If you don’t approve of the church then don’t take part in its rituals

I often wonder how many atheist sit in church each Sunday going to the motions of singing hymns, receiving communion and praying to a god they don't believe exists.

Opinion: Each spring, thousands of non-believers allow their pre-pubescent daughters to don wedding dresses for their first communion. By Donald Clark


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Ah, yes. Crutch. My theist friend told me this morning that all my problems would end if I just came back to Crutch. When am I going to come back to Crutch? My friend talks to Jebus all the time even when he is not in Crutch.

I think I have made my point here.

There's a lot to be said for participating in music. There are community choirs that aren't connected to a house of worship. (Though perhaps not in many smaller towns!)

Similarly, larger communities might have secular "unchurches" such as Ethical Culture, or perhaps a UU congregation that doesn't assume theism.

Religious music can have strong emotional associations, too -- we had some threads about reclaiming and repurposing some of it (mostly but not entirely about Christmas songs). Jerry Phillips' Humanist Hymnal is one example; George Speckert's collection Heritage Songs of the Ethical Society (of St. Louis) includes many reclaimed hymntunes as well as other songs -- including lovely new lyrics to Amazing Grace. (And we also have humanistic words to the Hallelujah Chorus!)

I enrolled my kids in a parochial school, but I never went to church. If I did go into the facility for a wedding, and they did communion as part of the ceremony, I was that guy who sat alone while everybody near him went to eat flesh and drink blood. It was pretty clear what I was, and I was roundly treated like a subhuman by many of them for it. Didn't bother me at all. Those weren't my friends, and I didn't have an urge to pretend they were.

"thousands of non-believers still allow their prepubescent daughters to don wedding dresses for the distinctly creepy, coquettish ritual that is First Communion."

The author used the word I would use, "Creepy".




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