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Old 06-16-2019, 02:19 PM
 
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I'm Catholic. Go at least once a week, sometimes three times a week. Also attend a weekly prayer group.

I just find it very relaxing. I am not a gung-ho Catholic. Take communion but never go to confession. I just don't feel the need to be all scared about what might happen.

Our priest is very open minded. He welcomes everyone. Even people who never regularly go to mass can have a service there.

We have lots of young people in our parish. We have to have four masses on Sunday now. Well one is on Saturday.

Its not perfect though. Still a lot of sniping back and forth. We are human after all.

 
Old 06-16-2019, 02:47 PM
 
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I wasn't raised in any religion (although my Jewish father always told me, "If Hitler came back, you'd be Jewish enough.")

Must admit I never thought that anyone believe religion teaching, like a funeral service on TV or something.
I have always been atheist and only had to realize it, not become it.
 
Old 06-16-2019, 03:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Piney Creek View Post
I guess everyone's different. I've always had plenty of time to examine my beliefs. It has always been something I made time for, so for me nothing has changed just because I retired. I get the argument that moving might change church attendance, but for me it really hasn't. And moving didn't affect the amount of time I spend reading on my own. I also get the argument that those who see church as a way to meet a spouse, or a place to give your children a solid foundation, will attend church more often during that period in their lives. That wasn't my circumstance, but I'm sure it's true for many. Not sure I really buy the claim that people join a church in their senior years to ensure they get funeral services. I know quite a few people who answer polls with smart-alec answers, as well as many who simply hang up on poll takers (so more and more these days the polls tend reflect only those who wish to answer, often people in the mood to joke around). The older I get the less credence I put in surveys.






Personally, I think this has more to do with generational differences rather than people changing after they hit retirement. The elderly people you see are probably attending church just as much as they did when they were younger. The younger people who are not attending mainstream churches will probably not start attending them once they reach retirement age.
No, it isn't just a generational thing -- altho' that's certainly part of it.
 
Old 06-16-2019, 04:06 PM
 
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I was raised Roman Catholic and attended parochial schools in towns where my father could blag his way into a discount on bulk tuition (7 kids). He was raised by Jesuits and benefited from an excellent international education, so he was pretty skilled at debate. Often, we'd stop by the rectory after Mass, where he'd match minds over tea/biscuits with the priest.

Nevertheless, I stopped believing in any supernatural nonsense shortly after my First Communion, at which time I began to read widely and reason through the rubbish theology with which my intelligence was insulted.

I was obligated to attend Mass weekly as long as I lived in my parents' house, but I was allowed to sit quietly during Mass and read a book and think my own thoughts about what was happening. I was never forced to go to Confession or take Communion after my Confirmation. After I left home at 17, I never darkened the doors of a church again, except for one wedding and one baptism which I attended to honor dear, close family members.

I would no more enter a church in retirement than I'd enter a card room, a casino, a gun range, or a golf course. No interest whatsoever.
 
Old 06-16-2019, 05:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by josie13 View Post
I was raised Roman Catholic and attended parochial schools in towns where my father could blag his way into a discount on bulk tuition (7 kids). He was raised by Jesuits and benefited from an excellent international education, so he was pretty skilled at debate. Often, we'd stop by the rectory after Mass, where he'd match minds over tea/biscuits with the priest.

Nevertheless, I stopped believing in any supernatural nonsense shortly after my First Communion, at which time I began to read widely and reason through the rubbish theology with which my intelligence was insulted.

I was obligated to attend Mass weekly as long as I lived in my parents' house, but I was allowed to sit quietly during Mass and read a book and think my own thoughts about what was happening. I was never forced to go to Confession or take Communion after my Confirmation. After I left home at 17, I never darkened the doors of a church again, except for one wedding and one baptism which I attended to honor dear, close family members.

I would no more enter a church in retirement than I'd enter a card room, a casino, a gun range, or a golf course. No interest whatsoever.
I may not believe, but one of the things I would never ever do is disparage or denigrate any religion or anyone's religious beliefs. Never. Ever. It would show a great lack of compassion and a great deal of both ignorance and arrogance.

Religion is not "supernatural rubbish". You may not agree with any theology but it is never rubbish -- I don't care whose theology it is.

Human beings are religious. We have been religious even prior to consciousness. Every single one of us are, whether we are atheists or we are 'true believers'. If we only think about why we were born, what life is all about, and what happens (or doesn't happen) after we die -- we're religious. And every single human being on earth does all of those.

And one of the main reasons believers are believers is because their religious beliefs give them great comfort. I understand that quite well. I would never make fun of them and/or their beliefs.

One last thing: if you were raised in a Catholic family and went to Catholic grade schools, you probably made your First Communion around 7 years of age. I find it very difficult to even begin to believe that you started reading widely through theology at that age. You were still reading mostly "Dick and Jane" at that point. I went to a private all-girls day school (that was very expensive), had only 13 girls at a time in my classroom, was extremely well educated by sisters who cared deeply about us girls, and didn't begin to read any theology (outside of Catholicism) until I was in HS --and even then was too early, because there was so much I didn't understand -- it would take me until I was 40 to begin to understand -- and I minored in Religion in college, at a time when no secular college or university in The US offered a major in Religion. At 7 or even 8 years of age, most of us didn't even understand what even The Eucharist actually was. I never even heard the word "theology" until I was in 6th or 7th grade. And I attended Mass every day (unless I was sick or with my family on vacation) from the time I made my First Communion until my first child was two months old.

When I was in college, I became an atheist. When I was 40, after taking a number of science courses in college (from Anatomy to Zoology), I became an agnostic. I am an agnostic today. I am obviously quite arrogant, but I don't consider myself 'superior' among others who do believe. I am also very compassionate towards -- and very understanding of -- others who believe differently from me.

I wish you well.

Last edited by Fran66; 06-16-2019 at 05:37 PM..
 
Old 06-16-2019, 05:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Fran66 View Post
In retirement, do you attend church/synagogue/mosque, and do you attend frequently, somewhat regularly, rarely or not at all? And why do you or don't you?

I realize that this can get 'sticky' and/or contentious. I don't want this to turn into a conversion convention. I would very much prefer that we don't try to convince each other that our church/set of beliefs is/are 'the only right one'. I would very much prefer that we don't try to 'save' each other. I would just like to know if you attend a place of worship and why you do or if you don't and why you don't.

In the past few years I have come to know that the majority of members of mainstream Christian churches and Jewish synagogues are 55+ or 65+. By "majority" I mean that 50-75% of the congregation(s) are 60-65+. (Last Sunday I went to four different Roman Catholic churches in my city. The majority of the people going into or coming out of Mass were the old and elderly. I spoke with a number of attendees at all four parishes -- one woman laughed (and made me laugh): "ALL of us are old here!" :-) )

So to start it off: I don't attend any place of worship. I'm 70, and I've been an agnostic since I was 20 and in college. I was born into and raised in a very devout Roman Catholic home. Went to Catholic school through 8th grade (for which I am very grateful -- I got a great fundamental education which served me very well in HS and college). But Catholicism -- and Christianity -- started to make no sense to me at all starting at about age 13. I had a hard time believing that a 'loving' God was going to send us to Hell if we stepped out of line once too often. :-) And that was just the beginning of a long list of things that didn't make sense to me.

Religion was my minor in college (at a time when on secular college in The US offered a major in religion -- that's how old I am LOL). The study of religion(s) has been a life-long love of mine. (I majored in Philosophy, and both Philosophy and religion got me interested in ALL the sciences.)

Just for the record: I do follow Christian principles. I am a huge believer in the last seven of The 10 Commandments because I think that they (the last seven of the 10) are necessary for a society where everyone can live in security and peace -- of course, that's the ideal -- it doesn't tend to happen in reality.
But I don't tend to lie, cheat, steal, sleep with my neighbor's husband, etc., and I never have. I am fortunate enough financially to be able to give money away to those in need (not for a tax deduction). And I truly think the vast majority of us (human beings) have a moral compass, whether or not we believe in a God, and that the majority of us do the best we can every single day.

Ok -- anyone else up to posting about this? If not, it's all right. I just thought I'd give it a go.
My initial reaction was to snicker when I read something like when you were a teen Catholicism made no sense and then later you wrote that you did adhere to the last 7 commandments.
 
Old 06-16-2019, 05:45 PM
 
823 posts, read 563,296 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran66 View Post
I may not believe, but one of the things I would never ever do is disparage or denigrate any religion or anyone's religious beliefs. Never. Ever. It would show a great lack of compassion and a great deal of both ignorance and arrogance.

Religion is not "supernatural rubbish". You may not agree with any theology but it is never rubbish -- I don't care whose theology it is.

Human beings are religious. We have been religious even prior to consciousness. Every single one of us are, whether we are atheists or we are 'true believers'. If we only think about why we were born, what life is all about, and what happens (or doesn't happen) after we die -- we're religious. And every single human being on death does all of those.

And one of the main reasons believers are believers is because their religious beliefs give them great comfort. I understand that quite well. I would never make fun of them.

One last thing: if you were raised in a Catholic family and went to Catholic grade schools, you probably made your First Communion around 7 years of age. I find it very difficult to even begin to believe that you started reading widely through theology. You were still reading mostly "Dick and Jane" at that point. I went to a private all-girls day school, had only 13 girls at a time in my classroom, was extremely well educated, and didn't begin to read any theology (outside of Catholicism) until I was in HS.

I wish you well.
Sorry, in this matter I'm firmly in the camp of the late, great Christopher Hitchens, author of the masterpiece "God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything." I hope we still have freedom of thought and speech in this forum. People's opinions differ here as in the outside world, which means it's just as fair for me to say that religion is a scourge upon humanity as it is for you to say that religion may be a great comfort to some people.

In my previous post, I said that I began reading widely after First Communion at age seven, not that I was exclusively reading theology. It was reading widely in many different disciplines, theology included, that gave me the intellectual tools to question what I was being taught. In my case, "Dick and Jane" was never part of my education. I learned to read using the books my parents had around the house long before starting preschool. That being said, my father rather pushed Thomas Aquinas and others on me at an early age, Pascal being another great favorite of his. Honestly.
 
Old 06-16-2019, 06:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dustyroad70 View Post
My initial reaction was to snicker when I read something like when you were a teen Catholicism made no sense and then later you wrote that you did adhere to the last 7 commandments.
You can 'snicker' all you want. I mean, seriously, there are a couple of posters who think that laughing at others is their favorite pastime.

The 10 Commandments aren't just something Catholicism made up for its own fun.

The 10 Commandments come from Judaism. They are very similar to The Code of Hammurabi -- the Babylonians had a very similar 'code' for them to live with each other in peace and harmony, and it has nothing to do with religion.

And I still think that the last seven are a good way for society to live in peace and harmony.
 
Old 06-16-2019, 06:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran66 View Post
Human beings are religious. We have been religious even prior to consciousness. Every single one of us are, whether we are atheists or we are 'true believers'. If we only think about why we were born, what life is all about, and what happens (or doesn't happen) after we die -- we're religious.
Not to get into a discussion of semantics here but I respectfully disagree with your premise. One cannot equate intellectual curiosity (which is what you're describing in the sentence I bolded) with "being religious".

Webster's defines the adjective "religious" as:

(1) relating to or manifesting faithful devotion to an acknowledged ultimate reality or deity
(2) of, relating to, or devoted to religious beliefs
(3) scrupulously and conscientiously faithful


None of those definitions of the word apply to your premise.
 
Old 06-16-2019, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
3,551 posts, read 1,647,282 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fran66 View Post
No, it isn't just a generational thing -- altho' that's certainly part of it.

Curious how you know this. As I understand it, you sat outside a church this morning and these just happened to be people you observed between the end of one service and the beginning of the next. I get it that you saw a lot of elderly people, but how would you know if they had the same attendance habits that they had before the retired or not?
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