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.
I will be the speaker at the first Cleveland and my talk will be on the topic “Why it is the Non-religious Who Can, and Must, Save the World”. I look forward to meeting the people at the program to see what comes of it.
I see this development as a sign of the skeptic movement maturing, going from an intellectual movement to a practical one that seeks to claim our place in the public square. Nonbelievers should not concede the public square to the religious. The religious do not own it even though they think they do. We have to occupy every niche of the public space, from elected office to community work to political action to social activism. And we have to do so because that is the only hope for the world.
But the skeptical movement does not have the institutional structure to get involved widely and quickly. I am not sure if the Sunday Assembly will satisfactorily fill that niche by creating a structure that humanists and skeptics people can get together on social issues that are broader than just religion. But it could and we have to see how it develops.