Over the weekend, Gillian Flaccus wrote an article for the Associated Press about the rise of atheist megachurches — a phrase that’s been used before — that it’s worth taking a second to step back and discuss what that actually means.
Nearly three dozen gatherings dubbed “atheist mega-churches” by supporters and detractors have sprung up around the U.S. and Australia — with more to come — after finding success in Great Britain earlier this year. The movement fueled by social media and spearheaded by two prominent British comedians is no joke.
According to Christianity Today, a megachurch is defined as “a church with an average weekly attendance of 2,000 or greater.”
I know of only one atheist gathering in the past decade that’s been attended by that many people: The Reason Rally. Everything else pales in comparison.
What you have now are local atheist gatherings that bring together anywhere from a few dozen people to a few hundred people — many of them, I suspect, will be one-time events — and that’s enough for the media to dub them “megachurches”? It makes absolutely no sense.