Why Do We Need Humanist Communities?

James Croft lays out a short list of important reasons Humanist communities are needed and welcome in our movement… despite our constant drive for independence. You can read his post for the full details but here are the bulletpoints:

  1. There is an unmet need. There is a dearth of values-based community spaces for non-theists.
  2. Atheists Need Space to Breathe. In a highly religious culture, community spaces with a non-theistic outlook provide atheists a chance to breathe deeply and discuss freely.
  3. Atheists Need a Space to Celebrate and Mourn. Many non-theists want the opportunity to recognize their marriage, mourn the loss of loved ones, and name children in a ceremony which reflects their deepest values.
  4. Atheist Have Existential Questions Too. [Nontheists] have few institutional spaces in which to explore these questions without pretending to believe something they do not.
  5. Atheists Also Have Kids. Many religious organizations focus huge efforts on education, knowing that providing childcare and Sunday School is a big draw for busy parents.
  6. We need to close the participation gap. Values-based communities seem to be important for the development of social capital.
  7. A Home Helps. Once you have your own space you can do so much more.

Would you change or add anything to his list?

In addition to his points there, James made the video below in which he elaborates on many of these ideas:

(image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.