When I retired as a humanist celebrant I thought I'd stop writing this blog, but my fascination with all things death-related prompted more posts. They're just written from a slightly different perspective, that's all. Oh, and I still do the odd one, by special request.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Cringing at the "Christian" eulogies

A letter in this week's NSS Newsline from Sue Cauty:

Re the question "are [Richard] Dawkins and [Christopher] Hitchens 'good' for the secular cause?" I last saw Hitchens interviewed on CNN. And there was this virulently anti-religious chap, quietly and graciously saying that, when invited, he attends the religious rites of others.

Shortly after I "came out" as a secularist I found myself attending a funeral service. I felt embarrassed, out of place, bored stiff, offended by the prayers and sermonising, cringed at the "Christian" eulogies of those I knew to be unbelievers, my ears offended by dirges wretchedly sung to live guitars; and above all I felt untrue to everybody there, especially myself, and the deceased, whom I knew to be an atheist. I vowed never again to be a part of such rites: so I applaud and am humbled by, Hitchens' understanding and tolerance.

Why should Hitchens and Dawkins be expected to toe a "party line" before they can be judged beneficial to the cause? What about free speech? The question is potentially divisive; especially at a time when we urgently need to pull together. These men make us all think, question, and analyse; no way can that be bad.

2 comments:

Memorial Website said...

Hi,

Would you be interested in exchanging links with Remembered Forever (http://www.remembered-forever.org) ?

Kind Regards,

Ian

Aphra said...

No thanks.