What type of services can you perform as an atheist minister?
You will be able to perform the following services:
-Any other role reserved for members of clergy
Are there any perks of being a minister?
Ministers command a general level of respect from the public. Some parking lots also have reserved parking for clergy. You can have clergy level access to prisons and hospitals. There are many other possible privileges depending on the local community.
As atheists, why would you call yourselves a church?
We use the word “church” because we are meeting the legal definition of a church. By doing so, we are granted the same rights under the law that traditional churches receive. This allows us to ordain ministers, so that they may perform ceremonies for other atheists. If we were just a group, and not a “church” it would not be legal for us to do this. So we call ourselves a church. We also believe that as a group of people with similar beliefs, that we actually are a church.
What would an atheist church establishment be about?
We believe that the only good purpose traditional theistic churches serve is that of community. They bring together like-minded people, and give those people a network of support. We feel that as atheists we are missing out on this feeling of community. If we were tobuy a physical church, we would have weekly Sunday meetings, gather and discuss many things like current events, scientific discoveries, political issues facing atheists, local news, community events, etc.
While adults participate in a weekly discussion, their children would attend “Sunday School.” There they would do scientific experiments, learn how to paint on a canvas and how to bake bread, talk about various religious mythologies, discuss important historical moments, create and tend to a garden, etc. But the most important thing they would be doing is forming relationships with other non-theist kids. Relationships where they need not fear how their lack of belief will affect their friendships. They would be in a place of no judgment, and they would have the community that religious kids have and likely take for granted.
What would kind of support would you offer each other?
We would offer a place for newly-realized atheists to come for support. We could offer advice on how to “come out” to family and friends. We would, at the very least, be a place for the new atheist to feel safe, to meet people who understand. If someone in our congregation had something tragic happen, we could all come together in support, with casseroles and babysitting and pancake breakfast fundraisers.
What is the point of all of this?
Essentially, we’re people. Just like theists. And we crave the same things from a community that they do. Our goal is to provide these things to non-theists.
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