Atheists’ Mega Church.

Several religious sites today carried a story about the group in England, basically two stand up comedians, who started a “church”.  The comedians developed a program for Sunday mornings that is mostly light hearted, but has intellectual content about secular life.

The enterprise was so successful, the couple has franchised it to several other places in England and here in Los Angeles. They intend to spread their concept far and wide.

The President of American Humanists, Roy Speckhardt, does not think the idea will go too far because, he says, atheists mostly don’t like to be involved in congregational life.  He might be right, but things are always changing.

A good question would be, if atheists are meeting Sunday mornings and enjoying programs, how would they be different from Unitarian Universalists?  One explanation is provided in the link.

The way I would explain it is that most of the UU church members share a similar idealism.  This idealism is acceptance of many religious perspectives, endorsement of peace as opposed to wars and world environmentalism.  I did not consult church documents for this, it’s just my impression.

An atheist/agnostic ”church” would, I believe, be more like liberatarians are in politics.  The are against government, but don’t seem to have a unifying theme of how to run things.

Members of an atheist “church” then might share the view they are not religious, but also  not care to join in the idealism of Unitarians.  They would assume each person held to his/her own idealism.

http://www.salon.com/2013/09/22/atheism_starts_its_megachurch_is_it_a_religion_now/

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
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13 Responses to Atheists’ Mega Church.

  1. yesterday I tried to leave a question: was Hitler attractive personality? could not see how to send it so I expect no better luck now.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Bill 12:40 Welcome Bill–You did indeed find your way successfully to this page.

      I’d like to introduce readers to my friend, Bill, perhaps our senior commenter at 97 years old. Bill lives now in St. Paul after most of his life here in Fargo.

      As to your question about Hilter as an attractive personality, I think the answer is yes. I think he presented himself in a likeable way. I heard an American who was in a German POW camp tell of a visit to the camp by Hitler. He said the stirring music and pagentry leading up to Hitler’s entrance into the camp so affected him he had to hold his arm to keep from doing the Hail Hitler salute.

      • entech says:

        Merriam Webster
        charisma: noun
        : a special charm or appeal that causes people to feel attracted and excited by someone (such as a politician).

        Could we be confusing attractive and attraction?

        Hitler certainly had the charisma, an idea that appealed at the time. Germany was in an awful state after losing the 1914-18 war and promises to restore the value of the – money; country; peoples self pride etc. was certainly attractive and as he had a way of holding attention and gaining the enthusiasm of his audience he was very successful. But I don’t think that you could say he was attractive in himself.

        Not to be confused with the other charismatics, same sort of thing really all kinds of promises but all with an ulterior motive.

    • Michael Ross says:

      I suppose Hitler had to be attractive to many but despised by many others. You could say the same of any politician, Barrack Obama, George W. Bush, Jon Lindgren.

      Mr. Truemann, Don’t know if you remember me, Mike Ross. I lived down 6th avenue when you owned Sunnyside apts. I was friends for many years with you sons, Dick and Bob. Still going strong at 97? Wow! Good for you.

  2. entech says:

    As a joke it seems OK to me, I think it has been going for a year or two. As a “franchise”, an organisation it is beyond a joke.
    Some people have better things to do on Sunday morning, I saw a picture of one church sign that said “lying in bed on Sunday morning calling out Oh god” is not going to church.

  3. Wanna B Sure says:

    I see today in the MSN news that Fargo ND is the most spiritual city in the US, with the highest numbers of church attendance. Looks like someone has their work cut out for them.

  4. David says:

    A little bizarre but perhaps it makes sense. I think attending church has a civilizing quality to it in that everyone is humbled by the idea that there are powers greater than them. Atheism has a certain amount of dogmatism to it that would lend itself well to congregating. I’m not sure that they would say that there is a higher power – probably nature itself or some would call it science. I think it’s a good thing.

  5. everett walker says:

    It seems like the most cheerful aspect of atheism would be the avoidance of deadly boring dead time spent in CHURCH. Funny thing though, skeptic churches are not a new thing. Jefferson wrote his own bible leaving out the miracles -considering them pure snake oil. A hundred years ago, a phrenologist visited this city and pronounced a local man a Religious Skeptic. He was promptly run out of town because the person so tagged was a local minister. A few months later, the preacher started a “Liberal” Church and attracted quite a large congregation of non-believers. A friend looked around for some sort of Atheist organization to join but found himself up against Unitarian Universalists and other Cultural-Communists and freedom haters who were every bit as noisome as the bible pounders who bullied him as a child.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      everett 12:03 Thank you for the first time post. Do post again.

      Your post reflects the truth of human experiences. The self taught sociologist and commentator, Eric Hoffer, said the two most boring kinds of people were those on either the very right or very left.

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