Sunday School Sans Religion

by Patrick Appel

A reader responds to Allahpundit:

Hey, remember when one of the benefits of not following a religion was being spared that religion’s rituals? What’s next, Sunday atheist mass?

I was raised Southern Baptist. One of the few reasons I miss organized religion is the social aspect of "church as an event." In Kansas City some years back, there was a freethinker's group called the Eupraxophy Center. As an atheist, I was attracted to it for its "Sunday School Without Religion," which promised to be a way to converse with like-minded individuals and discuss issues and ideas related to a god-free life.

For a while, it was just that. Eventually, though, it became a sadder, almost desperate attempt at emulating religion - they sang "free-thought hymns"  and made pronouncements of purpose and affirmations of worth. It was all done with a sort of blissful arrogance and the air of superiority that only an intellectually insular splinter group can have. It reminded me of the "People's Front of Judea" in Monty Python's Life of Brian. A group of outsiders, all sound and fury, and as disconnected from a practical reality as any religion.

(I am now a practicing Brianist. Behold the shoe.)