Author Topic: non-theistic organizations  (Read 451 times)


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non-theistic organizations
« on: March 26, 2012, 11:19:49 PM »
I'm curious who among you are members any of the nontheistic religions or organizations such as the Unitarian Universalists, Ethical Humanists, etc (not sure if that's the correct term for them). I've found the humanists interesting, and my wife and I renewed our vows using a humanist celebrant, but we've never gone to any meetings. I've occasionally been curious to try them out, but part of me wonders if it would be too similar to attending religious services for my tastes.
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Re: non-theistic organizations
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2012, 08:02:05 PM »
I am a member of the Center for Inquiry ( CFI was started way back in the 60's (guess) by Paul Kurtz and others, right here in Buffalo, NY. You may have read something from Prometheus Books which is their label. They also publish several widely read mags, Free Inquiry, Skeptical Inquirer, etc. They may have invented the catch-phrase "secular humanism" (I am not one) They have steadily grown and now they are worldwide, having presence and chapters in every corner of the globe, including being recently designated a "NGO" (non-govt-org) by the UN. They are involved in everything from campus outreach to secular sobriety groups to international charity to political and religious discussion and advocacy to publishing to secular celebrations to media productions to pot luck dinners! Look 'em up online and go visit, if you find a chapter within traveling distance.

I may be found, on occasion, mostly when they have one of their special "Music Sundays", at the UU church in Buffalo. (My wife is a singer there.) They are very tolerant of all types of people, excepting violent ones. This of course means that they give credence and elbow room to any version of "How Things Are" that you might come up with. The UU org is of the Protestant origin, and their structure is similar to other western, Protestant churches. They have local outreach as well as international programs and always an over-arching structural hierarchy. I find it a tolerable place to hang out, because no one expects anything from you. I have not become a member, basically because I choose not to pander to any and all varieties of claptrap, or to nod and smile as the minister goes on about some spiritual concept.

There's an intro to two orgs that I would say are worth the investigation. Glad you asked.


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Re: non-theistic organizations
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2012, 03:22:46 AM »
I'm one of the founding members of Fellowship of Freethought here in Dallas and currently the social director.  We have a monthly meeting where we get together for presentations and a pot luck lunch and it includes programs for the kids during the presentations.  It's loosely modeled after what churches have done for community building that has worked but that's where the similarities to church stop. We've actually done all we can to make it less churchy while having structure but I think that since we meet on sundays there will always be someone who thinks it is churchy even though the presentations are often what you'd expect if attending a philosophy or science club presentation.

I wanted a humanist celebrant for our wedding but there were none registered in oklahoma at the time (maybe there are now as I know they have a couple Coalition of Reason groups spring up in the past year or two).  I thought about joining the American Humanists (i think that's the name you were thinking of when you said ethical humanists) just so I could become a celebrant and register in oklahoma but I need to be a better public speaker first as I don't want to ruin anyone's wedding.

Anyway, if you are interested in real life groups check out and search under secular, atheist, humanist etc near you.  A lot of the groups, including the group I'm with, offer a wide variety of more casual events and utilize meetups to help people find them.  Common meetup things for secular groups are dinners and pub nights...but some have a wider variety; we do those plus game nights, local college lectures, bike rides, a large variety of community service activities (partnered with foundation beyond belief) and were suppose to have a fitness program but that rests on me right now so it's on partial hold while I recover.


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Re: non-theistic organizations
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2012, 03:35:51 AM »
I checked for meetings in my area, and there isn't any sort of secular/humanist/atheist etc meeting within 40 miles of me. I searched for the city I want to move to ASAP, and lo and behold, there are 2 humanist organizations there, plus a branch of the Center for Inquiry. Bingo.  ;D

ETA: Whitney, I checked out your Fellowship of Freethought page. You have an impressive little lending library! Awesome!

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