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Thread: More Americans Say They Have No Religion

  1. #1
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    More Americans Say They Have No Religion


    “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

    Winston CXhruchill

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    Interesting read and quite understandable in many ways.

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    what a sad statement

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    IMHO, and no disrespect to anyone who is religious:

    I understand why. For awhile religion has been used as a weapon, one of the many "you're either with us or against us" dogmas. That's not what religion should be about. I consider myself a spiritual person, but I'm not really religious. (Lapsed Catholic, haven't been to mass or confession in years.) IMO, you don't have to belong to an organized religion, attend services, or have a 'middleman' to be close to God, Buddha, Allah, the cosmos, the Great Whatever It Is, etc. I don't like titles and rules when it comes to religion. Doesn't it all boil down to the same basic tenets? I think that it's about being a good person and doing what you feel is right. I think Whatever You Want to Call It would be plenty satisfied with that.

    This is an interesting topic, and as a preemptive measure let me ask that we keep this one respectful so we can continue to discuss it! I know everyone has their own opinions and thoughts, and religion, like other topics, is very polarizing, but everyone is free to share what they believe in.

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    Well said Nessa. I feel exactly the same. When it becomes about inclusion instead of exclusion again, I'll be there. But not until the anger and hostility are out of it completely...where did all that come from? And why?



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    More Americans Say They Have No Religion

    Thank God LOL

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    I used to be more religious than I am now, but within a 10 year time spam I lost all my elderly relatives, my brother died in a car accident, and about sixteen of my friends (including my companion) died from AIDS.
    Now I'm not so sure of anything anymore. I think when you die you just take a dirt nap, yet other times I find myself wondering if I'll see them again in heaven.
    It makes me wonder if God is like the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus?
    One thing I've discovered is that no matter how much you miss them, or wish they'd come back, they never do, and never will. Why did I ever think otherwise?

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    I started to drive down this past Sunday to the "Hill Country" near Evant, TX. where my grandparent's farm once was. I got 50 miles from Ft. Worth and turned around and came back.
    Their old rock farm house is now abandoned and falling down. I thought "Why on earth am I doing this?" Still a part of me believes that I'll drive by one day and they'll be home......

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    Sam, maybe someday they will be home. It will just be a different home than this one. Maybe, they're home now. I believe that when someone dies, their spirit never leaves you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessa View Post
    Sam, maybe someday they will be home. It will just be a different home than this one. Maybe, they're home now. I believe that when someone dies, their spirit never leaves you.
    I'd like to think so too....

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    For me, most religions are too exclusionary and intractible, extreme views that just don't make any sense to me, at all.

    I also think, personally, that church was popular for so many years because it was a big social experience that has become outdated so people don't feel the need anymore.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack-O-Lantern View Post
    Well said Nessa. I feel exactly the same. When it becomes about inclusion instead of exclusion again, I'll be there. But not until the anger and hostility are out of it completely...where did all that come from? And why?
    I'm going to believe in Nessa's words and feel that I am free to speak my mind here on this subject, Jack. Although merely an excuse, and still not even close to good enough as far as I'm concerned, I think that I know at least part of the answer to this from my own personal experiences.

    When churches start to become about the basis of their very existence again, which is God - In whatever form, or name he may have in any given Faith. I think that even I would venture to go back, at least in a small way.

    But my current lack of real certainty stems from the fact that I can not share that deep a part of myself with people who are only going to worship on Sundays to see what kind of car and clothes the other people have. I've run into this with every solitary church I've ever attended.

    If I'm going to embrace Christianity again, I want it to be about HIM...Not ME...Not the other guy.

    Just my rather tarnished, but sincere two cents.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessa View Post
    IMHO, and no disrespect to anyone who is religious:

    I understand why. For awhile religion has been used as a weapon, one of the many "you're either with us or against us" dogmas. That's not what religion should be about. I consider myself a spiritual person, but I'm not really religious. (Lapsed Catholic, haven't been to mass or confession in years.) IMO, you don't have to belong to an organized religion, attend services, or have a 'middleman' to be close to God, Buddha, Allah, the cosmos, the Great Whatever It Is, etc. I don't like titles and rules when it comes to religion. Doesn't it all boil down to the same basic tenets? I think that it's about being a good person and doing what you feel is right. I think Whatever You Want to Call It would be plenty satisfied with that.

    This is an interesting topic, and as a preemptive measure let me ask that we keep this one respectful so we can continue to discuss it! I know everyone has their own opinions and thoughts, and religion, like other topics, is very polarizing, but everyone is free to share what they believe in.

    I'm a lapsed Catholic, too, and I feel exactly the same way. Well said.
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    Too many hypocrites hiding within and behind religion for my taste. I am comfortably agnostic, and want nothing to do with what man has sooooo distorted to serve his own purpose !


    What fresh hell is this ? ~ Dorothy Parker

    ]

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    I have nothing at all against anyone who follows an organized religion, it's the people that distort it and use it as a weapon that irk me. Just wanted to throw that out there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nessa View Post
    IMHO, and no disrespect to anyone who is religious:

    I understand why. For awhile religion has been used as a weapon, one of the many "you're either with us or against us" dogmas. That's not what religion should be about. I consider myself a spiritual person, but I'm not really religious. to(Lapsed Catholic, haven't been mass or confession in years.) IMO, you don't have to belong to an organized religion, attend services, or have a 'middleman' to be close to God, Buddha, Allah, the cosmos, the Great Whatever It Is, etc. I don't like titles and rules when it comes to religion. Doesn't it all boil down to the same basic tenets? I think that it's about being a good person and doing what you feel is right. I think Whatever You Want to Call It would be plenty satisfied with that.

    This is an interesting topic, and as a preemptive measure let me ask that we keep this one respectful so we can continue to discuss it! I know everyone has their own opinions and thoughts, and religion, like other topics, is very polarizing, but everyone is free to share what they believe in.

    You nailed it, Nessa.

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    I think of myself as a person of faith, though not religious. To me there's a huge difference between faith and religion....a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Armcast View Post
    I think of myself as a person of faith, though not religious. To me there's a huge difference between faith and religion....a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge one.
    I agree with this 100%. I have said many times before that I just don't believe in organized religion anymore.

    I spent my whole life as a Nazarene, and I guess it's as close as it gets to what I believe, and I still call myself a Nazarene (the Western version, there is a difference, we're not pentecostal.) As a kid, we were at church every time the doors were open, literally. Twice on Sunday, once on Wednesday, then there was weekly Bible studies, Christian scouting, any time we did any extra cirricular activities like camping, we did it with the church family.

    As I grew older, and hopefully wiser, I discovered a few things: I no longer believe everything my parents believe, I don't agree with belonging to a group that is more about exclusions than inclusions (I like how you said that, Jack!) And, frankly, I was so darned burned out on the whole darned religion thing.

    I also spent so many years watching those "good Christian leaders" let everyone down, again and again, to where a pastor has to prove themselves to me now to gain my respect. And I found, in the last few years I went, that I just went to keep mom off of my ass. That's not a reason to be in church, ya know?

    I'm still very spiritual, my relationship with God is stronger than ever. I don't especially need church anymore, and my beliefs don't really line up with any organized religion now.

    Great. I think I rambled on and on.

    FloridaDeathHag, my brother used to say that church is a big country club, there for those that need to belong to an inclusive group. Not everyone needs that.
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    Sounds like a lot of us feel very similarly about organized religion these days. Personally I think it's really sad that the refuge that church once was for me no longer seems to exist.
    It was a place I could go to just meditate, think about the larger picture, unwind, and rejuvenate. Not anymore, and I can't decide whether that makes me more sad than mad, or the other way around. Both I guess.



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    Imagine what life would be like if there was no organization. No religion. No God.
    What if when we die, were just dead. Imagine a world in chaos. Religion is what gives us structure. A reason for being. If there was no religion...why in the world would I be here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevyheaven View Post
    Imagine what life would be like if there was no organization. No religion. No God.
    What if when we die, were just dead. Imagine a world in chaos. Religion is what gives us structure. A reason for being.
    I agree, religion is a part of the cultural experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chevyheaven View Post
    If there was no religion...why in the world would I be here?
    HaHAHA

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    Lets make love Nessa!

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    I go to church fairly regularly. I happen to be the youngest adult parishioner. I'm 23. Most of the others are 50+. Doesn't stop me from going and participating. I take great comfort in the rituals and the fellowship. Every one thinks I'm crazy, because I go to an 'old fashioned' church. These churches are dying because either you do not go at all, or you become a member of a fanatical group. I hate these new churches that spring up every few years and are more like political cults than places of worship.

    My church is far from perfect, and most of my spiritual time is not spent at church, but it's an important part of my life. I think it's sad we've lost this. Never mind the loss of religion, it's a sign of how insular we've become. We no longer commune with each other, spend time with our neighbors and work together for our communities.
    You can't "nu uh" death. That's bad debating.

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    ok radiojane. Come with us.

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    Quote Originally Posted by radiojane View Post
    I go to church fairly regularly. I happen to be the youngest adult parishioner. I'm 23. Most of the others are 50+. Doesn't stop me from going and participating. I take great comfort in the rituals and the fellowship. Every one thinks I'm crazy, because I go to an 'old fashioned' church. These churches are dying because either you do not go at all, or you become a member of a fanatical group. I hate these new churches that spring up every few years and are more like political cults than places of worship.

    My church is far from perfect, and most of my spiritual time is not spent at church, but it's an important part of my life. I think it's sad we've lost this. Never mind the loss of religion, it's a sign of how insular we've become. We no longer commune with each other, spend time with our neighbors and work together for our communities.

    Good points.
    Everyone is so egocentric these days. It's like what can G-D do for me? They look for all the wrong things instead of finding what's right. It's not good enough to be a "nice person". You have to worship G-D. We are all screwed and we shall soon see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chevyheaven View Post
    Lets make love Nessa!
    No

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    radiojane had said it well, church is not like it once was. When I was a kid, you really knew your church family, and most everyone took care of each other. My mom still has a few friends left from that era, ones that haven't passed on. Like I mentioned earlier, families that camped together, the kids played together in the church yard, old fashioned potlucks, and activities designed to foster that relationship amongst your fellow parishoners.

    The church I went to for MANY years, the one I loved most, grew outrageously. In the scheme of churches, that's a good thing, more souls for the Lord I guess. But it's gotten to the point where they have two services on Sunday morning to accommodate everyone. And that's after we built a brand new, enourmous sanctuary to accommodate everyone. For me, I get lost in churches that large. I don't feel I belong to that tight knit core group anymore. I knew it was bad news when, after having gone there for 20+ years, one Sunday morning a stranger shook my hand and welcomed me to her church. That was when I knew we had gotten far too big for our britches.

    My son went to a private school for many years, and when he graduated 6th grade, they had the ceremony in a larger church to accommodate all of the kid's families. The sanctuary was done in stadium style, and the platform where the pastor spoke was like a huge acting stage. There was nothing to tell you that this was, indeed, a church.

    What got to me was that, in the foyer, they had a little cafe/coffee corner, advertising that they had Starbucks coffee for their parishoners and guests.

    Seriously? Have we really come to that now? Starbucks in church??

    Sorry. I just don't feel a part of that anymore.

    If I could have what we had when I was young, perhaps I'd go again. But good luck finding that now, in a Starbucks nation.
    Jon-Erik Hexum: 11/5/57 - 10/18/84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armcast View Post
    I think of myself as a person of faith, though not religious. To me there's a huge difference between faith and religion....a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge one.
    Totally agree, same here........hallelujah or whatever.

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    I lost my religion a long time ago I grew up with the you gotta do this and you gotta do that I got tired of all that. My daughter has gone to some churches where you have to wear a long dress don't cut your hair and I explained to her I don't think God works that way it is all man made rules that make them feel better and more holy than others but the one that set me off was at another church where they ask the kids if their parents drank to put up their hands when she told me this I lost it I said why don't they ask some of those 400 pound parents kids if they eat too much or the ones who have to talk about everybody's if they gossip just pissed me off she has not been back to that church.. I just don't need the drama.

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    I am not surprised by this.

    It seems there is no middle ground in religion anymore. Most of the religions I see and/or read about are the zealots.

    It seems like alot religious groups are sexist, racists, hate groups that hide behind God hoping that you are easy to brainwash so they can take your money.

    I believe that those that go to church are good people. I think that their hearts are in the right place. It is the people that run the churches that are wrong.


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    Looking at the change in our family historically from the Catholic Sicilian roots 5 generations ago to the a multitude of beliefs systems reflects a general cultural change.

    One of my brother's married a Jewish girl, another married a devout Christian, my gay son's partner is from an evangelical family. My sister and I left the Catholic Church, she becoming an atheist while I chose deism. My mother consider's herself an agnostic.My step-grandmother, was a Jack Mormon.

    I understand the need for a community of God. Personally, I've enjoyed the Unitarian Universalist Church though not a member, and the next service I attend will be Episcopalian ... .

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    Quote Originally Posted by radiojane View Post
    We no longer commune with each other, spend time with our neighbors and work together for our communities.
    My stepbrother once pointed out that houses don't have front porches any more, so no one sits on their porch and talks to their neighbors. That's a pretty astute observation from both stepbro and you, Radio. Everyone is closed off from everyone else.

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    Personally I have my own deal with God. I try to be a good person . Basically I think that is what God wants is for us to be good. I have my problems with religons because of the hell fire and brimstone crap. I always was told we had this all forgiving God. Yet if we screw up we are going to burn in fires of hell for all eternity. The business about God hating gays and divorce and abortion all being against the rules all the things we cannot do. No birth control,have as many kids as you can I guess. The pedophiles hiding behind the cloth and preaching to us about sin yet molesting children. The guys on Tv yapping about how good they are and send money to them to make us better in Gods eyes. It has become a commodity and they need to sell stocks for relgions.
    6 years ago today when I found my daughter dead I went to 4 churches and not one was open. That sealed it for me because when I was a kid Gods houses were always open for his children. For some stupid reason I fell back into the beliefe that I needed to go to Gods house to feel closer to Him..it doesnt work for me that way anymore. I dont know why we need churches and ALL of these churches, if we need God he should be there with us and be within us and there is no need to run to a building.
    I also have problems with all the wars in the name of religion and all the brutal things that happen in the name of God, allah,and whatever.
    I do not find that our lives depend on religion. That we have to have it, that only says that we are weak and that we need to have something else to hold us up because we cannot make humanity work on our own and I think that is BUllshit.
    We have let ourselves slide. Instead of making great strides as people we have fallen, done exactly as our ancestor did, slove it with war and killing. We are sheep we have to have someone lead us ,we have to follow. We depend on a handful of people telling us how to live our lives. Whether is it a politican or a church leader we all look up to them to save us from ourselves and I dont understand why we are this way.
    I know the path and I am taking it and I dont have to be told to be a good human by someone who has no idea what a good human is.

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    Religion is perception....like anything else in life.....whatever gets you through the day is fine with me, just don`t shove it down my throat.....I wasn`t given the gift of life to have holier than thou ass-shats tell me how to live that life and why I`ll burn in hell if I don`t believe the same way.....the audacity, and ignorance that most religions preach is totally unacceptable to me.....and don`t get me started on the hyprocrisy....THAT is why so many people have drifted away from organized religion.....we believe, we just choose to believe in the freedom and love that we feel in our hearts when it comes to an omniscient being or beings.....JMO

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack'sGirl View Post
    My son went to a private school for many years, and when he graduated 6th grade, they had the ceremony in a larger church to accommodate all of the kid's families. The sanctuary was done in stadium style, and the platform where the pastor spoke was like a huge acting stage. There was nothing to tell you that this was, indeed, a church.

    What got to me was that, in the foyer, they had a little cafe/coffee corner, advertising that they had Starbucks coffee for their parishoners and guests.

    Seriously? Have we really come to that now? Starbucks in church??

    Sorry. I just don't feel a part of that anymore.

    I know what you mean.... It's ridiculous! They're building these ridiculous buildings and calling them houses of fellowship when the place is so freaking big you'd need a microphone to communicate with anyone! Meanwhile, in my hometown, the old stone church is now a tanning salon, and the Presbyterians and the Anglicans put both their churches up for sale, agreeing that whichever one sold first would go and that they'd share the second one. It was the only way they could keep going. I remember one old lady who'd been baptized, married, baptized her children and buried her husband in the Anglican church crying. I know it's just a building... but again, no permanence, no connections, no neighbors.... What a world.
    You can't "nu uh" death. That's bad debating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NOVSTORM View Post
    Personally I have my own deal with God. I try to be a good person . Basically I think that is what God wants is for us to be good. I have my problems with religons because of the hell fire and brimstone crap. I always was told we had this all forgiving God. Yet if we screw up we are going to burn in fires of hell for all eternity. The business about God hating gays and divorce and abortion all being against the rules all the things we cannot do. No birth control,have as many kids as you can I guess. The pedophiles hiding behind the cloth and preaching to us about sin yet molesting children. The guys on Tv yapping about how good they are and send money to them to make us better in Gods eyes. It has become a commodity and they need to sell stocks for relgions.
    6 years ago today when I found my daughter dead I went to 4 churches and not one was open. That sealed it for me because when I was a kid Gods houses were always open for his children. For some stupid reason I fell back into the beliefe that I needed to go to Gods house to feel closer to Him..it doesnt work for me that way anymore. I dont know why we need churches and ALL of these churches, if we need God he should be there with us and be within us and there is no need to run to a building.
    I also have problems with all the wars in the name of religion and all the brutal things that happen in the name of God, allah,and whatever.
    I do not find that our lives depend on religion. That we have to have it, that only says that we are weak and that we need to have something else to hold us up because we cannot make humanity work on our own and I think that is BUllshit.
    We have let ourselves slide. Instead of making great strides as people we have fallen, done exactly as our ancestor did, slove it with war and killing. We are sheep we have to have someone lead us ,we have to follow. We depend on a handful of people telling us how to live our lives. Whether is it a politican or a church leader we all look up to them to save us from ourselves and I dont understand why we are this way.
    I know the path and I am taking it and I dont have to be told to be a good human by someone who has no idea what a good human is.
    This is so eloquent and so true. I agree completely.



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    Quote Originally Posted by NOVSTORM View Post
    6 years ago today when I found my daughter dead I went to 4 churches and not one was open. That sealed it for me because when I was a kid Gods houses were always open for his children. For some stupid reason I fell back into the belief that I needed to go to Gods house to feel closer to Him..it doesn't work for me that way anymore.
    I'm so sorry about your daughter.
    When my companion John was dying we had been attending the "Cathedral of Hope" in Dallas which I believe is the largest gay/lesbian church in the world. (We'd been going since it was even a small church with folding chairs.)
    John was so ashamed and hung up about being gay that he was miserable and terrified about burning in hell because of the way he was raised.
    I called the COH to see if I could get someone from the church to come to his bedside to counsel him. Carol W*** an assistant pastor promised me she would contact him and schedule a time to visit with him. After I called her 3 times she never called him at all, she always said she'd tried etc., etc. (He was in bed 24/7 with the phone right beside him.)
    Finally we found a straight minister from a little town named West, TX. to come out and talk to John and he made John feel at peace about dying.
    I stopped going to the Cathedral of Hope after that and haven't attended church since.

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    Sorry Sam about your loved one. We both know that John is at peace now and he made it alone without the help of some phony person. He had you Sam !!I guess there have been many things like this happening with churches. In 1978 when my Dad was dieing I called the Priest my mother sooo loved and asked him to come and bless my Dad and he said " I have already given him the last rites there is no more that I can do" HE needed to be there for my mother !! So a kid going to Seminary school happned to be there in the hospital and a nurse told him what happened, (I guess I didnt handle the rebuff from the priest too well and everyone heard it) and he sat with my mother and I for 3 hours and just talked about things. What a nice person he was and caring.
    My mother wanted to use that church for his service and I said NO..we had the funeral at another church and when the priest asked why ,I flat ass told him.
    I wouldnt go back to that church if my soul depended on it.
    John isnt burning in hell, God lovesd all of his children, that I truly believe and he made all of us,good bad and ugly and beautiful. He doesnt just love special people .
    Once again Sam I am sorry you lost soul mate.

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    Well as a Christian I would say that within my experience, there is a God and that God's plan for humans is that they get to a personal and genuine relationship with Jesus. I swear, I drink heavily, I am selfish. I am greedy. I do all manner of things that seem like things a Christian wouldn't do, and yeah I live day to day with the fact that I am doing things that are wrong and it depends what day you catch me on as to what I think on certain 'hot topics' in the Christian faith. I haven't had a dramatic conversion, nor was I brought up in my beliefs since childhood. and I know that I do 'good' things and 'bad' things. I basically believe that when it comes to 'good' and 'bad', that can go out of the window if there is a God. It is extremely relative, and we have all done things that are extremely wonderful and extremely awful. Jesus has covered for me his death on the cross, and for me that's not a get-out for my behaviour, it's a great mercy and it's a great gift for me and for everybody and the only difference between me and a non Christian is that I chose to accept the forgiveness. If there is a God, our good and bad are very different things to him.
    A few folk seem to have had a negative experience with churches and priests. Im not a theologian or an expert or anything but I know that my life has been changed and Im a cynical Brit. And yeah pretty much everybody laughs at me when I say I am a Christian, its not so commonplace as in the states.

  40. #40
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    Im not trying to browbeat anybody, just sharing. and no, I don't cast judgement on anybody here, alive or dead. We can't ultimately know either way what will happen to a deceased loved one.

  41. #41
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    I'm intrigued by different religions, their tenets, and practices. I accept them all. I believe in God. However:

    Armcast is right: faith (or spirituality) is what you ARE. Religion is what you DO.

    The God I believe in doesn't need my money, and He doesn't care if I pray in church or on the toilet.

    I believe in being good, polite, and honest. If I'm going to hell anyway, I'm still going to be all of those things right up to my last breath.

    It think religion, at least in America, initially was structured to terrify people into obedience. Despite some of the "sickness" we hear about in modern religious practices in America, we've come a long way.

    On the other hand, exclusion is still highly tolerated, and that disturbs me. I recently donated a solid walnut, perfect, baby grand piano to a Lutheran church which had been looking for one, and attended the "dedication" ceremony. As I am Episcopalian, I was not allowed to participate in Communion. Same God, "wrong" faith. That was a $5,000 instrument I gave them; what the hell do you mean I can't have a wafer????

  42. #42
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    Sorry! I think my last statement came off not as I intended. That particular experience wasn't about me; it was about doing a good thing for the church, and I meant to express my belief in the importance (for a Christian) of participating in Communion. I believe in the symbolism of Communion; it works for me, and it's not hurting anyone, but I didn't word my thoughts very carefully. I came across as self-absorbed.

  43. #43
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    No you didn't xx

  44. #44
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    I'd be curious to read more detail of the report. If the choices were different flavors of Christianity, Judaism, Islam and Buddhism, I'd have to put "no religion", too. I realize the article just lists the big percentages, in descending order, so I'd be curious to see where other less mainstream faiths fall. The most mainstream of my friends and relatives are either Unitarian Universalist or Hindu, neither of which are listed in the article. The study itself must have been a little more exhaustive.

    I have stated this in other threads, but I found God as He, and the way worship was presented in most mainstream churches personally very alienating and often downright frightening. My own personal path is Wicca and Kemetic Orthodoxy. I mean no disrespect to people who find comfort in more mainstream faiths. I've met some truly lovely people who live "Love Thy Neighbor" and "Do Unto Others" very sincerely. It's just not for me. I'd like to think the Big Other is big enough and wise enough to encompass all our tiny little human brain attempts to understand Him/Her/They/It.

    Sorry to get all trippy philosophy on you all.
    Last edited by amaranthaseven; 03-13-2009 at 04:26 PM. Reason: left out a word

  45. #45
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    MbalmR, I got what you were trying to say. You said it well!

    I remember being raised that you had to be practically perfect to get to heaven. There were many years I darn near killed myself, trying to be a "good girl", and do everything right, as I was taught growing up. Years later I was going through counseling with a Christian counselor, and that man was incredible. He told me that being a Christian was not about me being a good girl. It had to do with what was in my heart, and God knew what that was. I swear it set me free.

    Over the years I believe more in the kind, compassionate God that watches over us and loves us. I refuse to believe he's a big meanie that sits on a cloud, doling out thunderbolts to those that look at someone else crosswise. That's just stupid.

    I go through life doing just the best I can, and if I stumble, God is there to gently guide me back to the way I need to go. I believe that.

    But, I doubt "religion" wants me anymore. I drink occasionally. I have a potty mouth that I'm not real proud of, but it's my one big vice. I believe in gay marriages and have a hard time believing God would send someone to hell for loving another person. I can't see it. I think a lot of the religions that are out there are a bunch of crap, and their leaders are even worse. I believe that everyone has to work out their own salvation with God, what might be right for me may not be right for someone else, and vice versa. And however that person works their beliefs out with God is none of my business, and I don't get to make that decision for them, or persecute them for what they decide to do. That's God's job, and at the end of the day, He's the one that has to sort it all out. Not me.

    Oh, and one of my dearest friends is an athiest. That's a surefire ticket to hell for me, dont'cha think? I have learned so much from her, and seeing her point of view has even strengthened my own beliefs, if you can believe that.
    Jon-Erik Hexum: 11/5/57 - 10/18/84
    How Jon-Erik stays in shape: "I should probably say lots and lots of sex. Although you don't burn up that many calories during sex. It's only like a couple hundred. I once heard somewhere that you get a lot more out of walking a mile. So you say, 'Hey, honey, how'd you like to walk a mile with me?'"
    www.TenaflyGuy.com

  46. #46
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    Both of my parents had a hard time grasping the concept of God, yet ironically, my mother MADE me start going to church when I was in the 4th grade. I personally think that she was just looking for an excuse to get drunk on a Sunday morning, because neither she nor my father went to church with me. She just dropped me off in front of those big doors and drove away, and I was scared to death.

    My mother was an alcoholic, and raised as a Catholic. When she periodically turned to AA to help keep her sober, her biggest challenge was the "higher power" concept. Anyone who has ever experienced AA knows that the ol' HP need not be God. I tried so hard to convince her of the power of things that didn't come in a vodka bottle--a thunderstorm, for example. Achieving and maintaining sobriety is about surrendering to something more important than you. My mother never did get that, and finally drank herself to death at the age of 61.

    My father was a self-proclaimed atheist. He was very angry when he was busy dying, and anger is a manifestation of fear. He just couldn't accept that he'd be snuffed out like a candle and be done. I tried to explain it to him this way--appealing to his background in science, especially biology--energy is neither created nor destroyed, just changed or transferred. I told my father that the energy that was HIM had to go somewhere! It wouldn't just disappear with his last heart beat.........it would find a place to go. For the first time in his life, my father looked at me like I was making sense, and he had no argument for me. He gazed out the window from his hospice bed and pondered my words for a long time. I think (I hope) that--even if I was wrong--my words comforted him shortly before he died.

    Sorry for the rambling dissertation. I just felt like sharing this.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by MbalmR View Post
    On the other hand, exclusion is still highly tolerated, and that disturbs me. I recently donated a solid walnut, perfect, baby grand piano to a Lutheran church which had been looking for one, and attended the "dedication" ceremony. As I am Episcopalian, I was not allowed to participate in Communion. Same God, "wrong" faith. That was a $5,000 instrument I gave them; what the hell do you mean I can't have a wafer????
    I would have gone up there and grabbed a handful of wafers, crammed them in my mouth, and grabbed the goblet of wine and guzzled it until it ran down the corners of my mouth! LOL!

    No, not really.
    I don't participate in communion...I just don't "get it" body of Christ, blood of Christ? What are we cannibals?

  48. #48
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    LOL Sam! Atta boy!

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armcast View Post
    I think of myself as a person of faith, though not religious. To me there's a huge difference between faith and religion....a huuuuuuuuuuuuuge one.
    I agree 100 %. I have not been to church in years and do not consider myself a religous person but I do believe in God. Ok, start throwing bibles..

  50. #50
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    ( Not much coffee in system, this may not make sense )

    How much of this ( ppl saying they have no religion ) do you think we can attest to changing work schedules? It used to be, most ppl worked 8-5. Mon Fri. Now, there are more and more companies that have late nite/overnite shifts. Thoughts?

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