Sunday, January 10, 2010

Who Goes To Church?

When I was a kid growing up 50 years ago, no more than a third of the families in my neighborhood went to religious services regularly. Maybe another third were religious enough that they had a church that they were affiliated with in the area and went a couple times a year. The last third never went to church. Most would claim some kind of religion if asked but they weren't really interested.

Nobody in my neighborhood now goes to Church regularly. A few go on big holidays. I know a lot of people from work that go regularly. Black Ladies are big church goers, immigrants too. It's clear that religious observance is declining. I think it's just happening on its own. Religion isn't the glue that holds society together anymore. Religion doesn't get you any concrete benefits, socially, vocationally or any other way. Church isn't a good place for young adults to find prospective mates. Children don't see other kids they know there. It's rare for people at work or living on the same street or apartment complex to attend the same church. You don't really know the people at church with you. You can't really trust them more than anybody else. They always want money at church and there's never enough to go around as it is.

My parents are still alive. They're real old. Church is only a couple of blocks away. They know everybody there. They've known them all their lives. There's a shuttle bus. They don't go. They say they've been to all the church a person needs to go to in their lives. My sister married a Catholic guy. They go to an Episcopalian church, the kind that lets Gay women be bishops. They always took the kids. The kids don't go any more. Of all the kids in that generation there is one girl that always liked church. She married a Jewish guy who grew up in Russia, came here when he was about twelve. They have two children. They may have more. They just started going to church. Unitarian Universalist. Does that even count? So out of an extended family of three generations, maybe thirty people, six go to church. Two where they have Gay, lady bishops and four where you don't have to believe in God.

I'm sure there are other families where they have a stronger religious tradition. On the other hand, my family went to church every single Sunday, the whole time I was growing up. I don't think my family is that atypical. We're not lowlife scumbags or anything, except for me. Church never had a chance with me. I never believed any of that stuff. I don't think anybody much does, especially the people that go to church. They lie, cheat, steal and fornicate more than anyone. Especially the preachers. I hate being in a church. Occasionally I have to go to funerals. I have to contain my anger even then. It's pretty pathetic.

Do you go to church? What do you get out of it?


Anonymous said...

I go to church whenever the need for marriage arises.

-- G.i.T.

reddog said...

I didn't want to be married in Church but ladies really value it, so I was. Since then the only thing I go to Church for is funerals.