Ian calls his post “The church of FTB“, but he goes beyond that to point out that this isn’t a church, it doesn’t aim to be a church, and what we do is explore alternative methods of building community. And it’s effective — I think that what humanity needs to do to get its collective head out of its humongous ass is to repurpose all that wasted effort spent on the frills and nonsense and trappings of religion on more human needs. At my talk here in South Dakota last night, one of the things I said in the Q&A was we’d do a greater service to humanity if we all spent Sunday trying to write poetry*, rather than praying in a church.
So I go a little further than Ian, but I don’t disagree with him. I just resent that part of the movement that wants to regress and build a church of humanism, with all the same titles and geegaws and practices. Humanity deserves and needs something new and better and greater, that breaks the old shackles and doesn’t try to dress us up in shinier shackles with a different manufacturer’s label on them.
We need communities. We need a non-religious ecumene that wraps around the whole world and includes diverse points of view…but we don’t need churches and temples and hierarchies and priests and chaplains. Can we please all grow up and be free?
Actually, my ideal community is The Culture. Spaceships optional.
*I’m well aware that most of that poetry would be mind-gnawingly awful. The virtue lies in the effort, the attempt to do something novel and think in different ways. (So, obviously, the Cuttlefish has to sit at home on Sundays and force himself to think in prose.)