Sunday, April 28, 2013

"Interview an Atheist at Church Day"

I really like the idea of Christians interviewing atheists. It may help eliminate some of the more blatant myths and stereotypes that so many religious people seem to have about non-theists.

Though I appreciate Bob Seidensticker and Kile Jones' approach I do have a few concerns related to this idea. I am somewhat wary of the motivation behind those clergy interested in participating. Christianity, despite claims to the contrary, have not always been very honest or particularly nice when dealing with either non-believers or non-Christian believers. Given that these interviews are suppose to take place in church and even in some instances as part of a service I can easily see it as a hostile venue.

That leads to my second concern. If a church in this area were to decide to participate in the May 5th interview day I'm not sure that I would actually participate. I'd like to but I'm not convinced I could overcome my instincts. I am not comfortable in a church setting. I've been to plenty of services over the years in a variety of denominations and have never felt very welcome. Being uneasy and potentially defensive is not a good formula for a productive interview. I see no reason clergy and/or laity could not meet with atheists in a restaurants, coffee shops, libraries, or some other non-sectarian locales.

Overall, it is an excellent idea. I hope it is successful and others take it further.

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