Sometimes you find out that you were born too late. As a young atheist, I never considered that the Christian clergy might be open to me as a profession. I followed the hard road of other unbelievers, your Christopher Hitchenses and your Sam Harrises, and became a writer and controversialist. It’s a precarious living; newspapers did not think to introduce the practice of tithing when the time was still ripe.
But now I read of the innovative Rev. Gretta Vosper, a minister of the United Church of Canada (UCC) who preaches … atheism! Vosper has turned her Toronto UCC congregation into an inclusive club full of songs, poetry and chat about ethics and politics. I say “inclusive” although, according to the Globe and Mail, something like two-thirds of the 150 parishioners have left West Hill United Church on the reverend’s watch. You need not go there expecting to pray anymore, but you may hear the spiritual leader of the congregation say, “I am a negative atheist, which means I see no proof for the god called God or any other gods.”