A Man of Faith on Secular Exclusion

by Rogelio Tavera

Member article by Rogelio Tavera, his thoughts as a religious man in the wake of the Boston tragedies and secular people’s exclusion from official mourning and commemoration ceremonies.

Greetings, my siblings in humanity!

As a man of faith, I wish to speak about the painfully obvious exclusion of secular people from the memorial service for the recent boston marathon tragedy.

I am angry that these people, who carry the tax load for religious institutions were excluded. Yet the people who arrange such events don't seem to worry that someone else is carrying our financial load and receive a slap in the face in return.

Secular people, whether they label themselves as humanist, atheist, agnostic, anti-theist, or whatever label with which they identify, carry a moral compass that leads them to do what is right without hope of reward or fear of reprisal for not doing so. They have my utmost respect because I find that concept to be inherently beautiful.

My lord jesucristo, walked the earth with a message of social justice. To exclude a huge segment of society because they do not have need for a belief system is an affront to that message of love thy neighbor.

I ask any religious person whose beliefs would lead them to exclude my secular siblings from the grieving process that we, as a society, need to participate in the following questions:

Where is your compassion?

Where is your sense of unity?


If someone's religious beliefs lead them to exclude others from the events and customs in which we as a society find solace because of their lack of a belief system, then those religious beliefs or the interpretation of the person who has them are seriously lacking in love and compassion.

We share one humanity and the exclusion and even outright persecution that secular people receive at the hands of religious people is immoral.

They can no more pretend to themselves that they believe in divine entities than I can pretend to myself that I don't. Nor should any of us have to.

True religious freedom cannot exist only by freedom OF religion; it must also include freedom FROM religion. A just society will reflect this in its laws, its customs, and its acts.