My latest column is now up on AlterNet, Why People Are Flocking to a New Wave of Secular Communities: Atheist Churches. In it, I report on the Sunday Assembly and other so-called atheist churches now gaining in visibility and prominence: what they’re all about, what’s driving their growth, and what benefits they offer us. Read the excerpt below, then click through to see the rest:
As the broader atheist community becomes larger and better organized, secularists and freethinkers have shown increasing interest in gathering together with likeminded people. Atheist community isn’t a brand-new phenomenon; there have long been local meetups as well as regional and national conventions, like Skepticon, the giant free conference that takes place every year in Springfield, Missouri, or the Reason Rally, the nationwide gathering of atheists and humanists on the National Mall in March 2012. But many of these conferences are focused on activism and political mobilization, and as necessary as those are, they don’t appeal to everyone.That’s why, in just the last few months and years, we’re witnessing a new wave of secular communities – atheist churches, if you insist – whose focus is on doing good, living well and appreciating the wonder and beauty of the world without recourse to archaic mythology.