Once I got past being amused, I realized this situation continues to irritate me. While I support the growing Nones movement, I continue to question the wisdom of attempting to herd cats. It's almost like watching a bunch of people trying to form a "not naked" social group. Where do you go after you've professed your... none-ness?
I suppose this could just be me. I have no desire to get together to sing folk music and search for an existential kumbaya.
I've scratched my head regarding the motiviation of the founders of the Atheist Church. It would be irresponsible to make accusations but I've rarely been accused of being responsible. I sometimes wonder what's in it for them. When I look at many protestant congregations, I usually walk away thinking the pastor had no marketable skills and figured fleecing a flock was an acceptable career option. I see no reason why an Atheist might not think the same. Having reached their peak earning potential, fallen from grace, expressed remorse, shed tears and finding themselves unable to attract new rubes to fund another church...why not try atheism? After all, their money is just as good, right?
Maybe I need to elevate my belief in the innate goodness of my fellow man. Oh great, another argument over the evolutionary contributions that lead us towards innate goodness.
I should get back to the original topic. Is there a potential arms race brewing, with different congregations (hack, gag, phhhtttt) trying to out-disbelieve each other? I fear by allowing this church nonsense to build, we're making ourselves out to be a laughingstock within the theistic community. The last thing I want to be accused of is not knowing what I'm doing.
Wait... I'm agnostic so I'll get back to you when I figure out where I'm trying to go with this.
Atheism is an absence of belief in dieties. We reject the "god' belief because there simply is no evidence to support it. Beleif in dieites requires a belief in the supernatural. By this classification atheism is NOT a religion and never will be a religion as religion requires the supernatural. Why then do we have an "atheist church?" There simply cannot be such a thing.
Id there a Church of the Friar's Club? How about the Untied Nasa Assembly? Church of the Holy Frisbie?
I'm sorry. Churches and atheists just don't go togther on this one. A true atheist has no supernaturalism.
I really feel like you have no idea what these things are about, they are not an athiest church, they are just a place where you get together with other critical thinkers, hang out, have a few drinks and get to know each other. Every one needs to feel a sense of belonging and community, this is just where some people choose to get it. I live in NYC and the last time I went to sunday assembly I sat around for 3 hours with 6 people talking about the effects our new mayor will have on taxes with his reformist policies. The only leadership roll there is the person who keeps it from devolving into a shouting match when people argue, and selects a topic for the day. Its a social scene for athiests, thats all it is. some people tended to talk about absolute logic, some about human emotion making absolute logic an impossibility. the absolute logic people broke off and went and did there own thing. I see a lot of judging in this forum and very little actual understanding of what sunday assembly is about.
Of course there are side shoots of atheism. That is what evolution is all about. One form gives birth to another, to another, to another, ad infinitum. Furthermore, one group thinks it is better than the other. Does that sound familiar? People are like people. Theists of one stipe claim superiority over theists of another stripe. Atheists are not different than theists. Deep inside their brain, I have no idea where it is located, there is this disgusting nature to outdo, outperform, outexcel, others.
Perhaps it is possible to exist without being one of the "outers"! We don't need to outdo anyone. We need to explore, experiment, imagine, investigate, examine, envision, inquire, and celebrate all those who do the same. We do not need to compete. We need to celebrate the fact that we have shucked the chains of mindbinding and move into a new, more advanced domain of thinking.
We've been in this neighborhood/our first house for 3 years. As soon as we moved in, various people mentioned the church that they attend and we just nodded politely.
The church is not far from here, and I see it every day when I walk home from the train. It's a lovely building, modern and serene with a nice lawn. After a rough day at work, it would be nice to stop in on the way home, maybe sit for a little while, catch up with some neighbors etc. It's a place to relax and without spending money or getting drunk.
Instead, I chat with the crossing guard on rare occasions who fills me in on who's who, what's what, and she doesn't even live around here!
So I daydream about taking over the church, and revising it to eliminate all the catholic nonsense. Stained glass windows with pastoral and historical scenes, a stage perhaps, or just a podium in front, and a large screen for presentations instead of a crucifix.
People could gather for monthly/seasonal lecture topics, and learn about the origins of holidays, ways to cope with stuff like Valentine's Day, contemplate the mysteries of the universe, and how to deal with those who cling to religion.
I'm not exactly interested in the "kumbaya" aspect of the atheist church, but something more like a community center that gives people a free or low-cost place to become more educated an to help out in the neighborhood. It would fulfill the need to socialize, help neighbors, celebrate and mark the seasons. Musical guests would be welcome, but only if they pass an audition. :-]
This is a great vision, Christine! I like the feeling of your revised place to relax, catch up with neighbors, share ideas, just have some place to unwind. A community center with sharing of ideas, hopes, dreams, and a common place to identify problems and explore for solutions as a community. Standing shoulder to shoulder with someone who shares common concerns, not to gather more sheep, but to participate in living, to think, enjoy, learn, discuss, and experience the sense of community.
That's the idea ladies. I like it.