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House of Godless

While a lot of atheists run from anything that is even remotely reminiscent of religion, many others still go to church. Usually, if an atheist goes to church it is a Quaker or Unitarian Church.

There is nothing wrong with avoiding religious trappings. Many atheists have had extremely bad experiences with churches and other religious trappings. Many atheists just don’t need them. Growing up, my parents only attended religious services on holidays, so I never was raise to go to a “House of God” every week. Now that I am an atheist, there is nothing for me to miss.

There is also nothing wrong with an atheist choosing to go to some sort of service every week. Churches can offer some very important services. They offer community, some sort of social activism, emotional guidance and counseling, and often time’s even genuine compassion.

Atheist and humanist groups just aren’t filling that need. We tend to meet once a month rather than once a week, and we focus on intellectual issues rather than emotional issues. We often go to meetings outside our local community so those who come out aren’t generally our neighbors. And let’s face it; these meetings generally aren’t kid friendly, either.

There are some godless houses of thought that do meet every week and do fill the function of churches. For example, in Philadelphia there is an Ethical Humanist Society. But unless you live in the city, it just isn’t convenient and you probably aren’t likely to meet your neighbors there.

What we need is to start having these types of Ethical Humanist Societies in every town. There are many people out there who don’t believe in a god, but don’t want to be an activist for atheism either. They just want to find a community. For now, Unitarians and Quakers are the closest thing to a secular church they have. We really need to change that. That is part of the reason why I just added links to PhillyCoR and UnitedCoR on the sidebar.

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