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Wed Mar 25, 2020, 02:18 PM

On the "Closing the Churches BAD" RW talking point:

(Disclosure: I am a believer, but I do not belong to any religion, sect, or congregation.)

I'm neutral on the whole "Church" thing, with possibly a slight "agin" bias, only because so many branches of organized religions have been so effectively co-opted by malignant grifters for power and/or wealth.

But I look at each congregation, regardless of doctrine or faith, in terms of two things: First, does it provide congregation members with meaningful spiritual experiences and support? (In crass terms, are they getting something of real value to them in return for their investment of belief, time, and usually money?) And second, does the congregation contribute anything positive to the community that has given it a tax exemption and a good many operational privileges just because it IS a religious organization?

Here's what I've seen so far in my own community:

Congregations that seem to have a resounding "YES!" answer to both questions are not holding live group worship services, and they are urging their members to practice safe social distancing and preventive hygiene. They are ALSO developing and deploying all kinds of ways to continue their 'mission' under these conditions- whether it's social media get-togethers, phone support trees, volunteer efforts to keep the elderly and vulnerable connected and supplied, whatever. They're not letting the technical "closure" of their building and their in-person services keep them from the essentials.

On the other hand, congregations that seem to be iffy in one or both of those questions, especially those that seem to rely heavily on in-person get-togethers to "pass the plate" and whip up the income stream for their particular shamans, are either finding ways to defy the prevention protocols and expose their members to transmission risk, or they're agitating for a quick end to the shutdowns.

Whatever anyone's conception of God/Supreme Being/Divinity is, it's pretty clear that it won't shrivel up and go away just because worshippers can't all come together in the same place and pass the plate once a week.

dryly,
Bright

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply On the "Closing the Churches BAD" RW talking point: (Original post)
TygrBright Mar 2020 OP
guillaumeb Mar 2020 #1
gibraltar72 Mar 2020 #2
msongs Mar 2020 #3
The Velveteen Ocelot Mar 2020 #4
customerserviceguy Mar 2020 #7
The Velveteen Ocelot Mar 2020 #9
customerserviceguy Mar 2020 #11
Squidly Mar 2020 #5
KY_EnviroGuy Mar 2020 #6
sanatanadharma Mar 2020 #8
Ilsa Mar 2020 #10

Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2020, 02:24 PM

1. Recommended.

Our church is closed, and has been since last Sunday. We are social beings, and any isolation and reduction of our normal level of interaction is stressful. So this self-quarantine order will have an effect.

Speaking of forced isolation, think of those who are incarcerated in maximum security prisons and how badly that level of forced isolation affects the prisoners, and reflects on our own professed values.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2020, 02:25 PM

2. Legitimate churches have closed

My local Ass of God is a petri dish and has not.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2020, 02:25 PM

3. our uu fellowship has everything on zoom. not too interactive if many ppl log in, but continuity has

value for us

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2020, 02:31 PM

4. Most of the fundie megachurches seem to be staying open

because they need that revenue stream, which is easier to siphon out of the pockets of a live congregation that's already been whipped into a frenzy from getting the Holy Spirit piped into them directly from the pastor's loudspeakers. The mainstream churches that I know of have canceled their regular services and other meetings and are communicating and holding services online - because they believe in both God and science.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #4)

Wed Mar 25, 2020, 04:09 PM

7. Fundies

are constantly looking for ways to paint themselves as victims. You'd think the government was still feeding them to the lions in the Colosseum the way they whine.

It makes them feel some solidarity with pre-Constantine Christians, even though that notion is laughable.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 25, 2020, 04:15 PM

9. Where can we get some lions? I'd try to make sure they were well-fed.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #9)

Wed Mar 25, 2020, 04:34 PM

11. Unfortunately

lions, like viruses, do not care what religion their next meal is.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2020, 02:33 PM

5. Well said

I am a Christian. I believe in the teachings of Jesus and what he stands for. However, I am NOT religious and havent been for over 30 years. I dont believe that in order to be close to God that you have to be in a building at a certain time on a certain day. Organized religion is the root of sooooo many horrible, evil things that have gone on since humans started roaming the earth. I will pray and worship in my own way on my time and refuse to let someone tell me who I should follow.

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2020, 02:45 PM

6. I'm proud that DU is a big tent with regard to faith - something rarely found.

All the churches will reap what they sow........

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2020, 04:15 PM

8. Sunday socials, Gods' (sic) coffee klatch, mankind's highest expression of divine-devotion

"Whatever anyone's conception of God/Supreme Being/Divinity is, it's pretty clear that it won't shrivel up and go away just because worshippers can't all come together in the same place and pass the plate once a week."

There are worshippers, however, who are apparently snowflakes whose connection to their God is so tenuous that they can barely remember God for eight days without Sunday socials.

Full disclosure, my tradition negates the existence of any 'other-than-divine'.
Boundless-limitless-infinite God and me? Nonsense!

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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2020, 04:18 PM

10. My church was giving out food this morning,

but only like a drive-through. But services are only virtual services, and there are no programs where more than a few people are together. The church office is closed, everything is by appointment.

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