ten random reasons I don’t go to church

I admit I was not surprised with the results of the recent Pew Survey that showed atheists know more about Christianity and other religions than Christians. I took a short version of that same test online and correctly answered all questions except two. I’ve never been very good at accepting things on blind faith. I am always aware that the people in pulpits are only human like me–no better, no worse. Most of the stuff I’ve read about and heard coming from the mouths of these people frankly disgust me.

I could have given you hundreds of similar quotes, but here are ten random reasons I no longer feel the need to go to church.

1. Ladies and gentlemen, Christianity offers the only viable, reasonable, definitive answer to the questions of ‘Where did I come from?’ ‘Why am I here?’ ‘Where am I going?’ ‘Does life have any meaningful purpose?’ Only Christianity offers a way to understand that physical and moral border. Only Christianity offers a comprehensive worldview that covers all areas of life and thought, every aspect of creation. Only Christianity offers a way to live in response to the realities that we find in this world–only Christianity. House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) at the First Baptist Church of Pearland, Texas, on April 12, 2002  (Omigod! How am I going to tell this to my Hindu husband and his family? And how in the world did they grow up to be moral without a preacher to feed them drivel like this!)

2. “A religion that doesn’t discriminate wouldn’t exist, because it wouldn’t stand for anything.” –Janet Parshall, Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch Radio Commentary,” Sept. 1, 2000 comments about a church firing a lesbian worker. (Well, that certainly cleared things up for me! There are so many things that I could discriminate against, let me count the ways. I’d better get busy.)

3. “The end goal of gay activism is the criminalization of Christianity.” –Robert H. Knight, Director of Cultural Studies at FRC (family research council) a conservative, Christian rights group and lobbying organization. (Oh yes! Hell is certainly going to be interesting. And probably more fun. 😀  )

4. The Church doesn’t believe in book-burning, but it believes in restricting the use of dangerous books among those whose minds are unprepared for them. –Francis J. Lally, American Roman Catholic Monsignor during an interview with Mike Wallace in 1958.  (Can I be on the committee that gets to decide which ones? Please, please, please!)

5. “I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good… Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called on by God to conquer this country. We don’t want equal time. We don’t want pluralism.” –Randall Terry, The News Sentinel, (Ft. Wayne, IN.), 8/16/93  (I’m feeling it! Intolerance, yes! Hate, yes! Ooooh it feels so good.)

6. “As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children.” –Anita Bryant, 1977  (Everybody! Hide your children in the closet!)

7. “I want to coin a phrase here, and I don’t mind help. What would be the communication version of “ethnic cleansing?” Because that’s what in particular the homosexual activists try to do.” –Dr. Laura Schlessinger, August 11, 1999  (What? Now after that there’s the  “n” word ? How many times does she say that everyday I wonder.)

8. “Women have babies and men provide the support. If you don’t like the way we’re made you’ve got to take it up with God.” –Phyllis Schlafly  (Oh that Phyllis! Just a bundle of information.)

9. The Media is ruled by Satan. But yet I wonder if many Christians fully understand that. Also, will they believe what the Media says, considering that its aim is to steal, kill, and destroy? The Evangelist, January 1988  (Gasp! And the Fox network had only been around two years when they printed that! How did they know?)

10. We don’t have to protect the environment, the Second Coming is at hand. –James Watt, Secretary of the Interior under Ronald Reagan. Washington Post, May 24, 1981.  (Omigosh! I’m gonna fill my whirley water tub up to the rim tonight, fill it with bubbles, and shower it off for ten minutes tonight! Sure takes a lot of the pressure of saving the world off my shoulders.)

20 thoughts on “ten random reasons I don’t go to church

  1. Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!! You’ve said it well. I still practice my faith (with a huge dose of skepticism) but I agree with everything you have said here. I always fall back on Gandhi’s words: “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”

    • If writer Anne Lamont is right, and I know she is, and everybody invents their own God who usually has the same prejudices they have, then my God understands skepticism, and he would agree with Gandhi too.

  2. Here’s you another source and reason for not going to church. Look up Sally Kern, an Oklahoma politician. She is known for saying that homeosexuals are a bigger threat to America than terrorists.

    • I read about Sally Kern, Silver. I always wonder who were the idiots who put her in congress? At least she’s out of the classroom and not doing more damage in public schools, and I keep hoping the fundies will wake up some day and realize the damage they’re doing. We did survey McCarthy’s era of suspecting anyone not on his side of being a communist after all. We need another Edward R. Murrow.

  3. Alice – my epiphany came in my 20s, after my father died and I would show up at the small shule, which was attached to the large one that we attended. It was there that they did the daily morning and evening service. In the Jewish religion it takes ten men to form a minion, which allows for the prayers to be read aloud. Two month into my going morning and evening to say Kaddish for my dead father, I showed up one morning and took my place behind the divider (alone) and nine men enter the front and as the service began they realized they didn’t have enough to say the Kaddish aloud because there was nine men and me. And I didn’t count. I quit going to the synagogue right then and there, and have only returned for bar mitzvahs and weddings. I say this because more astounding to me in finding the prejudice of ignorance from others was finding it amongst my peeps.

    • The last part of your comment “prejudice from others … finding it amongst peeps” really resonates with me. I’m still conflicted about my own family and the people I grew up with, really good people at heart, who can be so easily misled by politicians and preachers. One thing I try never to discuss when I visit my home village is religion and politics. (I guess that’s two things!) I think it would be too painful to hear what I’m pretty sure what I know I’d hear.

  4. In the Hindu temples there are no preachers. You may have a glimpse of the deity as long as you want, pray to him and go back to your house hoping that some day your prayer is answered. If it is not answered in this life it will be in the next life. Most Hindus believe that there is rebirth and that the soul has no death. May God save Himself from the Evangelists. Hindus too have their brand of Evangelists who thrive as most men and women are fools. N

    • The real problem I have with any religion is not religion per se, but the interpretations fallible humans assign to it. My religious mantra–were I to have one–might be that every one should have the freedom to live their lives in their own way–as long as in doing so, they do no harm to others. So far, of all the religions I’ve studied, Hinduism and the theory of reincarnation appeals to me the most. I have problems with the caste system, though I readily admit each country has its own caste system.

    • Ain’t that the truth, Grannymar! I like the line in that poem, can’t remember most of it, but the one I like says something like … “nearer God’s heart in a garden, than anywhere on earth”

    • Wonderful, Ruthe! I’d be happy to join you for tree worship if I ever get to Pittsburgh. And I don’t think they’d pass the collection basket OR beg for money to build a church, unless of course the church were made of something other than wood! 😉

    • Exactly my reaction Mage. But my comments were in parentheses at the end of each statement. We seem to be in a 1950’s timewarp and have no idea how to get out and back to the 21st century!

  5. Wow!!!! I’ve been following the comments here and find it fascinating. Please note that I said that I ‘practice’ my faith — I like that word for it — because I know that I don’t always get it right and probably never will unlike certain others we see in the media casting stones hither and yon. Frankly, if they’re real Christians, I quit.

    • The post I was most nervous about posting turns out to have some of the more interesting comments. Just shows you shouldn’t be timid about expressing yourself. Glad you enjoyed it.

  6. Dear Alice, Let us discard the use of the term,caste. Since the earliest times there has been a dichotomy between the mighty and the weak. When some of the former became gentle they joined hands with the weak commoners and kept out the cruel warlords. The commoners were organized as clans and communities and were settled agro-pastoral population, called manushyas.The western Indologists translated the terma, manushyas, maanavas, naras, purushas as ‘men’ without noticing the differences among them. Purushas were social leaders. Naras were free men. Manushyas were bound to their respective clans (kulas) and local communities (jatis) in which they were born. But the maanavas were citizens of the world and were not bound by the codes of any clan or community or country or state or corporation or guild. Even today there are four classes (varnas) among men all over the world. They are intellectuals, administrators, landlords, bankers and traders and workers (Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas and Shudras). This system permits one to migrate from one class to another based on which innate trait is dominant in him, gentleness (sattva), aggressiveness (rajas) or inertness (tamas). Man is respected truly by his achievement and natural trait and not by what his ancestors were. Understand ‘caste system’ in this light. Caste is a monster introduced by the British lawyers and jurists after 1810 AD mainly because of their inability to understand ancient Indian social laws. The Indian judiciary and politicians continue to honour whatever the British have left behind as their legacy. N

    • Yes, I suppose some sort of social order is necessary–as long as those in any order are not positioned at–and forced to stay at–the bottom, and the education need to be upwardly mobile is free and available to all. Throw in a few role models as well, though how that may be done is not within my ken. It’s so nice to have your input here, Dr. N. Thank you.

  7. The Upanishads including the Bhagavad-Gita were composed during the last decades of the long Vedic era. What I have said above reflects Krshna’s counsel to Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita. This counsel influenced the editors of the famous Law-book, Manusmrti. It is unfortunate that neither the British jurists nor the Indian jurists of the last two centuries recognized the significance of this aspect.
    In one of the Upanishads, Sanatkumars, a great sage and political counsellor, told Narada, an economist and statesman that in his view self-determination (autonomy, savrajyam) that should be available to every individual called for every one to have his personal property, personally selected vocation (svakarma) and be self-reliant. He told Narada that it was not utopian. In another Upanishad, Naciketas who had become a Vaisvanara Agni, a civil judge who was a free man (nara)and also representative of all sectors and strata of the larger society (visva), from the lowest to the highest envisaged a society that would have no manual workers (manushyas). All would belong either to the cultural aristocracy or to educated independent middle class.
    During the last three decades a silent revolution is taking place in India which indicates that this social objective can be achieved soon. But most Indians are not aware of what change is taking place around them.
    For a useful appreciation of social change after WW II in Germany and Europe one may refer to the writings of Karl Mannheim

    • I’m sure you’re right about most Indians not being aware of changes around them. It’s like that in this country too. I guess people are too busy trying simply to make a living. I suspect we and a few others in retirement age have the luxury of time to reflect about these things. Sorry it took me so long to reply. So little time, but it’s always nice to have your interesting and informative comments.

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