I admire the magnificent architecture, art work and the amazing display of skills brought together under one roof, but I can't help feeling sad that huge amounts of money was spent glorifying a non-existent being when people struggled to survive, if only that much effort and expense was put into schools, hospitals, etc.
Here in the Untied Kingdom we have some magnificent churches and cathedrals, I visit some of them if I happen to be in town, not for the spiritual uplift, only to marvel at skill of the people who designed and built them in the days when heavy machinery wasn't available.
I'd be able to appreciate Handel's "Messiah" more if it wasn't constantly used in commercials and lame TV shows and movies, but I get your point.
I can picture a future where these beautiful artful buildings (minus the bloody corpse statues) will be used for secular humanist gatherings and celebrations and the religious part will be historical. It is annoying that they siphoned off all the resources but I am moved by the art of them. Some of the artists were surely atheists (like Leonardo da Vinci) working for a paycheck.
I think those old, huge cathedrals are gorgeous works of art and represent an amazing turning point in the course of architectural development. I can't help but be awed when I think that people built these things without the use of modern machinery. I think it is a shame that such beauty should be wasted on ridiculous magic spells and mummery performed by sequin-garbed priests in funny hats, though. I propose they be turned into the following uses, instead:
New Age crystal healing shops (irony, or something)
Indoor water parks
The world's fanciest 7-Eleven
A rainforest zoo
Hippie smoke shops
No, but there is a place actually called The Hippie Smoke Shop in my town, where they sell hippie clothing and jewelry as well as hand-made glass bongs, pipes, and hookahs. I was surprised when it first went in, as this is such a conservative town. Even more amusing is that it is located between a gardening shop and a weed control store. One of the owners said she took a picture of the three store fronts and sent it to Jay Leno. :o]
Also, there is a Presbyterian church that has been for sale on the next street over from mine. I keep hoping someone will turn it into a small bed-and-breakfast place, or maybe a restaurant. Unfortunately, the economy is in the toilet around here and nobody can afford to open up places like that.