I know I went that route for a few years. My experience had more to do with a woman (big mistake) than anything else. I went to church, read their bible, and listened. After several years of listening, reading, watching, and seeing exactly what it all was, I realized it was all a sham. There is no God, only the ones man has made to make himself feel better about the way he treats his fellow man. The Bible is a book, that's all, just a book with no more authority than Tolstoy's War and Peace.
Wars have been started in the name of religion, and countless millions, possibly billions, have died because of it. The War of the Roses, the Hundred Years War, Hitler's assault on the Jews, and most all of the problems in the Middle East today were and are because of religion. The Iranians want to annihilate the Jews because of religion. The Taliban, al Qaeda, Hamas all have their basis in religion. The Crusades were an assault on the Jews perpetrated by 'Christ loving' christians.
Now we see that religion in America has taken a hit. The number of 'nonbelievers', which I prefer to call realists, is on the rise. In my state alone believers have gone from 91% in 1990 to 76% now. The Catholics seem to have taken the hardest hit here. I wonder if people are finally realizing that the church just wants their money and really doesn't care about them. One good example of the Catholic church not caring would be the fact that they don't do anything about the pedophiles that are priests, who they just keep moving around when it seems they may get caught.
From the American Religious Identification Survey we have this:
Catholics on the Move, Non-religious on the Rise
Fifteen percent of respondents said they had no religion, an increase from 14.2 percent in 2001 and 8.2 percent in 1990, according to the American Religious Identification Survey.
So many Americans claim no religion at all (15%, up from 8% in 1990), that this category now outranks every other major U.S. religious group except Catholics and Baptists. In a nation that has long been mostly Christian, “the challenge to Christianity … does not come from other religions but from a rejection of all forms of organized religion,” the report concludes.
Northern New England surpassed the Pacific Northwest as the least religious region, with Vermont reporting the highest share of those claiming no religion, at 34 percent.
“No other religious bloc has kept such a pace in every state,” the study’s authors said.
The current survey, being released Monday, found traditional organized religion playing less of a role in many lives. Thirty percent of married couples did not have a religious wedding ceremony and 27 percent of respondents said they did not want a religious funeral.
My friend One Fly at Outta the Cornfield has a post up about this today. That post, Prayer Central Taking A Hit, is well worth the read. He's got a couple more links I think you'll find very interesting.