Do churches take away humanity?

hu·man·i·ty
(h)yo͞oˈmanədē
2.   humaneness; benevolence.
  1. “he praised them for their standards of humanity, care, and dignity”
    synonyms: compassion, brotherly love, fraternity, fellow feeling, philanthropy,humaneness, kindness, consideration, understanding, sympathy,tolerance; More

     

    I was thinking today about people who go to church regularly (hahah religiously) vs people who are spiritual and in some cases quite religious but do not go to church regularly. It was a long convoluted process that made me realize that I do not know anyone that goes to church regularly that has reached out to offer help to anyone other than people in their church. I am certainly not saying this is true for everyone, only for my tiny little corner of the known population, and my limited experience with them.

    It made me start wondering and trying to come up with reasons. It seems to me that regular church going folk have a social life that revolves around their church. If someone in that church needed help, they would likely reach out to other people in the church. Also if someone knew that someone in the church needed help they would most likely tell other people in the church and reach out to other people, in the church. So perhaps it’s not that regular church attendance means you are less likely to help out your fellow man, it just means that you’ve used it all up on the people in your own social circle.

    People who believe in the importance of helping other people, but who do not regularly attend church would need to find another outlet. I think perhaps they would be far more likely to offer to help work friends, casual acquaintances, etc, than their church going counter-parts.

    There was a point today at the beginning of this thought process when I thought perhaps people who go to church regularly for some reason just didn’t have the same level of compassion and didn’t reach out to people who needed help but now I think I rushed to judgement. I wonder if I was a religious person and attended a church regularly if I would get offers of help from them. I  bet I would.

Share

Comments

comments

8 thoughts on “Do churches take away humanity?

  1. Interesting thoughts and really the words of the day – to bring with me. Thank you, T! Thought provoking! Good job.

  2. i think inside the church, church people help each other a lot. I think it is easier to offer a hand because you tend to know each other better and therefor better able to figure out what sort of help is needed. I think church people helpers/givers get burned out because the same people tend to be the helpers.

    I think a lot of church people helpfulness is based on spreading the gospel but along with that some people make huge personal sacrifices to spread the gospel. I would bet that many or most of the American health workers in the Ebola crisis were there because of their religion. I think among the rank and file church people fewer help the community like they used to because there has been such a shift in conservative/ right wing thinking about people who need help. Now that wouldn’t to you but more so of person who is out of work due to addiction or mental illness.

  3. I can only comment about my little corner of the world, but I think you hit the nail on the head. For ppl who attend church all the time, that is their social circle, so of course they help each other out. I do think that if you were in that group of ppl who attend church 3 times a week, you would’ve had dinners delivered to your door the whole time you were going thru chemo. Because they are “organizers” they get things done and they’re just very aware of what’s going on with each other. If you were friends with one of them and they wanted to help you, I also think you’d get that help. Those ppl go to their church and say ‘hey here’s somebody that needs us’. I don’t think they would say, ‘oh well she’s not a baptist’ or whatever. It’s just awareness. Here in little rural one stop light town, those things tend to happen. Because we all know each other. I am invited to at least one fund raiser a month. But that’s just the small town thing. If you live where you don’t know your neighbors and you’re not really a part of any large groups, then how would anyone know you needed help? Not that it’s all sunshine just because it’s a small town. Not everyone wants others to know they’re having issues. But again, we all know each others, it’s not an easy secret to keep. Just thought of a (sort of) funny example.. Few years ago, my husband shaved his head….he’d go to the gas station and ppl started looking at him, ‘uh oh is something up?’ It eventually gets back to you…”Wendy asked me if things were ok with Jim”…. In a bigger place where we don’t know each other, nobody would’ve looked twice. So I guess that can be good or bad depends on how much you enjoy your privacy.

    1. Imagine what would happen if you shaved your head?
      I am glad I went through the thought process in my head. It made me feel better about the imbalance I was seeing.

Thoughts?