Atheist PACs

Atheists are getting organized politically, to the point of forming a Political Action Committee that will endorse candidates, give them money, and organize grass-root support for their campaigns.   Already the PAC, known as the Freethought Equality Fund, has endorsed four Congressional candidates. [Read more...]

Churches, sects, denominations, and non-denominations

Sociologist of religion Peter Berger (an ELCA Lutheran) discusses the phenomenon of the Sunday Assembly, which we blogged about yesterday.  He said the fact that atheists too are gathering together following the pattern of religious activities demonstrates the almost universal human need to worship (or the equivalent) and to join together with others who hold common religious or philosophical convictions.

In the course of his discussion, he draws on older sociologists who distinguish between different kinds of religious institutions:  a church (which a person is born into) and a sect (which a person chooses to join).  Such a distinction, it seems to me, grows out of the European state church.  American religion, according to Dr. Berger, has added the concept of the denomination, which a person may be born into or choose freely to join.  Dr. Berger further says that denominations of one sort or another–in the sense of “a community of value, religious or otherwise,” have become inevitable in America, extending even to atheists.

After the jump, read his argument and some questions I have about “non-denominational” churches.  [Read more...]

Sunday Assembly

If you were travelling through Dallas, Chicago , Nashville, Grand Rapids, or other cities in America, Great Britain, or Australia, you might come across a congregation called Sunday Assembly.  That would not be what it sounds like, some offshoot of the Assembly of God.  This is an assembly of atheists.   They meet on Sundays in congregations for singing (not hymns, of course, but songs like “Lean on Me” and “Imagine”), teaching, and fellowship.

We’ve blogged about this before, talking about the group’s liturgy (in fact, the Sunday Assembly website links to our post in the “about” section).  After the jump, see the denomination’s 10-point creed. [Read more...]

Lack of belief as an identity

Brendan O’Neill himself does not believe in God, but he has written a piece entitled How atheists became the most colossally smug and annoying people on the planet – Telegraph Blogs.  After rehearsing the various ways atheists have become obnoxious, he offers a rather penetrating analysis of why that is:

So, what’s gone wrong with atheism? The problem isn’t atheism itself, of course, which is just non-belief, a nothing, a lack of something. Rather it is the transformation of this nothing into an identity, into the basis of one’s outlook on life, which gives rise to today’s monumentally annoying atheism. The problem with today’s campaigning atheists is that they have turned their absence of belief in God into the be-all and end-all of their personality. Which is bizarre. Atheism merely signals what you don’t believe in, not what you do believe in. It’s a negative. And therefore, basing your entire worldview on it is bound to generate immense amounts of negativity. [Read more...]

The Six Types of Atheists

Christians have their different theologies.  Conservatism comprises a number of different ideologies.  Now studies are showing that there are different kinds of atheists.  Sociologist George Yancey discusses recent research that classifies atheists into six different types. [Read more...]

Atheists offended by Star of David

The Freedom from Religion Foundation is trying to get the state of Ohio to remove a Star of David.  From a Holocaust memorial!

[Read more...]


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