Yes, you read that right. We really have been going to church. Chris has only been able to go once because of his work schedule but even he likes it, which is saying quite a lot.
This is quite the different type of church though, which is why I really love it. When talking to a friend of ours about it the other day he said, “Oh it sounds like it’s the church of ‘Don’t be a dick.’” I think that’s a pretty good summation.
I’ve been 4 times and I haven’t heard anything preachy. I haven’t been told I’m a sinner or that any one group of people is “bad” or “sinful.” There has been no one telling me the logistics of how I should live my life. Just all the stuff I hold in high regard like caring for others, seeking justice for the poor, being kind/peaceful, and just basically trying to be a good person.
I had looked into this ages ago when we moved up here but didn’t know anyone who went and didn’t want to just show up, especially since I didn’t know what it would be like. A friend of mine goes so that inspired me and made me feel more comfortable. I’m so glad I went.
I know it probably seems really silly for atheists to go to church, but almost 20% of all UU members in the US self-identify as atheists. I think people often assume when you say you are an atheist that you are hateful to religions or religious people, which simply isn’t true.
I think there are great things to be learned from religious texts, which is what UU members believe. I just like that I get to pick and choose what I like from all of them, instead of being stuck with one when I don’t agree with everything in that one book.
I like being with people who are intelligent, kind and diverse. I like being a part of something that embraces equality and differences in all things such as, sexuality, race, creed, gender, etc. All of the people there are incredibly nice and welcoming. The only thing I ever liked about going to church before was the community. Everything else just got in the way and mucked it up though.
I don’t think people need religion, but they need community, especially non-judgmental community. So “thanks” Jillian for inviting me!