I forgot to talk about this over Christmas, but now I have some free time and wanted to let you all know about my two experiences at church last month. Most of you who know me, know that I am an atheist. I have studied most religions, and my major let me focus on Judaism/Early Christianity. The things I noticed at church made me laugh, but also bothered me in a way.
The first trip was for my grandmother's funeral. My mother's family is Russian Orthodox. If you have not experienced it, well you are not missing much. The entire service is basically chanted, I believe in a mixture of Russian/Greek/Latin. They shake an assload of nasty incense.
One of the things that really bothered me is that if it is not in English, then most of the people probably cannot understand what is going on. I would bet that 90% at the church have no clue why any of the little rituals they are doing are actually done.
The second painful experience was on Christmas Eve at Kacie's church, which I think was Lutheran. Wow, talk about a cult-like group. The pastor had a good little sermon about the whole "War on Christmas" problem (Merry Christmas vs. Happy Holidays). He basically was pointing out that it does not matter what people say, but actually following Jesus' message. And that is something I agree with. Even though I do not believe in God, does not mean that I cannot look at the message of Jesus and go, "huh, that's a pretty good moral code to live by." Not that I live by it, but you get my drift.
Unfortunately, as soon as he was down telling everyone about how to follow Jesus' message more, they then start doing crazy prayers and ritualistic chanting. I seriously expected someone to bring a goat out and cut it's throat. This is what bothers me, everyone reads the Bible, and misses some of the bigger points of what Jesus did. He was most likely very against the idea of a church. Especially since most of the crap about how to worship in a church comes from the letters of Paul, a guy who never even knew Jesus.
Okay, I will stop here. I know that I could end up pissing everyone off.