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Old 06-17-2019, 10:08 AM
6,239 posts, read 4,721,373 times
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As I said in the beginning, I am surprised that the moderators have allowed a strongly religious topic to be discussed. So far we have heard all sorts of answers to the question of going to religious services. Also as in the original post we have heard explanations of individual reasons to go or not go along with often very detailed explanations of religious beliefs.

Considering the above it only seems fair for me to answer the question and provide at least a brief explanation. No, I do not go to any sort of religious services and have not since I grew up and passed into adulthood. At the heart, religion is about accepting beliefs. Call it faith or trust or acceptance or by any other name. It means believing in things that are not established by analysis or reasoning or facts. I find that to be beyond sad to the point of being pathetic. I believe that we should move beyond herd mentality and try to use analysis, critical thinking and all forms of reasoning to try to understand ourselves.

Religion is the strongest possible form of group think. Religion means accepting the beliefs and behaviors we adopt from others, primarily from others in our group. Religious groups, to survive, must develop the group cohesiveness. They must distinguish themselves from those not in the same group, but they consider others to be wrong and often outright enemies. They are the sources of endless numbers of religious wars, the Inquisition and witch hunts. That is just ancient history but nothing has changed. The religious right strives to tell others how to behave and has taken a strong place in American politics. I need not elaborate on the well known examples. The religious Muslim right also wants to live in a society built on their beliefs. Many tens of millions are willing to adopt extreme violence in order to achieve those goals. There is nothing new about that and nothing that Christian believers have not done sometime in the past or even recently. For those who join and support such groups it is possible to believe almost anything and to go in almost any direction. To me there is no basic difference between a Nazi, or a Muslim terrorists or a right winger Christian.

No, I do not attend any services. I am more than an agnostic or an atheist, I am strongly anti-religious regardless of the religion or the specific beliefs.

Old 06-17-2019, 11:10 AM
Location: Sylmar, a part of Los Angeles
3,978 posts, read 2,537,158 times
Reputation: 8492
The big church I go to 10,000 weekend attendance, has a Tuesday morning senors group. I love it, it's fun and I have made friends. It takes a big church to have enough people to support such a group. Were up to 125 people.
I go to two big churches, one Sat. evening and the other Sunday morning, at both there is all ages, a lot of all ages.
Old 06-17-2019, 11:22 AM
13,315 posts, read 25,550,246 times
Reputation: 20492
My aunt, who died recently at age 93, got more and more Catholic with time. As she said for some 25 years, "I'm facing eternity," and I'd say, "Agnes, you were saying that for years before." I don't know if she got solace from church or relief from fear of punishment. I do know that, when she was unable to leave the house, a lay minister came over and gave her Communion, which meant a lot to her. When she died, my cousin and I made a donation to the church's food pantry in her memory. She also wanted a Mass said, which happened. That really is all that mattered to her.
Old 06-17-2019, 11:36 AM
Location: the Old Dominion
294 posts, read 149,075 times
Reputation: 1382
Default ...Man shall not live by bread alone - the Gospel of St. Matthew...

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.
I attend Church with my wife. She is born again. I am not. She is a Pentecostal girl who is given to praying in the Spirit. I think it suits her. I became a Christian in my teens (surrendered at the Cross) and read through the New Testament twice and read through much of the Old Testament. I continue to read the Bible and think it the finest book ever written. King James for me.
I converted to Judaism in my early forties. Stopped attending Shul, but continue to keep a Kosher diet. Oh, how I miss bacon! When I find myself in a religious discussion with a Christian, I try to encourage him/her in his/her faith. It makes a better world. When they try to witness to me, I exercise patience. I stopped telling them of my past for it confounds them. My rabbi commended me for this.
I find that true atheists are not God-haters and do not insult people who choose to follow a life of faith.
My one stipulation to my wife was that I would not attend an all-white church unless we were living in Northern Finland.
I like going to Church for the sermons. And if the sermon is about me, I deal with it.
We try to attend Sunday services. Attend more since my retirement eighteen months ago. I like it.

Good post, Sister.
Old 06-17-2019, 12:24 PM
1,970 posts, read 2,716,176 times
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Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
As I said in the beginning, I am surprised that the moderators have allowed a strongly religious topic to be discussed.
You're right to a certain extent: I got carried away in my OP. As I've posted before -- more than once -- I think this is the third time -- I realized my mistake and tried to go back and edit my OP A LOT but it was too late.

You're wrong to this extent: It was meant as a cultural question. Even a health question. It's been proven over and over that regular church/synagogue attendees live longer than those who do not attend.

My 'agenda' (as a poster put it) was to see if retirees did or didn't attend worship services and why/why not. Because, for the most part, our needs and wants change a lot in older age.

And as I stated in my OP, I didn't want this to turn into a conversation convention -- and as it turns out, everyone has been very good about that. They haven't always answered my question(s), but they have refrained from trying to convert everyone else to their beliefs.

If people didn't like this, first of all the moderator could have moved the topic; secondly -- I've gotten TONS of Rep (which I'm sure the Mod can see) in the past two days, so the majority must be ok with this topic being here.

I'm sorry if I've offended you, but I truly don't see how. If I had asked "Are you a born-again Christian" or "Are you so stupid that you believe in religious 'stuff'" -- I could see why you would be offended (and, of course, I would have been in deep doo-doo with the Mod). But I didn't. I'm sorry, but I just don't understand why you're so offended. And I am well aware that you are offended because you have stated it in more than one of your posts.
Old 06-17-2019, 12:31 PM
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,012 posts, read 54,523,130 times
Reputation: 66358
Not going to quote your longest posts, Fran66, but as an Episcopalian, I found it interesting that you said they closed their office for the elderly/retired. I didn't know that, but I have not always been active in the church.

We don't have activities specifically for older people, but hell, we can only afford a part-time priest, so our current priest and the one before that are older, retired people themselves.

Why do the older people attend the church? For community. For me, it was a way to meet people when I moved to a new area and a place where a single, older woman would not feel out of place or shoved aside for the married-couples-and-family set. Others there are the same way. A lady whose husband dumped her after 44 years of marriage. Gay people who aren't welcome in other churches. Mentally ill people who aren't welcome in other churches. People who aren't sure--or who are sure--that they don't believe the official doctrine who aren't welcome in other churches.

There are lots of reasons, but I do think "community" is pretty high on the list.

By the way, if you feel this is getting off-topic, well, I'm one of the R&S mods. You could always take the conversation there.
Moderator posts are in RED.
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Old 06-17-2019, 01:47 PM
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Reputation: 17636
No more, no less, than before I retired
Old 06-17-2019, 02:47 PM
6,239 posts, read 4,721,373 times
Reputation: 12757
Originally Posted by Fran66 View Post
My 'agenda' (as a poster put it) was to see if retirees did or didn't attend worship services and why/why not. Because, for the most part, our needs and wants change a lot in older age.

I'm sorry if I've offended you, but I truly don't see how. ,,,,,,.
I followed the agenda. I stated I did not attend services and explained why.

I never said I was offended. You have your opinion. I have mine. Both have been stated at least to some extent.
Old 06-17-2019, 03:13 PM
Location: Williamsburg, VA
3,551 posts, read 1,651,021 times
Reputation: 10163
Originally Posted by Fran66 View Post
What I have learned over the years -- and I wasn't going to say it here but I will now -- is that most retirees will tell you that they are happy in their retirement but they are lying. They struggle with depression, with the feeling of being useless, and with financial/health issues. But we need to start talking about them -- we need to start speaking up and out and doing so truthfully.
Originally Posted by Fran66 View Post
Oh good grief, I didn't call you a liar, and you know it.

It's right there in your quote. I am happy in my retirement. So are most, if not all, of the people I know. According to you, we're all lying. Therefore, you are calling me a liar.

I was watching this thread develop, giving the benefit of the doubt, right up until you made that statement. It really rubbed me the wrong way, as you can see. Nothing like having someone tell me that if I think I am happy, I must be lying because that just doesn't fit with the agenda they're pushing.

Originally Posted by Fran66 View Post
But we need to start talking about them -- we need to start speaking up and out and doing so truthfully.

Speaking up truthfully is exactly what I'm doing. Unfortunately, you only think people who agree with you are being truthful.

Originally Posted by Fran66 View Post
I don't really care what your answer is.

Then why did you ask?
Old 06-17-2019, 03:26 PM
2,032 posts, read 859,539 times
Reputation: 5027
Raised Catholic. Stopped going to mass when my kids were teenagers and they no longer went about 25 years ago. Have gone for special occasions like remembrance mass for the dead, funerals, weddings, baptism, first communion and confirmation of the grandkids. I believe in God and say prayers at night but I have come to believe that churches are just show business. There are the performers on the other side of the alter, the audience in the pews, and the admission ticket is the collection plate. This insight came to me after I played guitar at the 10AM mass for about a thousand people every Sunday for a whole summer in the early 90's. When I was in hospital a couple of times I had the last rites, so I'm not anti-religious, I just don't feel I need to go to church to pray. Or put another way, I believe in Jesus, but not in the church.

I'm retired for almost 11 years and not depressed or unhappy. I learned to make the best of work and enjoyed it, earned and saved enough not to have any money problems in retirement, and have been married for 45 years and enjoy it also. We've had dogs and one cat during the past 40 years and I enjoy my dog. Have 3 kids and 6 grandkids, two of the grandkids I never see due to break ups of their parents. Life hasn't been a bowl of cherries, but there's cherries a plenty if you work for them.

Last edited by bobspez; 06-17-2019 at 03:49 PM..
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