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Sep
16
2007

Escaping Ceremony—Almost


Subscribers Only
Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 27 issue 6
By Laura R. Gansel
DEALING WITH DYING Escaping Ceremony—Almost Laura R. Gansel, Cottage Grove, Oregon In July 2004, my husband Chuck and I celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary. Our four daughters and their families joined us at the Glacier National Park hotel, where Chuck and I first met. It was one of the happiest...

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Sep
16
2007

Celebrate the Myriad Ways


Subscribers Only
Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 27 issue 6
By Richard T. Hull
DEALING WITH DYING Celebrate the Myriad Ways Richard T. Hull, Tallahassee, Florida On July 11, 1987, I found our only child, Geoffrey, dead in his bed. He was home after his freshman year at Ober­lin College. Dyslexic and not a distinguished student, he had nonetheless graduated from Buffalo’s first-rate Calasanc­tius...

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Sep
16
2007

A Funeral? No Thanks


Subscribers Only
Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 27 issue 6
By June Maxwell
DEALING WITH DYING A Funeral? No Thanks June Maxwell, Glasgow, Scotland To mark those transition points in life like weddings, baby welcomings, and funerals, ritual ceremonies are customary and expected. Here in secular Scotland, increasing numbers of people are demanding ceremonies without a religious element. Humanist celebrants facilitate such ceremonies,...

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Sep
16
2007

Logic Overrode My Humanity


Subscribers Only
Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 27 issue 6
By Catherine Turley
DEALING WITH DYING Logic Overrode My Humanity Catherine Turley, Orange, California I loved my mom. She was the type of single mother who never looked to anyone else to make her life easier. She believed that my brother and I should choose our own religion, despite her strong Lutheran upbringing....

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Sep
16
2007

In Defense of Rites of Passage


Subscribers Only
Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 27 issue 6
By Paul Kurtz
DEALING WITH DYING In Defense of Rites of Passage Paul Kurtz, Amherst, New York I believe deeply and passionately in acknowledging and celebrating the seasons of life—births, graduations, marriages, civil unions, anniversaries, retirements, and deaths—and, on special occasions, participating in rites of passage to commemorate them. I enjoy welcoming celebrations...

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Sep
16
2007

Kevin’s Two Memorials


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Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 27 issue 6
By Jan McCormick
DEALING WITH DYING Kevin’s Two Memorials Jan McCormick, Elicott City, Maryland Our twenty-nine-year-old son died suddenly after taking an illegal drug. He was our only child. Before my husband and I were able to see him, the authorities took possession of his body for autopsy. We saw Kevin two days...

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Sep
16
2007

The Gift of a Wise Man


Subscribers Only
Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 27 issue 6
By Janet L. Factor
DEALING WITH DYING The Gift of a Wise Man Janet L. Factor, Springfield, Illinois myrrh (mur) n. An aromatic gum resin obtained from woody plants of the genus Commiphora, valued in the ancient world as a perfume and as an embalming agent. Traditionally, a gift of the Magi to the...

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Sep
16
2007

Dealing with Dying: Introduction


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Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 27 issue 6
By Tom Flynn
DEALING WITH DYING Introduction Tom Flynn You’d think dying would be harder for the nonreligious. For us, death is the end, as final as turning off the television—and throwing it in the lake. However falsely, believers can look forward to eternal bliss or, if not bliss, at least justice; resolution,...

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Sep
16
2007

People Don’t Die, Do They?


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Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 27 issue 6
By Jean Kazez
DEALING WITH DYING People Don’t Die, Do They? Jean Kazez, Dallas, Texas When my children were very young, I stayed away from discussing the subject of death with them. Nothing ever happened to make the topic inevitable: no pet died, no grandparent passed away, no president was shot. The word...

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Jul
17
2007

Why Democracy Needs Naturalism


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Appeared in Free Inquiry, vol 27 issue 5
By John Shook
CIVIL RIGHTS AND LIBERAL DEMOCRACY Why Democracy Needs Naturalism John Shook Democracy works much better in societies where a wide separation between church and state is enforced. Secular humanism’s demand that the political system remain free from religious domination secures much breathing room for democratic liberties. The American Bill of...

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