However, I do miss the comfort of the ritual. I was part of many church choirs and I miss the music. I went to a catholic funeral a year ago and belting out the hymns was marvelous. I didn't participate fully in this mass due to knowing that the partaking of the sacraments is a personal witnessing for christ ritual that holds no meaning to me anymore. But I was fascinated to see friends participate even though I knew they hadn't partaken of any sacrament in years and according to the 'rules' as I know them the body of christ portion of the ceremony should have been off limits to them. All of these friends were in their second or third marriages without annulments and I'm pretty sure their new relationships weren't chaste. So they are 'living in sin' and not regularly obtaining the sacrament of reconciliation to clear that blemish in order to partake of communion. In fact, I'm not sure when the last time any of them had been to church (probably a first communion or confirmation service). Their participation made it clear to me that in today's secular world most people regard church ceremony as more pomp and less - or no - circumstance.
Setting aside the pomp versus circumstances debate, I don't regret for a single minute the time I spent with mother church. It gave me early insights into the history of humanity that I don't think I would have obtained since I was pigeon holed at an early age into the mathematics/science fields. My knowledge of humanities subject matter remains an autodidactic journey which is enormously pleasurable albeit a bit frustrating when the next gap is forged open, yet again.
That knowledge of humanities' history becomes handy when seeing clear affronts to morality. Like this kind of shyte. Knowing that the core of humanity can be boiled down to the Adam and Eve Garden of Eden parable delivered concisely in the first book of the bible helps to frame these affronts. Let's recap that shall we? Snakes are tricky. Apples are tasty. Some humans can't resist. Consequences can be profound and innocent bystanders are affected also. But at least we can blame someone (the starting line of most christ centred religions).
When I look at that repulsive soft drink ad campaign, or in fact at much of our modern culture, I see lots and lots of snakes. And just because I can blame someone (or something) doesn't mean that anything will change. And even if I ignore them, the consequences will affect me and my daughter and her generation and the generations to come. So basically nothing can be done except to try and ignore the tasty apples cleverly profferred by the snakes and concentrate on the bounty elsewhere. Because, despite being extremely tricky, those snakes haven't figured out how to obliterate the bounty overflowing in each and every human being's mind.
P.S. Try to imagine what our world would now look like if the starting line of the Adam and Eve religions had been placed at recognition of the abundance of our planet and our need to sustain this for all time despite the appearance of tricky snakes with their tasty apples.