in partnership with Boston Atheists and the Humanist Community at Harvard, American Atheists, Inc. wants to educate public officials about the diversity of their communities in times of tragedy and atheists’ desire and need to be included.
In times of tragedy we must all try to stand together and Atheists are part of society as a whole, yet are often left languishing by the wayside when it comes to official representation during memorial services.
This normally wouldn’t be a problem with us if not for the fact that people have used religious language to indicate good and wholesome and terms such as “godless” to describe these attacks. And many of us feel that we are being shunned by the greater community and that not believing in a particular god somehow makes us immoral or indeed associated with the tragedy.
I am Avicenna (the Last) and I don’t represent anyone in particular. I don’t have any titles or roles. I just write. But I do represent a lot of ex-Hindus as an example of an ex-Hindu atheist even if I am rather “westernised” in my ways. But I am part of a group of people who were sidelined even within atheism and it’s not a pleasant feeling.
And we are hurt by exclusion. There is an assumption that we cannot feel that life is precious or value it because there is no inherent value to life.
There is no inherent value to the Kohinoor diamond either. It is just carbon. Yet it is priceless. Life may mean nothing and may only exist to perpetuate itself but we don’t value life like that. We value it by what PEOPLE mean to us. All we have is the time that we are alive and that means something to us and the people we love and cherish. We cherish life and it means just as much to us as it does to the religious.
So don’t sideline us. We hurt too and our pain is legitimate. Please don’t assume that we cannot understand the pain people feel.
Please send your responses to BostonResponse (a) gmail.com.