Atheist "mega-churches" undermine what atheism's supposed to be about

I would have thought the message of atheism (if there needs to be one) is that churches and ritualized worship (whatever the focus of that worship might be) are best left to the people who feel the need to have a God figure in their lives. I say this as someone who has done plenty of Elizabeth Gilbert (“Eat, Pray, Love”) style dabbling in various philosophies to find life’s bigger meaning, albeit on a lower budget and so far with less satisfying results – no mega movie deals or hot Brazilian husbands have materialized to date, but the journey continues.

Like a lot of people who don’t subscribe to any particular faith or belief system, I’m all for exploring the many spiritual adventures that are out there, and there are already plenty of inspirational (and godless) paths to choose from. The thing is, rewarding as these ventures into the spiritual realm often are, be they Buddhist retreats, Hindu meditation sessions or just a good old-fashioned yoga class with some “Om” chanting built in, I know that my true self is an atheist one. No philosophy, full on religion or Sunday Assembly – no matter how enticing, inviting or full of wisdom it may be – is going to win me over in the long term. I’m just not in the market for any man-made belief system – and they are all man-made – because I already have the one I am comfortable with: atheism.