Our Father, Who Aren’t In Heaven: Hollowed Be Thy Name

Although I am not a theist myself, and sympathize broadly with the current crop of prominent atheist authors, we obviously cannot ignore the central role that religion has always played in the organization and cohesion of human groups. I think, along with Sam Harris and others, that it ought to be possible for human societies to arrange their affairs so as to have the communal and cultural benefits that religions offer while moving beyond the supernatural fantasies that are traditionally at their core. The Unitarians are an example of movement in this direction, and the interesting fact that our friend Kevin Kim can function as a Presbyterian elder despite being a nontheist is reason for optimism as well.

Lately it seems that more and more people, unable to believe in supernatural religious myths but yearning for the sense of community that churches provide, have been forming secular congregations. ABC News reported recently on this one: the Humanist Community, in Palo Alto, California (its website is here).

I realize that to many the very idea of a Godless church must seem like an airplane without the wings, but I’d like to think this sort of thing will take off.

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  1. JK says

    I have a former brother in law who happens to be from India. I was speaking with him some months ago about an experience I’d recently had with a motel owner who happened to be from India.

    I’ll be using his rhetorical quote with one substitution, don’t want to find someone else has already used it.

    “Them damn Presbyterians.”


    Posted April 3, 2008 at 5:14 pm | Permalink
  2. bighominid says

    Damn Presbyterians, indeed.

    Thanks, Malcolm.


    Posted April 3, 2008 at 9:15 pm | Permalink