Schisms In Atheist Churches: Who Cares?

For a schism in a church
You don’t even have to search
Splitting up is something churches do quite well
When one person’s sacred views
Are another’s “pick and choose”,
Then they schism (oh, and one will go to hell).

Now some atheists, quite oddly
Join assemblies (but ungodly)
Just a fraction—but it’s one that makes the news
While the larger godless masses
Vote their conscience with their asses—
On their couch at home, instead of in the pews

The Assembly’s growing pains
Both their losses and their gains
Serve as fodder for an article or two…
As the faithful make the claim
“Look, we’re really just the same—
We’re not really more illogical than you!”

And the godless mostly yawn,
Come the breaking of the dawn
Seeing Sunday as a day for sleeping in
And if schism’s in the air
Why, they mostly do not care
Cos it isn’t like apostasy’s a sin.

CNN’s Belief Blog has a post–After a schism, a question: Can atheist churches last?–which misses the point entirely. See, the whole thing about the Sunday Assembly meetings is, they are there for people who want them. That’s about it. If a different sort of meeting is what the people want, that’s great. If there is sufficient demand for 2, or 3 or 5 or 17, different godless assemblies, that’s great, too. If it’s just 3 people meeting at a coffee shop because they each found 2 other people they enjoy spending some conversation with, that’s fantastic.

There is no dogma. There is no requirement of this or that belief–if one group wants to sing, and the other wants to discuss science, or read comic books, or trade recipes, or hang out and schmooze over coffee and food, not one of these groups is going to think the others are going to hell.

When religious groups split, there is a redefinition of foundational dogma, of a positively defined picture of what true faith is. And CNN (and other stories I can’t be arsed to go dig around for) pushes the narrative that this is the same for atheist groups. But it just isn’t. And it can’t be.

Myself, I can’t imagine going to any of the Sunday Assemblies I have seen described thus far (well, maybe Greta’s). But I wish them well. On this issue, at least, disagreeing with me does not mean you are wrong.


  1. says

    I am not sure if there even is an objective to atheism beyond a more realistic approach to the world
    If there is a longer list than that, I’m confident that duplicating the hegemonic tribalism of monotheism isn’t on it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *