Latest post of the previous page:Weddings and funerals only for me and only so as not to give offence. I agree with others about Christenings.
I've also been in some churches in Spain as a tourist. But these people just weird me out. At the cathedral in Avila (about a one hour drive from Madrid) they have the finger of some long dead saint preserved and on display in a glass case.
Absolutely wrong in my case. I ticked choice (3) because that's in practice what I do. Mrs G and I went to a memorial not very long ago, of a well-respected neighbour who died unexpectedly. Also, it quite often happens that Mrs G nips over to the States at Christmas to be with her mum (I won't go there, BTW), leaving me alone at that festive time (a situation in which I delight) and I usually trot along to the local kirk for the traditional sing-song. Of course I sit at the back so I don't have to do the kneeling stuff, but I like to give a jolly blast to O Come All Ye Faithful and all the rest of it. Entirely for my own pleasure, I do assure you! However, I would far prefer to attend a humanist "Winterval" (or whatever) celebration and sing such songs as Lennon's Imagine. I think the opportunity for informal community singing occasionally is a delightful means of uplifting the spirits.Zoe wrote:I'm making the assumption that non-believers will only go to church to make someone else happy and not because they themselves get anything out of it, but I could be wrong. ... If you do attend a service, do you go through all the motions and sing hymns?
Now there's a need for an alternative term. Goodparent? Hmm. Graceparent? Giftparent? Guideparent? Does it have to start with "G"?Bryn wrote:I did draw the line at agreeing to be a godparent!
I love that about them. If I won the Lotto or whatever then one of the things I'd definitely do is look for a deconned church to live in - like that bloke in that book about a rock star in Glasgow. Not that Mrs G would agree of course - it would have to be a holiday home I guess.Miisanthrope wrote: I don't much like the feel of most churches, the high ceilings and alcoves and such.
That sounds to me like a great big superstitious hangup on your part, A.C. Perhaps you should go into one and fart or something, to get it out of your system!Alan C. wrote: Nothing would get me into a church, I am so anti everything religious it's probably not healthy.
Seemed clear to me. I welcomed (3) as it expresses my situation very well, as opposed to (2), which would not.Zoe wrote: Sorry if it's not clear.
Don't you have a say? Anyway, you could always sit at the back like the naughty kids in the classroom and vibe "antigodness"!Moonbeam wrote:If I had any say at all, I wouldn't set foot in one. I just find church services so boring and often offensive.
I always feel extremely grateful to my mother that she did not have us kids baptized or anything. In my opinion they are definitely doing a disservice to their child and should think again.Beki wrote:Topical question. My brother and sister-in-law are christening my new nephew at the start of September. I have told them that I am not coming primarily for work reasons, but also because I can't believe that they are having a christening when neither of them a) go to church or b) believe!!
If I had the courage (which I don't), child christenings would be one type of service where I think it would be morally correct to disrupt them, in protest at the laying of a weight upon the innocent child's mind.Alan C. wrote:Of all the church services, Christenings have got to be the worst, I couldn't attend one under pain of death, fortunately knowing my family, non of them would dream of having one, so that kinda lets me off the hook.
and the deluded!lewist wrote:and the poor!Lucretius wrote:...until you think of where the money came from to build these castles in homage to the imaginary. Off the backs of the credulous and ignorant.
I've been to 3 church / chapel weddings and am confident that I'll never go to another one. if any of my friends are daft enough to get married again and daft enough to do it in church / chapel, i'm sure they won't be daft enough to expect me to go.
As for baptisms, I went to one of those many years ago and was almost physically sick. I have been invited, and refused, to be a godfather. If anyone were to invite me to a christening, i'd ask them if they'd considered a humanist naming instead.
I have no problem about going into churches as a tourist. St Peter's in Rome is amazing and I went to Mont St Michel in Normandy this summer - it was breath taking.
My sister got baptised a couple of years ago in the local church (only so she could get married there...a lot of women need a church wedding for some romantic reason), she invited me but I couldn't bring myself to go knowing it was all a sham (she knew it, my family knew it and the vicar knew it).
I can appreciate churches for their architectural aesthetics but that's about that.
Was it a catholic christening? I seem to think they have to follow a rota of sermons and if your sprog is in line for a cr@p one - tough! i cold be wrong about that though.wizzy wrote: the sermon wasn't even about something vaguely good, like helping others, it was just about going out and finding "lost sheep" and inviting them back to church, which I think is somewhat offensive.
Anyway, every church service i've ever been to has felt shallow, I have felt an outsider, I didn't want to be there and I came out angry at the utter cobblers that was spouted. last night was completely different. At the beginning 3 Quakers explained what it was all about - there had to be 3 separate people because the Quakers have no creed or dogma and therefore you can't rely on just one person's interpretation. In that bit, they refererred to "god" and "faith" and spirituality" but did make it clear that how those words are interpreted was up to the individual (that approach makes the words meaningless IMHO).
The "meeting for worship" lasted 30 min (apparently a proper one lasts an hour). In that time 3 or 4 people stood up to give their "ministry" ie say what was on their mind (the Quakers call it summat like being called on to speak - i forget the exact words). None of them mentioned god / faith / spirituality, they all talked about secular subjects, mainly about breaking down the barriers between people.
It was weird listening to people talk and them being answered by silence, not a response or a retort supporting or criticising their point of view. Unlike the few church services that I've been dragged kicking and screaming to, i felt perfectly comfortable in that meeting. If only the Quakers would ditch the god talk, they'd be bloody good humanists ;)
In fact I'm tempted to suggest that we try the silent meeting approach at one of our humanist group meetings
Oh if only that were so common place as not to be newsworthy.lewist wrote:One of the main items in our local paper today is about a church closing down because of the low number of worshippers, sometimes not into double figures.
BTW, was anyone other than me annoyed at the news item about a mother who has apparently committed suicide following her daughter's death? On both R4 and BBC 6 O'clock news it started, "Prayers have been said in an Essex church for..." what has that got to do with the story?
The funeral I attended out of love and respect for the deceased and his family and it was such a painful occasion that the religious content was a side issue.
The wedding was an entirely different experience and I attended it because I refused to be seen as a "protestant atheist"! It was quite entertaining as it was in a catholic church and himself ("catholic atheist") and I went with two practising catholics. When they pointed the holy water thingy out to him he ignored it and walked straight on. I spent most of my time laughing at
a) the looks on their faces
b) the fact that they hadn't invited me to wash my hands or whatever it is one does with holy water.
I may resign myself to being a "protestant atheist", some perceptions will never change. Still, this is Northern Ireland.
I went to a memorial service recently after a young colleague was killed in a dreadful accident and the minister totally pissed me off with some of the crap he said about God being merciful etc. But being with all the friends and the family of the deceased meant a great deal to me and helped me with my grieving. The fact that the deceased was a believer meant the setting was appropriate even though it wasn't to my taste.