Thursday, October 29, 2009

Further evidence of "no religion" becoming a religion

It is now possible for you to become a "secular celebrant" of life's milestones such as birth or a wedding. Sign up for the training here.

Why should you do it? Well, terrible things happen if these people aren't available. In the words of the announcement:

"As we move through life, we celebrate many occasions filled with joy and love, accomplishment and striving, loss and grief. Unfortunately, the choice of persons to conduct ceremonies for these occasions is usually between religious clergy and impersonal civil officials.

For the 16% of the U.S. population not affiliated with any religion,
this can be a traumatic experience."

I can certainly understand someone not wanting a religious ceremony that doesn't fit with their beliefs, but I had never realized how traumatic it is for people to deal with impersonal civil officials. I can only hope that this training makes its celebrants very personable, so it too doesn't impose further trauma.

Thanks Jeff!


Jay Livingston said...

Durkheim must be smiling. This supports his idea that what's most important about religion is not beliefs but rituals.
But I don't uderstand the picture. The guy in the photo is an outspoken member of a religion and believer in God, no?

Brad Wright said...

Yes, but in his role in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, he exemplified the impersonality that causes people trauma. (That's what the picture is from--voodoo economics, anyone anyone)

Edward T. Babinski said...

If you define religion as the rituals performed, then anything can be a "religion."

However in terms of beliefs, agnosticism/soft atheism is a religion the same way clear is a color.

And if "not believing in a particular god or theology" is a "religion," then Christians and atheists are both POLY-THEISTS, since there's a host of particular gods and theologies that both Christians and atheists DO NOT believe in.

Edward T. Babinski said...

Brad, I also think you misinterpreted the person's line about the trauma of impersonal civil servants.

A lot of atheists/humanists/secularists would probably enjoy a celebration with a speaker who loves to officiate and is trained to do so, and who is articulate and poetic, just as much as Christians like having ministers repeat lines from holy books. I.E., rather than having a civil servant simply step forward and stamp a paper and leave.

Edward T. Babinski said...

In fact there's humanist chaplains at Rutgers and Harvard.

And in the Netherlands there's humanist chaplains as well, govenment supported ones I believe.