10 January 2009

re: spoiling the illusion

(Comments from LiveJournal)

Ian: While there is much to be said for the "just add water" nature of the religious social experience, you are almost certainly right that it wouldn't be worth it to pretend. Maybe next time you get invited you should go and not pretend? Though I'd suggest sticking this in your bag, just in case.

Nicole: There are plenty of people I know who are religious without being RELIGIOUS, but (perhaps I am waaay overgeneralizing) it seems to me that the people who socialize based around a religion are... kind of cuckoo. They just (mostly) seem to be more extremist than the non-social folks.

Michelle: Like you, I occasionally toy with going to services once in a while, especially Mass, but for slightly different reasons. For me it's less about the social outlet and more about feeling the sense of drama and ritual that a good religious service can evoke. Also like you, I don't believe any of it, and the truth would come out sooner or later, and probably somewhat destructively.

As far as socially acceptable goes, I think that the Northeast is probably one of the best places to live if you aren't "conventionally religious". It doesn't seem nearly as central to everything as it does in say, the South or the Midwest. So far as I can tell, being a member of a mainline church isn't mandatory for, say, public office, and it's unlikely you would see coworkers and socialize at church on the weekends, and no one really bats an eye at a courthouse/city hall wedding. It doesn't seem to be a mandatory piece of being a part of society up here. Sure, it can help with some connections, but I've found that even conventionally religious up here get a lot less bothered if you aren't drinking the same kool-aid as them.

Also, infiltrating an uber-religious organization quite possibly would be fun in an evil sort of way, but it's not really going to teach anyone anything.

In terms of social output, again, being in the Boston area, there's a lot of that that isn't dependent on religion either. Boston Ski & Sports Club, dances or dance lessons, stitch'n'bitches (Boston has a mailing list), Drinking Liberally... etc. and so on.

No comments: