The Church of Atheism – Family

I’ve heard fundies say that atheism is a religion, which is complete bullshit on many levels, but it is a (lack of) belief that brings like-minded people together. I’ve found that group of people on the Internet. The problem with atheism is that it can get lonely. There is no church family to support a freethinking family when times get tough, when someone dies, or when the kids need social interaction. Church families are truly tight-knit, and there’s a support network for church members when something unexpected or bad happens. There is no church of atheism, except for what exists virtually. I used to think that wouldn’t be enough, but I’ve since changed my tune.

It was suggested that my husband and I join a local Unitarian church so that we would have the support of the church family. But we decided two things:

1) Going to  church and hearing all about a god we don’t believe in is uncomfortable for us, even if the faith accepts all people of any creed. It feels like a waste of our time. And…

2) We really enjoy spending Sunday mornings together as a family.

Reason number 2 for not joining the church is really the most important. We’ve come to love our Sunday mornings together. We cook breakfast together, we run errands (while others are at church and therefore places are less busy!), and we spend time just hanging out as a family. Our family has become our church, and we are tight-knit. We are lucky to have other family members who love us and help us when we need it, and we do the same for them. We may lack the community of a church family, but our family unit is close, happy, and rich in love because of the time we spend together.

The point of the story? It may feel lonely at times, but raising freethinkers is rewarding. Honestly, I could never go to church just for the fellowship. I’d rather put my time and energy into raising my girls and nurturing my marriage.

5 Thoughts on “The Church of Atheism – Family

  1. Yeah, I feel the same way about the Unitarians… I like it in theory, but in practice? I feel like we can find everything a “church home” offers, but without having to get up early on a Sunday morning. :) Also, I feel like churches and “faith communities” are often offered up as a source of support, community building, connections, etc. and I don’t agree with that. I think there are plenty of secular ways to build community, find support, meet people, etc.

  2. Agreed. Now that our girls are older, we’re participating in soccer and other things that keep us around people. We can have community without faith! :)

  3. It’s hard raising children without the world coloring their religious views. Keep up the good work!

  4. Ironically, I found this post while researching for a sermon about freethinking at a Unitarian Universalist church. I recognize that it was the lesser of your two arguments, but I wanted to point out the fallacy in your first argument, “Going to church and hearing all about a god we don’t believe in is uncomfortable for us, even if the faith accepts all people of any creed. It feels like a waste of our time.” It’s wrong to assume that in a UU church you’ll be “hearing all about a god we don’t believe in.” Many UU churches are largely humanist, and many UU ministers, such as myself, fall into the categories of atheist, agnostic, and humanist. I may mention god from time to time in a sermon, but always within a context of a concept that some people here might believe in, but many do not. In other words, rather than hearing my sermon and having to translate theistic language to non-theistic language, my sermon is already in non-theistic language, with an occasional translation into theistic language for those theists in the room.

    • Hi Cynthia, and thanks for visiting my blog. I understand what you’re saying, but my point was really a matter of personal preference. It makes us uncomfortable, even if it includes language that’s non-theistic. The sermons we’ve heard at our local UU church were still too higher power centered for us. We’d just rather not spend our time in that way. I’d much rather hear a UU sermon than a Southern Baptist one, but I’d much rather spend Sunday mornings at home than at any church. That being said, the UU church is by far the most giving, loving, accepting church I’ve ever experienced. If we ever change our mind on the subject, that’s where we’ll go. But for now, church is not for us. Thanks again for reading!

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