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Do you ever go to church?

General socialising and light-hearted discussions take place in here.

On what occasions are you prepared to set foot in a church? (Apart from as a tourist!)

Wouldn't set foot in one
16
10%
Would attend only for a ceremony (specify below)
70
43%
Would attend for a ceremony, memorial service or a carol service.
49
30%
Would attend a normal service.
29
18%
 
Total votes: 164

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Author
tom in napa
Posts: 29
Joined: June 20th, 2014, 11:05 pm

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#361 Postby tom in napa » August 4th, 2014, 6:44 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

I live at a war veterans retirement home and each month in the on-grounds chapel there's a memorial service for resident who died the previous month. I last went to a memorial service about three years ago and heard a militarized chaplain say the deceased were going to a new commander.

Hearing those words all but sickened me because in the Catholic schools my dad had put his kids into, I had been told to live a similarly submissive life. I quit religion while in college. A few days after that service I happened to meet the Home's assistant administrator and asked him if there's a service for non-believers. He very properly replied "If you want one, make the arrangements."

I briefly thought about organizing the few out-of-the-closet non-believers and the many who don't attend chapel services. Knowing that doing so would require effort and few if any would respond, I decided there are more fun-filled ways to meet non-believers here. Also, because I won't care what happens after I die, I decided "Fuck it! Let some pandering or deluded chaplain say what he will."

Because in about a week, five guys I knew will be memorialized, I might attend a second memorial during my 18 years here.

About ten years ago for a few weeks, I was one of a small writers group who set up a few chairs in the rear of the chapel. We read and critiqued what we had written since we had last met, put the chairs away and left. Yeah, some of us used "colorful" language in what we wrote and in what we said while there. :hilarity:

BTFW, no taxpayer money has been spent on the chapel. Volunteers do most of the work, and because many residents have no heirs their estates have paid all costs.

Cairsley
Posts: 28
Joined: July 4th, 2014, 2:25 am

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#362 Postby Cairsley » August 23rd, 2014, 4:33 pm

I have not entered a church since my apostasy from Roman Catholicism some twenty years ago. Friends I have made in that time have all been free of religion and for various reasons I am also estranged from my family, so the ordinary reasons why a nonreligious person may find himself being asked to attend a religious event have not arisen in my case. Hence, my apostasy has left me with no reason to attend any religious event these last twenty years. For the first ten or so years after my apostasy I was actually allergic to anything religious and even found it difficult to converse politely to someone religious whom I had known in my religious days, and the very thought of going anywhere near a Christian edifice gave me the creeps. Now, some twenty years after the liberating experience that constituted me an apostate, I feel less resistance to entering a church for a suitable reason, such as showing respect for a friend, even though, since none of my friends are religious, there is still little likelihood of my ever having to enter a church for any such reason. Entering architecturally interesting churches (of which there are very few in New Zealand, where I live) is in a different category in my mind, though of course I would do so only if there is no service or ceremony being conducted in the church at the time. Clearly, then, I am not a cultural Christian, thanks to my circumstances, though I am, on account of my Roman Catholic upbringing, very familiar with Christian traditions and customs. Despite the softening of my attitude towards church in later years, I am happy to stay away from any such edifice while I have no reason to go near it.

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Dave B
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Joined: May 17th, 2010, 9:15 pm

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#363 Postby Dave B » August 23rd, 2014, 6:27 pm

Cairsley, I was interested in your "allergy", your adverse reaction, to anything religious. This seems to be something that works after "breaking" from any strong habit - those who get religions really badly in later life sometimes also get over zealous about it. Just as ex-smokers are often the most vociferous ones in trying to get it banned everywhere.

I sometimes wonder if it is a fear of being tempted back to the previous life habit that generates the strength of feeling against it. Doesn't really matter in the long run if you are settled and relaxed in your current situation.
"Look forward; yesterday was a lesson, if you did not learn from it you wasted it."
Me, 2015

tom in napa
Posts: 29
Joined: June 20th, 2014, 11:05 pm

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#364 Postby tom in napa » August 24th, 2014, 5:55 am

Cairsley, if your Catholic experience was like mine, your continuing "allergy" may be one of the levels of post traumatic stress. The stress you feel may lessen; don't count on it to go away. I wish you well.
My continuing stress resulted in my putting the energy I felt into non-partisan political activism, which I do not for a moment regret because I met so many wonderful reform-minded people I'm now 83 and still active.

The details are that I was in my teens when Catholicism's ban on birth control, joined to my having grown up in a violent family, left me so fearful of having kids that I had the most severe ptsd symptom: a wake-up-terrified nightmare. I had only one such nightmare; I relieved the severest stress by resolving to bring no kids into the world and later by quitting Catholicism for agnostic atheism. I married a woman who'd been orphaned by her parents' deaths in an auto accident and whose experience in an orphanage left her wanting no children.

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Zom
Posts: 16
Joined: March 3rd, 2015, 3:44 pm

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#365 Postby Zom » March 4th, 2015, 10:20 pm

I would enter a church for the architecture, or for the wedding or funeral of a loved one (friends included). There is a prayer center nearby that I like to visit for its unethical flourishes. I say "unethical" because the building is far bigger than needed. I appreciate the aesthetic of the place, though I make a point not to interact with anyone, and I find the poor use of the money abhorrent.
"Tolerance is you saying something crazy and me smiling and saying, 'that's nice.'" -- Penn Jillette

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Caring Guy
Posts: 21
Joined: December 18th, 2015, 3:47 pm

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#366 Postby Caring Guy » December 18th, 2015, 10:19 pm

I would only attend church for specialist services such as:

Funerals

Weddings

Christmas Carols (merely as my Mum likes them)

Manel
Posts: 66
Joined: September 11th, 2016, 5:46 am

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#367 Postby Manel » October 1st, 2016, 11:31 am

I never go to a religious ceremony.

It's not because I'm anti-religious. I do it for the same reason that I never go to an astrology conference, where I sometimes have the oportunity to go.

If somebody invites me to a religious wedding, I go to the lunch or dinner, and maybe at the church door to see the couple and wish them happiness. I've had no problem with that.

I've been told several times I'm an extremist because I never go to religious acts, but the same could be said of not going to astrology or pseudo-science conferences. I simply don't have any interest. If someone is angry about that, he or she has to learn something about freedom.

I hope the humanist group in my town will organize some scientific divulgation conferences. I know a lot of people who will never go to a conference organized by explicitly non-religious people. THAT is extremism. I'm happy to share something of general interest even if it's organized by religious people, in fact I don't even care.

By the way, I'm surprised that 18% of people here would go to normal church services. No problem, just surprised.

Have a nice day

Manel

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Alan H
Posts: 22268
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#368 Postby Alan H » October 1st, 2016, 11:36 am

Manel wrote:I never go to a religious ceremony.
Did you have to go when you were growing up or were your parents not religious?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Manel
Posts: 66
Joined: September 11th, 2016, 5:46 am

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#369 Postby Manel » October 1st, 2016, 11:49 am

Yes, I had to go until I was 14, my parents were religious.

By the way, it's practically impossible to get officially out of the catholic church in Spain. First step is getting your baptism paper from your church, and they told me they didn't want to give it to me because it was for apostasy! I protested in several places in spanish government and administration, and they say they can do nothing because it's a "private" matter. The spanish office for data protection told me that until four years ago it was possible for them to make the church give me that paper, but now the law has been changed and nothing can be done.
But the church gets lots of money from the government based on the number of catholic people in Spain, in which I and millions of people who don't believe are counted. That's my country, folks!

Best wishes

Manel

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Alan H
Posts: 22268
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#370 Postby Alan H » October 1st, 2016, 12:25 pm

Good grief. Once the EU's new regulation and Directive on data protection will be useful when it comes into force in a few years?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

Manel
Posts: 66
Joined: September 11th, 2016, 5:46 am

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#371 Postby Manel » October 1st, 2016, 12:30 pm

I hope, thanks for the information.

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Nick
Posts: 10848
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 10:10 am

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#372 Postby Nick » October 1st, 2016, 12:50 pm

Manel wrote: By the way, it's practically impossible to get officially out of the catholic church in Spain. First step is getting your baptism paper from your church


What happens if you write a formal letter to the church, the appropriate bishop, perhaps, stating that you are no longer to be counted as Catholic, as you have renounced your "faith"?

Theologically, they may tell you that you are still Catholic, but they can't go directly against your wishes, can they? Why the need for the baptism papers?

Manel
Posts: 66
Joined: September 11th, 2016, 5:46 am

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#373 Postby Manel » October 1st, 2016, 1:28 pm

Thanks for your interest, Nick, but they ignore you anyway. I know some people who have tried, and none has succeeded.

Spain is, sadly, different

But I'm a happy humanist ;)

Cheers

tom in napa
Posts: 29
Joined: June 20th, 2014, 11:05 pm

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#374 Postby tom in napa » October 2nd, 2016, 11:49 am

A few hours ago, for the first time in decades, I was in one.
It was a chapel-like room in a much larger non-church building being used for a Toastmasters speech contest. An Assembly of God congregation uses the room and some of the space outside it.
Otherwise, I see churches as places where fraud is perpetrated on willing victims.

tom in napa
Posts: 29
Joined: June 20th, 2014, 11:05 pm

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#375 Postby tom in napa » October 2nd, 2016, 10:03 pm

Twenty four hours ago (as I type these words) I was in a small Assembly of God chapel for a Toastmasters speech contest.
In 2001 I was at a memorial service for a deceased friend.
In 1965 I was at a wedding (mine) in a small church chosen by my agnostic fiancee's very xian parents.
In 1957, at a state university in an otherwise agricultural county in Florida, I quit Catholicism for agnosticism. A few months later, visiting in a large northern city, I went to a Catholic cathedral to hear its huge pipe organ. I later purchased a recording of a pipe organ playing jazz and a college roommate told me that playing non-religious music on a pipe organ is a sin. (Extremism adds to religion's ugliness.)
In almost sixty years no lightning bolts have landed nearby.

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Catriona
Posts: 4
Joined: October 10th, 2016, 11:53 pm

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#376 Postby Catriona » October 12th, 2016, 3:24 am

I occasionally go to a Unitarian Universalist church. It really is wonderful. They give spiritual topics a humanist bent.

tom in napa
Posts: 29
Joined: June 20th, 2014, 11:05 pm

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#377 Postby tom in napa » October 12th, 2016, 8:23 am

UU, of course. How did my 85-year-old memory manage to fail?
In addition to the above, in 1967 or 68, my wife and I visited the UU church in Austin, TX, to hear a speaker from the nearby nudist camp. We visited the camp several times. Yeah, humanism!

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Alan H
Posts: 22268
Joined: July 3rd, 2007, 10:26 pm

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#378 Postby Alan H » October 12th, 2016, 10:18 am

Catriona wrote:I occasionally go to a Unitarian Universalist church. It really is wonderful. They give spiritual topics a humanist bent.
Hi Catriona. Can you say a bit more about this? What sort of things go on there and what topics are discussed?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

User avatar
Catriona
Posts: 4
Joined: October 10th, 2016, 11:53 pm

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#379 Postby Catriona » October 29th, 2016, 6:51 pm

Alan H wrote:
Catriona wrote:I occasionally go to a Unitarian Universalist church. It really is wonderful. They give spiritual topics a humanist bent.
Hi Catriona. Can you say a bit more about this? What sort of things go on there and what topics are discussed?


They do normal "church" stuff like sing and have silent meditation, but also express "joys and concerns," and a time for the kids to come forward for a relevant story before going to Religious Education classes. Topics can be on love, freedom, or creativity. Once a year they have a water ceremony, where everyone brings some water from their summer activities to pour in a community container that is used to water plants. I love it! They also have group get togethers for pagans, buddhists, retired men, community outreach, etc.

VINDICATOR
Posts: 317
Joined: December 22nd, 2016, 11:07 am

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#380 Postby VINDICATOR » January 2nd, 2017, 11:55 am

What's so particular about going to church? In a modern secular nation a church is not just a religious temple. Going to church is like watching TV. First you have to listen to the commercials, ie. the sermon. Then you sing KTV, the hymns! Then you have to pay for services, the offering. Then you can have fun. they have all sorts of parties and social activities where young people can find a boy/girl friend. Many professionals like doctors and lawyers will join a large church to find business oportunities. In the USA many churches will host a troop of boy/girl scouts etc. The Pastor has a duty to keep his flock under control, for instance he might be called on to referee a fight between husband and wife, etc. In other words, a modern church is more like a community club house than a house of God! If you really want Humanism to go big-time then you must have a church (club house) too! I think the Pastafarians are trying to go that way. How about you?


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