No Clergy Medley! A Secular Inauguration, Please!Posted by Jim Newman on January 12th, 2013 – 1 Comment – Posted in Uncategorized
Ok, I lost it. I was wrong. Way wrong. When I shared my Blog that the President should have several clergy including a humanist on the podium for the presidential inauguration, I got this comment from FFRF.
“or… why don’t we remove religious pageantry from what should be a purely secular Inauguration?”
The light went on. The gray veil lifted from my eyes. I felt that nauseated feeling I get when I have done something stupid. The inauguration absolutely should be secular. The best way to get warring, disagreeing, and competing religions to play nice with each other is to protect the governance space from any and all of religion’s rituals. In secular governance there is religious freedom, religious tolerance, and freedom from persecution. Regardless of personal belief, a secular government protects us all equally. What the hell was I thinking?
Blame it on Facebook where I now post regularly both as myself, Jim Newman, and as Frontiers of Reason. Ahhhck. The pressure. Coming out has never been harder. I remember attending a Coming Out breakout session At the AA (American Atheists) meeting where Jamila Bey in response to my worry that I offend too many people about whom I care to go ahead and be myself. She looked me straight into the eyes, smiled, and said “wear your flair.” Go ahead and wear your flair. I posted on this: “Coming Out with Greta Christina, Jamila Bey, and Indra Zuno.” I posted that the Prez shouldn’t use a bible for his swearing in. “Please Mr. President, No Bible.” I also posted that the first inaugural prayer was a fluke and there hadn’t been a tradition of prayer at the inauguration for over a hundred years until FDR.
At the Coming Out session I felt stupid worrying about what my community, people might think of me while other members had real issues of workplace harassment, losing their jobs, losing friends and family, and how they could find a soft landing after their near explosive revelation of their secularism.
Then last week I was at Dan Dennett’s Facebook site where he posted:
I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.
~ Frederick Douglass
The first thing then would be to know thyself, an ongoing and slippery process. The second part is called integrity.
But I lost it. I lost my integrity. I’m sorry. With my new Facebook presence I feel the glare of disapprovers or those that just feel sad that they think I disapprove of them. Family and friends that both socially and materially support me. I began softening. Yikes. Will Facebook help me or is it the road furthering decline in success? I