I've lived in the same town for most of my life, well... I spent four years at uni failing a degree and rocking at GTA, which is almost exactly as depressing as you imagine it to be. One of the things that means is that I've spent an unfair portion of my life standing on the exact same patch of lino reading the best before off of milk bottles. I'm not obsessed or anything but the multitude of brief glances over time has built up to a substantial amount. Fuck, now I come to think of it. I've probably spent more time considering milk purchases in that florescent hell than I've spent having sex... Excuse me while I cut myself to release the pain... ARGH!... OK I'm back now.
|I wish I could say that was my first milk related self-harming incident...|
Anyway it also means that I've walked past the same church literally thousands of times. Anyone reading this from the UK will be aware that the entire countryside is littered with churches. Sometimes it might seem that at some point in this great nations history we stole a whole bunch of churches and liberally scattered them around the place. That's not the case we only did that with Egyptian, Roman and Grecian Relics. No all these churches are here because we built them.
|Interestingly there isn't a single recorded case of God pitching in on one of these|
That is much more impressive than it sounds. In most english villages the church is the tallest building and most of these bastards were built a couple of centuries ago. Before we had access to any of the modern day building techniques before we had anything other than a crippling fear of being burnt to death for eternity to get stuff done. As an atheist I find churches magnificently pointless. The amount of effort, time and human life it cost to erect each of the vast buildings for absolutely no reason.
|We've wasted more time and effort on Churches than lolcats... and we've wasted far to much time on both.|
If you are reading this and you are a believer then allow me to ask a question, do you really think God cares if you spend a portion of your week telling him how awesome he is? He's God. He knows literally everything up to and including his own level of awesomeness and where you rank him on the awesome scale. As such having a special building devoted to this activity seems about as useful as having a special building dedicated saying rocks are rocks.
|I wish I could tell you I didn't just spend an hour looking for the perfect rock...|
The point I'm slowly drilling towards here is simple. Imagine what we could've achieved without this bullshit. Let's create unit of measurement for community wide effort of one church (ch), I think it's safe to say that each church takes about as much effort to build as one another. Now let's look at the purpose of building a really nice church. Well it's a focal point for the community and a way to show off to the neighbouring villages.
“Oh that is a lovely church you've got, when will it be finished?”
“It is finished”
“Oh, Sorry... it's a bit, erm... cosy isn't it.”
To readers not based in the UK that exchange was the English equivalent of a drive-by shooting. Now imagine if we didn't have churches the urge to compete would still be there but now you've got 1ch to spend on whatever you want. Human beings prize individuality. If the next town over builds an open air theatre, well you can build a bigger theatre, but everyone will know you were just to lazy to come up with your own idea... So you build an observatory.
|"I wonder where they got the idea to build an observatory... jackasses"|
If religion hadn't existed every run down, stupid thermometer out the front, tea, biscuits and silly robes house of child molestation in the UK would instead be replaced by equally glorious monuments to the individual character of that town. Furthermore once you've built a massive astronomy tower you're town gets a reputation and anyone with those interests in the county moves to your town. Instead of living in a homogeneous sludge of identi-kit biscuit lid villages we'd live in a country where each town was unique and worth a visit. I've laid a lot of blame at the feet of the Catholic Church over the years but I think the fact that other than an interesting local legend, a handful of historical eccentrics and special type of cake every town in this country is the fucking same may be the worst of the lot.
|OK, second worst. The above image obviously represents child molestation|
Don't get me wrong the last one hundred and fifty years have seen massive improvements with the birth of tourism leading to an urge for towns to have a selling point meaning that some places really have developed there own character. However for the most part every village in this country is more-or-less the same and all because we let men in big hats convince us that 1,000,000ch should be converted into 1,000,000 churches.
eddie <dreaming of a better world, waking in this one>