I, as someone living across the pond from the USA, watched the news this late evening with empathy for the family grieving the death of their son. The news hounds and legal eagles jostled for air time and in the melee a couple of sentences jumped out at me. The next paragraphs gives some context:
Speaking at a press conference, Angela Corey, the Florida State Attorney, said Zimmerman had voluntarily turned himself in, and was now in custody.
Saying that the decision to charge him was not taken lightly, she went on: “Today we filed an information charging George Zimmerman with murder in the second degree. It is the search for justice for Trayvon that has brought us to this moment.”
Miss Corey said she had spoken to Trayvon’s “sweet parents” moments before the press conference began to tell them about the charges.
She added that she had first discussed the case with his mother, Sabrina Fulton, and father, Tracy Martin, who she described as “constitutional victims,” when she took over the case three weeks ago.
"The first thing we did was pray with them. We did not promise them anything," she said.
Forget the patronising 'sweet parents' comment. For a moment. Forget that justice (whatever that means and in various forms) is very difficult to obtain if you happen to be in the wrong 'category'.
By pass the fact that this juncture has arisen purely because people mobilised and highlighted that a young black man was killed on the street.
The Florida State Attorney, no less, who had been allocated the case only 3 weeks ago decided that in her wisdom the first thing she needed to do with the family was.....pray. You could not make it up.
They prayed together and so what a great way to show how you connect with the family, show your determination to obtain truth and detailed analysis of the death of this young man. You stand and do something so utterly based on a collection of 'whoppers' (as we say in the UK) and the family will go away feeling that you are doing the very best job possible.
Well I'm not convinced. Why someone in such a powerful position would feel the need to state, in a 'secular country' that prior to meeting with the family of the deceased they all prayed together.
Is it me or do you see why I am spitting feathers about this? How could this happen? The young man is dead, the system has failed him and his family and only due to immense pressure do the powers that be decide to placate the dissenters/protesters and do what some say they should have done in the first place.
'We did not promise them anything'. Of course you didn't. You couldn't. Nor should you do something so utterly pointless and dumb as to pray with them.
A little late but a more than worthy blog post here. Greta Christina is a very interesting atheist blogger who I have written about here on a few occasions.
She has very kindly added my name and this blog to the list.
She has kindly agreed to the list being copied. Please pay her a visit and leave a comment.
INDIVIDUALSMina Ahadi, founder of the Central Council of Ex-Muslims (Zentralrat der Ex-Muslime) and the International Committee against Stoning
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
, author of Infidel
, activist, politician, founder of the AHA Foundation
, author of African American Humanism
andBlack Secular Humanist Thought
, editor-in-chief of Human Prospect: A Neo-Humanist Perspective, secretary of Paul Kurtz's Institute for Science and Human Values
, former head of African Americans for Humanism
, director of development and communications, American Humanist Association
; editor of Humanist Network News (AHA's weekly e-zine)
, coordinator of the International Campaign Against Shari'a Court in Canada
, Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Iowa State University, speaker/ debater, author of The End of Biblical Studies
, Strangers in Our Own Land: Religion in U.S. Latina/o Literature
, Se puede saber si Dios existe? [Can One Know if God Exists?]
, and more
, author of Black But Not Baptist: Nonbelief and Freethought in the Black Community
, co-president of Freedom From Religion Foundation
, author of several books, including Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists
and The Good Atheist: Living a Purpose-Filled Life Without God
, atheist comedian and journalist
, atheist activist and member ofWashington Area Secular Humanists
, musician and blogger, The Crommunist Manifesto
Dr. Narendra Dabholkar
, founder, Maharashta Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samitee (Superstition Eradication Committee)
, author and paranormal investigator, founder-president of Rationalist International
, president of the Indian Rationalist Association
, creator of The Great Tantra Challenge
, columnist for Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad and Elsevier; blogger; poet; law professor at University of Leiden
, Atheist Coalition of San Diego
; public speaker
, founder of Infidel Guy
, blogger/ activist
, campus outreach coordinator at theCenter for Inquiry
, speaker, head of African Americans for Humanism
Jacques L. Hamel
, Scientific Affairs Officer with United Nations, international science and technology policy expert
, blogger, Black Woman Thinks
, founder of Secular Students at Howard University
, speaker, Tulsa Atheist Group
Sikivu Hutchinson, writer and editor, author of Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics and Secular America, editor of BlackFemLens.org, Senior Fellow for theInstitute for Humanist Studies
Leo Igwe, International Humanist and Ethical Union, Nigeria
David Ince, a.k.a. Caribatheist, blogger, No Religion Know Reason
JeansTake, video blogger
McKinley Jones, president, Black American Free Thought Association (BAF/TA)
S.T.Joshi, literary critic, novelist; author of God's Defenders: What They Believe and Why They Are Wrongand more; editor of Atheism: A Reader and more
Alix Jules, chair of diversity committee on the Dallas-Fort Worth Coalition for Reason
Kenan Malik, writer, lecturer, blogger, and BBC Radio broadcaster, author of Fatwa to Jihad: The Rushdie Affair and its Legacy, Strange Fruit: Why Both Sides are Wrong in the Race Debate, and more
Derrick Alaiyo McMahon, gay/ feminist/atheist blogger, The Anti-Intellect Blog
Hemant Mehta, blogger at Friendly Atheist, author of I Sold My Soul on eBay
Ian Andreas Miller, blogger, Diaphanitas
Jeffrey "Atheist Walking" Mitchell, atheist street philosopher and member of Black Skeptics
Micheal Mpagi, blogger, Quitstorm
Maryam Namazie, rights activist, commentator and broadcaster on Iran, rights, cultural relativism, secularism, religion, political Islam and other related topics; spokesperson for the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Taslima Nasreen, author and activist
Ramendra Nath, professor and author; head of Department of Philosophy, Patna College, Patna University; author of Why I Am Not a Hindu, Is God Dead?, The Myth of Unity of All Religions, and more
First Nation, blogger, Native Skeptic
Kwadwo Obeng, author, We Are All Africans
Adebowale Ojuro, author of Crisis of Religion
James Onen, radio broadcaster, blogger at Freethought Kampala
Charone Paget, producer/host of LAMBDA Radio Report, WRFG, Atlanta; on leadership team of Black Nonbelievers of Atlanta; founder of Queer and Atheist of Atlanta
Ernest Parker, leader of African Americans for Humanism DC
Anthony Pinn, author of numerous books on humanism, head of Institute for Humanist Studies, Agnes Cullen Arnold Professor of Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies at Rice University
Robin Quivers, radio personality
Bwambale Robert, founder, Kasese Humanist Primary School, Kasese United Humanist Association
Sid Rodrigues, scientist, researcher, organizer of Skeptics in the Pub
Arundhati Roy, author of The God of Small Things and more, activist
Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses,Midnight’s Children, Luka and the Fire of Life, Grimus, and more
Amartya Sen, Nobel-prize winning economist
Alom Shaha, science teacher, film-maker, and writer
Ariane Sherine, creator of the Atheist Bus Campaign
Labi Siffre, poet and songwriter
Simon Singh, author, journalist, TV producer, libel reform activist
Greydon Square, atheist rapper and spoken word artist
Wafa Sultan, author and critic of Islam and Islamic theocracy
David Suzuki, scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster; co-founder of the environmentalist David Suzuki Foundation
Red Tani, Filipino Freethinkers
Mandisa Lateefah Thomas, co-founder, Black Nonbelievers of Atlanta
Maria Walters, a.k.a. Masala Skeptic, blogger, Skepchick
Ayanna Watson, founder of Black Atheists of America
Wrath James White, author, blogger at Godless and Black
Clarence Williams, author of Truth
Donald Wright, author of The Only Prayer I'll Ever Pray: Let My People Go
Zhiyah, writer/blogger, The Affirmative Atheist
Indra Zuno, stage/ film/ television actress, Mexico and USA, appeared in "The Virgin of Juarez" and "The Violent Kind"
"The true-believer syndrome merits study by science. What is it that compels a person, past all reason, to believe the unbelievable. How can an otherwise sane individual become so enamored of a fantasy, an imposture, that even after it's exposed in the bright light of day he still clings to it — indeed, clings to it all the harder?… No amount of logic can shatter a faith consciously based on a lie."
~ M. Lamar Keene, Allen Spraggett, and William V. Rauscher
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