Humanist/Secular Community Memorial for Boston Marathon Bombings

  • April 21, 2013 · 5:00 PM
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One hope with this meeting is to provide a safe space for nonreligious people who may not yet have had a chance to express their feelings in a supportive environment. We trust that all who attend will help us create an atmosphere of respect and dignity. Licensed psychologists will be available to support members of our community in case of extreme distress during the event.

We will meet at the Humanist Community at Harvard's offices at 12 Eliot Street in Harvard Square, before moving to the nearby John F. 
Kennedy Park. There, representatives of the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts, the Boston Atheists, the Humanist Community at Harvard, and other community and civic groups will speak briefly; after which, those in attendance will be invited to share their own responses to the events of the past few days.

All are welcome to join us afterwards for dinner at Pizzeria Uno in Harvard Square. For more information about this program, please email [masked]. RSVP (appreciated but not required) at http://bostonatheists.org/vigil.

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  • Rick M.

    Thanks to Josiah and Zac for facilitating the memorial and for their words. Perhaps it was merely in a spirit of collegiality that Chaplain Epstein chose to honor his fellow faith-based chaplains, introducing them by name, rank, and delusion. Ironic, that at a secular event the professional religious are, once again, given that deference. The Methodist minister, with a cue from Chaplain Epstein, took the opportunity to apologize for his fellow religionists' exclusion of secularists at the official inter-faith healing service. These type of apologies lack authenticity. The minister does not speak for the organizers of the inter-faith service and he left it unstated whether he would advocate for secular based services in the future.

    Chaplain Epstein didn't interpret what I took to be an ancient Hebrew hymn into English. Does anyone know what we were we being asked to sing and what significance it has?

    1 · April 22, 2013

    • Zachary B.

      You know, I do know what you mean. But I'm trying to take seriously the call to show respect for people of all persuasions, as a way of extending the civility and safety of a pluralistic culture. I spend a lot of time working against the kinds of belief that I feel are dangerous; I don't however direct those energies against people professing (or seeming to profess) those beliefs. It's a matter not just of strategy, but of courtesy and compassion as well.

      April 22, 2013

    • Zachary B.

      That said, you and I -- and all of us -- are entitled to our emotions, including anger, mistrust, irritation and exasperation. How we act on those emotions will show the quality of our character.

      April 22, 2013

  • Greg

    Thanks for putting this together! Although unfortunately I couldn't stay for the entire memorial it was nice to be surrounded by like minded individuals for a bit.

    April 22, 2013

  • Steve A.

    Anyone have any pictures from the event I can use for a piece I am writing? The pictures I took are crappy.

    April 22, 2013

  • Steve A.

    I was more than happy to spend time with my Boston area nonbelievers in this time of healing and lend my support for their efforts.

    April 21, 2013

  • Josiah

    Kind of incredible really.

    April 21, 2013

  • cathy m.

    several questions- I cannot find 12 Eliot St thru google maps- it keeps giving me 75 Eliot so can you give me a description of the building? do you have an approximate idea of how long the event could last before adjourning for dinner? will any of this be recorded for posterity etc? will there be any news coverage...as another way of showing and sharing (and validating) respect from the non-religious community?

    April 20, 2013

    • Jon

      This should help you find 12 Eliot St: http://plus.google.co...­

      April 20, 2013

    • Josiah

      12 Eliot St is right next to Charles Kitchen one or two doors to the right.
      I don't know how long the event will be, my estimate if I were to make one would depend on the turnout, which I also can't predict. Sorry, not being deliberately difficult but where we are asking for public participation I really have no idea.
      Recording it is a good idea that I will share with the other organizers.
      And I bet that the media has been informed but I don't know for sure.

      April 20, 2013

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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