Wednesday, April 03, 2013

A Thought While Driving Through Arizona

This past weekend my family and I drove down to Phoenix to attend an ASU Origins event. It was a wonderful weekend of science and family time.

Coming from Utah, I started to notice a shift as we moved into Arizona. Unlike many of the states in the Union, Utah does not have a church on every corner. Oh, we have plenty of Mormon wards, but it is not the same.

For one thing, Mormon wards host multiple congregations, and those congregations are set by geography, so they are placed with space between. Also, Mormon wards are often tucked away in neighborhoods, viewable to none but the residents.

As we drove through Arizona towns, the "loudness" of the churches was noticeable to my wife and me. Christianity is a very consumeristic religion compared to Mormonism. Unlike the wards, Christian churches are not bound by geography. Christians may attend a church across town, or the one up the road, depending on what is being offered. Churches are competing for butts in seats, so advertising banners and flashy signs adorned the properties of these houses of worship. The last thing any of these churches would want is to be tucked into a neighborhood somewhere, unseen.

Therefore, it was not uncommon to see a church on each corner of an intersection, letting potential consumers know what spiritual wares were available if they would just step inside. Coffee shops, bookstores, concert stages, sports facilities... give our church a try - we can be your Sunday home.

As we headed back to Utah, after an amazing science filled weekend,  I couldn't help but be morose as I once again drove past all of these religious buildings, where money poured in weekly to accomplish... basically nothing.

Contemplate how much money our world spends on religion each year! Imagine where we would be, think of what we could accomplish, if all of the money our planet annually invests in faith were redirected to science and education.

Instead, billions of people are pouring large chunks of their finances onto roulette tables of superstition, hoping they are placing the right bet on their eternal destiny.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

"Churches are competing for butts in seats..." I laughed out loud at that line! It's so hilariously true.

This post made me think of "I Sold My Soul on eBay" by Hemant Mehta. It's really written for Christians, but it was interesting as a former evangelical to view what churches look like to someone who was never a Christian.

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