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Let's give religion a break just for a moment.

Back when you believed, did you get anything useful out of religion? Can you name one thing that religion did for you that you still appreciate?

Sgt_Spanky 8 June 6

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Easter eggs and xmas presents. I still get them and appreciate them. I'm thankful for the invention of Christianity which has given me holidays to the beach.

I could be mistaken, but I understood that Christmas traditions of gift giving and Easter traditions of eggs and the like were not Christian inventions but rather adoptions of pagan traditions. The yule log, holly, and mistletoe were established as traditions in celebrations of the winter solstice long before Christianity, and colored eggs were part of the celebration of the return of Spring and perhaps the vernal equinox (although this dvent may be a little early).

@RussRAB : "The tradition of yule logs has its roots in pagan rituals. In fact, the word "yule" is old English for a festival known to take place in December and January."

@RussRAB Before that they just threw their neighbors in the fire and called it good.

@RussRAB Yes yes Celtic festivals were often converted to Christian holidays to encourage people to convert and to sneakily take over their holiday. But most of us today think of Easter and Christmas as the death and birth of someone called Jesus.


I had sex with the preacher's daughter. She hated religion, she hated her overbearing asshole father, and she needed love and companionship.


Never did believe. But my religious teachers did teach me how to spot bullshit, how to be very cynical, and that evil most likes to wear the robes of virtue.

So you did get something useful out of it.

@Sgt_Spanky That's the point. Its just that that is not what they intended.


At the risk of too much information---we attended a huge ''old money'' church with a stunningly large organ and wooden pews. Sitting on those pews and feeling the vibrations of that organ caused me pleasure in a way my childish little mind didn't recognize. Then.

Definitely TMI but still valid.

@Sgt_Spanky Oh, hush! You smiled! And I was a child.

So, where is this church?

@itsmedammit GOOD ANSWER!


I don't remember that I ever believed. Having to go to church and going for religious lectures was just something you did because when you were a kid you had to. So I just went, once I was older I refused. The only thing I enjoyed was getting together with kids my own age.


I thought so at the time, but in retrospect, I think religion stifled my creativity and my personality. I felt I was living more by the numbers rather than any authenticity. After I left, I felt I had constructed a religious wall I lived behind and kept myself insulated by. If I gained anything, it was the contrast of what my life was before and what it was afterward.

I should add .... I miss the singing.


I was never a believer, but did have to attend church and even a Sunday school on occasion, though my family was not particularly involved in the church activities. So, while there was nothing socially for me, I can see that those who are more involved could develop friendships and share in group experiences. I can also see that a religion can provide a framework for many community activities and procedures and support for dealing with life transitions.

As an adult, I have attended a couple of UU services and functions, thinking I would like to have a sense of community, but I did not feel comfortable there. Didn't like the idea of a minister leading a flock.

Yeah, a church is a church with or without a god at its center.

@Sgt_Spanky Still a nut in the middle of that candy bar.


The physical, (I know of people killing themselves to be with Jesus) financial, social, and cognitive (asserting faith (belief without evidence) damage perpetrated in the name of religion is significantly greater then any benefit I can recall.

When I was young, I thought religion was so full of shit adults could not possibly believe the crap they were serving us. It was a dark day when I realized many older people still held onto their childhood fairy tales.


I considered my answer to this carefully and I have come to the conclusion that nothing of significance came out of it for me. I don't think many of us who began questioning at an early age will be able to find anything. Maybe learning Hebrew would be one of the positives for me. Other than that, nope.

Learning another language certainly counts as having gotten something useful out of it.


Lots of my friends belonged to the Methodist Church, and I was President of the Methodist Youth Fellowship. Belonging to that group game me a lot of positive social interaction with the other kids in the group, plus we took trips to Lake Michigan, Turkey Run State Park, and Lake of the Ozarks.

BD66 Level 8 June 6, 2020

I have never believed in God but I’ve been a Unitarian Universalist my entire life. I appreciate the community, the shared values, and the ability to be part of a religion working for social justice. Sunday services allow me to to sing with a choir, to meditate, and to learn.

UUNJ Level 8 June 6, 2020

And they don't threaten you with hell and brimstone if you miss a service !


When I was a young man, the girls were easy. 😁😉


When I was a Friend, I learned to enjoy sitting for an hour in silence, but I hated when people stood up to speak.


They have a pretty solid monopoly on community here in the south. I'm in a smallish area where there's not much beyond recreational church on Sunday


I grew up in a heavily catholic ethnic area. Each summer, the churches would run large fund-raising outdoor picnics on a Friday-Sunday schedule, with ethnic food, steamed clams, beer, bingo, big six, penny pitch. They'd all get together so as not to step on the other's weekend bash. Those were all kinds of fun. They put the fun in fundraising.

Other than that, nada.

That's good enough. 👍


I was never religious and really don't know anyone who was. However in UK most junior schools and a lot of secondary schools were faith based. I loved it, I loved church and the songs and all the nonsense that went with it...Communion wine which sent me giddy all through lessons after we had some! This was the church of England. It is about as low key as you can get. It was a sweet jolly Sunday morning get together which most people avoided like the plague. Like I say, I loved going but didn't believe a word of the magic stuff. I did like the thing about being nice to each other though and still try to live by that.

They give you that wine so they can teach bullshit.


I can't think of anything it really did 'for me,' there's an almost endless amount of problems I've encountered I could associate religion with. I will say this: one of the best friends I ever had was a Christian. I worked on a printing press with him for years, helped him build his house, and he helped me many times...and never once preached to me or condemned me for not being religious. Gary died about 15 years ago from a massive heart attack. I still think of him often and miss his humorous nature. I do not believe religion made him that way, though. He was simply a very nice guy.

Ray13 Level 8 June 7, 2020

I met some really great people that became lifelong friends. My only regret when it comes to my experience with faith is the judgement I recieved from other religions. Well, maybe how much money I spent on crystals and other such woo-woo.


I don't spend much effort exploring this but I'm sure my upbringing in Catholicism shapes who I am today...
but no "one thing"...




Trying to think of something useful... can't really think of anything, except for the shame.


As an atheist since age 13, I have alway gone by the Golden Rule:

"Treat other people as you would like them to treat you."


A love of some choral music and a certain aesthetic.


Playing softball.


I got a lot of laughs from the religious people who tried to convince me that evolution and science were all fables concocted by those liberal scientists...

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