Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Nov/13

11

To make the no-God an idol

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Atheists need to stop making fun of “Christian rock” and the assorted second rate derivates of culture produced by the evangelical subculture if this is not a rip-off of The Onion, Atheist ‘mega-churches’ look for nonbelievers:

It looked like a typical Sunday morning at any mega-church. Hundreds packed in for more than an hour of rousing music, an inspirational sermon, a reading and some quiet reflection. The only thing missing was God.

Dozens of gatherings dubbed “atheist mega-churches” by supporters and detractors are springing up around the U.S. after finding success in Great Britain earlier this year. The movement fueled by social media and spearheaded by two prominent British comedians is no joke.

This is almost a parody of what organized atheism can become.

7 comments

  • WmarkW · November 11, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    While I have no interest in such an institution, I can sympathize with the atheists who understand that creating communities is one of the strengths of religion, and the lack of a replacement for same is one of the barriers to broadening atheism.

    I agree that atheist groups shouldn’t fall into the trap of having to analogyze every religious institution and practice, but having someplace to go once a week for enrichment is possibly worthwhile. Maybe a weekly town hall to have lectures, debates and Q/A about current events would be more our speed.

  • GTChristie · November 12, 2013 at 12:52 am

    I wouldn’t attend an atheist convocation any more than I’d go to church. I need no community solidarity to reinforce my own free thought. Need the warmth of human elbow rubbing? Go volunteer for something.

  • John · November 12, 2013 at 4:48 am

    If religion originated as a way to enforce social norms, then community atheism is never going to take off simply because the types of people who become atheists are the least likely to want to do things because others are doing it. Agreeableness does correlate with religiosity.

    http://www.gnxp.com/blog/2007/08/religiosity-and-personality-how-are.php

    It has always seemed to me that the Unitarian/Universalist church is largely for liberal atheists who still think you should go to church every week.

  • vjack · November 12, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    The Sunday assemblies hold no appeal for me either. I detested everything about church and not just the religious message that was sometimes present. But clearly, many people love this stuff. I don’t get it and I hope it is just an experiment that will pass but maybe some good can come from it. Maybe it will at least make people feel a bit better about being atheists, leading them to be less willing to put up with bigotry. That would be something.

  • Narr · November 15, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    I saw that article last week, and thought “I don’t want to spend my Sunday morning with these people any more than I want to spend my Sunday morning with the pious.”

  • Randy McGregor · November 16, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    >>> Need the warmth of human elbow rubbing? Go volunteer for something.

    Or, go to a gathering of like-minded people and enjoy a few moments/hours of the sort of enjoyment such gatherings can bring.

    This need to mock other peoples’ harmless choices, while providing a “superior” alternative is just so … what’s the word? – oh yeah, “religious.”

  • Susan · November 20, 2013 at 2:13 am

    I wonder how many of these atheists were raised religious and are now just trying to replicate their childhood experiences. Although I suppose I could be described as culturally Protestant, I wasn’t brought up to believe in anything or to adhere to any faith. But I certainly don’t feel the need to join a group of non-believers–some of whom, I suspect, may still be believers deep down inside.

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