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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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Ron Webb
Posts: 289
Joined: May 9th, 2009, 11:21 pm

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#201 Post by Ron Webb » September 2nd, 2009, 12:40 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Lorikeet, if there are humanist meetings or events in your area, maybe you should invite your beloved to accompany you to them. If not, in exchange for your continued attendance at his church, you could ask him to read a book that explains your beliefs or lack thereof, and discuss it with you. Anything for balance.

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SoldierForTruth
Posts: 163
Joined: August 28th, 2009, 3:39 pm

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#202 Post by SoldierForTruth » September 2nd, 2009, 3:48 pm

Ron Webb wrote:Lorikeet, if there are humanist meetings or events in your area, maybe you should invite your beloved to accompany you to them. If not, in exchange for your continued attendance at his church, you could ask him to read a book that explains your beliefs or lack thereof, and discuss it with you. Anything for balance.
I agree. The Humanist Manifestos I & II are pretty short and concise. I've always found that carrying a copy on me with my other books is a great conversation starter and they convey our values and beliefs clearly enough that there's little to explain after someone finishes reading them.
"Loyalty to tradition is not enough. You've got to keep asking yourself: What if I'm wrong?"
-Daniel C. Dennett

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Lorikeet
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Re: Do you ever go to church?

#203 Post by Lorikeet » September 3rd, 2009, 3:36 pm

I like it, Soldier and Ron! :D
All humans are brothers. We came from the same supernova.

Doc
Posts: 147
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Re: Do you ever go to church?

#204 Post by Doc » September 30th, 2009, 12:16 pm

I like churches, though I’m active in my local Humanist group. Churches are part of our historical, architectural and cultural heritage.

One of my favourite local buildings is the ruined Berry Pomeroy Castle... but I don’t agree that feudalism is a good way to organise a modern society.

I know very few people who take the whole going to church thing seriously. They just like the cultural aspect. Probably why – according to the statistics – there are millions of Christian atheists in Britain.

In fact, a couple of friends were recently married in a picturesque local medieval church and - though they were non-religious – had to go through the whole confirmation process by the Bishop to be able to do so. I wonder how many other confirmed and counted Christians are out there who just sign up for the expected rituals... or is that the whole point of the Anglican Church?

My most embarrassing moment? I do a bit of voluntary work with Adults with Learning Disabilities which is held in a United Reform Church. I guess if the local church didn’t organise a social club then a few hundred folks with Downs and autism would just watch TV every Saturday night. However, the URC lot haven’t really caught up with the modern world yet - one of their Sunday School colouring books has Jesus feeding a dinosaur.

At last year’s Christmas’ Carol Service for these folks I was helping out when the lady in the pulpit announced that the minister was ill and couldn’t attend, and would I read a few verses from the Bible about the birth of Jesus. So I did. There were around 300 in the congregation. Some of them believe in Jesus, but I know many of them still believe in Santa, and they always will.

Though many of my fellow unbelievers found my hypocrisy very amusing...

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getreal
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Re: Do you ever go to church?

#205 Post by getreal » September 30th, 2009, 12:33 pm

Interesting, Doc. What's so bad about watching TV on a saturday night ?
Isn't that how the majority of people spend their saturdays?
While I appreciate that you're giving up your time to help out and am not trying to demean what you are doing, I really have a problem with lumping people with learning disabilities together in social groups.
It's not what the rest of society does.
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

Marian
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Joined: August 23rd, 2009, 2:25 pm

Re: Do you ever go to church?

#206 Post by Marian » September 30th, 2009, 2:25 pm

Doc wrote:I like churches, though I’m active in my local Humanist group. Churches are part of our historical, architectural and cultural heritage.

One of my favourite local buildings is the ruined Berry Pomeroy Castle... but I don’t agree that feudalism is a good way to organise a modern society.

I know very few people who take the whole going to church thing seriously. They just like the cultural aspect. Probably why – according to the statistics – there are millions of Christian atheists in Britain.

In fact, a couple of friends were recently married in a picturesque local medieval church and - though they were non-religious – had to go through the whole confirmation process by the Bishop to be able to do so. I wonder how many other confirmed and counted Christians are out there who just sign up for the expected rituals... or is that the whole point of the Anglican Church?

My most embarrassing moment? I do a bit of voluntary work with Adults with Learning Disabilities which is held in a United Reform Church. I guess if the local church didn’t organise a social club then a few hundred folks with Downs and autism would just watch TV every Saturday night. However, the URC lot haven’t really caught up with the modern world yet - one of their Sunday School colouring books has Jesus feeding a dinosaur.

At last year’s Christmas’ Carol Service for these folks I was helping out when the lady in the pulpit announced that the minister was ill and couldn’t attend, and would I read a few verses from the Bible about the birth of Jesus. So I did. There were around 300 in the congregation. Some of them believe in Jesus, but I know many of them still believe in Santa, and they always will.

Though many of my fellow unbelievers found my hypocrisy very amusing...
Here's where my issue lies: I think there is a big difference between checking out a local castle and attending church where it makes it seem as though you 'do' believe in what is professed there. Having a feudal system is no longer a viable option whereas the religious indoctrination is alive and well in many parts of the world. You mentioned that people attend for cultural reasons; what does that mean specifically? Is it just a social gathering? If so, why not go to a community centre?

'Christian atheist' sounds like a contradiction in terms to me. If you don't believe in god, how can you call yourself a christian? Or am I being too pedantic?

It really makes me angry when churches take advantage of the vulnerable and more easily indoctrinated because those people may not be in a position to weigh up their options. I am not saying that helping out is a bad thing but why subjucate them to such rubbish? Isn't that disrespectful to them? Or did I just make a huge social faux pas but saying we should respect people no matter what their intellectual functioning is? And not just through words but through actions.
getreal wrote:Interesting, Doc. What's so bad about watching TV on a saturday night ?
Isn't that how the majority of people spend their saturdays?
While I appreciate that you're giving up your time to help out and am not trying to demean what you are doing, I really have a problem with lumping people with learning disabilities together in social groups.
It's not what the rest of society does.
Although watching tv on a Saturday night isn't necessarily a bad thing, I think a steady diet of that makes the brain get leaky. Kind of like this: :D (see picture below)

I agree that simply lumping people together isn't always the best solution but I wonder if some social interaction isn't a good thing if the rest of the time they are simply isolated. The best solution would be to actually include each of those people within a social circle comprised of a maybe family, friends etc. Of course, a great number of people with disabilities are still shunned or may not have the skills to fit in so it might require some effort on the part of significant others.
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Transformative fire...

Doc
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Re: Do you ever go to church?

#207 Post by Doc » October 1st, 2009, 10:29 am

Hi Getreal & Marian,

I do agree with you on one level.

I guess in an ideal world there would be a wide range of empowering high quality day and evening services for adults with learning disabilities. They wouldn't be socially and economically isolated and they could choose and be supported in what they do. As people have the right to be treated equally, these opportunities would be available across both urban and rural areas.

But they’re not.

I Chair 7 carers groups across south and west Devon. My experience is that some homes don’t stimulate and enable people, that support workers don’t work at night or at weekends, and that services are being quietly eroded. The statutory services are already looking for major cuts next year, whoever gets elected, and so this situation is likely to get worse.

There is a real issue of social isolation for those living in supported housing, and watching TV every night alone in a flat isn’t a good way to spend anyone’s life – one of the reasons why there are high levels of obesity and mental illness amongst people I work with.

It’s the voluntary sector that provides much social activity for the most vulnerable. It’s underfunded and often not of a quality that I would like. It’s often based in under heated church halls with a voluntary committee running a jumble sale to pay for next week’s coffee. It’s not about lumping people together and I have no problem in working with other volunteers, whatever their religious, political or philosophical outlook. I don’t see this as a compromise, but as an opportunity to change things on the ground.

The comment about Christian atheists is that there is a real contradiction between the last Census where people described themselves as Christian, and the people who say they don’t believe in God. This is partly due to the way the question is asked, but also because most people don’t think about the question that much.

Someone called these people apatheists, those that just don’t care... and with only 8% of the population attending church, they’re probably in the majority. They also pick and mix what they want from the remnants of faith. Most of Britain is now apatheist in one way or another and they have long abandoned theology and use the local church on their terms.

With such a massive shift in religious observance, we’re going to have to use all those churches for something. Community centres seem a good a use as any...

Marian
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Re: Do you ever go to church?

#208 Post by Marian » October 1st, 2009, 12:00 pm

Doc wrote:Hi Getreal & Marian,

I Chair 7 carers groups across south and west Devon. My experience is that some homes don’t stimulate and enable people, that support workers don’t work at night or at weekends, and that services are being quietly eroded. The statutory services are already looking for major cuts next year, whoever gets elected, and so this situation is likely to get worse.

There is a real issue of social isolation for those living in supported housing, and watching TV every night alone in a flat isn’t a good way to spend anyone’s life – one of the reasons why there are high levels of obesity and mental illness amongst people I work with.

It’s the voluntary sector that provides much social activity for the most vulnerable. It’s underfunded and often not of a quality that I would like. It’s often based in under heated church halls with a voluntary committee running a jumble sale to pay for next week’s coffee. It’s not about lumping people together and I have no problem in working with other volunteers, whatever their religious, political or philosophical outlook. I don’t see this as a compromise, but as an opportunity to change things on the ground.

The comment about Christian atheists is that there is a real contradiction between the last Census where people described themselves as Christian, and the people who say they don’t believe in God. This is partly due to the way the question is asked, but also because most people don’t think about the question that much.

Someone called these people apatheists, those that just don’t care... and with only 8% of the population attending church, they’re probably in the majority. They also pick and mix what they want from the remnants of faith. Most of Britain is now apatheist in one way or another and they have long abandoned theology and use the local church on their terms.

With such a massive shift in religious observance, we’re going to have to use all those churches for something. Community centres seem a good a use as any...
I think you are spot on with your observations about families/respite workers/services. I am a parent of a teenager with special needs. I am sure you can imagine that when you add psychiatric issues on top of everything else, the number of services drops to almost zero. At least that's the case here.

I am in total agreement regarding tv and social isolation; it is much worse to sit alone (unless, of course, one is autistic, in which case, being in a big crowd is horrible :wink: ). I still don't see how you aren't compromising unless you are very open about your views. Maybe I am too honest. Might as well use the churches; they've got colorful windows. :smile:

I like your terminology: apatheists. Although I wish there was a word like that for people who are apathetic generally. It's been my experience that a lot of people only pay a passing regard to anything other than what's in their immediate field of vision and even that's being generous. Of course, I suppose it would help if I actually met more people. :D
Transformative fire...

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getreal
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Re: Do you ever go to church?

#209 Post by getreal » October 3rd, 2009, 3:56 pm

The point I am trying (not very eloquently) to make is that unless we change the culture around 'providing services' for people with learning disabilities they will remain marginalised and excluded from mainstream society. Why can a volunteer not visit people to take them out/watch TV/ go to the pub. This would be much more valuable. People cannot make connections in their own communities unless they are visible in them. This won't happen by organising them together in groups of people with similar disabilities.

It's not about providing 'special' services, it's about enabling people to access ordinary services.
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

Marian
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Re: Do you ever go to church?

#210 Post by Marian » October 4th, 2009, 1:43 am

getreal wrote:The point I am trying (not very eloquently) to make is that unless we change the culture around 'providing services' for people with learning disabilities they will remain marginalised and excluded from mainstream society. Why can a volunteer not visit people to take them out/watch TV/ go to the pub. This would be much more valuable. People cannot make connections in their own communities unless they are visible in them. This won't happen by organising them together in groups of people with similar disabilities.

It's not about providing 'special' services, it's about enabling people to access ordinary services.
Bravo! Well said. We have an agency here (http://www.extendafamily.ca/) that does something similar to what you are saying. The only down side is that you basically have to start off with a group of friends/family to begin with. Not always available as families can live far apart or don't want to deal with the behaviour of special needs person.

You are right that connections cannot be made if they are all lumped together.
Transformative fire...

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getreal
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Re: Do you ever go to church?

#211 Post by getreal » October 4th, 2009, 12:43 pm

Gosh, this may actually be a first! I may have contibuted something meaningful!!
Thank you.
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

Marian
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Re: Do you ever go to church?

#212 Post by Marian » October 4th, 2009, 6:30 pm

getreal wrote:Gosh, this may actually be a first! I may have contibuted something meaningful!!
Thank you.
You are most welcome :D It was all you!!
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getreal
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Re: Do you ever go to church?

#213 Post by getreal » October 4th, 2009, 9:46 pm

...you see I usually just lurk :D
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

Doc
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Re: Do you ever go to church?

#214 Post by Doc » October 5th, 2009, 12:05 pm

Nothing I disagree with...

The voluntary group I work with consists of 5 of us. Two are eldery and disabled themselves and are likely to give up the work they have been doing for the past 25 years due to ill health. As fewer and fewer people are volunteering these days, the club will then probably fold. This is happening across the country.

We currently have around 75 members, many of them over the age of 40, and their parents are now in their 70s or 80s or have died. Because Devon has low wages, and lower property prices for Edwardian houses, a very large number of care homes of all types have sprung up. My town alone has 300, catering for the disabled, the elderly etc. Vulnerable pople have been brought into the county effectively cutting them off from family and friends.

Again, I agree that we need a culture change, and we all lobby towards a better future. But until then, we just carry on delivering what we can... knowing the alternative may be that we capture the moral high ground while doing nothing on the ground.

Marian
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Re: Do you ever go to church?

#215 Post by Marian » October 5th, 2009, 2:09 pm

Doc wrote: Again, I agree that we need a culture change, and we all lobby towards a better future. But until then, we just carry on delivering what we can... knowing the alternative may be that we capture the moral high ground while doing nothing on the ground.
I think you're right about that as well, Doc. Easy to preach from the pulpit, so to speak. Or from the soapbox in my case :D :wink: Doing something is better than doing nothing.
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getreal
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Re: Do you ever go to church?

#216 Post by getreal » October 5th, 2009, 5:02 pm

Doc says:
My town alone has 300, catering for the disabled, the elderly etc
Are you really saying that a town in Devon has 300 registered care homes?
Or have I misunderstood you?
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

Doc
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Re: Do you ever go to church?

#217 Post by Doc » October 5th, 2009, 6:17 pm

It's Torbay and those are care homes and supported living generally. It is around 300 according to Social Services colleagues. I just did a quick count of care homes in Torquay - one of the 3 towns in the Bay - and counted 57 advertised for the elderly alone. Then include homes for the disabled, those with mental health issues and others...

Torbay has an elderly population, one of the lowest wages in the UK giving an inexpensive work force, and a plentiful supply of Victorian and Edwardian villas that were bought cheaply and converted.

Many coastal towns and old tourist areas have a similarly high number of care homes.

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getreal
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Re: Do you ever go to church?

#218 Post by getreal » October 5th, 2009, 9:33 pm

Doc wrote:It's Torbay and those are care homes and supported living generally. It is around 300 according to Social Services colleagues. I just did a quick count of care homes in Torquay - one of the 3 towns in the Bay - and counted 57 advertised for the elderly alone. Then include homes for the disabled, those with mental health issues and others...

Torbay has an elderly population, one of the lowest wages in the UK giving an inexpensive work force, and a plentiful supply of Victorian and Edwardian villas that were bought cheaply and converted.

Many coastal towns and old tourist areas have a similarly high number of care homes.
Are they counting each house where someone recieves care at home as a 'care home'? That would skew the figures tremendously.
It's still a huge number of care homes for the elderly, though.
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

RachelAnn
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Re: Do you ever go to church?

#219 Post by RachelAnn » October 6th, 2009, 1:36 am

I go every Sunday. But the Double Us are not the "typical" church. Every service begins with a statement something like "Whatever faiths you have known, or the flags of your heritage, you are welcome here. Whoever you are and whomever you love you are welcome here. And whether you have come here out of habit, conviction, loneliness, or curiosity - you belong here because you are here. And all that you have and all that you are is welcome here."
"It is the wounded oyster that mends its shell with pearl." Ralph Waldo Emerson

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getreal
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Re: Do you ever go to church?

#220 Post by getreal » October 6th, 2009, 12:07 pm

Can I ask why you attend these services-what you get out of it?
"It's hard to put a leash on a dog once you've put a crown on his head"-Tyrion Lannister.

RachelAnn
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Re: Do you ever go to church?

#221 Post by RachelAnn » October 6th, 2009, 1:24 pm

Community and acceptance. Plus, it's a haven of liberality in a very conservative area. There are other people there who share my values. It's very comforting. Also, my children (ages 9 and 13) as well as my husband benefit from being part of a community like that.

I don't "listen" to the sermons, though. I'm hearing impaired and can't. So that's not at all why I go. In fact, this is what I did during the sermon a couple weeks ago (I'm no artist, and I know it, by the way).

Image

"Unnamed Choir Member"
"It is the wounded oyster that mends its shell with pearl." Ralph Waldo Emerson

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