I just learned my 88-year-old mother tithed $2,000 to her church last year. She's poor and barely lives off of a $1200 monthly check from Social Security. She recently underwent surgery for an aortic valve replacement, and not one representative from her church paid a visit or called. In fact, the church hasn't done a damned thing for her. It's a non-denominational evangelical mega-church in Wichita, Kansas. I did a happy dance when she left a Southern Baptist church years ago because they were worse (and I'm gay). Thanks for letting me vent.

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The thing that I missed the most when I left my church was community, and that was relatively easy to rebuild. As to church involvement in people's lives, such as visiting the sick or dying person is something that anyone can do, even humanists or secularists, or atheists. So, we have no big deal on this front. 

Just look at all the support we give and receive on the internet because we care about each other. That is what counts. 

Anyone heard from Carl the last couple of days. I don't want to put pressure on him to keep in touch. I rejoice when we do hear from him. 

The behaviour of that church is disgusting. Too bad she doesn't seem to see that they only care about her *money*

I just calculated how much she would pay each month out of $2,000 and it came out to $166.6666666 XD

I appreciate all the personal stories and commentary. It feels good to not be alone in my views. I remember refusing to go to church when I was about 10 or 11. I told my parents I was skeptical and couldn't be forced to practice a religion I didn't believe in. There were arguments, groundings, forfeited allowances, etc., but they eventually gave up. Perhaps the turning point was when I never could get a satisfying answer about why a child who was good and brought up in a Buddhist or Hindu religion and never exposed to Christianity would go to hell if he or she were to die. It made no sense at all. Plus, I was forming a gay identity (thank you Phil Donahue) and definitely couldn't accept the demonization of LGBT people. Overt misogyny and tacit racism were big factors, too. It was all complete rubbish.

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