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What's the appeal of going to church?
I see even many here who want to go to church and I wonder why because I simply have no patience for it. Is it because you have family who goes and thus want to not be excluded? Is it because you think it pleases God/dess? Does it seems calming or comforting (and if so, how did it come to be so for you?)? Does it make you feel part of something bigger? Why wouldn't making a shrine to meditate before or doing spiritual works not do the same thing for you (especially if you had a few friends with you)?

The possibilities on why I'm different (I definitely seem to be in a minority) is perhaps because I was raised by 2 parents who usually mocked the churches. Like when churches had their panties in a bunch over protecting children from the subliminal promotions of sex by Pepsi when I was 7 they both got a bunch of pepsi and stacked it asking me what it said, and after they got me to finally read "sex" out loud they both laughed uproariously (neither were sober). They obviously had no respect for the anti-alcohol laws backed by East Texas churches, called Christians stupid (and they each went through a short lived Christian phase at separate times and got called stupid by the other at the time, and the one not Christian kept me from being dragged to church for which I was grateful even then), and Dad entered a lotto during the siege at Waco (betting on how many government agents and religious fanatics would die) and said feds & fanatics killing each other was a "win-win" situation. So in retrospect I can see how I was raised by example to view the church in a negative light (though Granny being a Christian, whom I respected far more than my 'rents, kept me from fully rejecting it at the time).

Though times spent in the East Texas Bible Belt and among some of the crazier, Satanic Panicing, Jack Chick loving Christians also pushed me away and to this day I don't know how many were psychotic and how many were just willfully lying (and if so, why), but I definitely wanted nothing to do with them. And they insulted each other as well which may also have contributed to my seeing them all as unpleasant (like Baptists would call Pentecostals nuts little better than snake handlers while Pentecostals considered Baptists spiritually dead, and both saw Catholics as pagan idol worshippers and Jehovah's Witnesses as unpatriotic scum who refused to pledge allegiance to the flag, as just one example). And the one time Granny took me to a Baptist church went badly (though it's an amusing story IMO if anyone cares to hear it) so I came to associate churches with trouble, not comfort. (I did have a positive experience with the Russian Orthodox church when I was 17, but it wasn't enough to make me want to join.)

One transcendent religious experience I had that I couldn't have on my own was when I was 17 and several Dianics met at an isolated beach and one sang The Burning Times, and then all the women began taking up the chant, "Isis, Astarte, Dee-ana, Hecate, Demeter, Kali, Innana!" I took it up with them, I FELT it, it was like we were all plugged into something bigger that united us into one bond, we were truly a Sisterhood blessed by the Goddess, whatever Her ultimate name. I sang out Freya a few times, and others sang out their own names, too, but overall, the chant was done by all of us, in perfect sync. It was an experience that was a lot like sex and better, the energy that we built up and then released, I felt as if I/We were Glowing. And I understood the appeal of that, because there was a sense of belonging to Something Greater (that imparted that Greatness onto me--not in an arrogant way, but I think it does make some arrogant), and I admit that sometimes I miss that feeling, because there was not only that bond, but that feeling that I was Greater than anything life could throw at me, and thus I felt more calm and confident as a result (though this feeling could conceivably lead others into dangers--like becoming a snake handler!). But it's enchantment would loosen on me, and as much as I liked the song I researched it back then and found that it's more fit to call it propaganda than fact (still, very nice effect on me then). So I wonder if people going to church (especially those that practice mind altering techniques like chanting, incense, fasting, etc) ever feel something similar, and thus its appeal.

Anyway, I shared the above because I think it can help understand where I'm coming from and/or why I'm different and thus better able to answer. I'm also hoping that people understand that my background does make it hard for me to understand (notable exceptions aside) and not that I'm just trying to give people who want to go to church a hard time. I genuinely want to understand, and I'd really like it if you could get your wish without having to see yourself as someone bad for doing so (one reason why I promote the UUs as well as openly gay friendly churches, assuming they're really gay friendly and not just "we'll tolerate you as long as you realize you suck and don't act on it").

Thanks Confusedmile:
as i said
there will be a whole generation of LGBT that will never see the inside of a church.
The last time I was in a church was for my youngest Brother's Funeral..his wife was Catholic and I had to spend an hour listening to the preacher condemn him to hell and talking about his "sin" for committing suicide. After (and during) the service I was livid and when he came up to shake my hand I told him to go f*ck himself as I looked right into his eye....I did not return his gesture of a handshake.

One of my friends daughters had a brain aneurysm and died suddenly (she was 31) and the parents who are my friends did not have a church service out of respect for the many gay friends her daughter had....I thought that was a really cool gesture. If I had an option with my brother I would have done the same.
From your thread you seem to have an open minded to new and different things. Good for you! IMO I think people attend church for their own peace of mind. It brings them closer to God and a sense of community. Friendships start, families get together and so on.
I've studied a few religions and found that most are basically the same. They believe in and worship a higher being. I don't necessarily believe that one religion is better than the other, but if attending church and believing it some sort of religion helps develop a good moral code than I say more power to it.
Maybe one of the bad things about religion (organized) is they all believe their's is the best, closest to their God and tend to look down on other religions.
Above all else, we flawed humans are the ones doing the worshiping and we are far from perfect. That mean's you have (and throughout history) religious people killing one another, conquering others in the name of religion (christianity included), pedophilia, torture, you name it... It isn't God doing this, it is us, He (IMO) gave us freedom of choice. 'This may lead to things discussed in the other thread about the Bible.
No matter what people believe in or even the fact they don't believe, as long as you treat others with love and respect I believe you'll come out ok. BTW, people like to believe in life after death and most religions preach this concept. You are correct, you don't need to go to church to find peace and happiness.
With all the gay suicides going on, I can help but feel that religious guilt is also involved especially if you are taught that being gay is a choice and that it is immoral and unforgivable in the eyes of most religions. Then again this is just my opinion.
I had a professor in one of my advertising classes in college who told us that the American people are the most brainwashed people in the world.

This question has stuck with me over the year. The more I see, the more I believe it.

One of the areas where con-jobs run rampant is pet owners. The crap they spend money on unbelievable. I did some research on it once, and people are spending a small fortune on dog foods that actually harm the animals natural food requirements!

Today I saw a Veterinarian's sign that said, "Get a flu shot for your dog now, $30." So when I signed on the internet I Googled, and here is an ABC News story that says some dogs need flu shots.

I am sorry, but it is just too funny flu shots for dogs! And, just this week they closed the medical office for the homeless in my community due to lack of funds!

[Image: manifold-majesty.jpg]
Religion is such a useful problem solver, isn't it?
There isn't one for me for any personal reasons.
Family of Atheists here.Confusedmile:

Maybe out of architectural curiosity.
Or listening to dated views and opinions spouted as "truth" for a laugh...well ok, it'd probably anger me.:redface:
Silly Sarcastic So-and-so
Im an athiest too.
I still believe in god but I'm disgusted with how most "Christians" act towards other people, and most of the scriptures they use to condemn people to hell are taken out of context. not all are bad though, there's a group of elderly women at my church that includes my grandmother and they do their best to follow Jesus by not judging others and helping others in need. and my grandmother was the one that told me about eunuch people in the bible who are believed to be gay people.

I think down the road I might stop going to church though, one day I went and the preacher went on a rant about gay people and didn't quote one bible scripture. It just sounded like some ignorant bigot yelling on a stage.

but if you think about it if the bible was made up years ago and actually worked and Christians were the nicest most loving people in the world would it be so bad?
maby to get my share of the collection plate do you know how the jews decited which is gods part and which is theirs ?
they put the money in a plate god takes what ever he wants andd the rest is theirs
some people go there to meet a peice of ass or flirt and to prove theey are gods gift
but many just cant think for there selves and they know they can't live the rules andchurch says just the last second before dyeing and every thing will be forgives others do it just in case
but many it gives them a scoil circul of freinds that all say they think the same then try to get someones wife in bed or find someone they can borrow things from my unces hates when i call him a christian pimp but
he has to admit he gets customers for god and monet does change hands but still hates me
i must be a spawn of the devil.
pellaz Wrote:as i said
there will be a whole generation of LGBT that will never see the inside of a church.

I agree. It seems like socially progress is being made in the LGBT area (although I'd like to see it done a bit faster!) Wink But it seems most if not, all churches and religions are going the wrong way on the issue and still condemning it, or if they're saying it's okay to be gay they do think it's okay to be gay as long as you don't act on it. I've ran into this before and right when I do, I bounce! I am not going to hide who I am or not allow myself to be close to someone.

With regards to wanting to attend Church. WHen I frist started toa ttend Church back in high school I actually ejoyed it quite a bit and it did make me feel happy, I met a lot of fun people, and it just made me feel good overall and I would love to get back to it but the anti-homosexual thing is a huge issue me and until they change there views on that I'm not going back or supporting them at all.

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