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Confessions of a church-going atheist

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posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 06:53 AM
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Hello ATS
sorry for my prolonged absence, but college has been rather exhausting. Now that I've freed up a bit of time, I thought I'd share a recent development.

A few months ago I was offered a bursary to learn to play the organ. Basically, once I've been trained up to scratch I'll start getting paid and become a sort of freelance organist. Until then, I have lessons and every so often I'll play in a Sunday service. So yes, one could argue that I am a church-goer.

Amusingly (to me, anyway), I'm an atheist. :p

I find it quite ironic that my passion for music has brought me to the church, of all places! However, you must understand why I took the opportunity: it was something new, it was a challenge, and it involved music. That's really the only reason I need.
No, I don't believe a word of the Bible, nor do I believe in a God. But I do believe in doing what you love.




posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 07:00 AM
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Music is about expressing yourself and trying to inspire that feeling in others. If your music moves people, does it matter where you play? I could listen to La Villa Strangiato in a cave.........and it would still be awesome.



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 07:04 AM
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Did you tell them you're an atheist or are you just taking advantage of their generosity in a silent, arrogant contempt?


+1 more 
posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 07:13 AM
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a reply to: NthOther

I haven't told them, nor am I "taking advantage" or showing "silent, arrogant contempt". That's a rather large conclusion you've jumped to. What if I'm there simply because I enjoy playing music and it's an opportunity to learn a new instrument? Having said that, I wouldn't relish the idea of telling them about my lack of belief; there are still many misconceptions about atheism, some of which you seem to have bought into.
edit on 8-11-2015 by Tenebris because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 07:16 AM
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originally posted by: Tenebris

I haven't told them, nor am I "taking advantage" or showing "silent, arrogant contempt". That's a rather large conclusion you've jumped to.

I think the arrogant contempt for their beliefs is obvious.

Do you think you'd be getting organ lessons (and a job) for free if you told them you're an atheist?

If not, then you're misleading your benefactors.

That is a form of lying.



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 07:21 AM
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a reply to: NthOther

Since when was it a prerequisite to be a theist? I was chosen because I had the aptitude. My religious affiliation, or lack thereof, never came into it.



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 07:32 AM
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originally posted by: Tenebris

Since when was it a prerequisite to be a theist? I was chosen because I had the aptitude. My religious affiliation, or lack thereof, never came into it.

Fair enough. If they have no preference then I suppose I stand corrected with foot firmly in mouth.

However I doubt they have no preference. You yourself say you wouldn't look forward to being honest with them about your beliefs.

If there was such a thing (and there probably is at this point) as an Atheist Scholarship, would you be upset if it was awarded to someone like me? Or at the very least a little confused?



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 07:42 AM
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a reply to: Tenebris
So you're sitting in this Christian atmosphere, and all that teaching is being absorbed into your subconscious, ready to influence you when you're least expecting? I think they know what they're doing.



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 07:45 AM
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originally posted by: Tenebris
Hello ATS
sorry for my prolonged absence, but college has been rather exhausting. Now that I've freed up a bit of time, I thought I'd share a recent development.

A few months ago I was offered a bursary to learn to play the organ. Basically, once I've been trained up to scratch I'll start getting paid and become a sort of freelance organist. Until then, I have lessons and every so often I'll play in a Sunday service. So yes, one could argue that I am a church-goer.

Amusingly (to me, anyway), I'm an atheist. :p



I wish more churches did stuff like this
As a Christian, hope they are treating you well and would even if they know you are an atheist.
It shouldn't change their attitude towards you
Enjoy the company.

What really bothers me is you like an organ, they are horrible instruments, horrible sounds

Enjoy

Btw try Bart Simpsons "in a Garda divida " by butterfly, that would be fun
edit on 8-11-2015 by Raggedyman because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 07:45 AM
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a reply to: NthOther

Confused, probably. But if you had the correct qualifications, showed promise and proved your skill, then I would have no grounds upon which to argue. To turn you away because of your personal beliefs would be silly, if not the height of rudeness.



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 07:49 AM
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a reply to: Tenebris

That's a great story. My first experiences with music were in the church. My whole family sang and at 3-4, I remember sitting on the bench beside the piano player, belting out the hymns. There's some great music in the church and nothing cuter than a four-year old with perfect pitch.



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 07:59 AM
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originally posted by: Tenebris

Confused, probably. But if you had the correct qualifications, showed promise and proved your skill, then I would have no grounds upon which to argue. To turn you away because of your personal beliefs would be silly, if not the height of rudeness.

Still. It should go to an atheist, should it not? I, a believer of sorts, would be taking funds that should be going to an atheist. I'm undermining your community under false pretenses (because there's no way I would tell them I'm not an atheist... right?).

I would be called every name in the book (and worse) for doing that, my skill and potential be damned.
edit on 11/8/15 by NthOther because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 08:12 AM
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a reply to: Tenebris

Just enjoy it


I'm a regular visitor to the cathedral in Liverpool. When my luck is in, their organist is practising and likes to get prog rockish as well as playing the usual hymn music. Given the acoustics in there, it's an experience that includes my back teeth rattling due to the stupendous bass.

The organist sits in a futuristic-looking booth some 40 feet above the floor and is surrounded by monitors and flashing lights.

I hope you get the chance to practice under similar circumstances and get a lot out of this opportunity. You'll have an audience who appreciates you and isn't that a highlight for any musician? Good luck to you


In my opinion (nothing more), people can get something from visiting places of worship whether they have Faith, are agnostic or are atheistic. Architecture, craft skills, acoustics or just somewhere that's peaceful where we can spend a little time and concentrate on whatever is on our minds.

The Lady Chapel in Liverpool Cathedral is beautifully done, always warm and usually peaceful. One doesn't need faith to appreciate such qualities.

ETA - Holy Cow!! I've started writing 'one' instead of normal pronouns. Blighted by pomposity at last...ffs


edit on 11.8.2015 by Kandinsky because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 08:15 AM
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a reply to: NthOther

I see your point, however I should mention that the woman who organised my placement in the bursary never asked for my religious views. The closest she came to that question was by enquiring if I went to church, and even this was purely out of curiosity. I replied honestly "no, I don't." At this point, she could have struck me off the list of potential candidates. She didn't, which tells me that my answer had no real relevance.



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 08:28 AM
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How would we ever get new members into the church if we never allowed non believers to enter into it?? Most folks who have ever stepped into a church did so without believing. They go to learn.

That being said... Good for you OP. Like the poster above, I hope they are treating you kindly and you feel at home there while you are there.


Not saying they are trying to convert you, but it should be a mission for them (all Christians) to behave in such a benevolent/giving manner that you might look further into the faith for yourself. That's how it's supposed to be done. Nobody sees nasty, hateful acting Christians and asks how they can get a piece of that for themselves.

But back on topic... Good for you for wanting to improve yourself. I am glad to see that you appreciate it and enjoy it.



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 08:32 AM
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a reply to: Tenebris

Is this you?



JK, enjoy your music, wish i could play an instrument



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 08:36 AM
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a reply to: Tenebris

When I was wee, I was brought up not to ask anyone what their religion was. It was considered very rude and nobody's business. Now it seems like everyone thinks they have a right to know what you think and if you pray.

It matters not what you believe in, if you enjoy playing and make others happy with your music. Surely sharing the space and the moment with each other is far more important than putting a label on each other? Good luck to you, I say.



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 08:44 AM
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originally posted by: Kangaruex4Ewe
Nobody sees nasty, hateful acting Christians and asks how they can get a piece of that for themselves.


Absolutely! Who would want to be part of a group whose members think, act or speak in an exclusionary way toward you?

I still remember (I was probably 8-9) when a group of about 6 hippies came into our church and sat on the floor in front of the first pew. The church was overly crowded and there was literally standing room only, and not much of that. I watched in astonishment as the deacons led them back outside... I will always remember the embarrassment and confusion I felt at that action by my church. Bad news...



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 08:54 AM
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a reply to: Tenebris

It is said that the Lord works in mysterious ways, it is also said that music is food for the soul.

Having no pre-conceived motive except to play music is awesome, live and let live.



posted on Nov, 8 2015 @ 08:59 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky




ETA - Holy Cow!! I've started writing 'one' instead of normal pronouns. Blighted by pomposity at last...ffs


You are now legally middle class.




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