***Update***: Comments were accidentally turned off when I initially posted this, but they’re back on now!
Dale McGowan gave a great talk at the Secular Student Alliance 2010 Columbia Leadership Summit called “To Hell with the Baby, but Look at That Bathwater.”
In other words, yes, religion is a problem (and religious beliefs are untrue), but church culture has a lot of benefits and there are some things we atheists ought to emulate.
A lot of people who know god doesn’t exist are still afraid to leave the church.
They’d be giving up their social network, a place to go on weekends, a babysitter, a place to recharge their batteries, a place to discuss issues, a place to be told how to live life better.
It’s not just about Jesus.
And if atheist/Humanist groups could give people some of those things that churches always seem to have the money and resources to offer their members, maybe it wouldn’t be as hard to walk away from a church.
My favorite part comes around the 7:45 mark.
I’m paraphrasing, but it goes like this: We give religious people 300 reasons not to believe in god and are surprised when they don’t become atheists.
That’s like telling Chicago Cubs fans to stop being fans by showing them the stats.
That’s silly. If fandom had anything to do with the stats, they wouldn’t be fans. They support the team for entirely different reasons.
As a Cubs fan myself, that’s a great point. Losing season after losing season, there’s still very little you could do to get me to support a different baseball team.
What is it that churches do that you would also like to see Humanist communities doing?
(Full disclosure: I’m the board president of Foundation Beyond Belief, an organization for which Dale serves as the Executive Director.)