Wednesday, April 24, 2013

NEWS: Non-Believers Excluded from Boston Bombing Healing Memorial

Representation for Humanists and atheists was denied last week, at a government-endorsed memorial ceremony to honor lives lost in Boston. 

'Heal Our City' service in Boston. From (Photo: Charles Krupa/AP)

Religion Dispatches online wrote about a Harvard University chaplain, a Humanist clergyperson near Boston, who was not included to participate in an interfaith memorial event “Healing Our City”. You can also read more from this press release from

Today, the following was taken from an email/letter written today by Roy Speckhardt, Executive Director of the American Humanist Association (AHA):
"...When a request was made for inclusion of a humanist representative at the interfaith service attended by President Obama last week in the wake of the Boston bombings, the request was repeatedly denied. In response, the American Humanist Association has joined with other organizations in the community of reason in asking its members to submit a letter outlining their personal feelings about this. 

"Letters can be sent to Responses will be collected and sent to those responsible for excluding representation from nontheistic groups. It’s important to remember that such exclusion occurred despite the fact that nearly 50% of the people in the Boston area describe themselves as not religious. 

"There was—we are happy to report—a secular memorial service organized by Humanist Community at Harvard this week. But this doesn’t correct the insulting nature of the government-endorsed event that purposely excluded nonreligious Americans during a time when community bonding and healing is most needed."
For more information, please see the AHA's Action Alert page, "Don't Exclude Humanists from Community Memorials".

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