Atheist Churches Are On the Rise in the U.S.By: Erika Watts - November 11, 2013
A new type of church is springing up these days, but these aren’t your run of the mill churches. Sure, you’ve got people congregating on Sunday morning as well as participating in a lot of other things that are part of your average Christian church service. However, these new churches that are popping up aren’t worshiping Jesus Christ, nor do they care about any other religion, as these are atheist churches.
This probably sounds like a joke; after all, you don’t often hear “atheist” and “church” put together. So far, these atheist mega-churches have popped up throughout the U.S. in California, Tennessee and New York. The people who attend essentially want a lot of the things a traditional church offers, but without the religion. The people who attend enjoy each other’s company, music, come up with ideas to serve the community and more. And like traditional churches, the atheist churches take up money.
Sixteen percent of Americans say they have no religious affiliation, but it looks like they could have a place to bond with like-minded people soon. This group of churches that are popping up are part of The Sunday Assembly, which was founded by Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans.
Jones reportedly got the idea to start The Sunday Assembly a few years ago after attending a Christmas concert. “There was so much about it that I loved, but it’s a shame because at the heart of it, it’s something I don’t believe in,” Jones said. “If you think about church, there’s very little that’s bad. It’s singing awesome songs, hearing interesting talks, thinking about improving yourself and helping other people–and doing that in a community with wonderful relationships. What part of that is not to like?”
Jones and Evans are working to raise money to found more Sunday Assemblies. Their goal is to raise close to $1 million to help other atheists start their own churches around the world. According to their website, they want to see “a godless congregation in every town, city and village that wants one.”
While a lot of people might assume these atheists churches are trying to stir up trouble, Elijah Senn (no, this name isn’t a joke, either) says that isn’t the case.
“I think the image that we have put forward in a lot of ways has been a scary, mean, we want to tear down the walls, we want to do destructive things kind of image is what a lot of people have of us,” Senn said. “I’m really excited to be able to come together and show that it’s not about destruction. It’s about making things and making things better.”
What do you think of the new atheist mega-churches? Add your comments below.[Image via YouTube]