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Godless churches, past and present

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The Center for Philosophical Naturalism is hosting a discussion group to discuss the book “Atheism for Dummies,” by author Dale McGowan. The next session is this Sun. morning on Dec. 8. Click here to see all details: http://tinyurl.com/kl8f6xe .

This week Ch. 7 will be covered, which is called “Opening a Golden Age of Freethought.” It talks about the atheist movement after the enlightenment, and how it is related to the feminist movement. It also discusses the conflicts with science that arose, with evolution being one of the big issues. It then moves on to consider the political arena, and the chapter closes with the creation of “a religion without God” (Felix Adler’s Ethical Culture).

Here’s an interesting excerpt, regarding “Ethical Culture”:

The society quickly became much more than a lecture series, applying Adler’s ideas to compassionate action in the community. It created a visiting nurse service to provide healthcare for the indigent of New York and worked to improve conditions in the tenements of the city. The society also opened the first free kindergarten in the United States, as well as the Fieldston School, with a curriculum built around courses in ethics and moral philosophy, as well as active community service.

That first Ethical Culture Society is still very much there, a thriving community on Central Park West in Manhattan, and is still making tremendous contributions to the city and beyond. And the movement has spread to more than 30 Ethical Societies in cities across the United States.

I have a very warm place in my heart for Ethical Culture, and I’d love nothing more than to see an Ethical Culture Society in every city. Like Thomas Jefferson taking scissors to the New Testament, Ethical Culture keeps the good parts of religious community and leaves the outworn, outdated, and outgrown parts behind.
Source: "Atheism for Dummies," Ch. 7.

Another example of a recent new “Church without God” is the Sunday Assembly, coming to Portland on Tue. Dec. 10. The founders, Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans in the U.K., have said it is “like a church, but without the God-bit.” For more information, see this Facebook event page: http://tinyurl.com/ldtmtp9 .

To see other events for the Center for Philosophical Naturalism, see their meetup page here: http://tinyurl.com/l6rd4sl .

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