Did you know that atheists are the minority group most Americans are least willing to allow their children to marry? According to a recent study, they are “seen as a threat to the American way of life.” The authors of a study of North American atheists were “astonished” that so many had paid a heavy price for disbelief. “Even in the San Francisco area – arguably the most tolerant part of the United States – [about half] reported that being a nonbeliever had produced difficulty with relatives and friends” (Hunsberger and Altemeyer, Atheists: A Groundbreaking Study of America’s Nonbelievers, p. 55). As one atheist commented, “. . . I keep quiet about it. People assume you are heartless, shallow, amoral, and it calls their own beliefs into question. Atheism greatly disturbs people” (p. 47).
No wonder it’s such a challenge for believers and non-believers to talk about religion!
Dr. Chris Schriner is Minister Emeritus of Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Fremont and a retired psychotherapist. Unitarian Universalism includes both theists and atheists, and Chris has emphasized positive communication between theistic and atheistic members of his congregations. He is the author of five books, including Bridging the God Gap: Finding Common Ground Among Believers, Atheists and Agnostics.
Bridging the God Gap strongly affirms the legitimacy of secular humanism, and Chris will suggest ways of helping people see atheism as a valid and potentially positive life stance. He will also describe techniques for discussing theology without coming to blows, and ways of finding conceptual common ground with some liberal theists.
For more on Dr. Schriner’s views see his two blogs:
Theists & Atheists: Communication & Common Ground
Did God Really Say THAT!? A Blog about the Bible
Buffet lunch.folliwing. $10 suggested donation, no charge to first timers.
The Humanist Community Forum meets at 11am at Palo Alto High School at the corner of El Camino and Embarcadero Rd. (50 Embarcadero Rd) in Palo Alto. The forum will be in the Student Center and the family program in rm 1732 in the Science Bldg. Construction is now going on at the high school so parking is restricted. Directions are at http://www.humanists.org/mapsdirns.htm. You can view a Google map of the site here; http://tinyurl.com/cwwuzk3.
Check out our web page at http://www.humanists.org for more information about the Humanist Community.
Past Humanist Community Forums (from December of 2009) are now viewable on the Internet. To view them on the web, go to http://vimeo.com/user2798508/videos/sort:newest. You can also get to that website from the Forums page on the Humanist Community website (http://www.humanists.org).