How about forming a Church of Atheism?

A half-serious question. Why not take advantage of the tax shelter and collect some of that "faith-based" money? Perhaps it could be diverted to some better causes. I don't know all the details of this, but would there be an advantage over simply creating a non-profit charity group? Hostile religious types like to accuse atheism of being a religion itself all the time. (of course, the fact that they consider this an insult is obviously self-defeating)

I can see the dangers in it too, and how there may be no desire to be considered a "religion" in any way. I can also envision Creationists using this as ammunition to argue that teaching evolution in schools is advancing a religious agenda. (just the kind of irony they love! see above...)

In fact, I looked up "religion" in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, but all the definitions included either "faith" or a belief in the "supernatural." It is BY DEFINITION irrational! However a "church" could be a "place of public worship" and "worship" can be "to regard with great or extravagant respect, honor, or devotion." A Church of Atheism could be a place to worship rational thought, or the human spirit, etc.

Anyone know how a religion is defined by the law? (I'm thinking of the U.S. simply because I live here)

-MP

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Tags: atheism, church, irony, law

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Comment by Doug Harrington on August 16, 2008 at 3:25pm
I am starting "The New Order of Hawkeyes Divine Deliverance" in American Samoa.
Dedicated to those who wish to come out of the closet, and become free thinkers without reprecussions from their Ministers, their extended families, the American Samoa Government, and the churches in general.

Please join me in my plight on my Blogsite.
Doug Harrington
The new Order of Hawkeyes Divine Deliverance.
Pastor Doug
Comment by TRZ on August 14, 2008 at 11:00am
I joined a group on Facebook called "If I weren't an atheist, I'd think Richard Dawkins was God."

If we did start a joke atheist church, I nominate the Four Horsemen as its prophets.
Comment by Steve on August 14, 2008 at 10:34am
That's true. The UU church provides a place for all non-believers to meet. Having a church devoted to nothing but atheism, though, doesn't seem like the same thing to me.
Comment by Ratnat on August 14, 2008 at 10:02am
There are many secular non-profit organizations out there. The UU church has many atheists and other freethinkers as members.
Comment by MP Lockwood on August 14, 2008 at 10:00am
I agree fully that it is just as ridiculous as a church of non-golfers, I only wonder if it might be a useful tactic. It would probably make more sense to attempt to have the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster officially recognized.
Comment by Steve on August 14, 2008 at 9:52am
Let's form a church of non-golfers, instead. Personally, I think both are terrible ideas.

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