I could not resit laughing on seeing the title.
Curious and intrigued, I checked the site.
I am providing excerpts without comments.
I shall be replying each point by point in separate posts.
My intention is to propagate this Great wisdom and original thought, apologies to Carvakas.
Birth of a child, irrespective of gender, is a happy occasion for atheists and they share joy with others. They name their children as per the events in history, current and International affairs, social and political changes or reflecting the beauty of nature.
In order to break the barriers of caste and religion, atheists name their children in a secular manner, connoting a meaning relevant to the time or an event which has no religious connotation.
Taking the case of children in Atheist Centre, Samaram (II World War), Niyanta (dictator), Lavanam (Salt, was born on the eve of Gandhi’s Salt Satyagraha), Vijayam (Victory. First success of Congress in General Elections), Vidya(Education) and the younger generation with unique names such as Sanketh(Information), Vidwat (Knowledge), Saujas (Redoubled Vigour and Youthfulness),Saaras & Tejas (Indigenous manned aero planes developed by India), Olos (Olympics Los Angeles) to mention a few. Many atheists are making the next generation secular and post religious. Atheists also stress on the need for birth registration, which is neglected in India.
In Pre-Independent India, braving stiff resistance of priests and the vested interests, some atheist and rationalist social reformers championed priestless and tradition-less marriages by exchange of garlands by spouses in a public meeting. Mahatma Phule, Ranade and other social reformers in the 19th Century encouraged widow remarriages.
In the early 20th Century, Periyar EV Ramaswamy promoted hundreds of “Self Respect” (sweeya maryada) marriages by exchange of garlands in atheist meetings.
Even though they had no legal validity, they had social approval.
In Post-Independent India, hundreds of such marriages were legally validated by Tamilnadu Government.
In other states also, the atheists and rationalists challenged the monopoly of the priestly class in social relations.
In Andhra, Tripuraneni Ramaswami developed marriage ceremonies devoid of priests and religion.
During the freedom movement, rationalists, atheists, socialists, communists and the liberal-minded popularized secular marriages by exchange of garlands in public meetings.
In the traditional Hindu marriage, Saptapadi (walking seven steps together) and tying of thali (so-called Holy-thread of gold) by husband to his wife is a must.
But in atheist marriages these customs are openly defied, for the religious rites make women inferior. Recognizing the importance of liberation to women, many did not wear ornaments or a bindu on the forehead, breaking the taboos of the Hindu religious system.
Gora and Saraswathi Gora, founders of Atheist Centre, spearheaded castelesss and religionless marriages as a movement to break the stranglehold of untouchability, caste, religion and of priestly class. They tried to bridge the gap between precept and practice by marring their own children first and set an example to others.
Atheist marriages are celebrated in complete openness.
In the case of intercaste or inter religion or casteless marriages, the spouses inform their parents about their intention
. On some occasions, the marriages take place in the teeth of opposition.
But the experience shows that parents and relations tend to reconcile soon and social ostracism for the couple tend to be less.
In the case of atheist ceremonies, both men and women preside the gatherings, breaking the religious and gender barriers, thereby celebrating the life contribution of the individual. Some atheists, in the memory of their lost ones, donate money for scholarships to the marginalized communities or the merited students.
In the religious customs, when the husband is dead, his wife is subjected to inhuman traditional practices by breaking her bangles, removal of thali, forcing her to wear a white sari and she is made a non-entity in the family.
Her social position is degraded and for some time she is not invited to weddings in the family. This kind of treatment given to widows is regarded by atheists as mental cruelty and is openly opposed.
Atheists invite widows to attend marriages, conduct widow re-marriages and demonstrate that widows are in no way inferior to men or other women,
Thus atheist marriages open up avenues to show to others the need for social reform and gender equity. They emphasize on all round equality for women and their female children. With winds of social change, some of the cruel religious customs wane slowly in some sections of society.
Atheists recognize the contribution of inventors, discoverers, social reformers, and national leaders who have made significant contribution to the progress of the society and in enhancing scientific temper and secular outlook. Social functions are celebrated to commemorate the inventions and discoveries as well as social reform, so as to make the younger generations aware of their significance and advocating for investing in promoting critical thinking and free inquiry. …
Religious ceremonies tend to prepare people look for salvation and to so-called life after death, where as atheist and humanist ceremonies try to improve the quality of life here on earth which is real and practical. Let us strive make the world a better place to live in peace, joy and harmony. Pleasure lies in pursuit.
There is no Copyright Notice.
Probably the want this good News to spread.
This post is my contribution