Would you go to church for/with friends and family?

I've never felt really comfortable with this. But what do you do when friends have baptisms, weddings or funerals at their local church? I've gone but felt slightly uncomfortable even though it's just a building!

Richard Dawkins on BBC Hard Talk interview show said that he was a cultural Christian. He liked singing hymns in church but that doesn't mean he believes (and we know that!). Friends want me to attend this year's Christmas carols at one of the large city churches.

Alex
Alex's Heresies - Embracing a Physical Reality

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Comment by Alex McCullie on October 14, 2009 at 3:52pm
It still amazes me that religious leaders still pump out such negative stuff. These guys are shown far too much respect and reverence! And then governments ask them to contribute to ethical issues - don't get me started.

Alex
Comment by Alex McCullie on October 12, 2009 at 7:23pm
It's interesting reflecting on the responses. I like many of the older churches - they were built to generate awe and reverance. I prefer shorter mainline, low-key Christian services with less audience participation - easier to get through. In Sydney, Australia, we have the Hillsong church, evangelist-style with plenty of electrified music, singing, praising and confessing - like an Amway conference - and way, way too much for me!

During prayer I like watching others and it amazes me how many of them are also watching others. Is that the same as kissing with your eyes open? I imagine their god is less than impressed.

Alex
Comment by Ariel on October 12, 2009 at 4:43pm
If I like someone enough to suffer through his wedding or loved one's funeral, then I love him enough to do it in a church. I only voluntarily go into a religious building if it's beautiful.
Comment by Jo Jerome on October 12, 2009 at 3:23pm
Weddings, funerals, and other such occasions. I find old, gothic churches fascinatingly beautiful and love the sound of those massive pipe organs. But I do feel a little weird going in. Kind of like visiting an old grade-school or something. Part of it feels somehow ... smaller.
Comment by Madeline (Brigit) on October 12, 2009 at 12:54pm
I grew up with an atheist faction of the family, and a Catholic one. My atheist uncles have been godfathers in baptisms multiple times. One of my atheist aunts is my confirmation godmother. In my family all children are baptized, even if they are godless. It's kind of weird, I guess, looking at it now, but the purpose for them was more being there specially for that child than the jeebus stuff. When the youngest kid the family (has atheist parents) was baptized the godfather was another atheist, and it was all done in a Catholic church.

Personally I now feel kind of weird going to religious services. I've gone when there is good food involved later (what can I say, grandma's food is good). But one time when mom and grandma browbeat me and my husband to go to a Lutheran service a few days before our civil wedding, they jumped at us and blessed our union. Neither of us liked it one.fucking.bit.
Comment by Rusty Gunn. on October 12, 2009 at 12:36pm
Next time I go to church I'll find lots of places to leave my "Mad Atheist Strikes Back" cards!

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