The strange opposition by some to the Sunday Assembly movement

I read through the first couple hundred of the nearly 500 comments on the Guardian website responding to the video of the Cleveland Sunday Assembly, part of the big worldwide rollout of such assemblies around the globe last Sunday that more than doubled the existing number. I was surprised at the number of commenters who were outright hostile to the idea. These were people who said they were nonbelievers themselves but felt this was the wrong thing to do.
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Why it is the Non-religious Who Can, and Must, Save the World

(The text of my talk at the Cleveland Sunday Assembly held two days ago.)

I must say that when I got up this morning and got ready to come here, I felt a strong sense of déjà vu. When I was a young man I was ordained as a lay preacher in the Methodist church in Sri Lanka and many a Sunday would find me dressing up to go to a church in the region to inflict my sermon on some hapless congregation. And now, decades after I became an atheist, here I am doing something that seems surprisingly familiar. Let’s see if I still have my preacher skills though if some people are getting a little worried, you can relax. Even in my heyday I was never a fire-and-brimstone, you’re-going to-hell-and-damnation-if-you-don’t-repent kind of preacher, and so am not going to be that way today either.
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Cleveland Sunday Assembly

Sunday, September 28 is going to see the launch around the world of a large number of so-called ‘atheist churches’ under the umbrella of the Sunday Assembly movement, including Cleveland, Columbus, and Pittsburgh in this region. The first meeting of the Cleveland group will be at 10:30 am at the Old Town Hall in Strongsville located at 18825 Royalton Road and all are invited. Subsequent meetings will take place on the last Sunday of each month at the same location.
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Facing death-8: Being remembered forever

I have discussed that some have a strong desire to want to live on in some capacity forever, and thus yield to the temptation to believe in an immortal soul that exists in an afterlife in heaven or is reincarnated in some way. But others who may not believe that may still seek to find ways to make their names live on even after they have died, to be at least remembered forever.
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Facing death-7: The problem of prolonged death

Part of the aversion to thinking about death may not be the actual fact of dying but unease about the way we might die. In many ways we are fortunate that we live in a time when medical advances have enabled us to have much greater life expectancies than our ancestors. While much of this improvement has arisen because of reduced infant mortality, some has been because of our ability to combat many illnesses that once used to be quickly fatal. Because of the possibility of rapid response and treatment, many of the quick ways of dying such as due to heart attacks and strokes have been eliminated. But that improvement is not without its costs. We now see many more people having long and lingering deaths, the body and mind gradually losing functionality in ways that cannot be fixed, like an old car in which one part after another starts breaking down and one starts to wonder how much more one should invest in keeping it going.
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