I don't know about the drugs. But you are right, many people turn to xtianity when they have problems, and credit it for turning their lives around. However, it was they themselves that really did it, and they're not being honest with themselves.
The power of so many churches is that they welcome so many people with open arms, and tell them that they are okay (unless you're queer, of course), and that is very seductive to most people. We all want acceptance and a sense of belonging. Some of us just aren't willing to buy into a lie to get it.
Yeah, I really like her voice, but a few years back she went all xtian and renounced her wicked ways. I saw her perform at a goth club, and all she sang was xtian songs, and one kid in the crowd was raising his hand to the sky, like they do in church. And she got all mad cuz the crowd was milling around and talking, and not standing silent in rapt attention. It was silly. It was club afterall, she can't expect people to stand still.
Still, I really like her voice, and her CD Ride the Madness is awsome. I'm not sure if she is still xtian though. I think she may have come to her senses.
Yes, I empathize about the "apathetic...", but life is a process, not a product. If we had perfect contentment and happiness, we'd be bored to death. Life seems to feed on conflict and uncertainty. Without those things, it would probably be meaningless.
It is a hard mentality not to buy into, because it is so pervasive in our culture. Surely, you wonder sometimes (as I know I do), if people would treat you differently if you were super rich, famous, or important? Much of how we show we are super rich, famous, or important is in how we consume, or what we wear.
I think your friend is somwhat right. There is a lot of info on this out there. For starters, watch Manufactured Landscapes, which is somewhat related to this. You should also read or listen to on audio CD, the book Fast Food Nation. (Don't bother with the film adaptation.) Also, see the website Project for the New American century, which is organized and funded by neocon imperialists.
Holy cow. You live in NC. There is an Atheist Meetup group in Raleigh. They have 342 members, have been around since 2002 and are somewhat active. I will be making my first meeting on Dec. 6th. So far there are 30 people going with 13 maybe's. I am bringing donations for a charity drive they have put together for the elderly and needy folk. I could let you know how it goes if you are interested. I am looking forward to it because I don't know anyone else that is non-religious other then my father. I hope to make some friends and maybe learn something.
I don't think you're exaggerating at all. We live in a very competitive culture where image and status are all-important. People dress, shop, buy, and consume only in hopes of presenting a certain image so they can have ego fulfullment, and to gain the respect, admiration, attention, and envy of other people. And yet, few of us really connect. We don't know our neighbors, we can't form lasting friendships or romantic relationships (And even when we do, they are usually false. Just consider how much infidelity goes on.), we don't visit parks or community centers very much, etc. We shop, watch TV, run our mouths on our cell phones (in spite of the fact most people have nothing worth saying), and yet still don't know one another, still don't listen to one another, and still don't really care about one another.
Consumerism is about demoralization. As long as you are domoralized and disconnected, you will buy, buy, buy!