I didn't really grow up with religion. We did Sunday services for a few years when my folks were trying raise us right but then we stopped until about 20 years later when he retired and my mother joined a church. Became a deacon, whatever that is.
I was tempted to join churches several times in my life. I did attend one for a couple of years only to find divorce in the end of that imbroglio.
I sought out a minister of God a couple of times in my life. I'm glad we have them.
That said, it looks like the mainstream churches destroyed themselves; the Catholics with pedophile priests they refuse to punish or make accountable and the mainstream protestant churches by their endless desire to give in to whatever moral depravity is the rule of the day. I wouldn't be caught dead in a church today.
On the other hand, I can count the number of times I appeared in church in my first 18 years on the finger of one hand. As a teen I was utterly smitten by a chaplain's daughter. It happened again when I was a LT, all without ever visiting any church.
Some say that we are reaching the end of history. It might be so. As a student of history I know what drove it forward through the ages even if it sometimes took a step or two back. It wasn't some stupid myth about democracy, limited government, economic vitalism. It all boiled down to just one thing.
I live in what the coastal twatwaffles call middle america as if it's the last remaining slur in america that they allow anybody to use. There's a church at the end of the street but across the street there is a large elementary school, a large middle school and the town's only high school. There is another church not that far away and more beyond them but one of the things I first noticed when I moved here was the utterly magnificent churches/cathredrals built by the immigrants that made middle america the arsenal of democracy. All of those people? Gone. None are left beyond a few Greeks. The magnificent churches are shuttered or repurposed.
The Church did that in about a century after 2000 years of holding the line and avowing to what was right, decent, moral and Godly. They stopped doing that about the time I was born and without the moral compass they used to have they mostly withered and died. The new churches seem to thrive but all the old religions have drained away in a sea of indifference and death.
I read about the new ministers of George Washington's parish church, a church he drove 10 miles to every Sunday in his carriage to attend service along with Martha where new priestesses decided to dishonor everything about the church, it's history and sunder its history by throwing it all away under the domination of its new focus on social justice and feminism.
Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
"To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his Gods
Haul down the bridge, Sir Consul,
With all the speed ye may;
I, with two more to help me,
Will hold the foe in play.
In yon strait path a thousand
May well be stopped by three.
Now who will stand on either hand,
And keep the bridge with me?
When you read history and you can quote Horatius at the Gate and you know just what the church brought about both good and ill it still seems to hurt that they are almost entirely gone even here in middle america. The fabric remains but the soul has left the building.
. The fabric of an almost but not quite Techno civilization. Nobody today would know a Roman God if it bit him on the ass. It won't be long before the modern churches can say the samei
At a certain point they were building for the ages but mostly I think they built what they liked.