First U.S. atheist university chaplain: a legacy of kindness

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Tom Ferrick

Tom Ferrick, photo courtesy Humanist Community at Harvard.

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Tom was a trailblazer—an openly gay man working as a professional atheist in a time when both of those things were far more stigmatized than they are today, he founded the Humanist Chaplaincy in 1974 as a home for Harvard’s atheist, agnostic, and nonreligious students.

  • Ann

    I was a middle-aged woman from a very remote suburb but when I made my first query about humanism, Tom wrote, called and then we met to talk. I had no idea he was a big Harvard deal, but I did know he was, well, luminous is the closest I can come to a description – luminous with kindness. What I will always carry with me is his wonderful smile.
    Thanks for this remembrance!

  • Michelle

    This was very moving. I did not have the privilege to know or know of Tom Ferrick prior to his death, but his life has had an impact on me through you. Thank you for publishing this lovely tribute.

  • So, there is a group that has been attacking Atheist. Now, we’ve made our counter attack. I sent this to him a little bit ago.

    “Hey! Freedom From Atheism Foundation! Looks like you didn’t actually copyright your name or logo. I just submitted my U.S. Copyright for your Logo, and your name Freedom From Atheism Foundation. In a few weeks, once It has been approved, I’m going to report you to the U.S. Copyright Office and then you’ll be given a legal notice and after that Fined. Target me next if you like, I don’t care. But intelligence always win. Religion is a dying notion. I just really wanted you to see this. definitely the best money I’ve ever spent. ”

    We should not be fighting against each other but learn how to live in harmony. Aggression is not the answer.

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