Ready? Set? Community? … Huh!?!

The atheist conundrum. 

Fellowship Background - Holding Hands

Fellowship Background – Holding Hands

Can atheists create fellowship- in real life, not online forums, pages or etc? Real life. This is something I’ve talked about for years. Not all, but a good portion of us, want community. We want fellowship. This topic always ends up in arguments and defensive rhetoric. Often opposition is from more zealous atheists with a very rigid view of atheism. While acknowledging that atheism is one thing, and that the many of us under the umbrella are indeed very diverse, they (the argumentative) will then set out to force you into one category…This comes into play when the argumentative, inexperienced, non parent (usually)decides that you can’t have singular ideologies, it must instead be various types of atheists with different conjoining ideologies, something like UU – which bores the piss out even the dead. I call this the, “every kid gets a reward regardless of merit approach.” Utopianistic mindflubber, that rather than accepts the diversity of those who share one aspect of themselves, can’t then enlarge that to include say – scientific humanism, while rejecting socialist feminism. That we must give all the children cookies, even the ones unaccounted for. A big slice of political correctness. We must not offend by our exclusivity, They can’t understand the diversity of atheists and expand that to the fact that not all atheist can blend into the  political , scientific or etc ideologies of those whom they don’t agree with.It can’t be overlooked. This is despite them witnessing the truth of this in forums, pages and the other areas that atheists find community in virtual life. Like a child, they want you to make it all inclusive.

Unapologetic, I say,” No.”

Fellowship is about sharing with those a set of common goals, beliefs and shared views. I do not share the views of far right or far left… I would not seek community from a place that did. Churches are diverse because people understand/interpret and practice the religious material in various ways. In our political beliefs we vary, even within a single party. Atheists need not create fellowships under “atheism” alone. It is ok to make that more specific to our different views, from far left to far right, and shades in between.

People assume that the reason why one is an atheist might have something to do with hating organized religions, or organized anything… Not true. This also filters their opinions on the topic. They assume that all atheist are so for standard reasons. I’ve grown to be quite the snippy bitch when I talk to these types of people. I dislike ignorance wrapped in intelligence, much like I wouldn’t care for shit even if wrapped in bacon. On a recent thread I put out there what a number of us who have experienced church… The bonds, love and support you get. These bonds are very powerful. The success that traditional church has had in creating communities within their faith is second to none… Why is it we as secular, or atheist with varying other added ideologies, hasn’t tried to replicate that? Or why has our replicas failed?

Well, because you try to be all inclusive, that is why.

Things I don’t want to hear at fellowship:
2 hour lecture on bosons and fermions.
Space News
1 hour lecture on gender roles and male supremacy
1 hour of anything mystical, alternative, or weird
Music of Asia, India, or flute music from unknown place as you take me on a spiritual journey
Sex education
That my breeding is killing the earth
Anti-gmo, anti-vaxx or anything in that area
Male patriarchy anything…

I will sit and listen as you read and teach on a foundation to live a better life- philosophical discussion on easy terms, connected to various religions or other material, including shared views of topic by scientists or other intelligentsia. Life. I will listen as you connect on life issues. I would love for my children to have Sunday school or etc – and have those classes consist of learning humanist philosophy on life, death, love, giving, respect, manners, emotional health and a safe place to explore relationships and building life long friendships. Many of us want mom circles and father groups to help us deal with our roles and expectations. To lift us when we are falling.

To give us a place to breathe and share separate from our partners with those we trust in fellowship. These friendships – these bonds, are the glue of the community.

One of the big reasons why church has the success it does, is a central philosophy. One book-  though interpreted many ways, unites them. Why can’t individual fellowships by atheists do same? Create one based on world philosophies, shared motifs throughout humanity that show it is human, rather than Gods. Quotes or pieces that are connected to wells of knowledge – ones while uplifting, also expose us to the human condition and challenges us to think differently. Things we can relate to. Even that can be expanded into science. Many working families can’t afford to go purchasing different books to come to fellowship and read or study. A central book of essential life issues, realities and common motifs of humanity would be welcomed and can help as a guide to researching – just as bibles do. Why not have passages on happiness, fulfillment and why we need these things?

When I suggest these things it gets into heated debates on whether it is cultist behavior – because a Carl Sagan quote connected to one by Epicurus will definitely drive you into killing yourself with spiked Kool- Aid. Eisenstein jointed with Socrates is used by all brainwashing cults. Finally, anything by Daniel Dennet, Sam Harris or poetry by Keats is surely the sign I’m ready to subscribe to doomsday tripe.

So silence, us parents, needing community – we sigh. We sigh and we go to traditional churches. We sit through bible literature – counting the minutes until the “coffee nook” hour begins. We sit on our hands through long scripture readings, wondering if our children are happy and creating bonds that otherwise are hard to facilitate outside church. We smile as the dreaded prayer is over and we head to social hour and the exchange of uplifting motivation, recipes, fishing trips and networking. We hug one another. We have contact, but it is largely vacant because it is based on a lie.

Mothers are especially hurting. Many times I have cried when I think about the loss of real life connections. I’m not alone in that… I’m open on the subject and so other mothers who feel the same contact me. We cry together. It hurts us. We have a deep desire to be social and to be together. As religion fades, what will take the place of that aspect of religion and church that nurtures this part of being human? Can we be successful in creating community outside that?

Right now – UU’s suck. Humanists community groups suck. I’m just being blunt here…There are rarely children. The speeches they give are so damn boring you want to rip your own ears off. They aren’t age diverse.They have no real sense of how to bring people into the community. They aren’t specific to the areas or defined enough. They simply make it so open that it alienates. Yes, that is possible.