1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

Atheist Congregations

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Mathloom, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. Mathloom

    Mathloom Shameless Optimist
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2008
    Messages:
    18,321
    Likes Received:
    18,323
    http://www.salon.com/2013/04/28/dont_stop_believin_do_atheists_need_a_church/

    This was interesting to me.

    I have absolutely nothing against atheists as they tend to be more reasonable, and the uneducated atheist is far less dangerous to others than the any other uneducated religious person. But, I know a religion when I see one.

    According to the article, this seems to be a growing trend in England at least. Is there anything like this in other countries? Does it also include regular congregations, symbols, free food, slogans, singing and mockery of other ideological groups?

    I wonder if resident atheists find something like this appealing or unappealing? Seems to be a good idea. While I've become highly skeptical of any organized mass religion, I do see the immense value in communities being tight knit and informed about each other's problems and progress.
     
  2. Haymitch

    Haymitch Custom Title
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    27,996
    Likes Received:
    23,197
    Very unappealing. I remember Christopher Hitchens addressing this once. He said something along the lines of...

    One of the great things about being an atheist is you don't need to meet every week and reassure yourself that the things you believe are actually true. We don't need to sing hymns about gravity; we don't need to wear ridiculous clothes to feel special... and on. Then he said something like he personally always thought less of people who regularly meet in like-minded groups to massage each others beliefs/opinions.

    I somewhat agree with that sentiment. I don't need and don't want a weekly/monthly/whatever meetup to listen to someone tell me what I believe (or, in this case, even more absurdly - tell me what I do not believe).

    There is a group in Houston like this, though. It's called The Houston Church of Freethought: http://www.hcof.org/
     
  3. AroundTheWorld

    AroundTheWorld Insufferable 98er
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2000
    Messages:
    67,996
    Likes Received:
    45,791
    Kind of ridiculous.
     
  4. superfob

    superfob Mommy WOW! I'm a Big Kid now.

    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Messages:
    2,025
    Likes Received:
    1,281
    Sounds like a great way to get tax free purchases :p
     
  5. REEKO_HTOWN

    REEKO_HTOWN I'm Rich Biiiiaaatch!

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    46,815
    Likes Received:
    18,528
    Stop trying so hard.
     
  6. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Messages:
    37,987
    Likes Received:
    15,453
    I don't have a problem with this. Religious sermons can definitely be uplifting and inspiring, apart from the inclusion of supernatural elements. If the purpose of these gatherings is to build positive bonds and encourage the congregation to do good in the world, what's the problem?
     
  7. finalsbound

    finalsbound Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2000
    Messages:
    12,328
    Likes Received:
    901
    that's what uu churches are for.
     
  8. Shroopy2

    Shroopy2 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2003
    Messages:
    15,915
    Likes Received:
    1,598
    Fellowship. Doesnt have to be more than that. Anything of wide interest has gatherings and congregations of some sorts to mobilize its message.

    Maybe you still need A SYMBOLIC solid structure to legitimize an institution. Instead of everyone being divided and separated far apart.

    Or maybe the same way people join in a church for the free food and music, other people would do the same for atheism.

    Maybe some people DO need to meet occasionally to be told what NOT to believe. I think its kinda lame for atheism, but there's lots of lame yet benign gatherings out there.
     
  9. BigBenito

    BigBenito Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2002
    Messages:
    7,355
    Likes Received:
    175
    Atheism 2.0 now exists? Cool.

    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/2Oe6HUgrRlQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
  10. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2006
    Messages:
    37,987
    Likes Received:
    15,453
    OK, I just glanced through the article before. Yeah, erecting temples and talks of turning this church into a franchise is too much.
     
  11. Nook

    Nook Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    54,162
    Likes Received:
    112,759
    I agree with your sentiments.

    I do not think they are popular in the USA, as many Athiests feel like Haymitch. However I do know there are a couple in Illinois where I live now. It mostly seems to be a place where people with similar values can get together. I do know that some Athiests "want" to believe because they like the sense of belonging and community that organized religion brings.
     
  12. Major

    Major Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 1999
    Messages:
    41,410
    Likes Received:
    15,843
    Agreed - I don't see a problem with it. It's a bunch of people getting together and seemingly enjoying themselves. I don't see why getting together like that is any different than, say, a bunch of Rockets fans getting together to watch their team and talk about their opinions on it, etc.

    People crave interaction and community. I don't see why certain types are right or wrong. If they enjoy it and aren't hurting anyone, who cares?
     
  13. smr6

    smr6 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,972
    Likes Received:
    210
    There was an organization for athiests where I went to college. Every year they would set up a table and tell people to bring in their religious texts and they would trade them p*rn magazines for them.
     
  14. droopy421

    droopy421 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2010
    Messages:
    2,280
    Likes Received:
    184
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/w0sGN5wlfhs" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
  15. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 1999
    Messages:
    34,114
    Likes Received:
    13,514
    As an atheist, I wouldn't join such a group because I find I have very little in common with other atheists, especially the ones who would define themselves so strongly by their atheism that they'd actually attend a church for it.
     
  16. bongman

    bongman Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Messages:
    4,213
    Likes Received:
    1,411
    To congregate as atheist is not a bad thing. Every special interest group meet and organize so their views can be represented as a group. The Tea Party and NRA is very good when it comes to this and look how politically successful they have been.

    In order for a particular group to have a bigger voice and have some sort of political clout, you need to be organized. I don't agree with using the words sermon, preach and church for the group you just mentioned so I am 50/50 on this.
     
  17. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2002
    Messages:
    14,503
    Likes Received:
    1,831
    I guess before integration and emotional populism made mega-churches inevitable, church used to be about networking and social stratification on the cheap. So if you're at peace with the inevitable bleakness of death, but still want to sell some insurance, get elected to the school board or need some free, low-risk babysitting, then I can see how this would fit the bill.
     
  18. Invisible Fan

    Invisible Fan Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    Messages:
    43,333
    Likes Received:
    25,353
    Scientology is tax free.
     
  19. BamBam

    BamBam Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2003
    Messages:
    9,604
    Likes Received:
    9,758
    [​IMG]
    ..........
    ..........
    ..........
     

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now