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Tucson Atheists Message Board › Atheist 'mega-churches' take root across US, world.

Atheist 'mega-churches' take root across US, world.

Patrick S.
Tropciseed
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 11
Actually I think we already have the infrastructure for this: the public libraries. I recently got a survey request from Pima public Library, and one of the questions was whether they should add cafes. If they do, you'll have 2 of your 4 items! A bar would be great but unlikely in the libraries, and personally I can do without bingo!

My local branch (Mission) is already a de facto community center, and has quite a few non book related meetings. Really, the only issue is that they close at 8pm.
Gregg C.
user 32918712
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 12
I also really could do without Bingo - but my late parents who helped build and finance the Polish Club here in Tucson found the Bingo to be an exceptional fundraiser. (Maybe the Roman Catholics found it first.) It took only 10 years or a bit more or less for the club to raise an excess of $1 million ager building the clubhouse, running Bingo and then selling the building.

YES, the building supplied the bulk of the cash when it sold, but it was debt serviced and maintained by the Bingo, not from member donations and such. And, other than the weekly games and club dances (polkas, of course) it was not a place to gather casually in small groups or for small discussions -- but a big hall.

So, a community center idea for atheists, agnostics and freethinkers that would allow for self identification and exploration by the curious is probably too grand and utopian an idea without a group of "angels" with some financial "angles" to get a property, permits, build and run/maintain such a proposition.

And, given that managers or people on location to run the place would inevitably be labeled, by the press, Ahteist Ministers or such.....lol.

I agree a bar at a library is probably a bridge too far. But the coffee bar idea would at least be a step toward cafe society style small discussions and meetings in the European tradition.

And, on Bingo, I wonder how many native American casinos would object -- and/or how many native American atheists there are who would support the idea. GC

Jack
user 33342652
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 2
What I'm hearing here are proposals for the establishment of alternate, albeit secular, "churches", for self-described atheists. I am leery of the trend - by the press, the established religious powers, and now by atheists themselves - to define atheism as just another sub-set of the population with its own beliefs and traditions. THis reminds me of the Buffalo Springfield song quote "carrying signs mostly saying hurray for our side". Personally, what I want to see happen is for religion to be encapsulated and self-supporting, and its irrational influences on legislation be reduced (ideally) to zero. Wasting time mimicking the structure of organized religion only strengthens the presumptions of organized religion that atheism is just another belief system and dulls our edge.

The point made that public, tax-supported libraries already exist to provide venues for public discussion and meeting is well made. We (fellow atheists) would serve ourselves well by using these, and other public spaces, and policing them for signs of religious iconography and expression (think christmas manger scenes, etc.). We need a game change, and not just be satisfied lining up politely with the status quo. Leave the churches and other self-defined exclusionary "limited to people who think like us" venues to the religiously deluded.
Mitchell
zenguy
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 182

So, a community center idea for atheists, agnostics and freethinkers that would allow for self identification and exploration by the curious is probably too grand and utopian an idea without a group of "angels" with some financial "angles" to get a property, permits, build and run/maintain such a proposition.
This is not impossible to achieve. If someone, or small group, begins to plan for a Freethinkers Community Center, and create a legal framework and bank account, and begin to collect donations, this could happen. It will take several years of persistence. I'm willing to throw in a cupla Benjamins; I'm sure many people here would donate, and eventually some people with deeper pockets would get interested.
Gregg C.
user 32918712
Tucson, AZ
Post #: 13
Well, none of my Lottery Tickets won this time -- showing obviously there is no God. So I am left bereft of funds to buy a facility to convert to a center for non-belief.

I must stop by and see if Revolutionary Grounds book store and coffee on 4th ave has a head start on this idea. I think it tends more to anarchy, however. And what I see coming together is a loosely constructed social meeting or club house with room to schedule events that require refreshments immediately available, good seating in quiet spaces for smaller meetings -- and an occasional rousing reception or or regularly formatted secular themed meeting. Fundraising Bingo and rentals would help sustain the facility -- and janitorial and repair budget.

A charter to keep doctrinaire attitudes out would need to be created -- and my atheism is better than your atheistism and both are better than whimsical agnosticism or fearful freethinking -- need to be controlled. Recognizing mixed marriages between these attitudes (says he with tongue in cheek) would be OK if the couple is warned of such. (LOL)

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