Is it weird for an atheist to like going to church?
I should probably clarify.
It's not the religion part that I like about going to church, in fact that's the one thing most likely to stop me from going. I can't stand the lectures (sermons) about living a good life/doing good deeds in order to get to heaven, or how it's the devil that makes people do bad things, or that we have no control over our own life and we should embrace that lack of control. Obviously, my dislike of such subjects stems from the fact that I don't believe in an afterlife, supernatural beings, or (for most situations) blaming anyone other than ourselves and our choices for the situations we find ourselves in. But this is not a post about why I'm an atheist, so I'll get back to the point.
I've been thinking about it recently because ever since I've been down here, I've been going to church every Sunday. Which, is quite often for a 22 year old--atheist or not.
It's not a requirement of my internship that I go, I started going because I find faith interesting. Plus, the Sunday school kids kick me out of my room by taking over the room next to mine at 9.45am every Sunday morning. They're loud.
And even though I've been the church pianist for 7 of the 8 weeks that I've been down here (meaning I do now have to go to church every Sunday) I think I would still go even if they found another pianist to play for them. Which, is a weird realization for an atheist to have.
But here's what I've learnt about churches, or smaller churches anyway. You really get to know the people that go. And when they're people like the ones who attend this specific church, you start to care about how their week went and how their trip was and what new story they have to share with you about their life and not only that, but you enjoy seeing them every week and you miss them when they're not there.
So here I am. a fairly hard-core atheist, of almost Richard Dawkins like atheism (though having gone to a parochial grade school, high school AND university, I know what it's like to have unwanted views pushed on you and try to refrain) who actually enjoys going to church, purely for the community aspect. Will wonders never cease.