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Sat Feb 17, 2018, 01:03 PM

What do you miss about religion?

for those of you who are post-theist (not you lucky ones who never drank the Kool-aid) I'm wondering what communal or ritual aspects of religion you miss or had a hard time replacing. I know, for example, that many people deal with depression after losing the consolations of religion, however false they turn out to be. Personally I miss the music. a lot. And it took a while to combat the isolation with a new group of non-believing friends. Anybody else had problems? I know you folks are smart, but please don't be glib. I sincerely would like to know.

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Arrow 71 replies Author Time Post
Reply What do you miss about religion? (Original post)
Brainstormy Feb 2018 OP
mopinko Feb 2018 #1
Brainstormy Feb 2018 #13
Jeffersons Ghost Feb 2018 #66
50 Shades Of Blue Feb 2018 #2
Brainstormy Feb 2018 #8
Locrian Feb 2018 #3
Brainstormy Feb 2018 #9
Thyla Feb 2018 #4
PJMcK Feb 2018 #5
Brainstormy Feb 2018 #11
mountain grammy Feb 2018 #41
Binkie The Clown Feb 2018 #6
Brainstormy Feb 2018 #12
rurallib Feb 2018 #48
pandr32 Feb 2018 #7
Brainstormy Feb 2018 #14
pandr32 Feb 2018 #16
Brainstormy Feb 2018 #40
pandr32 Feb 2018 #60
Jeffersons Ghost Feb 2018 #64
pandr32 Feb 2018 #68
Brainstormy Feb 2018 #69
Ferrets are Cool Feb 2018 #10
NRaleighLiberal Feb 2018 #15
Delmette2.0 Feb 2018 #17
sinkingfeeling Feb 2018 #18
yankeepants Feb 2018 #19
Music_Swims Feb 2018 #20
Duppers Feb 2018 #21
BaileyBill Feb 2018 #22
Jeffersons Ghost Feb 2018 #63
LakeArenal Feb 2018 #23
Solly Mack Feb 2018 #24
sakabatou Feb 2018 #25
LastLiberal in PalmSprings Feb 2018 #26
pangaia Feb 2018 #52
Snackshack Feb 2018 #27
wcmagumba Feb 2018 #28
Collimator Feb 2018 #29
pangaia Feb 2018 #54
Funtatlaguy Feb 2018 #30
Brainstormy Feb 2018 #39
Funtatlaguy Feb 2018 #43
Mariana Feb 2018 #46
Funtatlaguy Feb 2018 #47
demigoddess Feb 2018 #31
WhiteTara Feb 2018 #32
randr Feb 2018 #33
Mr.Bill Feb 2018 #34
rownesheck Feb 2018 #35
Croney Feb 2018 #36
Brainstormy Feb 2018 #38
Brainstormy Feb 2018 #37
keithbvadu2 Feb 2018 #42
edhopper Feb 2018 #44
heckles65 Feb 2018 #45
rurallib Feb 2018 #49
Iggo Feb 2018 #50
pangaia Feb 2018 #51
TalenaGor Feb 2018 #53
fierywoman Feb 2018 #55
Cartoonist Feb 2018 #56
jazzcat23 Feb 2018 #57
missingthebigdog Feb 2018 #58
Jeffersons Ghost Feb 2018 #61
missingthebigdog Feb 2018 #67
rainy Feb 2018 #59
Jeffersons Ghost Feb 2018 #62
rainy Feb 2018 #65
LostOne4Ever Feb 2018 #70
lindysalsagal Feb 2018 #71

Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 01:08 PM

1. i miss having words of comfort when someone dies.

which, imho, is the real nut of what religion gives people.
especially when explaining death to children.

but i also miss midnight mass on xmas eve. used to go to the tiny chapel in the hospital where my mom worked. another employee had a beautiful soprano voice. i can still here it. always sang "oh holy night"

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Response to mopinko (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 01:39 PM

13. Me too.

Christmas is always the most nostalgic for me. I still have "feelings" for those hymns.

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Response to Brainstormy (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 04:23 PM

66. you can find words of comfort after a loved one dies, a community and music here

This Sunday gathering welcomes atheists, agnostics, pagans and even Christians, who were alienated because attitudes in their previous Church were out of step with true Christianity. There are no prayers at Unitarian Universalist Services, because many in this diverse community find them offensive.
https://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1230&pid=55956

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 01:14 PM

2. The sense of superiority, LOL.

I was Catholic - 12 years Catholic school - it was the OneTrueReligion!

Great question, BTW.

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Response to 50 Shades Of Blue (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 01:34 PM

8. that's funny!

and I know quite a few Catholics who exhibit that sense of superiority!

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 01:17 PM

3. I like the music

I used to go in the evenings .... not a lot of people, big beautiful old churches.
Ah the music and ambience. Just the acoustics of the place!
Throw in some candles and incense and the perfect gothic evening.

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Response to Locrian (Reply #3)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 01:35 PM

9. Boy, do I get that!

And the churches in Europe. Oh, my.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 01:22 PM

4. Nothing

but then again in general it gave nothing to begin with. I suppose it could have but growing up in Oz as a kid most Australians who claimed to be Christians certainly weren't church goers at all. Not really the we roll down under, could be fishing or sleeping one off on a Sunday morning.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 01:23 PM

5. Not much, to be honest

For about 15 years, I belonged to a modest-sized Presbyterian church in a New York suburb. It was fairly liberal theologically and most of the members were friendly and welcoming. Years earlier when I was growing up, I had an extensive Biblical education and had participated in Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, sang in the choir, led the children's choir and was part of the youth group.

During my time with the Presbyterians, I became a Deacon, an Elder, taught Sunday School, played piano when the organist wasn't there, taught an adult Bible class and was the Clerk of Session, (sort of the lay leader). Eventually, I burned out and came to my own epiphany about faith and creation.

I miss some of the people who became friends although I still get together socially with some of them. It was a very pretty 150-year old church situated in a beautiful park. The services had LOTS of music, usually 3 or 4 hymns, and a number of sung responses, a couple of instrumental solos and a vocal solo.

I don't miss the inside politicking. I don't miss the financial arguments. I don't miss the zealots. I don't miss the stress. I really don't miss the unspoken criticisms that were often just beneath the surface of some conversations; several of the members were hard-core literalists who held contempt for anyone who didn't agree with their strict interpretations. And I don't miss the behind-the-back criticisms of the several ministers we had during my tenure at this church.

Mostly, I don't miss the internal intellectual conflicts of what I know to be true because of Science and what I can't reconcile with the Iron Age mythology. Life is so much easier with facts.

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 01:36 PM

11. You were really entrenched

Did you find a social substitute? Do you have a group of non-believing friends now?

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Response to PJMcK (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 18, 2018, 01:12 AM

41. I was almost as entrenched in our Presbyterian church

my daughter attended Sunday school and church camp. We were regulars for a couple of years, but I realized I was kidding myself and them. My husband had church crammed down his throat as a kid and was glad to give it up.

I miss the music.. they did jazz once a year too. Nothing else.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 01:23 PM

6. I went to a Catholic school where the nuns were cruel and brutal.

I was the shortest kid in 4th grade and all the other kids picked on me, so the nuns decided everything bad that happened was always my fault. I was beaten, locked in coat closets, humiliated, forced to go to mass every morning and sit in the front row among all the nuns, told I was stupid (for saying the earth revolved around the sun) and evil (for asking obvious questions about theology) and told I would burn in hell for eternity. Finally one day I just walked out of the classroom and straight home and told my parents I would never go back to that school again.

Fortunately, my folks transferred me to public school, and then a miracle happened: I found friends, got good grades, and became a normal, happy kid.

Now, ask me again what I miss about religion.

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 01:37 PM

12. Glad you got free. And I won't ask again. LOL. n/t

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Response to Binkie The Clown (Reply #6)

Sun Feb 18, 2018, 10:07 PM

48. Wish I could rec that post

Bet every class that ever went through Catholic schools had an equivalent of you. I know my class did.
I tried to escape, but my dad said you leave the school, you leave the house.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 01:31 PM

7. The community

Some churches have lots of things going on aside from Church services and Sunday school. I think one of the things that entices new members is the local community they find when they attend. There is always tea and coffee with all kinds of homemade treats in the community room after a service where people are socializing. There are special dinners, bake sales, fundraisers, community picnics and teas, car washes, rummage sales, plays (usually put on by youth), and on and on--only limited by the members' ideas.
These days with corporate franchises gutting our towns of their individuality and character many no longer find a sense of community, yet some churches seem to fill that void.

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Response to pandr32 (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 01:43 PM

14. I missed that, too. The whole social nexus thing

but also the feeling that you were cooperating to accomplish something good. My meet-up group is starting to move in that direction. We heathens have a lot to offer, too, I think. We just need to get it together.

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Response to Brainstormy (Reply #14)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 02:53 PM

16. Count me in with the heathens

I wish there was a similar non-religious community group here in Hawaii but those missionaries did their work very well. No matter what I attend it starts with a prayer.

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Response to pandr32 (Reply #16)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 11:15 PM

40. start your own meet-up group

you'll be pleasantly surprised how many kindred spirits are out there, wishing the same thing you do. Ours meets in a local pub but any place will do for a start. The Meet-up site makes it easy. If one person comes, you've got the nucleus of a group. Personally, I lurked a meet-up group for a year before actually attended. Today this bunch is my tribe! My best friends. My sanity.

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Response to Brainstormy (Reply #40)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 01:51 PM

60. Good idea

Where do you think I could announce one?

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Response to pandr32 (Reply #60)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 04:06 PM

64. This particular organization, called Unitarian Universalist, welcomes atheists, agnostics and pagans

Some of their meeting places have stained-glass windows and all of them have music. I've met several atheists at these Sunday services.
https://www.uua.org/beliefs

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Response to Jeffersons Ghost (Reply #64)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 08:56 PM

68. Thank you

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Response to pandr32 (Reply #60)

Tue Feb 20, 2018, 12:38 PM

69. create it at meetup.com

piece of cake.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 01:35 PM

10. Nothing.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 01:46 PM

15. A well played organ making the church thunder with amazing sounds...

A skilled choir singing so beautifully it would bring tears

Both of these are regularly experienced by attending Duke Chapel - it is total immersion in aural beauty.

I also miss singing some of the really complex hymns (Ralph Vaughn-Williams wrote the Episcopal hymnal - he really did hit home runs on some of them!).

In a way, when one is raised "in the church" (as in "you have to go to church with us" type parents) from as early as one can remember, the memories embed themselves deeply. Lots of it is tied up in who one is with - sitting in pews snuggled up between my parents or grandparents, for example.

But - I've replaced it all quite easily - attending concerts, listening to music, and realizing that lots of what we experience when young becomes habit - and with free will and an open mind, they can be broken.

I like to tell people we now worship at the church of nature - spending Sunday mornings having a nice breakfast, listening to music, kayaking, hiking, birdwatching - just marveling at the beauty of the world we live in.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 03:05 PM

17. Nothing, I miss nothing.

When I tried to join a Lutheran church in my new home town I was asked to serve in the nursery on my second Sunday. I didn't know which child belonged to their parent in case of an emergency and was left alone with no backup for 15 children.
I wanted to hear the service, get to know people, not be stuck with their children. I never went back.

Twenty seven years later when my son died from complications of Muscular Dystrophy I had a friend crying uncontrollably over the phone, she had met him once. And a cousin who sent her page long poem about heaven with streets paved in gold. Neither one asked how I was or his brother, or his grandmother or my sister who is very close to me and my son. It was all about religion. They confirmed my atheist beliefs.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 03:13 PM

18. Nothing much except the old time hymns.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 03:26 PM

19. Nothing. I called Catholic BS at 7 years old. n/t

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 03:42 PM

20. I can't think of anything I miss about religion

Was raised in a very fear based fundy Baptist church. Drummed into our heads that we were NEVER to question anything and if we did, there would be terrible consequences. As a female, was taught that my place was to be subordinate to men and obey them. As a child, that is a real mind game. As an adult, I am still trying to recover from some of the horrible teachings and experiences. The day I gave up religion and the archaic, abusive, nonsensical, and patriarchal beliefs, I experienced a tremendous weight being lifted from my life. Nope, can't think of a thing I miss about religion.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 04:32 PM

21. Nothing here too. Not 1 frickin thing.

I even hated my church's music.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 05:12 PM

22. Handel's "Messiah" on Christmas Eve.

Not a lot else.

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Response to BaileyBill (Reply #22)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 03:49 PM

63. Christians claim the short time it took Handel to compose this massive amount of music is a miracle

Handel wrote the original version of Messiah in three to four weeks. Most historic accounts estimate the composer spent only 24 days writing the oratorio.

What makes this even more astounding is the sheer scale of the 259-page score. Richard Luckett, author of Handel’s Messiah: A Celebration, writes that there are some uncorrected errors or blotted out notes but remarkably few mistakes given the speed of Handel’s writing.

NPR music commentator Miles Hoffman estimates there are roughly a quarter of a million notes in Messiah. At a little more than three weeks of 10-hour days, Hoffman said that means Handel would have had to keep a continuous pace writing 15 accurate notes a minute.

In my opinion, Handel was a Jimi Hendrix type - bipolar - musical genius, who was able to remain lucid and write music without sleeping, for weeks.

Only the first third of the work was about the birth of Jesus. The second act covers the death of Jesus and the third focused on his resurrection. As such, the piece was originally conceived as a work for Easter and was premiered in the spring during the Lent season.

By the 19th century, Messiah became a regular December staple particularly in the United States. Laurence Cummings, conductor of the London Handel Orchestra, told Smithsonian Magazine that the Christmas performance custom may have partly come out of necessity.

You don't have to miss the music, which was not written as a Christmas carol originally:

In the 2014-2015 Christmas season alone, 13 out of the 22 largest American orchestras performed the piece 38 times.

The music can be found on television, radio and purchased at most music stores. There is probably renditions of the music by some of the world's greatest orchestras, accompanied by similar singers, online at youtube.com
factual information and statistics in this reply furnished by https://www.bsomusic.org/stories/5-things-you-might-not-know-about-handels-messiah.aspx

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 05:16 PM

23. Stained glass windows.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 05:23 PM

24. Nothing

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 06:01 PM

25. Fruit gems being tossed onto the bima after the aliyah.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 06:08 PM

26. I miss sitting in the pews watching the pretty blonde girl in the choir sing.

I spent a lot of time in the confessional because of my thoughts about her.

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Response to LastLiberal in PalmSprings (Reply #26)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 02:23 AM

52. Thread winner !!!

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 06:12 PM

27. Nothing.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 06:19 PM

28. I grew up...

attending a small baptist church and don't really miss any of it. I do like
church architecture (old type stone buildings especially) and the stained glass windows.
I sang in some college choirs which did some classical religious music and liked
that sort of thing (as someone mentioned, the Messiah and others), large church
organ music also. Lately, I visit some music performances at the local UU church, mostly
non religious and very good. There is a fairly new atheist group here called Oasis which
I am thinking of dropping by sometime to check it out, apparently they have
other locations around the country but I don't know much about them.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 06:24 PM

29. I miss the singing.

It was healing and uplifting at times.

The sense of community is another aspect. Not just in the sense of having a social circle of people to call on for fun and support.

There was the transcendence of the Durkheimian experience. Personal meditation is great, regardless of whether there is a religious focus. But the feeling of being in tune and expanded as part of a large group can be fascinating.

Alas, it's probably the same essential psychology behind group-think and mob mentality.

Keeping yourself sane and openminded can be lonely.

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Response to Collimator (Reply #29)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 02:28 AM

54. If you like the idea of "being in tune and expanded as part of a large group can be fascinating, "

you should play the Mahler 8th Symphony some time in a 108 piece orchestra.
THAT will get the hair on the back of your neck to stand up !!!

😁.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 06:25 PM

30. The food

At my old Southern Baptist Church there was always incredible food in the basement after the Sunday service.
And those ole southern women, and yes back then in the 70s it was all women, would put out unbelievable spreads of southern fried cooking and especially awesome desserts always with homemade ice cream and cobblers, red velvet cake, pecan pie, cakes, etc etc.
I was so damn fat back then too....lol.
I also had a Sunday School teacher make me leave because I asked too many difficult questions.

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Response to Funtatlaguy (Reply #30)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 11:09 PM

39. that difficult question thing

was a problem for me, too. I got in trouble for questioning why the innocent pigs had to go off the cliff and what the fig tree had done wrong.

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Response to Brainstormy (Reply #39)

Sun Feb 18, 2018, 06:55 AM

43. Wow, I have no idea what that means.

But, I bet it is a good story or analogy.

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Response to Funtatlaguy (Reply #43)

Sun Feb 18, 2018, 12:46 PM

46. Jesus cast demons into a bunch of pigs and caused them to die

according to the story.

Mark 5 : 6-13

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”

Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.


He also withered a fig tree because he was hungry and it had no figs on it, even though it wasn't the right time of year to pick figs.

Mark 12 : 12-14 and Mark 12 : 20-21

The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves, because it was not the season for figs. Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard him say it.

In the morning, as they went along, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots. Peter remembered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you cursed has withered!”

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Response to Mariana (Reply #46)

Sun Feb 18, 2018, 07:01 PM

47. Well, alrighty then.

Nt

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 06:34 PM

31. not a thing

but I am glad I am away from people who threaten other people.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 07:08 PM

32. Nothing.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 07:35 PM

33. Did it finally go away?

Did not notice

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 07:37 PM

34. Nothing that I can't find elsewhere. n/t

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 08:17 PM

35. Um...

nothing. Oh wait, how bout the anger of having wasted 2 hours of my life every week?

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 08:20 PM

36. I dont miss it because I still have it.

I can sit down at my piano and play and sing the old hymns with joy, just like 50 years ago when I believed the myth. I let the irony wash over me as I mourn again my lost naivete. Then I put away the memories like photographs of an ex-lover.

I have sparkly Christmas trees and Easter ham. Nothing could possibly ever represent religion to me. I am immune.

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Response to Croney (Reply #36)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 09:45 PM

38. beautifully said.

and I'm immune too, now. But I can still revel in the old hymns. And I do understand that vague sense of loss. Thanks so much for sharing.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sat Feb 17, 2018, 09:41 PM

37. Thanks to all of you who replied

some of these posts were very touching. Some funny! A few, understandably, made me angry or sad. All in all I think most of you are doing just fine without the god stuff. I appreciate the sharing.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sun Feb 18, 2018, 01:50 AM

42. I miss the guilt... and plan to keep on missing it.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sun Feb 18, 2018, 09:58 AM

44. I liked the community

growing up in a largely Jewish area where most of my friends went to the same Temple was nice.
But I don't miss it. I have no desire to be part of such a community now. The summer camps were fun, but the hours and days and years of religious school and all that time in services seem like such a waste now. Jewish services are soooo boring! And so long. If a holiday like Yom Kipper ended up on a Saturday, they did both the Sabbath service and the Yom Kipper service. It took the better part of the day! When I go now for a Bar Mitzvah I relive all that drudgery of my youth.
I really don't miss religion.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #44)

Sun Feb 18, 2018, 11:35 AM

45. Being able to take "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic" literally.

We've hear it so often, one might forget what a majestic song it is. And written in such a good cause. Along with "La Marseillaise" and "The Internationale," one of the three great fight songs of human history.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Sun Feb 18, 2018, 10:09 PM

49. Nothing. If I want to listen or sing the music, it is all on youtube

The words mean nothing to me, I just enjoy the music.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 02:08 AM

50. The music was the best thing.

But I guess I still have that.

So really nothing.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 02:16 AM

51. The basketball league.

I was Protestant and we always got killed by the local Jewish Community Center and the big Catholic church.

I mean we were broken up into Presbyterian (me), methodist, lutheran, baptist #1, baptist #2, universalist, church of christ, what have you. The Jews all went to the same place. We didn't stand a chance in hell, so to speak.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 02:25 AM

53. nothing....

I was raised Christian and abused....it always felt wrong and like a bunch bs....

When the church gave my step-mother the 'mother of the year' award.....I knew it was all bs....

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 02:37 AM

55. The music. I left at the age of 14. I became a musician

and got to play in ALL sorts of churches. What I still love about the really old churches (i.e., San Marco di Venezia) is that the walls have the vibes of good people praying -- kinda like how concert halls (i.e., Carnegie) has the vibes of the musicians who played there before me.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 02:43 AM

56. I was going to say music

I did enjoy it, but even the best of it can't compete with the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Vince Guaraldi, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and many, many more.
So who needs religion?

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 02:58 AM

57. Nothing at all...

I'm a recovering Catholic...

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 03:24 AM

58. The ability to comfort other people.

I have spent most of my adult life away from the church, and get along just fine, aside from the occasional awkwardness when someone invokes god when thanking me for something- "god must have guided me to your office," or worse- "I am so glad to have someone of faith working on my problem."

But I was on the elevator at the hospital once, on my way home from visiting my mother. Another woman was also there, and she was visibly upset. I felt bad for her, and wanted to reach out, but could not find words. The elevator doors opened, and another lady stepped in. She took one look at the woman, touched her arm, and said, "let me pray with you."

It still brings tears to my eyes; it was so pure and kind and perfect. It didn't matter that I don't believe- they did, and had an instant connection.

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Response to missingthebigdog (Reply #58)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 02:17 PM

61. Religion does not provide an ability to comfort others...

Abandoning a religion does not detract from an ability to comfort other people. Apparently, you still possess the desire to provide comfort to people in emotional or physical conflict. For example, instead of asking "let me pray with you," what would have happened if you touched her arm and said, "You seem troubled; talking about a problem -even with a stranger - often reduces an emotional burden. Do you want a new friend, with a sympathetic ear?

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Response to Jeffersons Ghost (Reply #61)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 08:37 PM

67. While that response may or may not have been welcome,

It isn't the same.

To a person of faith, the reassurances and kindness of a mere mortal cannot equal that of the comfort derived from invocation of a deity. What do I have to offer that competes with the power of god?

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 05:39 AM

59. I miss feeling loved no matter what

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Response to rainy (Reply #59)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 03:13 PM

62. consider adopting a dog at a local pet shelter or The Humane Society

Pick out a young puppy. Many adult dogs shy away from humans, or become aggressive, after being abused. Cats are nice; but my experience indicates that they can accept or leave a home, depending on food sources. In other words, if your neighbor begins to feed your expensive, pure-breed cat canned tuna, while you continue to feed it cat-food, it will move in with your neighbor. Dogs possess more intellect and our relationship with canis familiaris (dogs) is older. Primitive, human, hunter/ gatherer cultures developed a mutually rewarding hunting relationship with this species, which allows them to be capable of providing the same unconditional love to us that they provide to their puppies.

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Response to Jeffersons Ghost (Reply #62)

Mon Feb 19, 2018, 04:21 PM

65. Thats a great suggestion. I do have a sweet

dog who gives me lots of love😊

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Wed Feb 21, 2018, 07:40 PM

70. I miss thinking that there would be answers and Justice after this life

The idea that all the evil people and bigots will be called to pay for the hate they spread and all the pain they caused is sorely missed.

As is the idea that all the morally ambiguous issues will finally and completely be answered.

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Response to Brainstormy (Original post)

Mon Feb 26, 2018, 07:15 PM

71. Common motivations within a congregation.

It acts as social lubricant, giving everyone the acceptance and benefit of assumed common motivations.

IN my atheist groups, people all arrive from their own personal backgrounds, lifestyles and motivations. That's fun most of the time, but it can be awkward when some lack the emotional intelligence to be comfortable with others. We'Re all more or less loners.

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