Church of Atheism

Dissident1's picture

There are, like, two churches of atheism here in Texas that I know of. I have often considered this to be rather absurd. I mean, what would a preacher of atheism have to preach on? Is there a holy textbook telling what the nongod dictates to the unbeliever?

However, I do understand a certain amount of the reasoning behind opening a church of atheism. The general populace of the United States seems to hold that only those who adhere to some sort of religion have rights in the US. They then state that everyone must believe in some sort of "higher power". They then afford no legitimacy to those things spoken by someone who does not profess some sort of religious belief.

The Constitution of the United States states, in Article VI, that "The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any office or public Trust under the United States". In the minds of the vast majority, that reads to state that no test for specific religious affiliation is required, so long as the elected members hold to some religious view. Moreover, the Christian Fundamentalist continually promote the idea that it refers to denominational affiliation, stating that the framers of the Constitution never meant to say that you did not have to be Christian, just that you did not have to be a member of a specific Christian sect or Church.

Furthermore, it is considered unthinkable that someone might have independent thoughts and ideas without submitting to a creed and to some form of authority. To follow your own mind is to lead into immoral and criminal activity.

Thus, the formation of an atheistic church offers an attempt to promote the legitimacy of atheism, by supporting it as a religion. In this manner, the popular consciousness might see some for of moral value system in the person of an atheist, because atheist also attend church.

However, the creation of an atheistic church has the deleterious effect of supporting the idea of atheism as an opposing religion to Christianity. The Christian therefore has to do battle with those of the conflicting faith. Also, in atheistic churches that follow Christian moral values, as they are inclined to do, they support the idea that even atheists must adhered to the will of the Christian god. Even more importantly, if the Christian churches continue to support candidates who attend Christian churches and promote Christian values, then any non-Christian group or organization will invariably be forced to submit to Christian standards, making non-Christians into illegitimate members of the American populace.

The formation of atheistic religions will not protect our rights or provide for social/political amelioration. Only by supporting non-Christian candidates and electing them into office can we ever hope to stem the tide of Christian Theocracy here in the U.S. and protect our rights and interests as citizens thereof.

I am become death, destroyer of worlds

"unchurch" concept

im not completely against the idea of attending or even developing some sort of church for atheists. i would be careful not to use the word "atheism" or any of its derivatives simply because it's a fucking ugly word to most of the world.

 if i started a church for atheists, my reasons would have nothing to do with wanting to give the unchurched masses an "alternative," nor would i replace the creeds of religious institutions with unfounded creeds of my own.

i think there is value in starting an organization (non-profit, of course, with all the legal implications included) or an informal gathering for the purpose of uniting freethinking human beings on a weekly basis. Perhaps the location would begin in the courtyard of a coffeeshop or bookstore.

 We would unite in the name of rationality, logic, reason, and real freedom for everyone everywhere, real education and real answers for everyone everywhere.

 Worthy sermon topics would include how to survive fundamentalism of every stripe in america today, how religion fails us and what we can do about it, how the scientific method can easily replace faith because it works everytime.

Beyond Saving's picture

I wouldn't spend my time

I wouldn't spend my time going to an atheist church. (why call it church anyway?) I don't really see the point unless the group is getting together as an activist political group which I still wouldn't bother going out to get involved in. I'm not one of those atheists that really cares if people say god in the pledge of allegience  and god can be stamped all over my money as long as I have a lot of it. Besides, I think it is amusing when something with god printed on it is being used to pay for sins.

As for candidates being elected, I used to be a political campaign manager and my advice to any atheist seeking office is to not vocally announce your atheism. Simply redirect any questions of faith into a policy discussion. It is sad, but in most areas, admitting to being an atheist would probably sink your campaign overnight because most Christians don't understand/respect atheism.

 

It was morality that burned the books of the ancient sages, and morality that halted the free inquiry of the Golden Age and substituted for it the credulous imbecility of the Age of Faith. It was a fixed moral code and a fixed theology which robbed the human race of a thousand years by wasting them upon alchemy, heretic-burning, witchcraft and sacerdotalism.-H.L. Mencken

if i ever...

if i ever started a group meeting, it wouldnt have the word "church" in it. it would be a social gathering for the sake of education. political activisim does not suit me personally but i can see how it would benefit the group.

 but as it stands, i dont have enough motivation to start a group like that. im not even convinced it would be a good idea.

 ..... stop the fundys from

 ..... stop the fundys from every possible angle, ATTACK ATTACK , Fuck up their game, THIS IS WAR in the name of freedom from the greedy masters. Free the children. EAT THE RICH .....

Rationale for a Church of Atheism

If I may, sir.  Although I do not know of any nor have I attended one, I see social value in establishing churches OR SOME KIND OF ORGANIZED SOCIAL GATHERING FACILITY for the non-religious.  Why?  It only becomes about the "rights" argument (as you've espoused) much later.  It is, in fact, at this point, a numbers game.  Why does any religion grow (beyond the progeny of the existing base)?  Because it offers refuge to "lost souls."  Consider how atheism would grow if it offered a peaceful community to young, confused people searching for an accepting, "forgiving" place to land.  Too often, those places are churches, synagogues, mosques, and violent cults.  Atheism needs "churches" (or whatever you want to call them) of REASON and REALITY before religions recruit them.  Cheers.

IMHO I see nothing wrong

IMHO I see nothing wrong with having a non religious church for atheism, freethinking, critical thinking,  common sense and socializing.  How many people today go to a religious church, synagogue etc.  to meet people, make a few friends, to be social.   I think a lot of people go to church and stay in the church, even when in doubt or just stopped believing in a god, the christian god, because they bonded with the people there and made friends. 

When people start doubting the existence of their god they have nowhere to go except the same place, same people who teach them to believe.  If there were places like an atheist church to go to they could ask the questions they have about their own doubt, reasonable thinking,  they can't ask in a religious church let alone get the right answers other than you must have faith.  They get help from their church members when no one else can or isn't close enough to.   An atheist church can have members who ask the other (new) members questions the new members don't think to ask.  They could learn about Pascals Wager, The God Delusion, some science they didn't learn in school or forgot.  Many people don't know to question let alone what or how to question the claims made in the bible or how to avoid being brainwashed by evangelicals.    The religious will pray to an invisible god to fix their car and never think about the fact that finding a mechanic will solve their problem.  They think the god answers prayers when they need help never realizing that going to their church and asking for help or just simply letting members know they need help with a problem is what gets them the help they are looking for.  It's not the praying of the congregation or the god that provides the help no it's the members pitching in to help - it's people helping people.    Anyone who has a shred of doubt will still attend their church for that reason.

 Churches do a lot of good.

 Churches do a lot of good. They can raise a lot of money and get people to volunteer in the name of the church who otherwise wouldn't on their own behalf. It would be interesting to see a social gathering to  support causes and charities to show that people would do it just for the sake of doing it. Not because thats what Jesus would do!

HeyZeusCreaseToe's picture

A hypothesis

I wonder if they wanted to form a local activist group and just used "Church of Atheism" to gain tax exempt status. I am not too familiar with the differences between non profits and tax exempt, but this could seem like a reasonable justification.

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” Yoda

Hambydammit's picture

All I can say is that I'm

All I can say is that I'm impressed that someone could herd a few cats.  I'll be shocked if this idea catches on.

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

http://hambydammit.wordpress.com/
Books about atheism

Jack H. Bauer that sounds

Jack H. Bauer that sounds like a bad idea. The religious folks have a hard enough time accepting that atheist does not mean devil worshiper. I fear this will only further confuse them.

Church of Athiesm Bible

I think what an Athiest church can preach or talk about is Philosophy and
science. Also create new philosophycal ideas. Perhaps we may also allow a god with no name or identity to pray to. The act of prayer can be considered a tradition instead of something religiuse and just for the moment until the church can figure out a better way to conduct itself. Look at how Christmas used to be about the birth of Jesus but now its about Santa and giving presents...We could create a church in the same way.

We should become an un-faith based religion

Atheist Church

I haven't ever thought of myself as an Atheist but more as an Agnostic. I have no belief in a super being nor do I feel it is necessary to be a productive member of society. I believe the idea of a Atheist church or whatever you choose to call it would serve the same purpose that christians churches do #1- It gives like-minded people a place to get together and share ideas that better their lives. #2- It gives like-minded people the ability to focus on issues in their cities and communities that they feel the need to change or help, like homelessness, child abuse or even toys for tots.  Christians act like they created morality and while there may be some truely good christains most are about judgement and hate. A organized group of non-believers could show that there are people who help/care, people that are not trying to earn a trip to fairytaleland. I must admit that what brought me to this website is a desperate search for a  local community of like minded people. My familiy and I moved halfway across the country about a year and a half ago and have been searching for a place to belong. As of now we have become members of a UUA church but its not meeting our needs mainly due to the facts that #1 we are about 30 yrs younger then most the members and have nothing in common and #2 god always creeps its way in during the service. Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Mike in Western North Carolina

Humanism may be what you are looking for

FWIW, there is a group called "The American Humanist Association" that adheres to this principle: "Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, WITHOUT THEISM, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity".

 

It appears as if they have no religious axe to grind and believe in doing unto others.

You know, isn't that the "Golden Rule"??

It's certainly worth a look.

On this Rock

  I feel a church would be a good Idea if, It had good music, promoted good morals for the youth, discussed how to help/support the community, and was tax exempt Smiling