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16 people of different religions explain why they stopped going to church.

16 people of different religions explain why they stopped going to church.


It's no secret that people are likely becoming less and less religious with each generation. Even if you have good memories of growing up in a religious community, you might decide not to continue the tradition in adulthood.

But why? A recent Reddit thread asked the simple question, 'Why did you stop going to church?' Everyone from former Mormons to lapsed Catholics weighed in to explain why they broke the generations-old tradition of going to church every Sunday.

1. Making enough money to feed your family is pretty important.

My father lost his job and the only work he could get involved travel, which meant he couldn't make the Sunday service. Even though my parents gave to the church monthly, all the support we got was 'prayers that he found a job closer to home'. As a teen I was also asked by church elders why father thought making money for his family was more important than attending the church. - hmfiddlesworth

2. Yeah, you can't pray away a panic attack...

I moved to a new city for university and was doing a bit of church hopping with a religious roommate to see if we could find a church we liked. At one of the churches I had a “once you see it, you can’t unsee it” moment where I suddenly thought... this is a cult.

The church we went to was a really boisterous hallelujah type place and it was very overwhelming so I had gone to the bathroom to try and avoid a full blown panic attack.

When I was in there a few ladies crowded me and were saying I should take the panic as a sign that the Lord was flowing through me. Like... no this is anxiety, it’s a physiological thing. They really, earnestly believed that I was being touched by Jesus and I couldn’t help but feel like they were brainwashed. It was so awkward and off-putting I lost my faith and haven’t really gone back since. - cebogs

3. Sounds like a slight improvement!

Realized the only emotion that place made me feel was intense guilt. Now I'm only slightly bitter. - cadnights

4. Parents love church.

Once it was my choice and not my parents', I stopped going except for weddings and funerals. Mentally, I checked out of church and believing in any kind of god around age 10. - fumor

5. That's as good a reason as any.

They stopped giving out doughnuts at the youth group. - evan1215

6. Church numbers have never recovered.

My spouse was raised catholic, she'd go to church at least once or twice a month, and would feel guilty if we didn't go for longer than a month. Then the pedo scandal happened and she's had zero interest. She still has her faith in God and Jesus, but has none in religion as an institution. Which is pretty much where I always was. - Dagglin

7. The hypocrisy can be stunning.

i was forced to go to church from age 3 to 16, when i stopped living with my father. I dont go to church anymore and see no need in going.

Too many 'Holy on Sunday; Hell the rest of the week' people. Every church i have ever been to was like the hunger games where everyone was trying to get to the front of the line to heaven. Sooo much hate for so little love. 'Love the neighbor, unless they are gay, have premarital sex, or believe something slightly different than we do....then they need to burn in hell!!!!'

I personally think if Jesus was real and came back he would be ashamed at the people that 'follow' him. This was a guy that hung out with the outcasts, the hookers, and the lowest of society, do you see any of his followers doing that? Well the hookers part but thats not how he did it.

i can only condemn the protestants since ive not been apart of any others but from what i see most of them are the same, hate whos not us - BlueFalconPunch

8. This is unfortunate.

I started to realize the teachings of the church weren't Biblical. Every Sunday the pastor would talk about righteousness that was really nationalism, and being free from those who are filled with sin, but very specific sin.

We had divorcees in the church and overt racists, but not gay people or former inmates. There were teachings of love, but it was very clear that love was only meant for certain people - OhWhale344

9. It's rare for a grandmother to get this.

“You don’t need the church to be faithful to god, your body is the church. As long as you to talk to god on your own time and it’s genuine you’ll be fine. Besides, the church is only there to collect money but when you need money for rent, food, clothes or anything else they’ll tell you ‘it’s god will.’ F*** those thieves.” - My grandmother. - PettyKruger

10. Holy crap.

My church growing up was kinda messed up. Southern Baptist. We brought an African American friend to Wednesday night “youth group” and the youth pastor took him aside, told him to leave, and asked him not to come back. That’s just a tidbit into how things operated there.

In college, I just didn’t have time and was kinda turned off from my childhood experience.

I moved out of the south and was invited to a more progressive church by some friends from work. I went but the ritualistic aspects of it—singing, reciting scripture, standing, sitting (I guess bc I was away for ten years) just felt creepy. Also, the people there seemed fake and it felt more like a yuppie social club.

I still consider myself a Christian but have my own personal sense of spirituality and religion. The externalizing of it just feels weird and full of pretense to me. - arch_nyc

11. Oops!

Because they asked me 'What Would Jesus Do?', while doing the exact opposite. - ficinafrock

12. The money thing is a common theme.

Once I realized that they only cared about money. I recently had to get a certificate from a church in order to be godfather to my nephew. I went for a few weeks, making sure to put money in the collections with my name on it. I eventually realized that I could set up a weekly donation, and did not need to attend church.

I was able to get the certificate, then stopped the weekly payment. They didn't care that I actually attended church, they just cared that I gave them money. - barbaroja89

13. Ah, yes, this checks out.

I was at a church social gathering, and someone made blatantly sexist comments. When I pushed back and said that isn’t okay, church leadership told me to back off and seek counseling. - WhiteHeteroMale

14. Give this mom an award!

I came out as bisexual. I grew up in a VERY religious area, my whole family and everyone in my world was very Mormon. I came out as bisexual on Facebook so my friends at other schools would know without me needing to text everyone separately. The people in my congregation spread that news like wildfire and the bishop called me in for a “chat.” He was planning on excommunicating me.

I was still a minor. Luckily my mom had my back 100% and came with me to the meeting and asked to have a word with him beforehand. She chewed him out like I’d never heard her chew another adult out in my life.

My mom is a soft spoken, kind, sort of shy person so I was shocked. When it was my time to come in I could tell the bishop was choosing his words carefully. The meeting went fine, but he asked me to post on my public social media pages letting everyone know that my religion didn’t condone homosexuality and that I wasn’t having sex outside of marriage.

Just thinking about a grown man asking that of a minor still makes me furious. That was the moment I decided I was done going to church. The hypocrisy was too much, the judgement was too much, and I just had to bail. - StarGrump

15. Everyone knows it's SoulCycle that's made for the devil.

When the church leader kept telling us to donate 10% of our money or we’re not welcomed. And in youth group he made us watch a video that said yoga is made for the devil to brainwash us, it’s evil. - VeterinarianDry961

16. It is really hard to fit both into your schedule!

Brunch. - BitPoet

Sources: Reddit
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