Atheist “mega-churches” take root across U.S., world
Posted: 11 November 2013 11:55 AM   [ Ignore ]
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http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57611751/atheist-mega-churches-take-root-across-u.s-world/

This seems a bit odd to me, but whatever. People like ritual and congregation. I don’t really, but lots of people do. More power to them. And if any of ‘em happen to need a trombone player as part of a Sunday service, I’d be happy to sit in.

I guess I have a cynical streak - but I hope this “atheist megachurch” thing brings more light to more people of the ridiculousness of the current religion tax-exemption system in the U.S.

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Posted: 11 November 2013 12:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 11 November 2013 11:55 AM

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57611751/atheist-mega-churches-take-root-across-u.s-world/

This seems a bit odd to me, but whatever. People like ritual and congregation. I don’t really, but lots of people do. More power to them. And if any of ‘em happen to need a trombone player as part of a Sunday service, I’d be happy to sit in.

I guess I have a cynical streak - but I hope this “atheist megachurch” thing brings more light to more people of the ridiculousness of the current religion tax-exemption system in the U.S.

Right, I just hope they can be tax exempt and then use the money to campaign politically like the real churches do.

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Posted: 11 November 2013 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Do they serve beer?

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Posted: 11 November 2013 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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VYAZMA - 11 November 2013 12:08 PM
TromboneAndrew - 11 November 2013 11:55 AM

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57611751/atheist-mega-churches-take-root-across-u.s-world/

This seems a bit odd to me, but whatever. People like ritual and congregation. I don’t really, but lots of people do. More power to them. And if any of ‘em happen to need a trombone player as part of a Sunday service, I’d be happy to sit in.

I guess I have a cynical streak - but I hope this “atheist megachurch” thing brings more light to more people of the ridiculousness of the current religion tax-exemption system in the U.S.

Right, I just hope they can be tax exempt and then use the money to campaign politically like the real churches do.

They don’t need an actual church or church-like organization to get a tax exemption.  The Center for Inquiry, the American Humanist Associaton, the Freedom from Religion Foundation and many others are eligible for non-profit status, which works out close to what churches get. I can’t see atheists going to anything church-like once the novelty wears off. Atheist “churches” will be just as empty and forlorn as Christian churches are right now.

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Posted: 11 November 2013 12:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Lois - 11 November 2013 12:20 PM

They don’t need an actual church or church-like organization to get a tax exemption.  The Center for Inquiry, the American Humanist Associaton, the Freedom from Religion Foundation and many others are eligible for non-profit status, which works out close to what churches get. I can’t see atheists going to anything church-like once the novelty wears off. Atheist “churches” will be just as empty and forlorn as Christian churches are right now.

TED talks seems to be doing well. They’re basically similar.

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Posted: 11 November 2013 12:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Lois - 11 November 2013 12:20 PM

I can’t see atheists going to anything church-like once the novelty wears off. Atheist “churches” will be just as empty and forlorn as Christian churches are right now.

I kind of agree with you.
But there are lot’s of christian churches which are neither empty nor forlorn. Lots of ‘em.

Who knows? Maybe this will take off.  I would definitely like to see it take off.

Things are generational.  Perhaps the later gens are longing for these type outlets. Plus the hordes of older, enthusiastic people who
enjoy this type of fellowship.

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Posted: 11 November 2013 12:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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DarronS - 11 November 2013 12:15 PM

Do they serve beer?

Did Louis Armstrong play jazz? :D

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Posted: 11 November 2013 05:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Hey, back from a brief hiatus to do some reading, research and back away from the forum for a while. Now, on the subject of atheist churches (I read the article too) isn’t that an oxymoron? I mean, that’s the very thing we strove to break away from right? The xtians accuse us of forming a “belief” from nonbelief and we throw gas on the fire by creating a “church? Here’s an alternative, how about a skeptic meeting, symposium, or whatever you wish to call it, held at a university to discuss current issues dealing with oh, say global warming, genetically altered food, nuclear power, population control, soft energy and other topical issues. Besides, most colleges have comfortable chairs, better than benches, and we could serve cookies and coffee right in the meeting room. Hell, we could even have a wet bar. Sorry, no sacrificial wine allowed though. And screw those see through wafers. We could substitute Oreos. just a thought. Or we coud just pour out our thoughts here in the CFI virtual meeting room.

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Posted: 11 November 2013 07:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 11 November 2013 05:41 PM

Hey, back from a brief hiatus to do some reading, research and back away from the forum for a while. Now, on the subject of atheist churches (I read the article too) isn’t that an oxymoron? I mean, that’s the very thing we strove to break away from right? The xtians accuse us of forming a “belief” from nonbelief and we throw gas on the fire by creating a “church? Here’s an alternative, how about a skeptic meeting, symposium, or whatever you wish to call it, held at a university to discuss current issues dealing with oh, say global warming, genetically altered food, nuclear power, population control, soft energy and other topical issues. Besides, most colleges have comfortable chairs, better than benches, and we could serve cookies and coffee right in the meeting room. Hell, we could even have a wet bar. Sorry, no sacrificial wine allowed though. And screw those see through wafers. We could substitute Oreos. just a thought. Or we coud just pour out our thoughts here in the CFI virtual meeting room.

Cap’t Jack

Welcome back, Jack. 

We not only have this virtual meeting room, we also have many actual ones.  As you probably know, CFI’s building in LA has meetings of all kinds going on every week and the American Humanist Association also has meetings going on in most cities in the US. Sometimes we have wine, beer and food, too, but not the ritual variety.

Lois

[ Edited: 12 November 2013 05:50 AM by Lois ]
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Posted: 11 November 2013 08:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Unfortunately that’s something I can only envy. I’m over two hours from the closest groups in our area. Being at the top of the buckle of the bible belt, it’s difficult to find like minds, but I’ll keep looking and maybe start a group here if I can manage to keep the burning crosses off my lawn.

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Posted: 12 November 2013 05:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 11 November 2013 08:00 PM

Unfortunately that’s something I can only envy. I’m over two hours from the closest groups in our area. Being at the top of the buckle of the bible belt, it’s difficult to find like minds, but I’ll keep looking and maybe start a group here if I can manage to keep the burning crosses off my lawn.

Cap’t Jack

Maybe one of those groups could help you get something started closer to home. I understand about the burning crosses, though. They can be off-putting.

Lois

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Posted: 12 November 2013 09:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Maybe one of those groups could help you get something started closer to home. I understand about the burning crosses, though. They can be off-putting.

I’ve never thought of that Lois but it’s worth a try even though they exist in a neighboring state.


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Posted: 29 November 2013 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Interestingly, I attended an interfaith meeting (I attend a Unitiarian Universalist congregation) and most of the attendees were from a local episcopal congregation and several of them said they attend mostly for the “community.” One older man, 85, admitted to being atheistic. I was surprised to hear this…I know the Unitirian Universalist have many atheist members and generally do not focus on “one god,” but it’s interesting that there are those who hold the same sentiments in more traditional religous communities…they’re attached to the tradition, the community and friends.

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Posted: 30 November 2013 12:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 11 November 2013 05:41 PM

Hey, back from a brief hiatus to do some reading, research and back away from the forum for a while. Now, on the subject of atheist churches (I read the article too) isn’t that an oxymoron? I mean, that’s the very thing we strove to break away from right?

Sorry I’ve gotten away from my own thread. I’ve been busy.

I’m not sure if this is the case, that Churches are what atheists have strove to break away from. In the sense of breaking away from an obvious falsehood perpetuated by social convention, yes. But people like to get together and celebrate life, and Church communions definitely do that. Communing with no false pretenses - I have absolutely no problem with that.

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Posted: 30 November 2013 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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TA:

I’m not sure if this is the case, that Churches are what atheists have strove to break away from. In the sense of breaking away from an obvious falsehood perpetuated by social convention, yes. But people like to get together and celebrate life, and Church communions definitely do that. Communing with no false pretenses - I have absolutely no problem with that.

As I have said here many times religion is basically about social organization;  building communities, networking, providing social mores to keep people honest and helpful to one another; etc.  I have long worried that by destroying religion; which for many of us seems to be the goal, we are not destroying one of the most important civilization building tools.  IMO if we wish to be more than the village atheist and genuinely attempt to improve the world we live in, we need the type of social organization that these new “atheist churches” are attempting to build.  No one individual can change the world by themselves.  You don’t need a belief in supernatural powers to do so but you do need other humans.

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Posted: 30 November 2013 12:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Sorry I’ve gotten away from my own thread. I’ve been busy.

I’m not sure if this is the case, that Churches are what atheists have strove to break away from. In the sense of breaking away from an obvious falsehood perpetuated by social convention, yes. But people like to get together and celebrate life, and Church communions definitely do that. Communing with no false pretenses - I have absolutely no problem with that.

I wouldn’t mind communing with skeptics at all. Hell, I’ve never been in a roomful of them so I wouldn’t even know how to act! At most there were four of us and a few kids asking pointed questions about religion. What I can’t even envision is an atheist “mega-church” with a dogma and a mindless ritual to perform at every meet up. I can picture us putting our hands on a copy of The Descent of Man while chanting Darwin’s (or Wallace’s, take your pick) name in unison or some such blather. I just don’t like the idea of nonbelievers parroting the established New Age mega-feel good Joel Oosteen garbage. Call me a curmudgeon but I’d like to see more seminars showcasing Tyson, Plait, hawks, Dawkins, and Dennet to name a few and the venue could be anywhere from a building with stained glass windows to the basement of the local Moose Lodge. I do have an ideal place in mind though, the Cathedral of Learning on Pitt’s campus has some exxxxxxcellent rooms for just such an occasion if you’re looking for atmosphere. They have classrooms created by various nations and time periods. Talk about ambience. Especially the British room. The fire back was donated by Parliament and dates to Queen Elizabeth, but I digress. Darwin could have taught in that room. Now that would be one hellova place to commune. I know, dream on MacDuff.


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