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Do you ever go to church?

General socialising and light-hearted discussions take place in here.
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On what occasions are you prepared to set foot in a church? (Apart from as a tourist!)

Wouldn't set foot in one
17
10%
Would attend only for a ceremony (specify below)
71
43%
Would attend for a ceremony, memorial service or a carol service.
49
30%
Would attend a normal service.
29
17%
 
Total votes: 166

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Thomas
Posts: 459
Joined: July 21st, 2007, 3:54 pm

#41 Post by Thomas » August 17th, 2007, 7:45 am

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.

ColinAngusMackay
Posts: 109
Joined: August 20th, 2007, 1:02 am

Weddings and Funerals only

#42 Post by ColinAngusMackay » August 20th, 2007, 6:35 pm

I got dragged into Mass once by an ex-girlfriend. I had no idea what I should have been doing. None of it made any sense to me and there was a twelve-ish year old girl at the front holding a big oversized bible open for the priest to read from. She was such a submissive posture that I was quite disgusted by it.

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.

Lucretius
Posts: 262
Joined: July 26th, 2007, 11:19 pm

#43 Post by Lucretius » August 21st, 2007, 12:16 am

Being that I have been an atheist pretty much my whole life I have only been in a church perhaps 3 or 4 times that I can remember. I don't really have a problem going to a church but the need or reason never arises. Some churches are actually architecturally impressive and pleasantly aesthetic. Well at least 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.
"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats." - H.L. Mencken

lewist
Posts: 4402
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 8:53 pm

#44 Post by lewist » August 21st, 2007, 8:17 am

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.
and the poor!

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God
Banned
Posts: 841
Joined: July 6th, 2007, 12:23 pm

#45 Post by God » August 21st, 2007, 10:56 am

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?
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.
Bryn wrote:I did draw the line at agreeing to be a godparent!
Now there's a need for an alternative term. Goodparent? Hmm. Graceparent? Giftparent? Guideparent? Does it have to start with "G"?
Miisanthrope wrote: I don't much like the feel of most churches, the high ceilings and alcoves and such.
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.
Alan C. wrote: Nothing would get me into a church, I am so anti everything religious it's probably not healthy.
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!
Zoe wrote: Sorry if it's not clear.
Seemed clear to me. I welcomed (3) as it expresses my situation very well, as opposed to (2), which would not.
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.
Don't you have a say? Anyway, you could always sit at the back like the naughty kids in the classroom and vibe "antigodness"!
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!!
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.
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.
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.
lewist wrote:
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.
and the poor!
and the deluded!

Fred
Posts: 111
Joined: July 13th, 2007, 3:33 pm

#46 Post by Fred » August 22nd, 2007, 8:47 am

I will go to funerals of close family and friends. I have not adopted the Welsh habit of going to every funeral possible. In fact, I have been to only 5 funerals in my life and tbh, that's enough. I can't say categorically, but I don't think I'll go to another one, unless it's a non-religious one.

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.
Fred

ThinkHumanism
Site Admin
Posts: 156
Joined: June 25th, 2007, 11:21 pm

#47 Post by ThinkHumanism » August 24th, 2007, 9:05 pm

Posts about atheists and christenings have been split to a new thread here.

The posts above are going back to the Social Club.


Maria
This post was probably brought to you by Maria, unless it was Alan.

smellincoffee
Posts: 14
Joined: September 6th, 2007, 6:09 am

#48 Post by smellincoffee » September 8th, 2007, 9:28 pm

I think I might show up at my parents' church right before church ends for Father's Day and Mother's Day, but otherwise I wouldn't go to church. I do sympathize with Unitarian Universalism, though, and I think I might visit the nearest fellowship a few times to see how their services are. The UUA is supposedly 54% humanist.
"I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart."- Anne Frank

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Oxfordrocks
Posts: 673
Joined: September 10th, 2007, 9:45 am

#49 Post by Oxfordrocks » September 10th, 2007, 12:48 pm

The only reason I would visit a church is for the obvious....wedding, christening (ugh!) or funeral. Only to keep the peace and not upset members of my family.
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.

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wizzy
Posts: 149
Joined: September 10th, 2007, 7:54 pm

#50 Post by wizzy » September 13th, 2007, 8:41 pm

Would go to wedding, funeral or christening. Am going to a christening this weekend, out of politeness, though it is against my priniciples. Not sure why it's happening, the parents of the baby are not even married (though have been engaged for years) and I don't think they normally go to church. I would draw the line at being a godparent, though no one's asked me so far. My partner, who's also a humanist (but with less strong views) is a godmother.

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wizzy
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Joined: September 10th, 2007, 7:54 pm

#51 Post by wizzy » September 16th, 2007, 8:27 pm

The christening was awful. It was a really ritualistic church, with lots of smoke and chanting stuff. I don't like any services, but this was really dry and unwelcoming, I couldn't see the appeal at all, 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.

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Alan C.
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Joined: July 4th, 2007, 3:35 pm

#52 Post by Alan C. » September 16th, 2007, 11:22 pm

Christenings are awful, probably the worst of all the Christian services, I agreed to be godfather to my brothers son about 30 years ago, Man the stuff I had to recite would make your hair curl, its all changed now thankfully and none of my family would have a religious ceremony for anything, whether it be A wedding, funeral, or Christening,
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Fred
Posts: 111
Joined: July 13th, 2007, 3:33 pm

#53 Post by Fred » September 17th, 2007, 9:46 am

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.
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.
Fred

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wizzy
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#54 Post by wizzy » September 17th, 2007, 7:00 pm

It was High Church CofE, which is apparently almost Catholic. They were still reciting the repent the devil and those who rebel against God business.

Fred
Posts: 111
Joined: July 13th, 2007, 3:33 pm

#55 Post by Fred » September 18th, 2007, 12:44 pm

I ended up in a Quaker "meeting for worship" last night. No, I haven't seen the light, I'll probably explain why I was there in a separate thread.

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
Fred

lewist
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#56 Post by lewist » September 19th, 2007, 7:34 pm

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.
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

Fred
Posts: 111
Joined: July 13th, 2007, 3:33 pm

#57 Post by Fred » September 20th, 2007, 8:25 am

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.
Oh if only that were so common place as not to be newsworthy.

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?
Fred

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

#58 Post by Nick » September 20th, 2007, 9:31 am

It's a tragic story of course, and suicide is one helluva step to take, but what struck me was that the poor mother had gone to the site where her daughter died. The thought occurred to me that maybe her distraught mind was thinking along the lines of 'reuniting' with her daughter after death. I don't like the thought that belief in heaven may have tipped the balance of her grieving and disturbed mind.

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wizzy
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#59 Post by wizzy » September 21st, 2007, 8:36 pm

What I hate is when someone's murdered an in the news they're described as a Christian, or an active church goer, with the implication being that somehow that makes it even worse that they've been murdered.

squiffy
Posts: 42
Joined: September 26th, 2007, 12:22 pm

#60 Post by squiffy » September 27th, 2007, 11:11 pm

I'm trying to remember the last time I was in church, it's not that long ago and it was either a wedding or a funeral.

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

and

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.

Jaybird
Posts: 161
Joined: July 4th, 2007, 9:03 am

#61 Post by Jaybird » September 28th, 2007, 10:54 pm

I would go to more or less anything except a normal service. Church is boring and what the clergy say can be very objectionable but sometimes I am prepared to overlook all of that to be with the people I want to be with at an important time in their lives.

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.

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