The Boston Bombing Had No Theological Meaning, Nor Does its Aftermath.

Immediately after the bombing, an “interfaith service” was quickly organized.  Included in the service were remarks by President Obama.

The truth is it was not truly an interfaith service.  A group larger than many of those on the podium requested to be present, but was excluded.  These were nontheists.

While no one could determine who ultimately rejected nontheists, one can project what he/she was thinking.  “This is an event about a theological concept of a super natural being.  Any group not believing super naturals has no place in the proceedings.”

Over looked was the actual reason for the ceremony.  It was held to help people deal with shock and uncertainty.  Since the event had no theological meaning, it would have been helpful to have representatives of groups who could express and reassure the audience humans have the capacity to see themselves through such a tragedy without a deity.

Use of theological tricks by clergy continues.  Evangelist Joel Osteen told an interviewer he cannot help grieving people, except to remind them God is helping them through it.

It would be helpful to the large and growing demographic of people who are not theists to hear there are other ways of dealing with the understandable anxiety.  That is to find the necessary will within themselves.

This, of course, was allegedly taught by an ancient, the Buddha.  It is also taught by secularist around the world.

But, for whatever reason, it is not included in today’s media or popular culture.

http://www.religiondispatches.org/archive/atheologies/7054/no_room_for_non_theists_at_boston_interfaith_service_/

http://www.christianpost.com/news/joel-osteen-on-boston-bombing-god-has-us-all-in-the-palm-of-his-hand-94292/

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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39 Responses to The Boston Bombing Had No Theological Meaning, Nor Does its Aftermath.

  1. Wanna B Sure says:

    Call it: “A community encouragement event”. Everybody welcome. Everybody happy. Each church can have their own service. The atheists can meet in the public library. Those who don’t care, don’t need to go anywhere.

  2. Wanna B Sure says:

    It is premature to say that the bombing had no theological motivation. The police haven’t even questioned the surviving bomber yet. It’s probably a political statement of some sort, but even that is speculation.

  3. entech says:

    Osteen: As for the families in the middle of the lock-down in the Boston-area amid law enforcement’s search for the suspect Friday morning, Osteen suggested the first thing they should do is take a moment to pray, and believe that God is in complete control.
    If that much in control, surely it could have been stopped. Just as the death of millions of children in Africa could. It would only take a “WORD” just as it all began with a word, or so they say.

    But though Epstein has considerable experience organizing memorial vigils—and has addressed over 45,000 people in attendance at these events during his decade of service as a humanist chaplain—he was not invited or included to participate in “Healing Our City.”
    Perhaps I will start collecting articles like this to throw back at all those people who like to spread lies and BS. You know the ones that say things like atheists have faith too, atheism is a faith and the most egregious of all it takes more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a Christian.

  4. Wanna B Sure says:

    Or—One wonders how is it that the atheists demand that they have no faith, yet are insulted when there is an “interfaith service”. One also could think that the atheists were excluded due to their expressed position.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Wanna 1:43 “One wonders how is it the atheists demand they have no faith, yet are insulted when there is an “interfaith service”.

      Anticipating this argument, I made it a point in my blog to say the purpose of the gathering, to address “shock and uncertainty”. Many people might be experiencing this, both believers and nonbelievers. Thus, in my view, a truly interfaith service would have included discussion of how to deal with this experience for both faith and nonfaith people. I pointed out the way I think the Buddha would have helped people.

      • Wanna B Sure says:

        Then it should have been called “A shock and uncertainty management seminar”. I see you still distinguish between “…faith and nonfaith people”, making an “interfaith service”meaningless.

    • entech says:

      I agree, the entire concept of “interfaith” is a load of rubbish. The idea of simply having faith as being somehow praiseworthy is weird, their seems to be no question of what that faith is, what it implies, whether it is reasonable, possible, desirable or many other possible defects.

      Rational thinkers should not be interested in interfaith meetings, the only reason I can see is to spread the possibility of introducing rationality, but that would be contradictory and self defeating. To try and get a rational response from a mixed group that is essentially in opposition one to the other would require a belief in miracles. And we all know there are no miracles only events with no currently available rational explanation.

      Now a meeting of organisations with a common interest in helping to build an inclusive and tolerant community regardless of belief or lack thereof, based on the idea that we are all members of the human race and have more in common than in difference. Now this would be of benefit to everyone, never mind equality in the sight of insert deity of choice but equality in the sight of each other, literally love thy neighbour and his/her neighbour too.
      Allow them their faiths and beliefs and give them the respect that they deserve as being personal things and part of that person, respect for the ideas they hold, not respect for being able to have ideas – we all have ideas about who and what we are and our relationship to the universe. The respect should be mutual, don’t try to impose your ideas on others, because your book has words that say that your book is the sole truth and that it is your duty to spread that word, is the antithesis of respect. You may, and some will I am sure, say I am being hypocritical given the things I say on this blog, but I say this is a voluntary meeting place to discuss ideas, its title is about freethinkers, when I stand in the street in opposition to evangelical street preachers then I would be as hypocritical as they are.

  5. Brad says:

    Since these two bombers were supposedly Muslim, the right wingers have already concluded that it is because of being Muslim. Based on that line of thinking, we should always blame Christianity on anything any Christian ever does.

  6. Michael Ross says:

    “The Boston Bombing Had No Theological Meaning”

    In this case I am afraid you are correct. U.S. terror plots have one thing in common and its not religious extremism:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TBobEiXInxQ

    • entech says:

      Conspiracy?

      Next you will be saying that the crucifiction all those years ago was organised by they Romans so that they could crush the rebellious sections of the Palestinian population.
      Christianity the conspiracy that went wrong, or is it the one that worked?

      Could it have been a conspiracy within a conspiracy? What was actually going on was this:
      There was a group with secret knowledge of the real nature of GOD, not the Roman ones or the Hebrew one, but the real one, they had the knowledge, the gnosis. They organized a complicated sequence of events so that one of their number was apparently killed and then came back, this was contrary to the beliefs of the Hebrews but compatible with the Greek and Roman views, especially when it was leaked that the one that came back, the resurrected one, was in fact actually god himself, in fact part of a three in one godhead (polytheism runs deep). As can be seen from history this worked and the Roman Empire was overthrown and converted into the new empire.

      Just kidding but one conspiracy is as good as another, just as one creation myth is as good as any other. :roll: :lol:

      • Michael Ross says:

        Rich and powerful men do not conspire to get more wealth and power? Is that what you are saying? Or are you saying there are no evil men in America, or there ARE evil men but they are not involved in conspiracy? Anybody that considers conspiracy is a paranoid nut case. That’s what conspirators want us to believe.

      • Michael Ross says:

        The man said we need to break out of our “media induced programming”. You are one of Jon’s Freethinkers, are you not? Then let’s open our minds and consider all possibilities.

        • entech says:

          Many things are possible, from the young earth creationism that seems to be part of your believe, to a bunch of insane egotists could swallow their independent egoism to create a group conspiracy such as you suggest.

          Possible, but so far beyond reality it is hard to accept the possibility as much more than paranoia at worst and wishful linking at best. The possibility of an ultimate good creator or an absolutely evil entity are both as improbable.

      • Michael Ross says:

        Main Stream Media N.Y. Times fingers FBI in Boston Terror plot:
        http://www.prisonplanet.com/ny-times-fbi-staged-terror-attacks.html

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        entech 2:55 “They organized a complicated sequence of events so one of their number was apparently killed and then came back, this was contrary to the beliefs of the Hebrew but compatible with Greek and Romans, especially….”

        That conspiracy isn’t just a “conspiracy theory”, it’s conspirarcy history. :)

        I’ll add this. There was a secret meeting between Paul and the rabis. Paul whispered, “Look guys, if we want to grow this god following, let’s do this. I’ll make up a story about being converted in the desert. Then, we’ll drop the circumcision requirement. Man, it really hurts. Then, after we drop that, we’ll drop whatever sin is unpopular from that time forward.”

        • entech says:

          Actually it is all true. The real conspiracy is to make it so hard to believe. Harder to believe means more people dying over the millennia, far too many for heaven keep the numbers down to a manageable level, mysterious indeed.

          Time for bed down here, I will just dream away, dream that I am one of the elect and chosen few. :lol: :mrgreen:

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            entech 2:07 “Time for bed down here, I will just dream away, dream I am one of the elect and chosen few.”

            Such sweet dreams have given pleaure to believers since the beginning of time. No reason skeptics cannot dream it as well. :)

        • Michael Ross says:

          People will die for the truth.
          People will die for a lie if they are persuaded it is the truth.
          But no one will die for a lie when they know it is a lie.
          Paul was beheaded in Rome for his faith. He could have saved his life if he recanted and denied Christ. If he and the other apostle’s were conspirators then they died for a lie they knew was a lie.

          I thought this blog post was about the Boston bombing and its aftermath, not New Testament theology and a “conspiracy” that took place 2000 years ago. Never miss a chance to bash Christianity.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Michael 2:54 “I thought this blog was about the Boston bombing and aftermath, not New Testiment theology and “conspiracy the took place 2000 years ago. Never miss a chance to bash Christianity.”

            Looking at the comments, the suggestion of a government conspirarcy was raised. Entech suggested one conspriarcy theory is as good as another. I don’t know myself what Paul really believed or that he did not try to talk himself out of being killed at the last moment by recanting–I was not there, nor was anyone who actually wrote about it.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          Re. Jon @ 1:52; Wow ! with all that, Jon is offended that he and crew weren’t included in an “interfaith service”.
          Entech’s agreement with Jon reveals the insencerity of his @2:31; last paragraph.
          All in all, this whole topic is nothing more than an opportunity for Jon and crew to piss and moan, with no intention of compatability for the common good.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 4:02 “All in all, this whole topic is nothing more than an opportunity for Jon and crew to piss and moan, with no intention of compatability for the common good.”

            And just what “common good” might that be? I can’t imagine what you are referring to other than that the “common good” is synonomous with the”established religions’ common good”. Or, maybe just plain “the establishment class’s common good”. “Common good” is meaningless unless you can establish what, exactly, it is.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; You know very well what I mean. It was contained in your own 1:54. Don’t pretend to be so dumb. P&M.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 5:07 “Don’t pretend to be so dumb.”

            I’m not pretending. I am dumb. I have no idea what you mean by “common good” if it is not simply “Christian good”. I looked at my 1:52, didn’t see a 1:54. In 1:52, I was discussing hypothetical conspiracy theories. Rereading it, I think I was on to something.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            P & M

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            1:54.

          • Michael Ross says:

            When you accuse Muslims of conspiring to harm Americans you are a “Patriot”. When you accuse Americans of conspiring to harm fellow Americans you are a paranoid conspiracy nut.

  7. entech says:

    The way some people complain about you and I write Jon you would think the blog was called “Thoughts of an Apologist” or “WL Craig lite”.

    Michael starts on conspiracy theories, but doesn’t like my extension.

    WBC starts some line of shinola and then when asked what on earth he means all we get is “You know what I mean” followed by endless cryptic comments. Sometimes I don’t think he knows what he means anymore, so sad used to be very interesting.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      So he stoops to WBC. and shinola, then to “so sad”. Jon can’t find his 1:54, and feigns ignorance. Neither one is worthy of discussion anymore. Clear evidence of them having lost the argument, and they don’t even know it.

      • entech says:

        Sorry WBC was totally unintentional, I apologise sincerely.
        The rest is true you have become very pedantic or cryptic beyond my comprehension.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          I have been very consistent and clear. If you think I am “cryptic”, The comprehension is your responsibility. I would recomend for you to go back to Jon’s 1:54 and work your way forward.

          • entech says:

            On the contrary if you want to be understood it is your duty to make yourself comprehensible. You are consistently clear to yourself.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          Not nearly as pedantic as your many paragraphed opinions posted from time to time.

          • entech says:

            Not really the excruciating detail of everyone eases failings and the fine details of doctrine and law is pedantry.
            Mind is just rambling and burbling in an over verbose way about something that interests me you that I have just discovered.

            Mine are presented as opinions yours as facts, a subtle difference.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Error begets error. You know that just a small degree change in course will make for a wide miss of destination. Error in doctrine quite often is that small error at the start of the journey. More often than not at this site, I see just as much mal-information, disinformation, and error in information compared to bad doctrine. These are why I am here. I’m not here to save your pimply soul, I’m here to make those errors of doctrine and disinformation known to those not participating in the discussion. Don’t flatter yourself so much to think YOU or JON are the center of this universe called – “Red River Freethinkers blog”.

    • Michael Ross says:

      We Christians are on the run. As Jon points out, your side is winning. That makes us defensive. Please be understanding and never take it personally.

      • entech says:

        I wonder why everyone wants to be the underdog, when people say why are the “atheist” (new,old, middle aged who knows) so loud, strident, and whatever else, we always say it only seems that way because we have to be so defensive with Christians trying to impose on every aspect of our lives.

        Be funny if we were all wrong and the little green men rule after all, scientology, now there is something we could join forces on. I think it is an affront that they managed to get themselves classed as religion, how do you feel?

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