Funerals for the faithless

Charles Cowling

I don’t want to have a cheap pop at atheists. But I do like this – because it makes me chuckle. It’s the way it’s written.


So I just back from my great uncles funeral. I never knew him as a faithful or church going type of guy, but I never knew him as an out of the closet atheist either. I’m sure he was mostly indifferent. At his funeral the pastor declared that my uncle was a man of great faith and is enjoying a seat next to God … blah blah blah. Whatever, man.

While sitting at the funeral I started wondering how an atheist would go about having a non-religious funeral. Religious folk have given up a lot of things through history, but they’ve maintained their stranglehold on the death market. Who would officiate a non-religious funeral? What would they say? If you take out the religous BS out of a funeral you’re left with “Joe was a man, who had people who loved him. They are very sad. He is beyond caring. Sandwiches are downstairs.”

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Jonathan
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Jonathan

This description of a perfunctory atheist funeral by someone who still doesn't even know there is such a thing is disturbingly prophetic. It's when a 'non-religious' – or worse, 'Humanist' – funeral is no more than a gluten-free version of the supermarket shelf item that people are so unimpressed, and I don't blame them. We're here to revolutionize funerals altogether, but too often they are merely comparable alternatives with the bad taste taken out – less unpalatable, but no better for you. The usual request is; "I don't know what I want, I just know what I don't want." Well,… Read more »