Does this work the other way around…?

This whole eBay experience has been one of an atheist visiting Christian churches. This often begs the question of whether there are any Christians who have gone to atheist gatherings to see what goes on there. Has anyone done this to learn about what atheists believe?

I’m sure someone must have… but I haven’t spoken to anyone who has yet. I’m not referring to someone who was raised without religion and then became a Christian. I’m talking about someone who had never attended atheist functions but chose to go to meetings or conferences in order to learn more about them. If anyone has, please share your experience!

I came back from the Freethought Advance in Talladega, Alabama yesterday. One of the many highlights was a softball game where all the participants received a prize for playing. The prize: A “Godless” dollar. This being a one-dollar bill from 1935, before the money had “In God We Trust” printed on it. Good times. :)

Incidentally, Slate posted a piece on Barack Obama’s faith speech, also expressing a positive reaction to it.

[tags]eBay, atheist, Christian, churches, Barack, Obama, Freethought, Advance, Talladega, Alabama[/tags]

  • Marty

    I am a Christian and have attended the Santa Barbara Humanist Association four or so times. It meets monthly and has about 60 or so normally in attendence. They have had some excellent Professor type speakers (last was a professor of Islamic Studies who spoke on the Muslim faith another was a science professor who spoke on evolution/creationism) and the gal who is the new Atheist lobbyist in Washington DC spoke – unfortunately I missed her.

    As it turns out – two of my friends are a part of this group. I have reached out to the primarly interface between this group and the community and we are working on developing a local Christian/Atheist Dialogue and I feel are quite comfortable and respectful of each other.

    I found the professor of science who spoke on evolution/creation very boring. I am totally bored with the subject. I wish that both Christians and Atheists would give up the good fight and spend there time on something that would make a positive difference in the world. Whether evolution is corrrect or creation is correct or some third thing is correct would make absolutely no difference in helping make me a better person or help me make the world a better place.

    I plan to continue to attend the Humanist Society meetings, build my relationships with its members and am very much interested in moving Christian/Atheist dialogue beyond the blogisphere and into personal relatationships. Additionally, we are in discussion of the Humanists and Christians having a work day together at a local Habitat for Humanity project.

  • Helen aka Ir

    I took a UU course a few years ago, when I was going to a church whose beliefs are pretty much the same as Parkview’s. The view of Jesus presented in the course was very different from my own church’s view. Does that count?

    Here’s something I wrote about it for the local newspaper:

    Caught Between Two Views of Jesus

  • jim

    wasnt there a link to a discussion like this on otmathiest site .

    What about Esther who attended UU – I know its not atheist – but for Cs it is almost as bad :-)

  • Ken Fleck

    Hi Hemant,

    You have a great blog…thank you for sharing your views! I really appreciate your willingness to investigate other faiths, specifically christian churches in light of your views. While I hold a strong faith in Christ and actively share my faith, I have learned so much from visiting a mosque and dialoguing with muslims as well as going to a Mormon ward and talking to their missionaries. These experiences have helped me to learn more about these different faiths and foster more discussion. In addition, these experiences have strengthened my faith in God as Creator, Jesus as Savior, and the Bible as the Word of God and a great place for finding truth.

    Thank you again for the great discussion and I wish you well on your journey.


    Ps. You and anyone else on here, whatever you belief, are welcome to my church to investigate God anytime at here in the OC, california.

  • Hemant

    Ken– That’s a great story. Thanks for sharing. It’d be great if more people followed your path and explored other faiths first-hand

  • Caitlin Wright

    II don’t know what story im replying to but that’s not why I am here. I need to ask questions, I need to know. What is it like to be an athiest? How can you feel fulfilled? i am a 14 year old girl, and never ahve felt so strongly in God in my life. I was always brought up as a catholic bbut I still didnt feel special because I really hadnt become serious about God. Then 2 years ago my life became more stressed and I had to face God Myself. I thought I’d “give it a shot” and talk to God. I was skeptikal because I believed a prayer would be wasted. But I prayed to God, and as minutes past and I continued to spill my problems to him, I suddenly felt lighter, my heart began to lift. I could’nt explain it I just felt like soemone lifted my head up as to say “I am listening.” And I kept talking to god all night long until I fell asleep finally. I wake up and I feel the same joy I felt last night. It felt like a dream, but It was so very real. I then relieazed I was happy. I felt fullfilled, because I was sincere about my relationship with someone and something. Over time I became stronger and to this day I feel the joy I felt that one night very morning when I wake up. I know it was the act of God because my life has been filled with only true acts of god. Recently my dad was deployed to Iraq, has been there for 6 months. He’s doing great and absolutely has had some protection from above.This Summer eevry time I think about my dad and bow my head for a quick desperate prayer, I feel a breeze against me. I just know it. God Exists. It seems that hes always listening.
    Wouldn’t you want that?