Sunday, 30 December 2012

Atheist Church Could Be A Foot-Stompin' Good Time

Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans.
Remember that guy Alain de Botton?  He's the guy who proposed Atheism 2.0 at TED awhile back - Atheism with a twist of religious ritual, but not really Humanism.  Remember the Atheist Temple he proposed building in the middle of London awhile back that sort of stirred up a mixed bag of responses from the atheist community (read: general furor)?

Well, little more than a year later, someone else is proposing pretty much the same thing - okay, probably not that much the same thing.  This new proposal by stand up comedian Sanderson Jones might just work - and it is likely to be a whole lot more fun.  Then again, I don't believe I've ever actually seen one of Sanderson's routines.

Take a look at this story from the Islington Gazette: Stand Up Comedians Launch UK's First Atheist Church In Islington
News of the church, which will meet on the first Sunday of every month starting with a service on the Feast of Epiphany on January 6, comes after the census results revealed last week that nearly one in three residents are atheists.
And this isn't just a bunch getting together every second Saturday of the month for some pints at their local sports bar (not that there's anything wrong with that).  There's going to be plenty of music to compete with those Theist churches.
He continued: “It’s part atheist church and part foot-stomping show. There will be a speaker on a theme each month but there will also be an awesome house band, which Pippa will lead. We’ll be helping people try and stick to their new year’s resolutions in the first service.”
At least one local religious authority seems to be taking this whole thing a tad too seriously.

But the Rev Saviour Grech, Catholic parish priest of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Church in Amwell Street, Finsbury, said: “How can you be an atheist and worship in a church? Surely it’s a contradiction of terms. Who will they be singing to? 
“It is important to debate and engage with atheists but for them to establish a church like any other religious denomination is going too far. I’m cautious about it

Yeah!  Those Atheists coming onto our turf is going too far.  Maybe he's afraid the servies will be more funny than his - then what?

Part of me still wonders if this is for real or if it's a stunt.  If it is real then it could be fun.

In other news: Stanford Gets Chaplan For Atheists.

3 comments:

  1. I think that guy of the Atheist church has some sense to ponder but it might be called a congregation as well. One reason why Atheists, Humanists and like minded people are not widespread is the lack of fellowship though one may say that some have meet ups or meetings but still these are not enough. We should try and copy the works of religious people like creating "churches", schools, hospitals, banks,radio & Television Stations all in the name of free thought.

    In Uganda where i come from, many people have secular ideas and thinking and are just silent, others actually dont know that they are humanists or atheists but the questions they pose to me is when they join now the secular world, who will attend to them when a child is born, when they want to marry or when they lose a relative.. and indeed these services are lacking in the country... we just need to be strong on this to train celebrants and initiate active congregations then at the end of the day, our numbers will go to great heights.

    I agree with the idea of setting up institutions where secular minded people can congregate and discuss things that matter.

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  2. Thanks for your wonderful comment, Bwambale. I agree completely.

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  3. And Happy New Year to you, your family, friends and the school students and staff!

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