Skip to comments.UK's 'Atheist Church' Now Expanding to US, Australia
Posted on 09/17/2013 9:01:10 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
A godless congregation in London, which meets monthly on a Sunday "to hear great talks, sing songs and generally celebrate the wonder of life" with no hope of the hereafter, is launching satellite assemblies in over 20 cities across the U.K., the United States and Australia.
The Sunday Assembly, which came into existence about eight months ago, will announce on Sunday the formation of satellite congregations in more than 20 cities across Britain and beyond, including in New York, San Diego, Melbourne and Sydney, The Guardian reports.
The "godless congregation," as they describe themselves, plans to plant 40 atheist churches in one year, and as many as 1,000 worldwide within a decade.
The NYC chapter of the "godless church" plans to have its first meeting at Connolly's Pub in mid-town on Sept. 29, the group's website says.
Nick Spencer, research director of Theos, a think-tank, says the idea is not necessarily new. "This contemporary idea of people who are not religious but wanting to maintain some kind of church-like existence has got form. We've been here before," Spencer was quoted as saying.
The Sunday Assembly was founded by stand-up comedians Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans. "It's a service for anyone who wants to live better, help often and wonder more," says the website.
"We are born from nothing and go to nothing. Let's enjoy it together," says the Public Charter of the Assembly, which has "no doctrine... no set texts so we can make use of wisdom from all sources... no deity."
"We don't do supernatural but we also won't tell you you're wrong if you do," it adds. "Sometimes bad things happen to good people, we have moments of weakness or life just isn't fair. We want The Sunday Assembly to be a house of love and compassion, where, no matter what your situation, you are welcomed, accepted and loved."
"If we do it in London and there are 400 people who come, that's brilliant, but if we find a way to help hundreds of people to set one up then we can have a bigger impact than we could ever dream of," Jones tells the British daily, adding that their vision is "a godless gathering in every town, city or village that wants one."
A member of the assembly describes the nature of services, saying, "It's unashamedly copying a familiar Church of England format, so it's part of the collective consciousness."
"When I had the idea for this, I always thought if it was something I would like to go to in London then it was something other people would like to go to in other places," Jones says. "The one thing that we didn't take into account was the power of the internet, and I think even more than that, the fact that there is obviously a latent need for this kind of thing. People have always congregated around things that they believe in. I think people are going to look back at the fact that it didn't happen as the oddity, not this part."
Some members of the assembly want to set up a free school guided by the group's principles, raising the prospect "of Christians one day lying about being atheists to get their children into school," Jones adds.
How is this different from the Unitarian-Universalist “church”?
The thing that popped to mind was that verse “Forsake not the gathering together of the brethren.” (Heb 10:25). It seems that the desire to gather together must be hard-wired into our psyche.
Gee...WHO do you suppose did that?
D’oh. Haven’t we always said that Atheism and Global Warming is a “religion”!? I hate these crazy psychophants.
What does one do at an atheist church? Why, worship themselves and each other. It’s what secular humanists do.
The difference between Satanists and secular humanists?
One of them is honest about who he is working for.
I know some knotheads who’d fit right in to such a congregation.
I can’t even call the Unitarian buildings as a church, if they don’t believe in God and do not follow the Holy Bible then how on earth can they get away with being called a church and then get their tax free?
Just building where liberals go and talk about politics from what I;ve seen and heard.
RE: What do one do at an atheist church?
The first paragraph tells us what they’re doing there: “To hear great talks, sing songs and generally celebrate the wonder of life”
RE: I cant even call the Unitarian buildings as a church, if they dont believe in God and do not follow the Holy Bible then how on earth can they get away with being called a church and then get their tax free?
Unitarianism is a theological movement, named for its understanding of God as one person, in direct contrast to Trinitarianism, which defines God as three persons coexisting consubstantially as one being.
Thus, Unitarians contend that main-line Christianity does not adhere to strict monotheism as they do, maintaining that Jesus was a prophet, and in some sense the “son” of God, but not God himself.
According to Wikipedia, Five presidents of the United States were Unitarians: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Millard Fillmore, Thomas Jefferson, and William Howard Taft.
>> “According to Wikipedia, Five presidents of the United States were Unitarians: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Millard Fillmore, Thomas Jefferson, and William Howard Taft.” <<
Wikipedia often lies.
Both of the Adams were congregationalists. Jefferson is lied about more than any other president. His beliefs were fairly orthodox, but he recognized the many translational errors in the Greek MS of the New Testament, and he made many forays into correcting errors, which annoyed many of the powers that be in Christianity.
RE: John Adams
Wikipedia refers to this work:
James Grant (2006). John Adams: Party of One. Macmillan. p. 28. ISBN 9780374530235.
I quote from Wikipedia:
Young Adams went to Harvard College at age sixteen in 1751. His father expected him to become a minister, but Adams had doubts. After graduating in 1755 with an A.B., he taught school for a few years in Worcester, allowing himself time to think about his career choice. After much reflection, he decided to become a lawyer, writing his father that he found among lawyers noble and gallant achievements” but among the clergy, the “pretended sanctity of some absolute dunces.”
He later became a Unitarian, and dropped belief in predestination, eternal damnation, the divinity of Christ, and most other Calvinist beliefs of his Puritan ancestors. Adams then studied law in the office of John Putnam, the leading lawyer in Worcester.
What does an atheist “minister” say to his flock?
“Greetings, my fellow meaningless blobs of sheer cosmic accident randomly assembled by utter chance into loose formations of identifiable molecules!”
“Isn’t that in itself something to celebrate!!!?”
“Allright, you various assemblages of neurons, synaptic firings & received sensory stimuli, let’s SING!!!!!”