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What happens at an atheist church?

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BBC News Magazine carries an interesting article today about so-called “atheist churches”. It’s an insightful read:

An “atheist church” in North London is proving a big hit with non-believers. Does it feel a bit like a new religion?

Not many sermons include the message that we are all going to die and there is no afterlife.

But the Sunday Assembly is no ordinary church service.

Launched last month, as a gathering for non-believers, it is, in the words of master of ceremonies Sanderson Jones, “part foot-stomping show, part atheist church, all celebration of life”.

A congregation of more than 300 crowded into the shell of a deconsecrated church to join the celebration on Sunday morning.

Instead of hymns, the non-faithful get to their feet to sing along to Stevie Wonder and Queen songs.

There is a reading from Alice in Wonderland and a power-point presentation from a particle physicist, Dr Harry Cliff, who explains the origins of dark matter theory.

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3 Replies to “What happens at an atheist church?

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    All darkness is cast out by the ‘brightness’ of their appearing?

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Being the helpful guy I am, I have a suggested sermon for them:

    When Nothing Created Everything – JOE CARTER
    Excerpt: And that is why, children, when Man loses his Life he goes from being a Something created by Time and Chance into becoming like his creator – Nothing.
    http://www.catholiceducation.o.....sc0120.htm

    I even have a hymn for them:

    Steve Martin – Atheists Don’t Have No Songs
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFWA1A9XFi8

    Of related note:

    Study finds it actually is better (and healthier) to give than to receive – February 4, 2013
    Excerpt: A five-year study by researchers at three universities has established that providing tangible assistance to others protects our health and lengthens our lives.
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....thier.html

    Give away your money, feel wealthier? – January 21, 2013
    Excerpt: In all, 559 of the more than 2,000 people surveyed had received a windfall. After excluding three “outliers” who received more than $1 million, the average windfall amount was $1,500. Of those, 99 said they donated about 3 percent of the money to charity.
    Norton asked questions to assess subjective wealth. Even when he compensated for income, donations predicted better feelings of subjective wealth.
    Giving $500, he calculated, has the same effect on feelings of subjective wealth as earning an extra $10,000 in income.
    In related research, Norton found that people who volunteer their time to help sick children or for other charitable pursuits feel they have more time than those who don’t volunteer. The thinking, he suspects, is that if they have time to give away, they must have plenty of time.
    “To me this is interesting because it is counterintuitive,” said James Maddux, professor emeritus in the department of psychology at George Mason University.
    http://medicalxpress.com/news/.....ppier.html

    When Atheists Are Angry at God – 2011
    Excerpt: I’ve never been angry at unicorns. It’s unlikely you’ve ever been angry at unicorns either.,, The one social group that takes exception to this rule is atheists. They claim to believe that God does not exist and yet, according to empirical studies, tend to be the people most angry at him.
    http://www.firstthings.com/ont.....gry-at-god

    Are Religious People Happier Than Atheists?
    Excerpt: there does indeed appear to be a link between religion and happiness. Several studies have been done, but to give an example, one study found that the more frequently people attended religious events, the happier they were; 47% of people who attended several types a week reported that they were ‘very happy’, as opposed to 28% who attended less than monthly.
    In practical terms, religious people have the upper hand on atheists in several other areas. They drink and smoke less, are less likely to abuse drugs, and they stay married longer. After a stressful even like bereavement, unemployment, or illness, those who worship don’t take it as hard and recover faster. All of the above are likely to be beneficial to a person’s happiness. Additionally, religious people, as a result of their beliefs, have a greater sense of meaning, purpose and hope in their lives.
    http://generallythinking.com/a.....-atheists/

    America’s Blessings: How Religion Benefits Everyone, Including Atheists – Rodney Stark – book
    Excerpt: Stark devotes whole chapters to unpacking the latest research on how religion affects different facets of modern American life, including crime, family life, sexuality, mental and physical health, sophistication, charity, and overall prosperity. The cumulative effect is that when translated into comparisons with western European nations, the United States comes out on top again and again. Thanks in no small part to America’s rich religious culture, the nation has far lower crime rates, much higher levels of charitable giving, better health, stronger marriages, and less suicide, to note only a few of the benefits.
    http://www.amazon.com/Americas.....1599474123

    Testing Prayer: Science and Miraculous Healing – Candy Gunther Brown at Boston College – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRfLooh3ZOk

    The Science Behind the Healing Power of Love – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t1p-PwGgE4

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Ravi Zacharias on Atheism, Suffering and Absolutes 1/2 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?N.....cceC3qYtYE

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