Driving through town this morning, the church parking lots were nearly full. Thinking back to when I was a young man, under my parents' roof, and doing what was expected or demanded of me, I never gained or took much from attending church services - friends, certainly, and a lesson or two about life and people, perhaps. But, I could never make any sense out of the creation myth, the miracles, a virgin birth, the resurrection, or being saved from my sins.
I realize that some churches provide some services to those in need - food, shelter, and clothing; almost always along with and partially motivated by worship, praise, and soul saving. I know that for many who attend church services, the activity and fellowship provides them with a feeling of belonging, comfort and peace. It makes them feel better about themselves and others - a fix, if you will. A lot of people seem to need or think they need this.
Churches have overhead costs, and competition for members and their monetary contributions is really quite intense. Consider for a moment the time, thought, effort, money, and resources which church goers invest into sustaining their buildings, grounds, staff and congregations. The bigger the church, the greater the investment required.
This morning, I had to wonder, where could our communities be if people, Americans, ever evolved beyond religious myths, institutions, and practices; and these same efforts and resources were directly invested into science based education, food, clothing, shelter, and health care for people?
I wonder, but expect that our little corners of the World would be much better places.