Posts by Daniel Braga-Lawlor

Not Just Mourners

Last summer, there was terrible violence in South Carolina. 9 individuals, 9 black Americans, were shot dead by a deranged terrorist in their church. There was outcry. Preachers and leaders promised change - or, at least, held up the communities of concern that formed out of pain.

Now, a year later, across the country there are communities of concern that have gathered in response to pain. This time, 49 individuals, LGBT Americans, many Latino, were shot dead by a deranged terrorist in an LGBT Club. 49 murdered, 53 wounded. 

Just a few days ago, here in Oakland, a young girl was shot dead after leaving a funeral. 

What do we do in response to these murders? What does our movement, religious and secular, do in response?

Some people, when pain happens, need to be alone, or with one person. 

When I heard the news, I craved community. I wanted to be around others, I wanted to see and contribute and be with other people trying to do something- even if initially it was only a witness.  Read more about Not Just Mourners »

Humanists Doing Good

By Daniel Braga-Lawlor 

Sunday Assembly is a negotiated community, a network of secular congregations across the world, primarily in Western Europe, North America, South Africa, and Australia. The dominant, though occasionally debated, ethos in Sunday Assembly is faith-neutral secularism ("Let's celebrate the one life we have! We don't do deity, but we won't tell you you're wrong if you do!"). 

Sunday Assemblies organize a monthly celebration, have no official text, no clergy (we rotate hosts for our Sunday celebrations), and each community has great latitude in selecting its speakers, songs and readings, as well as defining the local service work. The songs we sing are not hymns, but come from across pop music - in Northern California, we've sung "Superstition," by Stevie Wonder, "Lean On Me," by Bill Whithers, "Both Sides Now" by Joni Mitchell, "Time after Time," by Cyndi Lauper, and many others. We operate from the premise that knowledge from across the fields (arts, sciences, economics, ethics) offers insights, and that all people, as believers and non- believers alike, matter. Read more about Humanists Doing Good »