The World Faith Blog

World Faith: The Interfaith Service Network

Nonreligious must embrace White House’s Interfaith Service Challenge 21 March , 2011

By Greg M. Epstein

Humanist Chaplain of Harvard University

The author of the New York Times bestseller, “Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe.”

Yesterday, the White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships unveiled an unprecedented new initiative: The President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge. For details about this call by President Obama for college and university campuses to design year-long service projects that diverse religious and secular student groups can partner on, see here and here.

For many, this project may go unnoticed precisely because it is so obvious– what could be more clearly needed than young people of different beliefs and backgrounds working together for the common good? Yet for me and perhaps for millions of my fellow nonreligious Americans, there is one particularly historic and controversial aspect of the challenge that cannot be ignored. As with his other main speeches on interfaith cooperation, President Obama has gone out of his way to make clear that this initiative must be fully open to and inclusive atheists, and agnostics, and Humanists. READ MORE



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