Even atheists need churches

This has to be one of the funniest and yet most ridiculous things I've seen yet:
On Sunday, the inaugural Sunday Assembly in Los Angeles, Calif. attracted several hundred people bound by their belief in non-belief. Similar gatherings in San Diego, Nashville, New York and other U.S. cities have drawn hundreds of atheists seeking the camaraderie of a congregation without religion or ritual. 
The founders, British duo Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, are currently on a tongue-in-cheek '40 Dates, 40 Nights' tour around the U.S. and Australia to drum up donations and help launch new Sunday Assemblies. They hope to raise more than $800,000 that will help atheists launch their pop-up congregations around the world. So far, they have raised about $50,000. 
They don't bash believers but want to find a new way to meet like-minded people, engage in the community and make their presence more visible in a landscape dominated by faith.
Where's that hilarious episode of Metalocalypse where Murderface tries to find meaning in his life and ends up in a church full of atheists? Oh, it's right here:

I imagine that an atheist church is probably much like that. Complete with open warfare between atheists and agnostics. Seriously. Richard Dawkins has made it perfectly clear that he doesn't have a particularly high opinion of agnostics, for instance.

More seriously, this article just reminds me of one of the great redeeming features of faith- it provides hope and a sense of community. And that, ultimately, is precisely the point- something that my 14-year-old self could not understand. (Honestly, if teenage Didact could meet adult Didact, he'd probably be horrified at what a grumpy old man he would eventually become. The fact that adult Didact is thinner and lighter and about three times as strong as teenage Didact is a nice plus, though...).

High Church atheists- the annoying kind that insist on trashing everyone else's faith- insist that humanity can never be free until we abandon God and spirituality. I would argue, however, that belief in the divine is what makes us human- that "Man without mysticism is a monster", indeed.

I think Vox said it best in The Irrational Atheist. I paraphrase slightly here- basically, if atheists insist that religion is a crutch and those who use it are weak, then what exactly does it say about their so-called compassion and humanity when they insist on kicking out that crutch from those who need it most?


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