In a previous posting I mentioned the idea of having a secular community-building event on Sundays. This is in response to hearing numerous interviews with notable atheists and skeptics, including Matthew Chapman (the great great grandson of Charles Darwin), that mention the need for community building activities that do not involve church. If you used to be religious, did you ever go to church just because everyone else was and you wanted to be a part of something? I used to be with someone that went to church because that is what her family did. Afterwards we would all go to lunch or have a big meal at home. It was considered family time. This is a concept that I totally understand which is why we need a secular option.
In the beginning, I envision a simple meet up at a coffee shop or park. A coffee shop works well, especially on a sunday morning (11ish). Maybe it could be near a park or play area for those with children. The meet up could involve a book club discussion, discussion about the week's events, or a speaker could enlighten the crowd about a certain topic in science and/or skepticism. It would be similar to many meet ups happening all over the country. The only real difference is that it happens during church. Give people a choice.
As the event progresses and gains traction within the community we could do some bigger things. Maybe we could host a monthly science fair with booths and activities for kids. Any activity that includes families, fun, and education would be great. I think the event should shy away from having alcohol present. We have plenty of secular events where people can drink, such as Skeptics in the Pub and most freethinker meet-ups, so we need a church-like option for those that are looking to substitute there weekly knee-bending with something else.
For this to work it needs to be advertised and talked about. The first rule about Secular Sundays is...no I won't go there...Anyway, we need to get the word out. It's pretty easy to find a new church when you come to a new town. They spend all those donation dollars building monstrous buildings that can be seen for miles. It will be a while before we have that kind of money.
Or will it? Why can't we get tax free land and tax free property? Should we sink to the level of "religious organization" just to get the beneficial tax status? On the one hand I say yes, exploit that rule and go with it. On the other hand I think the tax free status of religious organizations should be done away with. It's un-American not to be taxed! Just kidding, sort of.
So, who's with me on this? Is football stopping everyone from meeting up on Sundays or do atheists really enjoy sleeping in? I think we can do this and I think we need to do this. The people of our towns need another option and no one else is going to give it to them.
Let's have a discussion...
Written northeast of Winnemucca, NV in the high desert.