As some of you know here, my father passed a week ago. It brings to light a problem that we as non-believers face. Where do we turn for support in ceremonies? Christians can turn to a church, pastor or virtually any funeral home. When my wife and I got married, I asked that our wedding be non-religious and the lady agreed. During the ceremony she spoke of god a number of times. I had difficulty in not walking out on my own wedding. For the funeral ceremony I asked a neighbor whom is a pastor for some passages for an Atheist and it was filled with god. For a song he suggested Amazing Grace. I was thankful that he took some time to think for, and of, me but I don't think that believers get it. No God or spiritual nature is needed to enjoy the moment.
Many here turn to the Universal Unitarian Churches. I get that many find acceptance there. I really want nothing to do with any god or symbolism for my ceremonies. I can't be alone in this. So I Eulogized my Atheist father. There was no mistaking what the ceremony was and it gives me pride that the first Atheist ceremony that I have been to was of my own creation. I'm hoping that it's the first in a trend.
This experience and my wedding experience is pushing me to think of other options in life. I'm certainly not overworked. I have a business that only makes me put in two or three days a week. So why not perform Atheist Ceremonies as well? Why would you not consider doing the same? We don't have the support network out there that we need for each other during these times. At last minute it's too late. I had weeks and a lazy man's job to afford me the time to work on honoring my father in a way that was fitting for him. We don't need to be pushed around by religion during our time of grief or celebration. We should be taking the reigns and running with both support for those whom think like us and capitalism awaits. Besides, if you take 15 to 25% of the market, don't think that Pastors won't notice. they may change and it will collapse a few churches.
Before the ceremony, an old friend of my father's approached me. He had become a pastor and told me that he visited my father. Through a series of blinks he felt that my father had accepted Jesus. He shared this story with my permission. I wasn't going to deny someone their right to speak even at this time. I had spoken with my father shortly before he lost the ability to speak and asked him if he felt the same as the last time we spoke about it. "Well I don't think that any of that has changed." was his response. The pastor was full of shit and/or had misinterpreted his experience. It's time Atheists stand up and be counted. It's time that we are not disrespected by being dismissed during death. Christians need to ask themselves where they are and whom they are honoring. This will only change through exposure to our side and seeing the beauty of our experiences in life. I require equality. It's time that we stand up and take it in yet another form.