Closing our religion coverage for the week, as so often, with the new atheists, we note an op-ed in the New York Times asking for a theology of atheism. (It must be new atheism because the old-fashioned atheism didn’t ask for a theology, by definition.)
I’d come for Sunday Assembly, a godless alternative to church founded in London in 2013. A cheerful woman with a name tag stood and promised a crowd of about 40 people “all the fun parts of church but without any religion, and with fun pop songs.” The band led us in secular “hymns” like “Walking on Sunshine” and “Lean on Me.” The day’s guest preacher, a Ph.D. candidate from Duke, described his research on bonobos and the biological roots of our species’ instinct to help one another — the “seeds of a nature that is good,” he told us.
Aw, go preach it to the bonobos.
Is this what secular humanism — the naturalist worldview that many nonbelievers embrace and religious conservatives fear — looks like in practice? In one sense, secular humanism is a style of fellowship intended to fill the church-shaped void, but it is also a strand of the liberal intellectual tradition that attempts to answer the canard that godlessness means immorality. More.
This is so ridiculous, I didn’t have time to write it up till now. The main reason people don’t like new atheists is the new atheists.
The only fear many of us “religious conservatives” experience is—don’t bust a gut laughing too hard. How will we explain it to the surgical resident at the local hospital? 😉
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