Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday Thoughts

I live right next to a church so every Sunday I see a ton of people out and about dressed in their Sunday best. Cars double parked, children dressed up - just a regular Sunday on 157th. Today was no different, but I did start thinking of some things. My thoughts in no way mean to offend.

What if the collective energy of all the people that go to church on Sundays, instead of being directed at prayer, worship and singing, began to be directed at the collective improvement of this country, starting as small as on the local community level? What if instead of sitting (or standing) around all day Sunday, these collective groups of people across this nation took their Sundays to help clean up their communities, or maybe to teach their children, or maybe to hold discussion groups on the country's issues, or maybe to organize support rallies or peaceful protests? What if instead of praying on Sundays for good things to occur, people started to take control of their lives and made good things start occurring.

These are obviously musings of an atheist, but it there is something to be said for them. I believe in the power of the human mind. I think we have yet to truly tap into its potential. I believe especially in the power of the human collective. I think we can do extraordinary things in this life. Unfortunately, I think Religion preys on this potential. People waste time praying for change instead of forcing it. Now I know, I know, "waste" is a very strong word and obviously is stated from my frame of reference and relative only to my experiences. There are people who very strongly believe in their religion, in their god(s), in their Sundays. But I look around the communities I work and live in and I see a lot of room for improvement, both aesthetically and fundamentally. And then I look at the amount of organization, thought and energy that goes into every Sunday. Then I think to myself, what does a day of prayer on Sunday really do, not in theory, but in practice? Do the streets get cleaned up? Do children get taught, not on scripture, but on the ins and outs of their daily lives? Do the conditions improve? And I am not sure about the answer to those questions.

Of course, there are amazing people that take their Sundays to relax, reflect and release. They use as their motivation for the week ahead. But I know there are many more people that instead of affecting change on their own take solace in going to church every Sunday and praying for change. Perhaps almost as adverse as our broken welfare system.

This topic is obviously a loaded one. And many people will be offended even at the sight of these thoughts because all they have known in their Sundays was collective prayer. Anyway, this is just something that I was thinking about. It's not like I really use my Sundays for anything substancial.


Makarios said...

"not like I really use my Sundays for anything substancial."

That’s probably a pretty important point. Looking at our own lives instead of finding fault with others is the first step of making the world a better place. It’s been my experience that when I ask God to “bless someone” or “comfort someone” or “care for someone” He says, “You do it.”

I think that you’re making a pretty big assumption in saying that those who go to Church aren’t working for the betterment of their communities and their nation. The Christians that I know do a great deal in the way of volunteering in the community.

DAT said...

I wasn't finding fault with people who go to church on Sundays. I was merely contemplating about what would happen if they used their energy for something else.

And I don't think I was assuming that those that go to church aren't working for the betterment of their communities. I, again, was raising the issue of what could happen if instead of going to church on Sundays they would use that time for something more practically productive.

Anonymous said...

This blog fucking blows! O'doyle rules!

José said...

I applaud you for broaching this subject with sensitivity, DAT. You bring up a good point, but for every person (and there are many) who sits back on his laurels and relies on a deity to solve his problems and those of the world, there is someone who not only is pious, but ventures out as an active member of the world and works toward improving it.