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Non-Religious Church?

I hate going to church. Just the idea of attending makes me cringe. I was forced to go to my parent's church as a young adult up until the time I was eighteen years old. Recently I have been thinking about the idea of church as a way to meet someone who has good qualities, but I know that I won't be one to attend any church/religion. And getting involved with a woman who is a church-goer will undoubtedly be an issue for a relationship. So do any non-religious churches exist?

NaturalBornCynic 6 Mar 14
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26 comments

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8

Yes, sort of. Unitarian churches, or Unitarian Universalist churches are out there. I heard the officiant say it was a "church for people who've been hurt by churches" which appealed to me. They had a service led by Wiccan's which amused me. There are satanic temples which aren't really churches as much as anti Christian gatherings.

6

Unitarian Universalist is a free belief community. And not Christian beliefs. Probably won’t find a Christian in most. My father was Atheist (he passed 4 years ago) and was very active in the UU community. Even designed and built the main building for the El Paso UUC. And as a guy, all the single straight women will notice you.

I am a Pagan UU with a lively group of like-minded souls.

I was president of the Garland, TX UU that is “Earth Centered” AKA Pagan and am friends with many of the CUUP’s members.

Very intriguing that last comment. Thanks for the tip!

5

Unitarian Universalist Church or Meetup.com to meet someone.

this one is interesting!

4

I joined the Unitarian Society. It is a good fit. It provides the benefits of community with lots of smart people but no requirement to believe in god(s). Most people are atheist. This choice has been beneficial.

SKH78 Level 8 Mar 15, 2018
4

Humanist Society. They have local groups that often own community centers or meeting places.

[thehumanistsociety.org]

I have a major cynical and depressive streak, which makes me more of a misanthropic athiest, than a free thinking Humanist. It seems like a nauseatingly optimistic group. Also, I like to sleep in Sundays, and they are 30 miles from me.

More importantly, if you hate church and church community because of it's churchiness not because it's theistic, something like the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix won't help. It might be non-theistic, but it's still a church, and you'll hate it.

3

I go to a UU church. They are not religious like the churches I grew up in. They recognize that most of their members are non-believers and liberal. I enjoy the services. The pastor is a very good speaker and the people are really nice. They even had a singer doing the song "Ain't Necessary So" a couple of weeks ago. If you're not familiar with it, look up the lyrics.

I looked them up online and found them here in town, but their website makes it sound like they are preachy. I'm not looking to attend a place where I sit in a group with others and listen while someone preaches to me. I'd prefer a more casual setting where there is a conversation amongst everyone.

@NaturalBornCynic
You asked for non-religious churches. I don't think that's what you're looking for.
You might try here
[meetup.com]

3

I have toyed with the idea of building a country style Church on my farm and using it for people like us to get together for our own brand of Bible Study as well as to socialize. There are a lot of Free Thinkers and other such groups in most states and I am planning to join the one I know about in the city 1.5 hourse from me. That could be an option for you as well.

2

If your ever in Atlanta we have the Atlanta Freethought Hall, 4775 N. Church Lane NE
Atlanta, GA

It's and old church built in 1866 that was purchased by the Atlanta Freethought Society back in 2011 and restored as a meeting place for atheists and freethinkers. They have some excellent public speakers there.

Roman Level 4 Mar 15, 2018
2

I do not know but I think it's a great idea. To be able to find like-minded folks and be social in life. To come together to help one another and give strength where needed. Love it.

2

Join non-religious themed groups if you like to hike, join a trail group. Show dogs, biker club meal kitchen, etc.

1

A number of people have suggested your friendly local UU congregation. I have mixed feelings about mine. On the plus side they are openly accepting of atheists / agnostics. On the minus side they seem to have substituted religious ideology with political ideology. Even though I'm politically liberal, I don't feel comfortable with the rabid activism they tend to promote.

This is, in fairness, a characteristic of my local congregation, not necessarily of UU congregations generally.

I also have had very unpleasant online interactions with a guy who claims to be a UU high muck-a-muck from a large southern city who comes off every bit as arrogant and opinionated as any theist I've met. Here again ... a sample of one but at least proof that people are people wherever you go 😉

My wife and I are exploring the social events sponsored by our local UU congregation as a way of meeting new people. I don't have high expectations of it, but it's an avenue to explore.

Other options include humanist associations and so-called "sunday assemblies" of atheists, but there are none of those less than about 75 minutes drive from us, so it's not going to happen. We just don't care THAT much.

1

In st. louis we have the ethical society that meets every sunday for "service". Might try to find them in your area.

1

You have "United States Atheist " in Portland, Oregon....They even may know of an Atheist group near your town.

1

Why, instead of "non-religious churches" you don't visit local Atheist Meetups?

1

I dislike the idea of a non-religious church but they do exist. Perhaps I have this dislike because theists will claim atheism is "just another religion" if you go to one of these. I would never attend them but "to each his own."

1

Isnt it a similar thing? can't you go to a bar or a game or maybe a museam or something?

of course you can and its also there for those that want a sing song and to note what is important about being in a large like minded group all doing their own free thing I do it very occasionally when I feel in a mood for humanist interaction and congregating . Apart from anything else its funny too and makes me smile .

it's all good then.

1

I was thinking the same thing just a few days ago. it'd be nice to go to a non-religious church...I wonder if one could be set up and have tax exempt status - probably not...but a good idea. like have a church that is on your property...with a pool table and bar - like an atheist cave

It already exists. [thehumanistsociety.org] It won't make you happy if you're a Nietzschean or nihilist atheist.

I like this idea. I'm not looking to hang out in a church like setting or listen to anyone preach. Some sense of community and socialization would be awesome.

@NaturalBornCynic Ahahahahaha!

1

Is this what you're looking for? [patheos.com]

Thanks for that link!

0

...sounds as silly as non-alcoholic beer to me...haha

0

Without being rude , why do you need a church of any sort ? Pub , Club, or similar is not a bad way to socialise . if you think that a churchgoer has good 'qualities' (whatever they are ) ,I,m afraid youare sadly mistaken .

0

Waste of time and a terrorist P.O.I we have to use our advantage of fluidity via individual education and social media. Not become a target. Like Isis having a HQ. Won't last long but by educating the masses by videos, books, songs and such we can become incorporeal.

0

I think the best you might do is a nondenominational church liek the Unitarians, s far as churches go.

You may have better luck looking at meetup.com for local atheist/agnostic/humanist groups in yourt area. I belogn to mee4tup.com, but have yet to go to an atheist group. I do stuff with hiking groups and the local "craft beer" group. You can search groups for any interests, activities or hobbies you might be interested in.

Meetup.com pretty mucy satisfies most of my social needs that used to be fulfilled via chrch fuctions.

0

I don't think it would work. What do they do in church? Constantly reinforce religious beliefs by retelling religious stories over an over. They try to teach their followers how to behave by the example of other religious faces. Atheists do not need our views reinforced and would not accept being told how to behave. My adivece is to find a group that caters to your interests. Hiking/kite flying/wine tasting/book reading/whatever. There will automatically be people there who share your interests.

0

The word 'Church' is a religious term. Can we please not use this term in relation to non religious communities. I understand the intent here and the idea behind it, people coming together with a common view. But I would never associate with a nonreligious group who called themselves a church. Not only that, it plays into the hands of religionists who attempt to call atheism a 'religion' as a way to suggest we are the same as them. This question has come up before, I think more than once, and I've said this before. Kind of repetitive.

Thanks for the positive input.

Well then perhaps answer the question as opposed to repeating yourself?

@DerekFuiten it was an answer. And why have you added a question mark to your comment, which was not a question?

I grew up in El Paso and they called the UU a community. But I’d get confused looks when I’d say I was going to the community on Sunday. When I moved to Dallas, I had a hard time with them calling the UU’s, churches. But I think it’s more to blend in.

0

For me it's been a good bar. I have met more real people being real in bars more than anyplace else. I realize that doesn't work for everyone.

I have a real low tolerance for drunk people, though I do enjoy a good beer and meaningful conversation.

@NaturalBornCynic I don't like drunks either. Fortunately at my age the bar I play in a lot and hang out in is primarily an older crowd. There only a couple of people who get that drunk. The average age in this town is 55.

@NaturalBornCynic Any Real Ale groups near you?

@smoyle No mainly BenGay and patchouli oil groups. 🙂

@smoyle None that am aware of.

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