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Frenchfry's avatar

When is the last time you went to church?

Asked by Frenchfry (7564points) September 26th, 2010

I know there are a lot of Athiests here. Have you ever been to church? I have not been to church in over 5 years. Another thing would you let or make your kid go to Sunday school to learn about God and then as they get older let them decide?

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49 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

Last time i “went to church” was when i was about 7 years old or so as part of a school x-mas deal. would i let me kids go to sunday school? (if i had kids) not if it was anything like the one here that is basically indoctrination lessons. chances are they would only want to go there because a friend does or something. however i would have no problem with them attending a world religions class. and once they where about 12–14 years old or so i would let them join more or less anything they wanted, even an indoctrination heavy sunday school. if they cant see past it by then they probably never would.

Cruiser's avatar

My churh is the outdoors…I go to church at least once a week. In fact I am in my tent in the woods as we speak! I love going to church.

iphigeneia's avatar

Last time I went to church was for my last high school end of year service. If I had children I would offer to take them to church if they were interested in it, Sunday school/youth group if I thought it was a moderate program. I see going to church as a positive part of Christianity, because the services I attended were very community-focused.

OreetCocker's avatar

I went to church this morning with my kids. We go pretty much every week. If they decide that they don’t want to when they’re older then that’s fine.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

When I was baptized!

GeorgeGee's avatar

I don’t like organized religion much but I like churches quite a bit. For their architecture, and the resonance of the organ music, there’s nothing better. And I appreciate the cool meditative space of a cathedral, for instance when I’m touring a city on a hot summer’s day. While I have been in several churches last week while on vacation, the last service I attended was about 4 years ago.

RareDenver's avatar

A few weeks ago for a friends funeral.

tedibear's avatar

About four years ago for my best friend’s mom’s funeral.

Austinlad's avatar

The last time I went to Church was several years ago for the funeral of a friend’s parent. But the last time I went to Temple—I’m a Jewish cowboy, you know, like Kinky Friedman—I’m sorry to say, was longer ago than I recall.

BarnacleBill's avatar

About six months ago, I went to an Episcopalian church with a friend, because he asked me to go. He really is into his church, so I went. The people were really nice, the ritual much more complicated than Catholic services.

I attended a Catholic church up through the time my children were in elementary school, even teaching Sunday school to public middle school students. When my children hit the age of confirmation, they didn’t want to do it, because they didn’t feel they could in all honesty take the oath required of them. I, in good conscious, didn’t feel I should force them to “just do it and get it over with.”

For almost two years, I attended both a Catholic church and a Christian church, mostly because my youngest daughter wanted to go to church with friends, and I wanted to see what the hype was all about. The idea of going to church for the entertainment factor is at odds with Catholicism, The big screen television, rock bands, skits felt sacrilegious.

My oldest daughter belongs to a Unitarian church. She joined to give herself a community to belong to in a new city. My youngest daughter doesn’t attend church at all.

I would take my children to church when they are young, but I wouldn’t insist that they continue to attend as they got older. I think it’s more important to give children a value they can reject if they choose, rather than have them flounder to find on on their own. Churches are a wonderful example of community. I think people working together without getting paid for what they do is important for children to witness. Church communities provide a sustained opportunity for that.

muppetish's avatar

The last time I was in a church was for my cousin’s first communion when I was about nine. It felt awkward to be there. Before that, my parents had tried taking my brothers and I to church when I was younger than five. I recall not wanting to be there. They stopped after a handful of visits.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

A couple of months ago, when visiting in-laws.

Seek's avatar

November of 2007. And I plan to keep it that way.

And no, I no longer believe in child indoctrination.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The last time I went was about 10 months ago while visiting Mom. As for what to do about children? I’ve learned more about religions by reading up on them and talking to people of different faiths than I did in 18 years of attending church and Sunday school.

A college friend who had earned the top scholarship there once confided that she wished her parents had exposed her to religious studies. Her reasoning was that so much of it is referenced in life that she sometimes feels at a loss when she runs across them. Because of that, I’d want my children to be aware and knowledgeable about religions.

Aster's avatar

January.
My controversial view is in this world of drug experimentation and easy sex , telling a child to go to church where his / her friends go offers them a better chance at a drug-free life than not going.I think they should go to one that has a lot of fun activities he/she can participate in with their friends that may tend to keep their mind occupied and hopefully make them think of , say, “next week’s youth outing” instead of “that group smokes pot; I think I’ll try it.” Not saying there are any guarantees. I know a lot of kids in elementary and jr high who are heavily involved in church and I have no reason from what I hear and witness to believe that they are into or interested in drugs. It’s sort of an insurance policy, I think. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Aster My best friend and her brother used to skip Catholic church and go get high. In the youth group that I belonged to, the boys would sneak off during outings and get high. This was back in the late ‘70s though. Maybe the times have changed.

Seek's avatar

@Aster

I know (or at least, hope) you don’t put 100% faith in church groups as a diversion from dangerous activity. I do know many people that did just that, and, well… I have one once dear friend serving a life sentence for murder, and many more that have become severe alcoholics and drug addicts, or have STDs and children they hadn’t planned for. We all grew up in the same family of churches.

While faith based social activity may delay the introduction to dangerous experimentation, one must be constantly aware that forbidden fruits do taste the sweetest, and many kids tend to overdo it when they feel they’ve “missed out” for too long.

Aster's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I agree that telling youth to participate in family oriented, fun and wholesome activities that they enjoy on a regular basis is no guarantee they won’t become drug addicts or alcoholics. Strangely, I believe if they make the decision to become addicts, the influences they hopefully received in church might help them give up their addictions more easily. And I also think that when a parent makes a child attend church with his friends it is evidence the parent is at least making some attempt to guide him in the right direction.

Aster's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer On the contrary, I’m sure this goes on just as much or more frequently now than back then. I believe the situation you described is more unusual than typical.

Seek's avatar

Unfortunately, “I like to think” rarely makes something true.

I’m not trying to be negative, just realistic.

Aster's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr (edited reply, above) I like to think you are a fantastic, loving parent and that you will continue to make wise decisions in regards to your childrens’ future.

BarnacleBill's avatar

@Aster, nope. When I was doing church youth group, our biggest problem at the middle school mixers were kids having sex in the bathrooms. These were 6th, 7th, 8th graders. My daughter’s best friend in middle school was the daughter of a minister of a small Southern Baptist church. She started having sex with anybody and everybody in 7th grade, and was pregnant twice by the end of 9th grade. Both times she got pregnant at summer bible camp. She had two abortions, even though her father spoke out against it on Sundays. In 10th grade, they moved to another state.

I can tell with absolute certainty that involvement in church activities or attending a religious based school does not breed a superior moral child. It fools parents into thinking they can let their guard down. The kids are going to do what they are going to do.

Aster's avatar

@BarnacleBill “When I was doing church youth group, our biggest problem at the middle school mixers were kids having sex in the bathrooms. These were 6th, 7th, 8th graders.”
O M G And I was told that going to the drugstore for a Coke and ciggie after youth group would be the end of me! I’m shocked. Well, it was a mixer and they mixed. omg
My ex told me that “the daughters of Baptist ministers are the wildest girls out there” and I didn’t believe him. sorry, Baptists. No offense.

Seek's avatar

Oh, yeah. My brother and two girls were suspended from youth activities on several occasions for getting caught making out in the bathroom during youth group. Yay, hormones!

Aster's avatar

Do you and @BarnacleBill live in the same vicinity? LOL ! Or are you simply related?

Seek's avatar

It’s just not at all uncommon activity.

Throwing kids into an environment that puts them under constant pressure to be on their best behaviour at all times is going to do one of two things: Force them into submission (me), or cause them to rebel entirely (the kids mentioned above).

And then, some of the submitters will become grown ups and kind of regret not having the fun the other kids were having. Not saying I wanted to be a pregnant teen drug addict, but I wouldn’t have minded having a social life outside the walls of the church.

Aster's avatar

“constant pressure to be on their best behavior.” You mean, like in the Army or at school?
Good. We are indulging kids too much now. They need to be under pressure to be on their best behavior. It won’t kill them for a couple hours. Lord.
But I am sorry you had no social life outside the church. Church attendance occupied no more than four hours a week for me.

Jude's avatar

Last Spring. It was for a First Communion.

Seek's avatar

Ah.

See, for me, it was four days a week. Sunday, two services. Tuesday prayer meeting. Wednesday Bible study. Thursday prayer meeting. Friday youth night.

Sometimes Saturday youth prayer meeting/book burning. I’m not kidding. My entire Lord of the Rings book collection, my Harry Potters, my Hannibal Lecter books… * sigh *.

Aster's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr I’m speechless. Sounds like brainwashing or some radical means to get you out of the house. Book burning?
I remember; this is the church that wouldn’t allow haircuts. Did they play with snakes too?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

About 10 years.
ETA: Oh, no, wait. My voting place is in a church nearby, so technically 2 years ago.

DominicX's avatar

Couple weeks ago.

Seek's avatar

@Aster (insert ironically abashed expression here) Certainly not! That would be crazy!

Aster's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr you are so funny. Love the new avatar. (-;

TexasDude's avatar

I haven’t been as a believer in several years.

I have been to various churches recently as a learning experience, though. I like the Quakers a lot.

BarnacleBill's avatar

What is natural is for kids to rebel. All kids rebel or should rebel in some form, because it means that their brains are working and they are analyzing the world around them. They are challenging the status quo. Frankly, the status quo sucks for most people.

Kids need some place to let it out. It’s usually through music, weird clothing, acting out at home in the form of moodiness, anger, etc. The world is not a Pollyanna place and teens know it. And they know that at their age, there is nothing they can do about it. The kids that seem to do the best are the ones who have parents/adult role models that model social responsibility, in the form of volunteering, going back to school as an adult, helping others. They need to understand how to be a part of, and have faith in the common good. That usually has more to do with action than church. Sometimes they are the same, like church mission projects and spending time with the homeless, building houses with Habitat, working with non-profits on a continuing basis. Not all churches or church activities provide that.

Lightlyseared's avatar

The last time I went in to a church was on a visit to Windosr castle over the summer. I have never been to an actual service. Ever.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’m agnostic but I do try to respect other people’s want of religion. The last church I was in was because I was a guest to a wedding ceremony.

Berserker's avatar

Maybe around when I was 8 or 9, for Christmas mass. I’ve been inside churches since then, but not for mass or fuckall like that. Did attend two funerals though, but you know, I only went to the churches because that’s where they were held at, of course.

Jabe73's avatar

I’m not an atheist but I used to attend church every Saturday night and Sunday mornings. I attended both Catholic and Protestant churches (from a little kid to my teenage years). Now I only attend on certain occasions (such as Easter, etc). I always for some reason enjoyed being in the surroundings of a church, hard to explain. I probally consider myself today more of a secular dualist (maybe a Spiritualist I don’t know) than actual Christian.

iammia's avatar

Just over 2 months ago, i was attending a Wedding!

Frenchfry's avatar

Well I believe in god but the church thing seems to be not my calling. Too many people in one area. Too political in some churches . I feel my daughter should learn about God . I not sure I can show her as well as someone at a church could then when she gets older she can decide. I would probably have to become a member to have her learn that way. I dread that part.

Brian1946's avatar

The last time I went to a church service was on 1/1/04.

The last time I was in a church was in September, 2007.
It was the basilica at Ste. Anne-de-beaupre, in Quebec.

NaturallyMe's avatar

I can’t remember, but i do know that i definitely haven’t been there in the last 13 years at least. I’m not sure exactly how long before i also haven’t been going.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Brian1946 Woah, that’s gorgeous. I would love to travel the world, just seeing all the beautiful churches/temples/mosques/places of worship.

Brian1946's avatar

@papayalily

I so agree- that is a magnificent edifice.

Perhaps you’d like to see some of the artifices of worship in a place like Tengboche, Nepal.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Brian1946 Oh, yes. Adding that one to the list. Now I just need an extra life in order to do all of this ;)

Brian1946's avatar

@papayalily

I agree- traveling around the world can be a daunting prospect.

A Native American place of worship I’d love to see is in your state: http://www.rockymtnrefl.com/maroonbellssunrise.jpg

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Brian1946 Ooo, nice. Maybe the next time I go see my sister I’ll swing by and see that. Let’s see… If I do it in the next month, I should be able to avoid any snow… Can’t imagine going over Monarch with snow…. I should check and see what’s a good time for her.

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