I grew up in church. I almost cannot remember a time, before I went to college, when I was not in church. However, as I've gotten older, I have found that I have no desire or inclination to go to church. Given that there are so many things to be skeptical about regarding the bible, religion (in general) and the church, I just refuse to go to a place that I'm not sure is good for my self-esteem.
My mother, on the other hand, goes to church six days per week. Last year, when my car was stolen, I made a promise to my mom that I'd attend church every Sunday if I was able to purchase my first car without needing a co-signer. Once I signed those papers for my car, my mom started reminding me of my promise. Though I had every intention of going to church, I couldn't bring myself to do it.
Recently, my tolerance with the church has gotten very low, especially with the new law allowing same-sex marriages. Right after the law passed, I saw someone post a Facebook update stating, “Today is a sad day for the Christian community due to the hedonistic direction that the world is heading.” She included a few bible verses after that statement, but I had to de-friend her.
Are religion and attending church really necessary for a happy, fulfilling life? I'd say no, because I feel like there are too many rules to them both. To be a member of a religion, you have to adhere to certain standards. In attending church, you have an obligation to give tithes and offering “because the bible says so.” For me, that's not enough. I feel like giving to charity should be equivalent to giving tithes. Finding inner peace can come from other means besides attending church and reading the bible, like meditation.
Do you think that religion is necessary?
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