OtherArea: Jacksonville, FL
Nice article. It seems to me that the "hipping up" of the churches throughout the country is an ongoing trend. I am an atheist, and I go to church every week because I work part-time at one for extra money. It seems that may 10% of the congregation are getting high off of the whole presentation - they are smiling and screaming and waving their hands in the air like they just don't care. 75% are completely bored, regular people who are confused and can't make their own decisions. Case in point - yesterday, they had a youth choir perform, and after the end of the last song - SILENCE. They didn't clap. They didn't know what to do. They were scared not of God but of the people around them. After the kids were halfway off the stage, obviously feeling bummed out from getting an icy reception, some of the members of the morning worship rock band (thank God) started clapping, and the sounds of hands trickled in, too little, too late. They are like zombies. The other 15% are actually mentally disabled people, who the congregation and the pastors blow off and roll their eyes at. So, on the whole, this seems like nothing harmless, but is are the free breakfasts, microphone feedback, crappy band, youth skits, and confusing sermons really helping these people? Who wins here, other than the parishioners getting free cookies and cupcakes for breakfast and the pastor making sure his SUV payments are in on time? Who are we serving? It just seems like this is a mockery of what Christians seem to support, but judging by the purposely-confusing sermons (except the sermon that says Christianity isn't supposed to be complicated), it just seems like an utter waste of everyone's time. Why do they need to be here? They all seem to come because their parents went, and they forced their BORED TO TEARS children to come - I keep wondering if the kids are thinking, "Wait, you guys don't actually believe this, do you?" If they need to socialize, that is one thing, but God doesn't need to be there for that. They can certainly get better food elsewhere. If they are just going there to reinforce their shaky religious beliefs and to secure the passing of the Christian virus to their unwilling brood, that just seems a bit unhealthy. God, if he existed, would hopefully be the kind that would laugh at these people, rub the sweat off of his brow, and say "Jesus Christ..." under his breath.
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