The time is running out! I've resolved to end my ranting and raving when I reach 90 years of age in two months. Yet I feel I have a number of things yet to say and many of them are among my most deeply felt convictions. Thus I began attempting to answer a recent question asked of me,"Since you are a 'nonbeliever', why do you go to church?"
WHY AN AGNOSTIC ATHEIST ATTENDS TWO CHURCHES
- It's in my blood. My parents, of German heritage in our lower middle class economic position, found the church and public schools as our major ties to society. Were I in another culture, I would probably be writing about the predominant religion of that society.
- The southern mainline church we attended provided moral teaching focusing on the example of the life of Jesus. I believe this continues to hold true today.
- Throughout the history of our country, I believe churches have played a leadership role in every progressive social movement for human rights and social improvement.
- In the church I find a mutually supportive group of people concerned not only was each other but also was the problems and issues of the world.
- Every church I have attended has encouraged and developed my appreciation of the beauty of literature, music, art and poetry.
- Churches provide a sanctuary for contemplation and meditation regarding spiritual, emotional and philosophic issues of life - even the meaning of life itself.
- While progress may have been slow at times, churches have changed and evolved as social institutions. By continuing to attend, I can help facilitate change.
- The churches I have attended have encouraged progressive thoughts, ideas and action by the individual. They have respected and encouraged freethinking and sponsored meetings, events and activities open to all.
For me this is the easy part: explaining my views, and fascination with religion and the church. In the near future - hopefully next week - I will "get in over my head in theology and philosophy" as I look at the inconsistency of being a self-described "agnostic atheist" and my views of "god" and the meaning and purpose of life. My church-going friends may not want to look at it since I shall be frank about what I perceive as hypocrisy and current trends that increasingly make church going out of vogue.