Now to make it short and sweet, I didn't really talk about my atheism with my family because all of them claim to be really into church! Well I was asked two weeks ago, by my step dad, did I want to go to church! I told him that I didn't do church, and I told him the reasons why I didn't do church or religion! The question that I didn't think about asking him until after I left was " how long do you have to go to church to find the answer you are looking for?" He is 55 and I'm pretty sure that he was into since he was young! Do you think that is a legitimate question to ask? 

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Some people enjoy the rituals even if they don't mean anything. Also, there are strong social reasons he might go. Does he make business connections there? Is this where he meets up with his friends? Does he have a support network from this church? He could be going for a lot of reasons that everything to do with connecting with other people and nothing to do with religion. For years when I was a xtian (especially as a child), I thought the main purpose of church was for women to show off their new clothes and look snooty at the other women who could not afford nice clothes. As a college student, I alternated between wearing hooker wear and blue jeans to church. Of course, this always raised a stir! LOL

Going to church is one way to make friends and business acquaintances. I don't know your dad's age, but in my town, the local senior center is a good place for seniors to make friends. It has the added benefit of dart boards and pool tables and people can wear what they like. And unlike churches, they organize bus tours, dances and all sorts of other activities. Maybe you could recommend alternatives like a senior center or community arts center or even the Y as places for him to make friends.

Obviously, if your dad hasn't found god in his church, he isn't going to, but maybe he does find friends there. And if friends are what he's finding there, then maybe it's doing him some good. It would be nice if he could honestly say the main reason he goes to church is because he meets his friends there or for social acceptance. I have found, although, almost everyone regardless of faith dislikes loneliness and desires to connect with others, it is very hard for religious people to admit that they mainly go to church to meet up with people of similar interests and values. i think it's because (in their opinion) being lonely and needing other people would be "sinful" and not "god based" or "putting people before god", etc.




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