Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Your Turn

Do you go to church? One of my friends who is very religious does not go to church because even though he is religious he does not want someone else to tell him how he should be religious and feels church represents rules as in a time you need to be there and what day you need to attend.

104 comments:

Maggie Casey said...

I went to Catholic School growing up, so naturally now I don't go to church lol. Really relgious people annoy the crap out of me. My mom says church is how I should be meeting men (I'm 25)oh lord haha.

auntliddy said...

No. You dont need a church, or religion to be moral, ethical, kind, helpful, honest and trustworthy. I am all thise things, and have no religion and not sure about gid either. One does not need relgion or church to be worthwhile human. One has not to do with other.

All about Eve said...

I do but not as much as I used to. I'm starting to feel that there's no good religion and maybe I should just be spiritual at home

Dementia said...

Raised RC, don't go to church. Pedophilia, AIDS in Africa, nuns in USA are just some of the issues I can no longer support the church on in any way.

gtzisshe said...

I grew up catholic but I am now studying JW.
I have always felt that I can speak to God anywhere, not just a church.

Maggie Casey said...

Also I find that people who brag about being the most Christian (or whatever) end up being the most asshole-ish.

Maggie Casey said...

Also I find that people who brag about being the most Christian (or whatever) end up being the most asshole-ish.

califblondy said...

Catholic church on Easter and even though I'm not Catholic, they let me in anyway.

Me said...

no. it bugs me to have huge, expensive, buildings created so we can gathet people and then ask for money to "do god's work". meet in a theater or a school gym. you don't need a special building.

AND, then (i find) people at chuch look down on you if you ate not there every week, dressed as THEY think you should be dressed, etc. i doubt god cares how you costume yourself.

basically, its the people at the church that keep me away, and yes i have tried several.

but if my kids want to go i take them. i so think everyone should have their own way in this area. no issue with whatever others feel/decide.

Lori said...

I go to shul sometimes on Friday nights, unless I have classes or my sister isnt available. We dont like to go alone.

Maja. With a J. said...

I enjoy visiting old churches. Religion, and history of religion, fascinates me. But I don't "go to church", per se. Although I get why people do.

lazyday603 said...

I attend the Church of College Football most Saturdays in the fall. We have everything a religion needs. We have traditional songs and chants that our fathers & grandfathers did in previous generations. We have ritual galore. There are saints & sinners on the field. Your team are saints & the other team are devils. Unless your team has a bad day, then they are castigated as sinners until they repent by winning next week. If your coach sins repeatedly you banish him from the community.

celebrity gossip hag said...

No. Church ways feels cult-y to me. I know it's not, and I don't mean to offend anyone, but to me reading out if an archaic book and chanting and listening to a guy preach to you as to how to be is just plain weird to me. And fake.

yodelay said...

Enty, I didn't know we were friends!

Yeah, sometimes I look at my BF on particularly busy Sundays & say "I'm SO glad we don't go to church!"

g.strathmore said...

I don't go to church but I was raised in a very kind, progressive church that was unpreachy if that makes sense.

Every once in a while I'll go to a new church thinking I can find the same kind of mentality but inevitably the minister says something I disagree with or the feel is too cultish or too hippy or too conservative. I like the idea of having a time and place where people can focus on spiritual issues like forgiveness and compassion and charity, etc. but I also hate dogma and superstition so I probably won't ever be a regular church-goer again.

lazyday603 said...

Serious answer - In 5th grade CCD class I couldn't square the number of animal species on earth (8,700,000 at last count) with all of them being able to fit two each on one boat. The teacher said that the story was a fable. There is nothing about the concept of a supernatural realm that makes any sense to me. I'm glad others draw comfort from the ideas like eternal life & being with dead loved ones after death, but I just can't buy that a spirit/ghost realm exists. But that's juts me. Your mileage may vary. I certainly don't share these thoughts in polite company because I'm hugely outnumbered.

Jamie 2 said...

Yet another former Catholic reporting for duty! I'm a happy atheist now. I haven't seen the inside of a church in 17 years (and then only b/c my sis was getting married).

@Maggie Casey - don't go dragging Rick Santorum into this ;-)

Meg said...

I was raised catholic for a while, but we (me, hubby, kids) are not religious in any capacity now. We're just people who believe in being the best people we can be: honest, kind and caring to others, giving our time and our money when we can to those who need help.

That said, I can understand that a lot of other people benefit from the structure and sense of community church can offer. Some churches are great for that. However, I say that being a good person/spiritual is about God, whereas church/organized religion is about men wanting money and influence over others.

MISCH said...

Spirituality comes from within..not a building

PugsterMom said...

I go to shul a lot and I love it. We have amazing Rabbis and there's a wonderful sense of community and of giving to the community at large. I never feel pressured in any way. It grounds me.

Unknown said...

Yes, I go to church, a Christian non-denomination one. I don't let the less than stellar actions & attitudes of some Christians/people depict whether or not I attend church, the same way I don't let the less than stellar actions & attitudes of those at my job or anywhere in the world keep me from returning to work or patronizing any other location.

I don't consider myself religious because I associate that word with piousness & it reminds me of the self-righteous/pious Pharisees from the Bible. I consider myself as spiritual, or one who has a Relationship with God.

Like someone else already said, I don't believe you have to be sitting in a church to make you a decent, good-hearted, loving person, I just use use as one of the tools that I believe God provides for us to learn, grow, evolve, & to gather with other believers. However, I don't think church is the only path to those things. People in church may not be perfect and have their issues, but so do I just in different ways, so I don't focus on them and just focus on me and what I need to work on between myself and God. That way I don't get discouraged and not attend church or any other venue of any kind because there will always be imperfect people everywhere, including myself. Just my thoughts on this "Your Turn."

Ari said...

I am very Catholic, I feel like it's the only livable religion, I try to go to Mass every Sunday

AKM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
QueenBee said...

No. I have faith in God, but no faith in man.

Ms Cool said...

Every day people are straying away from the church and going back to God. ~Lenny Bruce

Ashlea said...

I don't go to church but i have a relationship with God and pray daily. I'll probably be "forced" to go back soon in order to get my daughter christened which my husband is not happy about. Hes a southern baptist and doesn't believe in baptising infants.

Lauren said...

@Maggie - my mother tells me the same thing about meeting guys at church! But I never see any cute guys my age when I actually go to church.

I was raised Catholic, went to Catholic middle school / HS and go to church every so often. The traditional Mass gives me a sense of peace and I find it comforting to return to my roots. I'm not overly religious, though. Religion and spirituality are things I'm trying to figure out as I get older. I would never get into an argument with someone about his/her beliefs and I don't push my religion on anyone.

Em Cue Em said...

Since I was a kid, I've always resented the idea of churches and their services - I've always believed in God (though probably not anymore), but I never understood why, if something is as spiritual and personal as talking to the one and only God we're supposed to have, we're supposed to let someone else dictate how, when, and where we do it. I don't enjoy church services, and the older I get, the more I realize they're formed on BS. The bible is a pack of lies, bound together by lie-twine and sealed with a lie. It's a good read, but only if you approach it as fiction. I mean, how in their right mind can anyone justify that a bunch of dudes, who a few thousand years ago wrote down clearly fictional stories, were telling the truth. Mysticism is mysticism, and religion has and always will be a means of controlling people.

Cara said...

I'm firmly Agnostic, but I do go to church (Roman Catholic) on holidays if my family really bugs me about it. I actually really love Mass and the sense of community gleaned from it, but I cannot support the church as a whole because of thier views on woman's rights, the sexual abuse scandals, and gay rights. I just try to be as kind, gracious, generous, helpful, and understanding as I can be, and hope that's enough for Mr. Christ when I die, if he exists.

Glitter said...

Yes, I go to church. I'm Baptist.

Alicia said...

No way. I stopped going to church when I was about ten .. Much to my mothers dismay. I told her at 11 I wanted to be a Buddhist and by 17 I was an atheist. Now I'm very non secular but I don't knock people's faith. Maybe there is something bigger than us. I guess I'll find out ( or not har har ) in hopefully about 60 years..
My mom raised us in a cult-ish church though, so I blame them for the heebie jeebies I always get going inside one. I like catholic churches architecture and I love The Grotto here in Portland but other than that I stay far far away

Seachica said...

No church for me. I am culturally Jewish, but don't attend services.

This YT is very topical for me right now. I got engaged last week, and am having to navigate what I want for my wedding. I want some of the Jewish cultural elements, but not the whole religious shebang. Ugh. I already hate wedding planning.

OMAMA is BROKO said...

I just started taking my kids to the RCC (roman cath church), and all but the youngest (which is a surprise) love it.

I just felt like, with all the sh*t I am dealing with with my teenagers, and how the true battle is with how their friends are being raised (like with 16 yr old girls sleeping at boys houses, and promoting/pushing the whole gay agenda) I just felt I'd rather my kids be initiated into the RCC so they could meet some kids their age who also have parents who aren't, "cool" with such things.

And the truth is, I know what I know about God and have the relationship that I do, only because I was exposed to it as a child, and was able to make my own judgments and conclusions. In hindsight, my justified resentment which provoked my not raising my kids in the Church, in hindsight, backfired. BUT - better late then never.

SusanB said...

Born and raised Catholic - dropped out for about 15 years, started going back about 4 years ago. I don't agree with everything the Church says, but I don't agree with everything ANYONE says. I'd rather work for change from within and find the Mass gives me the connection with God that I need.

I read this on CNN.com a few days ago - Not sure if I agree but it makes for interesting reading:

http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/09/29/my-take-im-spiritual-not-religious-is-a-cop-out/?hpt=op_bn9

Mhdz said...

Was forced to as a kid but we stopped going as a family when I was about 11. I had already dropped out of catecism by that point. Atheist now, so nope.

PugsterMom said...

I like what you said.

pilly said...

No

My mother said I needed to learn Latin when I was a kid because I would use it later in life

I fucking hate it when she's right

SilverOnyx said...

I'm not religious, I don't know if I believe in a god or not. But, I was just going to say how shocked I am that you were told in CCD that a bible story was a fable.

When I was in sixth grade in CCD, the teacher was telling us "Catholics are against abortion because Catholics are against the killing of people." I raise my hand and ask, "but what about the crusades?". She answered, "Catholics did not kill anyone in the crusades." With a straight face. I haven't believed in organized religion since. (and obviously she was a parent or something and does not represent the church in full, but the fact that we were being "taught" wrong information lead me to question blind trust)

*karen* said...

Cradle Catholic. Aside from a brief period from 5th grade through halfway through 8th grade when my parents stopped taking us to church, I've always gone. And even during that period, my parents still took us to C.C.D. Now that I'm 29 and getting married, my Mennonite fiance and I are going to raise our children Catholic. Even if you don't agree with every ideology of a particular church, organized religion helps to give children structure.

SusanB said...

@pilly - agree about Latin - it's helped me a lot, both in school and in real life.

II was in the 9th grade in about 1966. The nuns decided we all needed to learn how to type. Of course, the boys all said stuff like "I don't need to know that, I'll have a secretary" etc etc etc. I remember one nun saying "You'll thank us one day you learned how to type" - boy, was she right! in 1966, who knew we'd all have personal computers?

lazyday603 said...

@Silver, you have to admit I put her on the spot. 8.7 million species, 17.4 million animals on one boat? How would you answer a question like that from a kid? But I've had Catholic nuns tell me that not all Bible stories are meant to be taken literally. Which wasn't remotely controversial in the 1960's and 1970's (at least among the well read). We studied "Inherit the Wind" in Catholic School & we all (teachers and students) had a great laugh at the ignorant people who refused to accept evolution back in the 1920's. Who knew that they still existed underground only to spring back up in the 80's and 90's?

figgy said...

I was raised Lutheran, but the more I studied religion/theology in college and beyond, the less I believed it. Christianity simply does not stand up to scrutiny.

However, I am now married to a somewhat religious Lutheran, so I go to church (and it's a more conservative branch than the one I grew up in) because it's important to him.

I do enjoy the community aspect though...in many years of atheism/ agnosticism, I found that there's just no other way to develop and *maintain* that kind of long-term, cohesive community.

I don't believe that Jesus was the messiah, but I keep that to myself and I'm okay with the possibility of God.

Therese said...

I converted to Catholicism when I was 13. Best decision I ever made. I need to feel close to God, and this does it for me. I love the Mass and the Sacraments. Gotten me through some tough times. I agree that one does not have to have organized religion or a church to be a decent person or indeed to be close to God, and I respect all other religions. But I need this. I could never abandon the Blessed Sacrament.

Del Riser said...

I go to a nice Christian, non denominational church. Everyone is welcome, the minister usually wears jeans and a casual shirt. No bias is ever shown, many young people attend.

The sermons are topical and many times about just how to get by and along in this crazy world.

I can also *attend* my church online, and I do this once in awhile.

I don't consider myself religious,
I would agree to spiritual. I always say my bedtime prayers, but feel free to speak to my God whenever and wherever I please.

I have attended churches in the past where the minister definitely got in the way of me and my God.
I stayed away from organized services for many years because of this.

The church I attend now is the first where I've felt that the message was about you and God and not about the minister and *his* flock.

New Life and Attitude said...

Another born and raised Catholic who no longer attends church. I have over the years tried other denominations but I always found some of the same issues - those that seemed the most "christian" were also the most judgemental and hypocritical assholes. I believe in God and I don't need to be dressed a certain way or in a special building to talk to him whenever I want to. And I do feel like most religions are cultish and I remember saying that way back in middle school when I was forced to attend catechism (sp?). Even after all of these years of not attending Catholic church whenever I have to attend for a funeral or wedding it all comes back to me and I fall right in line. It's kind of scary actually.

Green Wave Gal said...

I think the question should be to you go to a place of worship. Not all religions call it a church!!!

That aside, I'm an atheist, but culturally Jewish. I was in temple a week or so ago for my best friend's wedding. I still don't feel comfortable there. I wasn't raised religious at all.

New Life and Attitude said...

Oh and this probably going to get me in trouble but I also joke around that I become very religious during sex. Depending on who asks me (or what kind of mood I am in) my answer to the question is usually "it depends on how good he is as to if I'm an atheist, a Catholic, or one of those Holy Roller types who have to shout at the top of my lungs."

OK I know I'm going to hell for that one.

Roxxx said...

Yes.

Religion doesn't bring you closer to God. But I think faith, prayer and love do.

gprincess said...

Catholic but couldn't tell you the last time I went to mass. Amazing from the comments how many of us have moved away from catholicism, describing ourselves as spiritual or agnostic. Was talking to friends about this the other day and we reckon that we are going through a new reformation of sorts, seeing as so many people are moving away from the church. All religions are founded on peace, respect and love but I feel that in the modern world RC does not encompass these things for me, with its stance on women's rights, homosexuality and its continuous covering up of sexual abuse within the church. I have faith, but no religion

Cheryl said...

I'm a devout Christian who does not belong to a church. I know several good people who are Christian who have invited me to worship with them. I've gone to church with close friends, but I've never felt comfortable at church. I'm a real goody goody with a squeaky clean past (and present) but I always feel judged by church people.

crila16 said...

I'm religious and I go to church. The church doesn't tell you you need to be there on Sunday, the bible said Sunday is the day of rest and that's when people are free to be able to go to church. That's why services are on Sunday. The church also gives you an option of a service late on Saturday in the afternoon.


So Enty...I guess your friend doesn't work or show up to events on time, just because working 9-5 is a corporate rule, and if someone makes a plan for him to meet at a certain time for an event, he won't show, just because someone else told him he had to be there at that time. I personally think it's an excuse your friend uses to justify not going.

smashbash said...

I was raised nothing. We started going to church when I was 7ish. I loved the community and the friends. When I was 14 we moved to Idaho and joined a baptist church.

It was hard to look in the eyes of really good kind men and then look into the eyes of their audience. Emptiness looking for divine intervention.

When I was 17 I started going to the bible college they proclaimed to love. It was filled with rules and people lying to break those idiotic rules. I sought out other churches on my own time. Lutheran was cool, progressive Christians who loved the earth were alright, mormans were a little cooky but I could see the love they had for one another, Methodist was a little wack with the talking in tounges and rolling around in the isles.

I could never recaptured that sense of home I felt at my first childhood Christian church. That church was filled with love for eachother and their community.

In all I have said not once did I bring up their actual faith in God. Because I am now an atheist and can realize they were all worshiping the same thing. Every single church. Scientology, Muslims, Christians, Catholics, Jewish, Baptists, mormans, Latvian Orthodox. They are all worshiping the same falsehood of a story. A story passed down for hundreds of years. While our minds evolve as humans our inane sense to need something higher then ourselves never goes away.

I am not afraid. I am not afraid to say NO, humans are the highest brain. It starts and stops with us. The fake stories started with man. Not divine interception. MAN. Men, mere mortals created stories of grandure to make themselves feel like someone out their loves them. No. Humans can love one another. But an inanimate object you created can not, can never and will never love you.


I appreciate and love the world before me more because I don't need a divine being to make me feel it. I feel it. I create my destiny, my future. When I pray, I pray to the sun for giving the plants life, I pray to the clouds that bring us rain and make the ground moist, I pray to the mountains that are stunning and were pushed up from the sea with magnificent force, I pray to the ground beneath my feet for holding strong with every step I take. I thank my myself for getting where I am. I thank my teachers for giving me knowledge. I thank my mother for raising me. I thank the bus driver for getting me safely there. I thank the doctor who studied for years to keep ME, you! Us all healthy. I thank the MINDS of men! The men who made us a free American! They didn't do it for a god. They did it for themselves! To be free of tirany and persecution. By their own hands and minds am I sitting here on my phone a great mind! Steve Jobs created! Not for god, for men! For himself.

Karrots said...

Recently returned to the Catholic church after 12 years. Go almost every Sunday and get a lot out of it.

I also just wanted to say that I am impressed by the respectfulness of this thread, religion is a hot button topic and it's nice to see a group of vastly different individuals come together and discuss their belief's without being a-holes.

AKM said...

"Methodist was a little wack with the talking in tounges and rolling around in the isles."

Uh, Methodists don't do that. I think you're thinking of Pentecostals.

New Life and Attitude said...

@ SmashBash - Methodists don't talk in tongues. I think you are referring to a section of Baptists who do that. Methodist is very close to Catholic, but the minister isn't a priest and can be married. That was one of the first churches I went to when I broke from the RCC.

smashbash said...

Sorry AKM. Pentecostals. Roll around on the flour and worship the burning bush in the cave.

Methodists. They believe not just one falsehood but three. A ghost. A god. And a man. A man. Not some half god. Just a man.

smashbash said...

Floor not flour. It is all the same nonsense. If you are picking details of one religion or other my battle is already lost.

My point means nothing if that's what it comes down to.
They are all from one story!! No matter what Christian sect.

Thomas said...

Awwww jeez Eeditt willya lookit at DIS? Pinkos, meatheads and now th jernt's fulla Catliks...

Get me a beeyuh...

Mary Ann said...

Yes, I go to church. I believe quite strongly. I also don't believe in battering other people with my beliefs. I will discuss, but I won't fight. I will respect other people and their beliefs.

I don't always receive the same. That's the way the things are. And it's the way things have always been. It's human nature to mock.

mikey said...

I was born into a very Catholic family - most of my Great Aunts are nuns and my Great Uncles are priests. I have never found peace in the church - mine or any others. I don't believe or not believe, I just don't care one way or the other. I do not go to mass, unless forced on Christmas/Easter. I don't bother people who are very religious and please don't try and guilt me into attending.

Cathy said...

@seachica - not sure if you'll see this or not, but have you looked into a humanist rabbi for your wedding? they're all about the culture of judaism, without any kind of emphasis on God.

AKM said...

Well, Karrots, it WAS nice and respectful...

*SIGH*

But I'm snorting at Thomas' comment.

bobbi_1025 said...

I think I'm the first, but I was raised Mormon. Once I started dating my now husband's family found out and his grandparents hit the roof. His grandfather said "That's even worse than catholic, I could accept that at least." Pissed me off royally. I had to walk out of the room before I told him his fat ass needed to get reacquainted with the sins sloth and gluttony. This is the same man who is over 450 lb and pisses in a container cause he is too lazy to go to the bathroom.

Sorry I got off topic but I am now forced to go to church every Wed night with grandma.

Pogue Mahone said...

We go to church every week as well as on holy days.

Lauren said...

I was a Christian growing up, then I decided to use my logic along with my faith. The best choice I ever made was to THINK for myself. I am still spiritual, and believe there is a god, but I feel like all religions are full of falsehoods and that its better to just be a good person, and after I die, I will have the answers we crave so much.

QueenChromeB said...

I follow the religion of Don't Be An Asshole

katsm0711 said...

I've said it on other posts. My dad is a Greek Orthodox priest, uncle Russian Orthodox priest, cousin SHOULD be ordained but his sect of the Russian church is run by a corrupt bishop who refuses to ordain him only bc he doesn't like him. Bishop was arrested for drunk driving. A real standout citizen. The priest in the church my best friend grew up in and her dad was president, the priest was the highest paid Greek Orthodox priest in America. Fr Dimitrios Rechichinas. They choose Greek over Russian bc Greeks get paid a lot more. Fr Dimitrios was caught approaching truck drivers at McDonald's on i95 offering free blow jobs while his wife and kids had no idea. He approached a parishioner by accident. The parishioner hired a private investigator who got photos. The church hid it. It wasn't until they got the story published in the only Greek language newspaper printed in Astoria, New York. Dimitrios just quit at the end of a service, giving no explanation. Everyone was sad thinking his cancer returned so they prayed for him for weeks like a bunch of idiots :( THEN (sorry I'm writing this out of order too hard to edit on iphone) he hid at home while people thought he was dying, then the article came out and imagine the feeling of betrayal? Did the bishop defrock him? Nope. He let him retire and flee to Greece where he's living it up. I knew from a young age that the church was like any corrupt money making corporation bc I'd hear my parents talk about corrupt bishops. Luckily at age 10 I was on a good soccer team with games on Sunday so my parents let me choose that and I maybe have gone 10 times since on a Sunday. I sometimes wish I had that childlike ignorance that happy church goers have. They do find a nice sense of community with like minded people and I believe Sunday school teaches good things to kids (and should be fun bc i was the arts and crafts lady at Dimitrios' Sunday school a few years ago). Knowing all the bullshit I know I just can't be a part of it. I am very close with God but I don't have a need to advertise it. I do go on Christmas and sometimes Easter bc I do feel that its important to remember the real meaning but also bc I hate the thought of my mom sitting alone in the pew while my dad is serving in the altar.

Snapdragon said...

Nope. Born and raised RC, have no use for the trappings of religion.

AndrewBW said...

My wife is Catholic so I go to mass with her because it makes her happy. And what the hell, it's not even an hour long. If the Catholics ever starting doing 6 hour services I'm outie.

Me personally, I'm an apatheist.

Reese said...

Practicing Catholic.

Catalina said...

The show "Big Bang Theory" summed it up nicely for me...

"I don't object to the concept of a deity, but I'm baffled by the notion of one that takes attendance ..."

Mango said...

I was baptized, received First Holy Communion and Confirmation in the Roman Catholic church. Now I'm atheist and utterly disinterested. My friend is the same and he wants to go so far as to get excommunicated so he can't be counted as a member. I don't care enough to bother.

auntliddy said...

I thought at first it read,"rabbits", lol

auntliddy said...

As Jenny Lawson said in her book when she was getting married," jesus is invited as long as he doest say anything." Wise approach.

JW said...

Yep, most Sundays and all the Holy Days. United Church of Canada. I go not only because of my religious beliefs but because my church is like a family. I'm a gay woman, everyone knows it and not a single person cares and this is with most of the congregation over 70. I've had friends without churches join because it is so welcoming. The church also performs same sex marriages.
We are a church in an impoverished area (although most of our parishioners are middle class). We do outreach such as gifts for prisoners in the jail across the street, after school food program, clothing giveaways in the spring and fall.
Most of the time I wear jeans to church. I also act in a number of the short plays that we put on to provide a different type of Sunday service.
I hope that anyone who is looking for a church finds one as wonderful as mine has been for me.

Janet296 said...

No, I do not go to church. The religious nut jobs in this country have led me to distance myself from them. They are closed minded and stupid. I think all churches are corrupt. Look at the catholic church. Protecting pedophiles for years instead of their flock. Why would anyone want to be associated with them?

auntliddy said...

Another thing i will never understand about religion is just using the oarts you like. So youre catholic, but u use birth control. Or jewish, but u eat bacon. Or muslim and go to strip clubs. I hv these situations in my life. So which is it? Are you in the religion ir out of it? Because it seems to me u cant be both. Can one really just pick the parts they like? Makes me glad i dont hv to deal.

Lydia said...

I am a newborn christian. Before, similar to many of you, I thought the human being to be the highest authority on earth, I imagined myself to be intellectually above christianity, believing that people of faith create religion to soothe themselves over their fear of death. I wondered how some people could have such a deep faith in God and be so sure of him, when there was no obvious evidence to see. I started to go to church and pray, investigate, and still I had doubts but over the course of years I had many eye-opening moments, where I entered a personal relationship with God. I realized that He is present and loves us and the intensity of that realization blew me away. It was not brainwash or anything like that, it freed me and gave me real peace. I started to study the bible, and it was the opposite of every prejudice I had against christianity. When you go deep into Gods Word, and study it with your heart, but also with your intelligence, it is mind blowing. It is true, that many people in churches judge others and believe that by following rules they become better people. But I have to ask you, are they doing it because they are christians and believe in God or are they doing it for themselves, to have power over people and feel above everyone else? That is not true christianity, it is pride and in the bible it is stated every step of the way. You realize it is Gods grace and love which saves us, frees us from our daily hunt for filling the emptiness in us, changes us. Through Him, you reflect your actions and your heart more deeply than you can imagine. If you want to investigate in Christianity, you want to know if there is a God don´t look at the people who have misused faith for their own good. Go to Him with your questions and doubts. It isn´t about following rules, it is about getting to know Him and realizing His love for us. Cs Lewis (philosopher and poet, who was an atheist and became a christian) wrote a very good book "Mere christianity" where he deals philosophically and intellectually with the origins of the world, life, the human being and its mindset and the truth of God and christianity. Also Timothy Kellers "Reason for God".

redronnie said...

Every time I am in Europe..I love wandering around churches..but at home no..my mother attended a Residential School, church run schools where Aboriginal children were in many cases were forcefully removed from their families and shipped miles away from home, many were abused, mentally and physically. The government mandated they kill the Indian in the child.

auntliddy said...

And while i woder and think about these things, i dont say anything to my friends. Oh and add a born again christian who was telling at some length how his company marks things up like 500%, because thats what u hv to do in business. Now before this we or he had been discussing his church. So i knind said without thinking," how do you reconcile the teo? The unconscienable markup and your religion?" And he had no answer, except, hummin hummina, and they gv seniors 29% discount. Interesting, no? I just lustened.

Turkish Taffy said...

I'm a Catholic convert to Islam, (btw, my cousin is a priest, he and his mother have supported me all the way). Anyhow, going to the mosque is not required for women. I miss it, and could go if I wanted to, but I like to have dinner ready for my husband and son when they return. I do say my daily prayers, and I have gone for weddings, funerals and holidays.

Thomas said...

^ Raised in a very laid-back and ostensibly Christian but definitely not a "going to church every Sunday" kinda family. Attended a private Christian school (Assemblies of God) for 12 years. Mom and dad rather old when I was born (my grandfather was actually born two centuries ago, ha ha): mom kept a bible on her nightstand, but the idea of her ever Witnessing to someone is so incongruous as to be laughable. I was an Believer for about six months, in 6th grade. After that, I decided I'd rather sleep in and/or watch Sunday morning cartoons (which were usually awful: anyone remember "Jot"?) Anti-Christian during my twenties and thirties, until I realized that by being "anti" something, you're really affirming it. The only way to be truly "anti" something is to be indifferent to it (that's a paraphrase of Marcel Duchamp famous comment about art, by the way.) I've read up on and am familiar with most religions, and have have a genuine fondness for Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Satanism. If I had to call myself something, I suppose it would be a Satanist: I like to think that I am the only Conservative Satanist (who is also sympathetic to and a defender of Christianity) in the entire world. But nowadays, who the hell knows?

Lioness70 said...

I go to church on and off. But I try to live my faith (and yes, I fall flat on my face a few times when trying) outside church. Going to church and acting like an asshole after the hour or so is over negates the whole reason why you're there in the first place.

Jamie 2 said...

@*karen* "Even if you don't agree with every ideology of a particular church, organized religion helps to give children structure."

I'm sorry to be so blunt, but: Bullshit. Organized parents give children structure. I know way too many parents who pass off the teaching of values to the Sunday School or the weekend Shul or whatever. Teach your kids to reason by themselves, to know right from wrong, good from bad.

If religion is fundamental to your way of life, by all means instruct your children in that religion. They'll probably all defect at age 12, as I did.

But don't expect your particular religion to raise your kids for you or give them structure. That's your job.



__-__=__ said...

I've been to a few small churches out in the country in several states that seemed to be altruistic. Lots of kind people getting together in modest buildings to share time together in the name of Christianity.

I've seen what religion does to small places and impoverished people. It's a sad thing to see these establishments try to enslave masses who are doing no harm. At this point I think they are doing more to separate people, create fear and it's byproduct hate, getting money and raping women and children. They prey on the weak.

It's time they should be called out and exposed for what they are. And they should all be taxed at every level stat.

Jamie 2 said...

Open question for every woman on this thread and every gay guy too (because most religions think you are lower than women, religiously speaking):

Why is it that every major religion on earth is run by men and oppresses women? Why should they get away with overt sex discrimination?

Cee Kay said...

We're UU (Unitarian Universalist)! We go to church most but not all Sundays and never during the summer. And nobody cares, because that's how Unitarians are. "Worship" for us means to treat the planet and all our fellow citizens with respect, in a nutshell, so we can do that anywhere. No, I'm not particularly religous. I don't believe in an external being managing my life, but I do "commune with god" in my own way (small "g" deliberate), several times a day.

ashley cundiff said...

*round of applause* that's exactly how I feel, and how I am.

ashley cundiff said...
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ashley cundiff said...
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MadLyb said...

No, not anymore. I grew up with an extremely religious mother. Loved her, but it was insane. We were dragged through a couple of religions and several states because Jesus kept telling her to move. The stories I could tell and thankfully won't, LOL. I don't believe in god anymore, but believe in something I suppose.

MadLyb said...

@Cee Kay - the Universalist Unitarian church or Buddhist temple are the only services I'd attend If I had a mind too. Those are probably my favorite philosophies.

Chrissy Buns said...

JW :) Always have been, and it makes me happy :)

Seachica said...

@cathy - thanks for them suggestion! I'm off to google that now

KarlsJ26 said...

Raised a catholic. Went to a catholic school for 12 years. Mass at least twice a week. Got sick of all the misogynistic bullshit and stopped going.

20 years later I took my two boys to Christmas mass to make my mother in law happy. Saw they had girl altar boys (don't know the proper term???).

Was happy that the church was finally including females in some small way until the girl knelt on the floor and the priest balanced the bible on her head to read from. WTF!!!!

Never been back. Told my boys they could speak to God anywhere.

stigs84 said...

I was raised catholic but I'm a proud atheist. Last year, my Christmas gift to my parents was that I went to church with them because I was broke at the time. Now, that's all they want from me every year. What did I get myself into?

feraltart said...

Exactly how I feel too auntliddy, very eloquently put.

feraltart said...

I am curious about the community comment. No judgement, just that I have been lucky enough to have really long-term friends (my longest friendship is 38 years, others are approaching 30, 25 etc).

Betsy said...

wow I'm surprised by the # of comments. the your Turn posts don't usually have this many -and on topic too. I was raised Catholic, married a Jew and agreed to raise my kids jewish- good values there except for the Zionist thing. After I divorced I joined The Society of Friends (aka Quakers) our values are simplicity, integrity, community, equality, stewardship and peace -no ministers, no rituals, anyone can speak at meeting and we all share responsibility. Belief in inner light that we all share and continuing revelation. Closest mentioned here is UU.

timebob said...

evil timebob would be very happy if we could get to 666 comments.

E Gee Be said...

Raised Catholic, but even as a young teen had many struggles with the Church, especially how they treated women, non straight people and was deeply disturbed by the long history of abuse at the hands of priests, and how those cases were handled. When I found myself unmarked and pregnant at 21, I went to my priest, a family "friend", to find out what I needed to do to be married in the church, my poor boyfriend was even ready to become Catholic so that we could! It meant everything to my parents....
Well, that priest told me that the boyfriend shouldn't bother converting, that I was a slut who would never be welcome back in the Church, and that my unborn baby would go to hell because I was so wicked.
21 years later, my church is the beach on Sunday mornings. My spirituality has nothing to do with any other person's rules, and my 21 year old son identifies as Buddhist, so I think it all worked out he way it was supposed to.

Merlin D. Bear said...

I was raised a Conservative Jew, to the point of doing Hebrew School after school 2-3 nights a week until 11th grade.
During this period, I was also studying magick and the supernatural.
I became involved with Wicca at the age of 17 and haven't stopped since.
It's evolved for me and with me and as a personal belief system it works for me.
So no I don't do churches per se.
I will gladly attend anyone's worship service as long as there's no hypocrisy or hate.
Because no matter what, there really is only One.

Lalaay said...

I'm a day late but better late than never ;)

I always say other annoying people ruin religion regardless of which one you are in! I usually don't go to the masjid except for Eids maybe a few days through Ramadan. I believe God can see me from my house just fine.

Stacey Charter said...

"I don't object to the concept of a deity, but I'm baffled by the notion of one that takes attendance ..."Exactly Catalina! Awesome quote I was trying to remember.

Being raised by an atheist father and an agnostic mom (who have since come around to believing more after I won my battle with ovarian cancer) I searched for my religion from a young age. Most of my friends were catholic so if I stayed overnight as a teenager at their homes, we went to mass.i always loved the order and sameness of it.

Even tho i was baptized a Methodist, i went to church/synagogue as a teenager, all different, to see what i liked.Bless my mom for driving me where ever every week.

Now I don't really go - preferring the church of St Mattress on Sunday mornings. But when I do , i go to an Episcopalian church here in town. Catholic lite - with the order and rites i like with out the narrow mindedness. I find it peaceful and leave lighter each time.

BUT I don't believe you need to be in a church to be closer to God. I live at the beach and I feel closer on the sand staring at the ocean then in a building where my butt falls asleep on a pew.