Humanist Symposium #31: Presidential Inauguration Edition

18 Jan

Welcome to the 31st edition of the Humanist Symposium! On January 22, 2009, we in the USA will be installing our 44th president. In light of that event, I am pleased to present to you a humanist version of the Presidential Inauguration program.

Tuesday’s program will open with musical selections from The President’s Own Marine Corps Band. Today’s program opens with vjack’s post, When You Are a Victim of Discrimination, which can be found at Atheist Revolution.


On Tuesday, the Marine Band’s musical offerings will be followed by musical selections from the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus. Our program presents, in this slot, Spirituality is Just a Word, posted by Andrew Bernardin at the
evolving mind


After the crowd enjoys the varied musical program presented thus far, Senator Dianne Feinstein will call the proceeding to order and issue welcoming remarks. Our ceremony offers, instead, Are You Really an Atheist? by John Remy at Mind on Fire.


The next item on Tuesday’s program will be what has been, to date, the most controversial event of the day, the prayer of invocation, which will be offered by Pastor Rick Warren. What I offer, in lieu of a prayer of any kind, is my commentary on the matter, presented as a response to an article by Tim Shriver.


Tuesday’s invocation will be followed by a musical selection presented by Aretha Franklin. Today’s program features Burak Bilgin’s post, Two Scenarios that Define our Lives, which is available at Burak’s blog, Distiller’s Corner.


Ms. Franklin’s music will be followed by the installation of Joe Biden to the office of Vice-President of the United States of America. Justice John Paul Stephens will administer the oath of office. Here, the program features 101 Interesting Things, Part I, by She Who Chatters. This post is available at at a blog named , eponymously, She Who Chatters.


The administration of the Vice-Presidential oath of office will be followed by a musical selection presented by a quartet consisting of Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill. They will play an item composed by John Williams (the composer of Star Wars, Superman and Harry Potter soundtracks, to cite just a few of his many musical projects). Our program features, Is naturalist spirituality an oxymoron? by Zach Alexander.


The next event on Tuesday’s program will be the highly anticipated installation of President-elect Barack Obama as the 44th president of the USA. Chief Justice John G. Roberts will administer the oath of office. Today, I am pleased to present A Golden Age of Discovery, by Andrew Bernardin.


The presidential oath of office will be followed by the president’s inaugural address, delivered by President Barack Obama. Our program features The Story of Atheism, written by Ebon Muse and available at Daylight Atheism.


After the inaugural address, Ms. Elizabeth Alexander will recite a poem. I present to you, How Can Atheists Be Good Allies? by Greta Christina.


The penultimate item on Tuesday’s program will be the prayer of benediction, offered by the Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery. The penultimate item in today’s program is a piece entitled, Money can’t buy me love, by The Investor.


Tuesday’s program will conclude with the American National Anthem, sung by the United States Navy Sea Chanters. This Presidential Inauguration edition of the Humanist Symposium, #31, concludes with the god of small miracles, offered by your host.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this edition of the Humanist Symposium. Mike will host the next edition on February 8, 2009 at his blog. I’ll meet you there in three weeks.

Correction: Are You Really an Atheist? was written by John Remy’s blogging partner, xJane. Thanks for pointing out my error, John. I want to give credit where it is due.

— the chaplain


Posted by on January 18, 2009 in carnival, humanism


10 responses to “Humanist Symposium #31: Presidential Inauguration Edition

  1. John

    January 18, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Great edition–I love the addition of the photos.

    I just wanted to make one little correction. The mind on fire post, “Are you really an atheist” was written by my blogging partner xJane, though I wish I could take credit for it. :P

  2. the chaplain

    January 18, 2009 at 1:25 pm


    Thanks for the correction. I will amend the post with a corrective update.

  3. The Ridger

    January 18, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Very nice job! I look forward to reading all the posts.

  4. vjack

    January 19, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Very cool idea for the inauguration theme. I am envious of your creativity.

  5. Ordinary Girl

    January 19, 2009 at 11:26 am

    Nice job, Chappy!

  6. ylooshi

    January 19, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I love the inaguration theme! And now I’ve got some good reading for the day.. thanks, Chappy!

  7. James Pomeroy

    January 19, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    Kudos to you and your efforts here! Man, I’ve got a lot to work on to live up to your creative results. (I’ll be doing #33.)

    Wonderful contributions again, too. I read all of them and was quite impressed. I love my peers and comrades. Y’all are great.

  8. PhillyChief

    January 20, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    Great arrangement, but I personally can’t understand how that ridiculous ‘Are your really an atheist’ post got accepted.

  9. Vitamin R

    January 25, 2009 at 3:04 am


    I didn’t see any of the actual Inauguration, didn’t get home till nearly nine that night. But my mother recorded it. Hadn’t really planned on watching, but I will now, if only to compare it unfavorably to your wonderful Humanist Symposium.

    Though I do love Yo-Yo Ma, and Itzhak Perlman :)


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