After hearing platitude after platitude about how Pat Tillman was "at home" and "at peace" and "with God now" Rich Tillman started off his speech at the memorial service for his brother thusly.

"Pat isn't with God,'' he said. "He's fucking dead. He wasn't religious. So thank you for your thoughts, but he's fucking dead.''

I think this is the perfect way to start a eulogy, not sad acceptance, not religious comfort, nothing but sheer unadulterated rage at the unfairness of chance. Whether you're religious or not, the fact that a person isn't there, is not around to talk to, to commiserate with, to change the world for the better, or worse. You can never see, or feel, or hear them again. That makes me angry. Religious people comfort themselves with these platitudes about being "at home" and "with god" to feel better about the gut-wrenching sense of loss.

Wow, after all that, all I really wanted to do was post a pointer to this article. It's about mis-placed hero worship. It's very good. I guess I just outed myself as an atheist there, eh?


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04 May 2004