This past Sunday, some fellow AAAers and I made it out to our first church as part of the “Send an Atheist to Church” fundraiser. The fact it was palm Sunday seemed fitting, but I’m not quite sure why.
Anyway, we arrived at our destination without any trouble: University Lutheran Church. Part of Tuscaloosa’s “God Quad” of off-campus churches.
The people of the congregation were incredibly friendly and receptive to us, and seemed very interested in the project. Couldn’t have asked for a better starting point.
The congregation itself was primarily elderly, but with a smattering of younger members. There were only maybe 50 people there altogether, so it was an interesting change from the church services I remember from childhood. The community was clearly very close-knit.
The sermon was far more liberal than I had imagined. My skeptic alarms were ringing the entire time of course, but overall it was on the reasonable end for a sermon. It included some mention of God as an entity beyond the Universe, that only pokes in every now and them. I’d say that is still plenty ludicrous, but it at least doesn’t disregard the sciences.
The thing that stuck out most in the sermon for me was the repeated theme of “believe, and then you will see.” From a skeptical standpoint, that just can’t work. That is just straight confirmation bias in a can for our silly pattern-seeking brains.
Something like that. Just watch this.
Anyway, after the service the entire “God Quad” joined together to form a “God Voltron”, something that they apparently do as a ceremony for Palm Sunday. We got to stand around with tree leaves and look for shade.
Overall, it was a pretty swell way to spend a Sunday morning. This weekend, we get to experience a Southern Baptist church. I have never been to one before, so this should be something.
Also, in conclusion, all of University Lutheran’s materials were in Comic Sans.
I think we may have been trolled. Maybe. Too hard to say…