Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why Are There No Atheist Churches?

That’s our strength. We don’t need support groups. When I meet someone in Georgia, or Manila, or Calcutta who thinks like me, it takes a few minutes of conversation before we understand each other. We know there are millions of us all over the world. It’s an easy handshake of recognition. We don’t think “OK, now we have to get together every seven days, or twice a day, to shout and holler just to reassure ourselves that we still believe it.” We don’t need that. It can be believed without effort, without fanaticism. It’s an understanding, and it’s based on reason, and literature, and to some extent irony, and a little humor, and culture.

The fact that religion keeps having to pump people up at mass rallies is a sign of its weakness. It needs constant reinforcement, and would crumble without it.

Christopher Hitchens

Taken from this interview.


  1. That's it! You've helped me find a term that I was looking for. One of the things that keeps me hooked on atheism is, I'm absolutely fascinated by the stunted emotions, the child-like petulance, the psychological immaturity that seems to be present in all the atheists that I meet. It's like there's some mutation or fundamental flaw that has kept atheists from reaching their full human potential. I've often thought that the study for someone's dissertation should be done on the damage, undeveloped synapses that have gone into the making of the atheist brain.

    But there was something else. There was something that I couldn't quite put my finger on - until I read your post. It's emotional isolation. That's the other thing that I pick up on when atheists allow themselves to get real about who they are. And of course, that makes perfect sense. We cannot view ourselves as insignificant in an uncaring universe without it having a profound impact on how we relate to others. As Christians, we know and apprciate that we were built for relationship, especially with our Creator and those who have been made in His image. But atheists? Mmm, not so much.

    Emotionally isolated. Thanks.

  2. Makarios, that was one of the most insipid responses I've ever seen.

    Emotionally isolated as we may be, we have an understanding of what it means to be independent. Our lives and our views and our votes do not hang on the words of the pastor.

    We are not lemmings. We are men and women. At least the atheist understands to behave as such.

    You may choose to believe I am emotionally stunted, because I do not suffer from your delusion, but at least I am smart enough, wise enough and free enough in thought to see the world as it actually is, and do not depend on such rationalization to make me feel better about myself.

    The very fact that you see the need to judge the emotional capacity of people you don't agree with speaks more clearly on your own insecurity than I ever could.

    Good post, Luke.