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If someone was to start an atheist church, would you attend?

What would be doctrine? What would it's function be?
What would a leader of this church look like?
Robes, collection bucket, followers hierarchy?

Or would it be different than a traditional church? No organized hierarchy, no theme of do gooding, or some concept that falls outside of our traditional teachings.

I like the idea of community but what would the structure look like?

Akfishlady 8 Jan 21
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8

Athieism is nothing more than not having belief in a God/s I'm not sure how not doing something would have doctrine etc etc ...... what would a group of people not collecting tea pots look like? Who would be their leader?? Who would collect tithe for not collecting tea pots??

Bwahhh, ha ha.

Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was developed for Atheists to gain benefits that religions enjoy . They have their own clergy that was recently permitted to perform wedding , & a lot of their members wear colanders . They support the separation from Religion & Government , & so does TST , another Atheistic faction that is even more "hardcore".

@Douglas I always saw the fsm as a way of pointing out how ridiculous churches can be but I have to agree they do have a bible and it is hilarious

6

There are atheist churches called Sunday Assemblies. If there were one locally I would try it out. I could never become regular but it would be fun to find people with similar ideas. Jerry DeWitt has one such church in DeRidder, La. When I got out of religion, one thing I did miss was the fellowship. Now, not so much, but I would still try it on for size. DeWitt also wrote a book: "Hope After Faith: An Ex-Pastor's Journey from Belief to Atheism" which was worth reading.

[nytimes.com]

gearl Level 7 Jan 21, 2018

These stories where preachers become atheist activists are always interesting. They often face terrible backlash because of it. Saw one like this in an atheist doc a few years ago. Guy set up an atheist support community and he was in one of the Bible Belt states. He had been a TV preacher there. Very courageous. I admire people like this.

There is an Assembly in Pittsburgh PA every 3RD Sunday @ 10AM .

4

I had a friend who started and ran a secular monastery for a while. I visited there often on their "public" events and services. It was just about learning how to live a more sane and co-operative life, meditating, etc.

skado Level 9 Jan 21, 2018
4

Actually I might. I attended the local Unitarian church which certainly had a strong atheist/agnostic bent. I enjoyed the fellowship and the wide ranging conversation. Eventually it was co-opted by new age true believers & I left. I currently belong to the Humanist Association. While there is no real group here that I am aware of, their magazine advertises for a "celebrant" so there must be something church like somewhere. I could see attending for a look see.

4

What would it's purpose be? would we gather to say we don't worship a deity? Makes no sense. I would not go. It would be better to have educational classes deposing religious beliefs.

3

No. You use words, that, respectfully, I wouldn't wanted associated with atheism: church, doctrine, leader, robes, hierarchy, structure, traditional teachings. No, no. Anathema to freethinkers and non believers.

3

No. I would not attend. Doctrine, ideology, dogma? I do not wish to be a true believer in any ideology. An atheist organization should renounce all rites, robes, trappings, or "priestly class." The pur0pose of any atheist organization should be only to protect our rights, to socialize, and to pursue common goals.

3

Nah. I have a group of atheist friends on Facebook. We get together to go to bars and have house parties. I have no interest in any kind of church.

Kanda Level 5 Jan 21, 2018

I know those people!

@kauva yep. We should all get together soon. Celebrate 788 passing. ? I've been antisocial lately but need to get out more.

@Kanda the tulsa people still do. the OKC people suck more.

@kauva yeah I know. We all are too introverted here. ?

2

How about a society dedicated to advancing non-theistic political clout, a la @MrLink 's recent post? Or promoting critical thinking, logic, and science appreciation in our culture? In other words, a regular gathering the purpose of which is to organize the infiltration of society with our unholy agenda--like the miscreants we are?

No to robes, oaths, hierarchy. Yes to like-minded fellowship, common purpose, and affirmation of goals. I've tasted for myself how powerful that outlet for weekly social connectivity can be. It's hard to beat...

@Akfishlady I think we heathens have a common interest that's worth investing some effort in, and I think MrLink and AMGT both touched on it recently in different ways--that both point at influencing public policy. I keep hearing peeple round here say they don't want to be subjected to theistic laws...

2

Universal Unitarians do quite well with such a church.

2

I suspect this is a joke.. Though years back our local chapter of Am. Atheists had a representative from the IRS go over the details. Conclusion: we wouldn’t qualify, which was fine with me…

Her presentation was official, consisting of her answers being videotaped while assisted by two other agents. Our tax dollars hard at work 😀

Varn Level 8 Jan 21, 2018

@Akfishlady That’s great, and certainly no joke.. I’ve been ‘invited to join in’ with numerous charitable events and causes with various churches, and have felt bad that I couldn’t. I do have numerous volunteer organizations within my community, but we’re unusual like that.. It does seem as though we wander the streets alone 😕

I’d belonged to USA (united states atheists) back in Portland Oregon where we’d ‘adopted’ a section of Interstate to keep clean - got a sign designation and all! There are all those ‘Moose & Elk’ type organizations doing their things … instead of a religious affiliation, would/ could/ should we look into something like that..?

@VirginCotton Yes, it was a state law, the sign was a tribute to those keeping that section of road clean. Granted, we earned it! - litter cleanup along the freeway was death defying 😉

1

Hello. In Kansas City we have the Oasis Atheist group that meets every Sunday morning, kinda like church minus all the bs. We discuss important topics and enjoy good music. It's really a nice experience. If you are ever in KC let me know and we can check it out.

1

Here in NYC, both the Sunday Assembly and a later, oppositional Godless Revival quickly flourished then failed, several years ago.

The Sunday Assembly's touring producers plant shallowly but widely, depending on possible local long-term enthusiasm after they move on (just like evangelical "church planting," [en.wikipedia.org] ). Many major cities are a tough market because they already have secular social options, less dependent on churches. And NYC also already had several small and midsize freethought groups (including the one I'd founded in 2001).

Because there was already freethought community here, NYC especially hard for the Sunday Assembly.

The Sunday Assembly started well, with cheery services with a sense of humor; it even began in a bar space. But when its founding leaders wanted to find a more churchlike venue, and opposed acknowledging its atheists members or even referring to atheism, local leaders began competing meetings of the Godless Revival, "America's (and likely the world's) first atheist variety show. It is decidedly NOT a 'secular church.' The Godless Revival is entertainment; it is a show, not a service; those who attend are an audience, not a congregation." But it didn't last either, probably because of all the existing secular entertainment already here, activist and otherwise.

Some links:

The schism in NYC: [sandystrachan.wordpress.com]
The schism in NYC as told by CNN, [religion.blogs.cnn.com]
A British Sunday Assembly service: [spectator.co.uk]

1

A-theism doesn't need a church. No, I would not attend a church or group "developing a doctrine." I would attend groups of discussion and sharing, bringing in open-minded people and scientists, etc.

1

No.

I don't believe theist's claims about god. That's where my atheism ends.

It's not my philosophy or my way of life. I have a life and other interests, so why would I want to mimic religions?

1

Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is an Atheist religion , & so is T.S.T. , (The Satanic Temple ,) who's 7 Tenets I profess , for the most part . C.o.S. , (Church of Satin,) also professes Atheism , but they also profess an actual Satin Entity , not exactly Atheist . All have an agenda for absolute separation of religion from Government . There is also The Church of Euthanasia , for population 0 people .

Dougy Level 7 Jan 22, 2018
1

What a fun idea! We could be tax exempt and get federal funding for our "private" schools. The possibilities are endless. Every get together on my front porch counts as "service". Pass the wine. Ha ha ha.

gipsy Level 4 Jan 22, 2018
1

An atheist "church" with "doctrine"? That would be hypocritical. At best.

1

No, I wouldn't be in the least interested.

1

NO, I didnt like church as a kid when I believed.

1

No

0

This is a cartoon on my timeline from Facebook that includes 8 alternatives with their Key developers . Enjoy . . . Church of Satin , The Satanic Temple, Neo Luciferian Church, Temple of Set, Greater Church of Lucifer, Our Lady of Edor Coven, Order of Nine Angels, Fraternitus Saturni.

[facebook.com]

Dougy Level 7 Jan 22, 2018

Well, atheists don't believe in any spiritual beings. Wouldn't need a church of any mythical being.

0

no, it sounds just like religion

0

Certainly you could not call it a church. A foundation our an institute perhaps. And we couldn't just sit around and talk about how idiotic Christianity is. It would be like a resource center where members could identify problems in their communities and work together to provide real solutions. It would also have to promote science, the scientific method, logic and reason. Scholarships would be offered to local high schoolers with aptitude in the hard sciences. We would organize speakers to talk in local schools about the value of truth, the immutable laws of physics and the universe, and how medical science has dramatically changed the human experience for the better in just the last 120 years. And of course we would always stress how the quest for truth through scientific method is responsible for the accumulation of knowledge that makes all those advances possible. And we would have Ted Talks styled speakers come in to speak on reason, atheism and ethics. And we would fundraise for candidates that are committed to a high standard of ethics and professionalism, and the strict separation of church and state. We also do smoked meats and cheeses on the weekends, scuba and snorkel trips in the winter, and poker and darts league on Thursday nights.

Hey, you've been listening to the atheist groups out there. They do all of that.

0

Looking like a "church" is the furthest thing from my mind. Like I said in another thread, we need to stop pining for our past lives and move on. Yes, we're social creatures, so if that's what you need, join a choir, adopt a road, join a chess club, volunteer, etc. Emulating the social structure of church life just isn't in my future...

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