclude these humanists from this memorial service want to live in a world that they can touch, and a world touches them, but they also want to distance themselves from it. They are frightened of those who root their faiths firmly in this reality with no gods to guide them.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 02:09 PM

28. In this way, the believers in imaginary friends demonstrate their ethical superiority. nt

 

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #28)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 02:16 PM

29. Seems everyone gets the righteous opportunity to poke everyone else in the eyes,

And the non-believers in deities may also demonstrate theirs by stating "we of no religious faith have not been invited to an religious memorial..."

Seems everyone gets the righteous opportunity to poke everyone else in the eyes, and even better-- rationalize it to themselves.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #29)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 02:18 PM

30. That's half the fun I suppose. nt

 

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 03:04 PM

41. Geez, this thread...

Snarky posts on the internet about invisible sky faeries = Atheists are just a bunch of bitter mean bullies who just want to ruin everyone's day.

Actual discrimination in the real world = What's the big deal? Why should atheists care about memorializing the dead anyway? They probably just want to show up to start ranting about religion.


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Response to cemaphonic (Reply #41)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 03:49 PM

46. How is it discrimination? Are people being told that they cannot show up?

Is there some kind of way they're able to tell who at the inter-faith service is an Atheist and eject them?

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Response to JVS (Reply #46)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 04:34 PM

54. According to the story in the OP, yes people are being told that they cannot show up.

"The Harvard Humanist Community was shocked Thursday when their members were, in the carefully-chosen words of New York Times best-selling author Greg M. Epstein, “blown off” and excluded from an inter-faith memorial ceremony for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing."

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 03:23 PM

44. Why should atheists intrude on an inter-faith gathering?

I can't see comments about the invisible man who lives in the sky or the foolishness of believing in Iron Age fairy tales being very welcome at such a function.

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Response to Llewlladdwr (Reply #44)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 04:12 PM

48. Intrude? They lost a friend.

 

Did they state they were going to talk about the invisible man in the sky or whatever blather is in your post?

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Response to HangOnKids (Reply #48)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 04:18 PM

49. Then have an atheist memorial of their own.

I've never known an atheist to miss a chance to needle a person of faith. Why invite them in to do so?

You can see examples right here in this thread...

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Response to Llewlladdwr (Reply #49)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 04:19 PM

50. Oh Heavens You Have Been Needled?

 

How sad.

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Response to HangOnKids (Reply #50)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 04:23 PM

51. Wow.

Again we see that disparaging people of faith should be considered acceptable behavior.

And atheists wonder why so many people have a negative view of them...

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Response to Llewlladdwr (Reply #51)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 04:28 PM

52. Did I say I was an atheist?

 

No, I did not but thanks for playing.

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Response to Llewlladdwr (Reply #49)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 10:17 PM

56. no but it's attitudes like that that make believers targets for ridicule.

 

the double standard is disgusting. you don't have to look at the whole thread to see it. just click on the 'my posts' tab at the top of your page.

for fuck's sake. then the religious wonder why we treat them like children.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 04:28 PM

53. Not surprising at all. Atheism is despised by a lot of believers. They dislike people like myself

and I wonder why anyone would worship someone who has been on vacation permanently for millenniums.

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Response to Purveyor (Original post)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 09:51 PM

55. LOW

I do not care why the atheists were not allowed, they should have been. They mourn like everyone else.

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #55)

Fri Apr 19, 2013, 10:21 PM

57. you mean you don't start ranting about invisible sky daddies when you mourn?

 



the attitudes on display are unbelievable.

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