Boston Atheists

For public distribution. Tuesday, 04/16/2013 – 9:00

A statement following the tragic events of the Boston Marathon explosions

From the leaders of the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts and the Boston Atheists–

We know that we’re not alone among atheists and other secular people in wanting to show sympathy and support in response to today’s tragedy. Although prayer isn’t for us an option, we are ready to help by working with the Red Cross and other emergency and community organizations in any way possible.

Leaders of local secular organizations like the Boston Atheists and the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts have been diligently monitoring communications for any opportunity to respond constructively to the tragic events of the day. We may have a different religious perspective, but on days like today, those differences pale in comparison to what brings us all together as members of the community.

Our thanks go to the first responders and other support staff who came to the aid of the victims in Copley Square today, and who have been working since then to protect our safety. Above all, our thoughts and compassion are with the victims and their families.

Signed –

Zachary Bos
Co-chair, Secular Coalition for Massachusetts
Massachusetts State Director, American Atheists
Immediate past president, Boston Atheists

Ellery Schempp
Co-chair, Secular Coalition for Massachusetts

Josiah Van Vliet
President, Boston Atheists


In response to inquiries from our members as to how to respond constructively when events like this happen in our community, we offer the following suggestions:

  • Offer to babysit for friends or neighbors who because of today’s events would be helped by such support.
  • Sign up for the Red Cross aid appeals mailing list
  • As requested by the Boston Police Department, call 1-800-494-TIPS if you have relevant information
  • Prepare yourself and your family for unexpected crises. Be informed, make a plan, build a kit:
  • Train to help yourself and others. CERT training and First Aid/CPR Training are great ways to build up your tool kit so that you can productively contribute when an emergency, large or small, arises

If you have more time, talent, or resources to contribute, you can find a national-level organization to volunteer with that compliments your situation:

Check with your state and local volunteer fire department, law enforcement, or emergency management office for more opportunities. Thanks to Lt. Col. Edward Bos, Emergency Services Officer, Alaska Wing CAP, for his advice in compiling these suggestions.

About the BA: The Boston Atheists is the largest atheist membership organization in New England, and one of the most active secular organizations in the Boston area. We provide opportunities for friendship, education, and community for hundreds of local atheists and, as a local affiliate of American Atheists, advocate for the advancement of reality-based worldviews. Twitter | Meetup

About the SCMA: The mission of the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts, a state chapter of the Secular Coalition for America, is to increase visibility of and respect for nontheistic viewpoints, and to strengthen the secular character of our government as the best guarantee of freedom for all Americans. Facebook | Twitter | Webpage

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Site launch February 2004 | Last update April 2013