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God as a drug: The rise of American megachurches
Posted: 22 August 2012 05:24 PM   [ Ignore ]
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http://scienceblog.com/56142/god-as-a-drug-the-rise-of-american-megachurches/

{...}
Wellman and co-authors Katie E. Corcoran and Kate Stockly-Meyerdirk, University of Washington graduate students in sociology and comparative religion respectively, studied 2008 data provided by the Leadership Network on 12 nationally representative American megachurches.

Corcoran will present their paper, titled “‘God is Like a Drug’: Explaining Interaction Ritual Chains in American Megachurches,” at the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

... More than half of all American churchgoers now attend the largest 10 percent of churches.

Megachurch services feature a ... “multisensory mélange” of visuals and other elements to stimulate the senses, as well as small-group participation and a shared focus on the message from a charismatic pastor.

The researchers hypothesized that such rituals are successful in imparting emotional energy in the megachurch setting — “creating membership feelings and symbols charged with emotional significance, and a heightened sense of spirituality,” they wrote.

... analyzed 470 interviews and about 16,000 surveys on megachurch {...}

Many participants used the word “contagious” to describe the feeling of a megachurch service where members arrive hungry for emotional experiences and leave energized. One church member said, “(T)he Holy Spirit goes through the crowd like a football team doing the wave. …Never seen it in any other church.”

Why doesn’t that surprise me.  I’ve heard it said them old tent revivals were the best place to get them young sweeties all hot and bothered and filled with the holy spirit, so they were justa dy’n for some good old fashioned physical relief… if’n ya kno wat I mean.    cool smirk

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Posted: 23 August 2012 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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CC:

I am not surprised either.  Many people in modern society miss and need the community and fellowship the these megachurchs provide.  IMO, and I have probably said this here before, the disregard that we non-religious for the human need for community is our biggest weakness.  We need to remember religion is about community much more than theology. l

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All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 23 August 2012 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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garythehuman - 23 August 2012 10:30 AM

CC:

I am not surprised either.  Many people in modern society miss and need the community and fellowship the these megachurchs provide.  IMO, and I have probably said this here before, the disregard that we non-religious for the human need for community is our biggest weakness.  We need to remember religion is about community much more than theology. l

  I agree totally. All the talk about proving gods existence, Jesus as savior, and so on is pretty much beside the point.  That’s why I love movies like Oh God, with George Burns. God himself could come down and say Stop Relying On Me, and people would ignore him, because it’s like you said, all about community, sociology, psychology, not religion or god per se.

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Posted: 23 August 2012 06:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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That’s one more reason we should promote things like Humanist Forum discussion groups.  Once they get started for discussions, they can morph into social groups, first by the group going out for coffee before or after, then for a meal, then as potlucks or parties at someone’s home, then as groups to plays, movies, etc.  Once the community is formed the members can begin to invite likeminded friends to join, and people can start coming out of the atheist and agnostic closets.

Who knows, maybe some of the groups could even buy smaller defunct churches and have Sunday CFI Discussion Services. 

There was a pseudo-megachurch near Disneyland in Orange County, Calif.  Their building was called the Glass Cathedral.  It was all glass and many stories high, very, very dramatic. They got into financial trouble, and it was recently sold to the Catholics.  Maybe some day CFI could buy some of the megachurch buildings.  LOL 

Occam

[ Edited: 23 August 2012 06:26 PM by Occam. ]
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Posted: 24 August 2012 01:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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CuthbertJ - 23 August 2012 10:53 AM
garythehuman - 23 August 2012 10:30 AM

CC:

I am not surprised either.  Many people in modern society miss and need the community and fellowship the these megachurchs provide.  IMO, and I have probably said this here before, the disregard that we non-religious for the human need for community is our biggest weakness.  We need to remember religion is about community much more than theology. l

  I agree totally. All the talk about proving gods existence, Jesus as savior, and so on is pretty much beside the point.  That’s why I love movies like Oh God, with George Burns. God himself could come down and say Stop Relying On Me, and people would ignore him, because it’s like you said, all about community, sociology, psychology, not religion or god per se.

True, true,  a few years back I dated an Episcopalian minister and wound up going to her church services a few times and that sense of community and need for fellowship was the thing that made the greatest impression on me.

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Posted: 24 August 2012 09:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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The sad thing though is while these religious folks are gathered in their churches, singing and dancing and testifying, and so on, as part of a so-called community, they actually think they’re feeling the love of god, feeling jesus’ love, the holy spirit etc. Mass self-deception at it’s worst.

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Posted: 24 August 2012 09:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Occam. - 23 August 2012 06:20 PM

That’s one more reason we should promote things like Humanist Forum discussion groups.  Once they get started for discussions, they can morph into social groups, first by the group going out for coffee before or after, then for a meal, then as potlucks or parties at someone’s home, then as groups to plays, movies, etc.  Once the community is formed the members can begin to invite likeminded friends to join, and people can start coming out of the atheist and agnostic closets.

Who knows, maybe some of the groups could even buy smaller defunct churches and have Sunday CFI Discussion Services. 

There was a pseudo-megachurch near Disneyland in Orange County, Calif.  Their building was called the Glass Cathedral.  It was all glass and many stories high, very, very dramatic. They got into financial trouble, and it was recently sold to the Catholics.  Maybe some day CFI could buy some of the megachurch buildings.  LOL 

Occam

The catholic church built a hideous megachurch on the shores of the beautiful lake in Oakland. I asked how many poor could be housed or assisted with those millions. As far as I can tell, the others living around the lake hate it. It has been nicknamed ‘The Vagina’ for its distinctive aerial view.

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Posted: 24 August 2012 11:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Wow… Right next to childrens’ fairy land? That’s creepy…

(Assuming I’ve got it right… The Google image: https://maps.google.com/maps?client=safari&q=catholic+church+oakland+lake+merritt&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF-8&hl=en)

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 25 August 2012 01:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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asanta - 24 August 2012 09:05 PM
Occam. - 23 August 2012 06:20 PM

That’s one more reason we should promote things like Humanist Forum discussion groups.  Once they get started for discussions, they can morph into social groups, first by the group going out for coffee before or after, then for a meal, then as potlucks or parties at someone’s home, then as groups to plays, movies, etc.  Once the community is formed the members can begin to invite likeminded friends to join, and people can start coming out of the atheist and agnostic closets.

Who knows, maybe some of the groups could even buy smaller defunct churches and have Sunday CFI Discussion Services. 

There was a pseudo-megachurch near Disneyland in Orange County, Calif.  Their building was called the Glass Cathedral.  It was all glass and many stories high, very, very dramatic. They got into financial trouble, and it was recently sold to the Catholics.  Maybe some day CFI could buy some of the megachurch buildings.  LOL 

Occam

The catholic church built a hideous megachurch on the shores of the beautiful lake in Oakland. I asked how many poor could be housed or assisted with those millions. As far as I can tell, the others living around the lake hate it. It has been nicknamed ‘The Vagina’ for its distinctive aerial view.

Well, if it comes up for sale cheap, again, that could be a good one to buy.  There’s nothing wrong with vaginas.  I actually got my start coming out of one.

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Posted: 25 August 2012 02:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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asanta - 24 August 2012 09:05 PM

The catholic church built a hideous megachurch on the shores of the beautiful lake in Oakland. I asked how many poor could be housed or assisted with those millions. As far as I can tell, the others living around the lake hate it. It has been nicknamed ‘The Vagina’ for its distinctive aerial view.

This thingy?

2891057843_4ef37164aa_m.jpg

Beautiful building. But makes no sense to build, especially as church…

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Posted: 25 August 2012 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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GdB - 25 August 2012 02:46 AM
asanta - 24 August 2012 09:05 PM

The catholic church built a hideous megachurch on the shores of the beautiful lake in Oakland. I asked how many poor could be housed or assisted with those millions. As far as I can tell, the others living around the lake hate it. It has been nicknamed ‘The Vagina’ for its distinctive aerial view.

This thingy?

2891057843_4ef37164aa_m.jpg

Beautiful building. But makes no sense to build, especially as church…

Yep! That’s it. No, it is ugly. And a waste of money that could have been better used.

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Church; where sheep congregate to worship a zombie on a stick that turns into a cracker on Sundays…

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Posted: 25 August 2012 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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harry canyon - 24 August 2012 11:46 PM

Wow… Right next to childrens’ fairy land? That’s creepy…

(Assuming I’ve got it right… The Google image: https://maps.google.com/maps?client=safari&q=catholic+church+oakland+lake+merritt&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF-8&hl=en)

Take care,

Derek

Yep, that’s it! :(

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Posted: 25 August 2012 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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TimB - 25 August 2012 01:37 AM

Well, if it comes up for sale cheap, again, that could be a good one to buy.  There’s nothing wrong with vaginas.  I actually got my start coming out of one.


cool smile

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Posted: 25 August 2012 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Reading about “megachurches” is a surprise for me. Here the churches are empty! Lots of the priests come from Africa.

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Posted: 25 August 2012 11:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Where are you from, CheepnisAroma?

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Posted: 25 August 2012 11:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Mriana - 25 August 2012 11:16 AM

Where are you from, CheepnisAroma?

France

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