Tuesday, June 17, 2008


What is it about the human species that makes us long for community, especially a faith based community. I remember growing up my mother regretted not taking my sister and I to church because we were not part of a youth group where we could meet other kids. Even as an adult, I wonder where people meet each other and the church idea always pops into my head. But I cant go to a place to be singled out by a bunch of believers, I wont meet the kinds of people that I have something in common with. Then I think, "maybe I can join some kind of atheist group." I think that and then I feel like we are stealing the idea of a non-faith based community from the theists. It gets a bit confusing. Can there really be a church for atheists? I know there are groups out there, but are we copying them because we want something they have? I like meeting and talking to other atheists, but amongst ourselves we have so many different beliefs. Would there be service type non-worship? Or would we just sit around talking about how the christians are wrong? That seems so negative. Maybe we could just sit in each others company knowing that we have this one thing in common. I dont know, but being the only person in town with a Darwin Fish on the back of my car makes me feel strange. I do long for a community of atheists, I just have to find the right group.


Faithinate said...

I don't think there's anything wrong with holding meetings with other atheists; we're not "stealing" any ideas from the Christians...lots of people meet up for all kinds of reasons, because they have at least a single thing in common. Boating, knitting, mothering, environmentalism, art, wine, etc etc...why not atheism too? And I've never been to an atheist meeting (I should remedy that this year), but I expect that there's more to it than bashing Christians. Believing that this is our only life really opens up the room for anything, because I expect it's a life appreciation group. Let's talk food! Travel! Relationsihps! Photography! Hell, anything.

And if you're looking for a date, my brother Praisenull's single...(heh, atheist blind date!)

SecularEarth.com said...

Very good post. I have this same need. I have even attended a few meetups but they seem to have the negative god bashing thing going on. I am in a few online communities but you really don't get to know people there. I have even thought about Humanism but am still am but a little undecided and I dont really get the unitarian church as I don't wish to belong to anything called a "church".

You are completely correct that atheists have so many differences and that is the problem. With people of faith the religion is a major part of their lives, it is sometimes there entire purpose. As atheist we have none of this. Lack of a god belief is a hard thing to have in common. Nobody sits around and discusses lack of other beliefs. Atheists have separated themselves from the most important thing in many peoples lives and we have nothing to replace it.

All of this makes me realize that religion consumes far to much time and energy for far too many people. Redirecting this energy could do wonders.

praiseNull said...

Oddly enough I don't think atheism is a good basis for a community. At least in my experience it seems to be largely implemented as being ant-Christian (or at least anti-the-prevailing-local-religion). In our blog the topics always seem to be anti-Christian by default. When your overall theme is "no god" then there is a hell of a lot of room for diversity and not much necessarily to unify.

However that's not a knock on atheism. You don't need God for a community. Pick something more focused and positive to form a community around like skiing, hiking, quilting, stamp collecting, whatever. Just go out and do something you enjoy and meeting people becomes natural. Or at least available. I can be pretty bad at starting and maintaining conversations, but when I get out and do something there are other people with similar interests around.

Godlessness is not a basis for a community but is certainly no barrier to one. Just pick a secular activity around which to focus gatherings. You can even rub shoulders with the "faithful", many of whom are "religious" by default but actually are secular most of the time.

Hey, my sister is pimping me out. I guess somebody has to!

Anonymous said...

No, its alternative Xtianity is just A Lie, I don't know, don't even think, if I can once again see
as my own responsibility, whatever God exists or not, & whereby any lawyer's like yourselves meanwhile absolutely welcome, pls., to take
'IT' up with me, so that I can of course tell you & e.g. help myself find out, what a purpose is (all about), greetings, 'J.A.,' Ifound-

Faithinate said...

I just clicked on the "Next Blog" link from your page, and got:

Living with Llamas (http://livinwithllamas.blogspot.com/)

"Our purpose is to make Jesus Christ known among the Quechua in the Andes of Peru. Follow us on our journey up the mountain. Oh yeah, and llamas."

They have an Unreached People of the Day area on the page (today it's the Gelao of China, pop 689,000, 0.09% Evangelical...so please pray for them.)

I thought this ironic, if nothing else.