Wednesday, July 03, 2013

A spiritual home for atheists.

For many of us secular humanists, agnostics, or atheists, life after our alienation from conventional religious congregations that offer prayers to an anthropomorphic god (or gods) ends up feeling a bit rye-crispy. We lose also the sense of belonging and community that was part of the experience of being in a church congregation. Thus I was struck by this article about a former Pentecostal minister who has started in Baton Rouge, LA., to offer atheist services with impassioned sermons, singing and light swaying, exhortations to service, etc., everything but God! Jerry DeWitt, who was raised as a pentecostal and served 25 years as a minister, now offers an emotional counterpoint to more academic atheist exponents like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. While other non-deistic spiritual congregations now exist, especially in many larger urban areas ( usually with some mix or mysticism, new age rituals, or religious-scientific components) I doubt that many of them get quite as close to reproducing the gut-wrenching intensity of DeWitt’s pentecostal service minus God!

1 comment:

  1. The new president of Princeton has an interesting story about how he found out his grandparents were Jewish only recently. He considers himself a "non-theist" though he was raised Catholic. Now that he found out he is "genetically" Jewish, he considers himself a non-theistic Jew. I just don't believe that religion is hereditary.