Not long ago, Jack over on Atheist Revolution wrote a post on replacing religion. It’s an interesting question, but one that I’ve never really felt necessary. It’s like saying “what other cancer would you like to replace your lung cancer with?” Well, none, of course. That doesn’t mean that we can’t have some kind of secular social gathering, but I’ve never bought into the idea that we should have a Sunday Service type of thing, where people sit in chairs and watch a speaker, just for the same of social interaction. That kind of organized, top-down quasi-religious service really doesn’t sit well with me, regardless of the message. Aren’t we supposed to be better than that?
After I left religion behind, I honestly had no interest in sitting in a pew, aping the kind of religion service that I had spent countless hours in. I didn’t want to get together with non-believers, simply for the sake of gathering with non-believers. I didn’t want to have a community with people with whom I only had a lack of religious belief in common. I did, and still do, find that idea entirely idiotic. The only reason you ought to be around anyone is if you find that particular person interesting to be around. Besides, I’d rather sleep in on Sunday and I usually have better things to do with my life than listen to someone standing at the front of a room. Thanks, but no thanks.
I honestly don’t get people who can’t make friends and acquaintances on their own, who just want to be part of a faceless crowd because they get some sense of belonging to a group. Just go make some friends with common interests and hang out. It’s one thing to attend one of these ridiculous meetings once in a while, just to meet people, but let’s be honest, you aren’t guaranteed to have a common interest with anyone there because atheism isn’t an interest, it’s a lack of an interest. I don’t get people who are “into atheism” any more than I get people who are “into not collecting stamps”. That’s not a particularly good basis for a long-term friendship. And I really don’t care how you have been indoctrinated, once you throw away religion, you ought to throw away the trappings of religion too. That includes sitting in organized rows, mindlessly listening to someone in the front of the room drone on and on and on.
But anyhow, those are my thoughts. Do you agree? Disagree? Go ahead and post a comment and we’ll chat.