As a mother and Atheist ( for over 20 years) I've found the hardest aspect of being an Atheist and a parent - is finding community. Not just for myself - but for my children. Community and socialization are crucial in a child's development. I feel this in one of the most significant reasons there is less women in Atheism - because there is less family in Atheism. In meet-ups, they are predominately male - and usually at libraries.
Friendship, community, income, networking, socialisation - that people think they can ONLY get these things from church says less about atheists than it does about the control religion extends.
It won't matter a damn if there are family-friendly atheist social gatherings if the sheeple still think that social interaction has to be done in/through the church. I'm all for leading by example but you first have to be in front.
When the post says "I cannot find Friendship, community, income, networking, socialisation" and you answer that these things CAN be found - you have to put up or shut up. The game was to NAME THE PLACE that offered these NOT to heap scorn on the a group that offers a solution.
The retarded fools at church are doing what you claim can be found elsewhere... Just calling them names is not doing it right.
Sorry Kirk - I had thought it was evident from the tone of my post. See below for my reply.
How do they socialise at Walmart?
Matt - you're the type that causes apathy on an important subject. One that requires real dialog - not sarcasm and etc.
The sarcasm was directed solely at Kirk.
So Matt , then kindly list these social groups for Atheists families to connect and find community , activities and large social grouping ?
It's not they think it has to be done through church - it's has become the staple of social life for families and for community.
Do you have children?
Yes to the children question.
My point is that having "Atheist" activities, clubs, gatherings etc are just as exclusive as church-based activities - family friendly or not. If I told my non-religious wife that we were going to an "atheist" family picnic she'd turn up her nose on the simple basis that she does not consider herself to be an atheist.
Are you trying to tell me that you can't call up some friends to go watch a movie that has nothing to do with church? Do you work in a church? Do all the children in your community go to church after school or do they play in the park? Is it a requirement for your children to be members of a particular church to be part of a sports team? Why is a library not child friendly, anyway? Are all the concerts in your area off-limits to non-theists?
Ask this - WHY has church become the staple of social life?
Are you not getting the point of community and church and the point of this post ? I think you aren't -
"Are you trying to tell me that you can't call up some friends to go watch a movie that has nothing to do with church?"
No- I can and do - the point is , none are Atheist. I have no friends that have families with like minded views for support , discussion and friendship - community. None of this relevant to my post...
If you ask why women ( and lately that question has been on going in forums) are less likely to be Atheist or be out or why do we seem to be unbalanced- this is why. There is no common ground, social grouping for peer relations or commonality ... Such as in church. What makes church - and the people - so happy is the community , the friendship, the shared experiences - the socialization. You seem oblivious to this issue- do you have children? It's easy to sit back be so casual with answers if you don't - not so easy when you actually have a family.
Gosh darn it - here I was thinking that I had already answered this question: YES - I have a son.
I have, perhaps, a single friend that 'gets' my atheism on any meaningful level. I have no real-life interactions with "Atheist" groups or societies. I have virtually no-one to talk to about how I feel in regards to politics, philosophy or religion. Do I feel socially disadvantaged? Not on your life. I still have friends, family and colleagues that I can socialise with, even though I might be the only one in the room who cares who Christopher Hitchens is. I'm also still an 'outsider' in the town that I've lived in for over 20 years for the simple fact that I wasn't born here. And yet I STILL don't feel socially disadvantaged.
Let me try a different tack:
What DO you have in common with your non-atheist friends or work-mates?
Do you consider yourself an Atheist first, or a person first?
I know it's activities- that part of the point of community. Atheist parents- such as your brother and myself - we have to find outlets. I go to parties, charity events, mudding and etc - all my activities and etc - are not with other Atheists. They are with theists. There are no like minded social groups for family. Kids need to be around like minded individuals - to be subjected to others who share familiar views. I find myself - purposefully blocking, for my kids, my Atheism - so they don't get excluded from events. I know many who actually go to church and participate, so they can have 'community' for their kids - why ? Because we lack that support and parental networking. I've done the same outside of church.
I challenge to look at statuses and updates from fellow Atheist's ... Take note how many write on their children , wives & family life - men vs women ... How may women do you know , who are mothers are active atheists - meaning out ? Find out how many Atheist social groups - for families are in your area. This is going to be one of our most significant drawbacks- and the reason migration from faith to none, will be most difficult.
I go to parties, charity events, mudding and etc - all my activities and etc - are not with other Atheists. They are with theists.
Atheists are outnumbered, obviously. But atheism does not lend people to enjoy the same activities. The law of numbers makes it so that you will not likely have organic activities that are populated by mostly atheists. It just doesn't happen (yet!). And screening for atheists makes it inorganic, a bit forced, and is typically hard to put together. Especially on a regular basis and especially when atheists are not all together geographically and our interests and personalities are so varied.
I do think you bring up a great point that I have heard lamented before. While there are plenty of Skeptics in the Pub events, there really is not much going for a family oriented get together of likeminded heathens. My hope is that as nonbelief spreads, this will begin to change.