Google+ Blog | Galen Broaddus, Secular Celebrant

On Discrimination: When It Isn’t What You Think It Is

Little Rock, 1959. Rally at state capitol, protesting the integration of Central High School.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or have subjected yourself to a total media blackout, you’ve probably seen the massive backlash over the state of Indiana enacting legislation that is largely seen as a way for the state to permit discrimination against certain groups, most specifically LGBT individuals since the introduction of recognized same-sex marriage in that state. As a result, Americans are having conversations about discrimination, religious freedom, and the interplay between the two.

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+ 2ndApr Latest News

Symbols of Joining: A Philosophy of Unity Ceremonies

One of the most ubiquitous parts of a standard wedding ceremony is the unity ceremony, in which the two individuals being married participate in a ceremony that symbolizes their joining. Probably the most common one traditionally is the unity candle ceremony. But if you want to do something a little outside the norm, there are plenty of great alternatives – and plenty of reasons to choose them.

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+ 27thMar Unions of Love

The Ethics of a Secular Celebrant


Recently, I’ve had some unpleasant interactions with people who thought that they ought to make assumptions about what I ethically support as a secular celebrant. (I don’t consider these interactions to be particularly helpful, so I’m not linking to or mentioning them in detail here.) So even though I’ve spelled out my philosophy for becoming a secular celebrant, I thought it would be worthwhile to mention what I think are some ethical questions unique to secular celebrants.

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+ 25thMar Meta

But What About Tradition?

One of the aspects of planning a wedding that can be the most…interesting (let’s say) is navigating the use of tradition in the ceremony. For religious wedding, tradition is baked into that wedding cake; most religions use ceremonies that are long-established, even if the exact parts might not look exactly the same. In a secular ceremony, though, all bets are off – which can be a bit of a double-edged sword.

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+ 16thMar Unions of Love

The Wishes of the Dead: Do Memorial Plans Matter?

One thing that is true of many people: We want to be remembered. We want to feel like our lives had meaning that will outlive our own existence. In my experience, religion or a lack thereof doesn’t make much difference; even if you think your incorporeal self will survive your physical death, there is still a world here, and we don’t like feeling that it will have been left unaffected by our tenure in it. We know that the story goes on, but we don’t want it to go on entirely without us.

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+ 25thFeb Memorials

Values Over Beliefs: A Brief Primer on Interfaith Weddings

When people think of secular wedding ceremonies, they might think as much of the beliefs of the couple as much as the content or tone of the ceremony. There is probably something of a presumption that the individuals who would seek out a secular celebrant are not religious themselves, but this isn’t necessarily the case.

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+ 23rdFeb Unions of Love

Why Death is Hard and Must Be Faced

“What would you tell someone at a funeral? What kind of hope could you give them?”

Thus said my (religious) mother when I first told her that I was planning on becoming a secular celebrant and that I wanted to perform memorials and funerals as well as weddings and commitment ceremonies.

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+ 20thFeb Memorials

Introductions: Why I’m a Secular Celebrant

Hi, my name is Galen, and I’m a secular celebrant.

This post isn’t going to be my life story or a full explanation of what secular celebrants are – you can click the links above and find out more. Instead, I want to give a brief philosophical and personal rationale for why I decided that I wanted to embark on this venture as a secular celebrant.

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+ 20thFeb Meta
About Galen
Galen is a certified Secular Celebrant with the Center for Inquiry (CFI). The views expressed on this site do not necessarily represent those of CFI. (For more information about Galen, click here.)
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