"Church attendance should be mandatory."

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"Church attendance should be mandatory."

Postby Sstavix » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:37 pm

Recently, an Arizona state senator said that church attendance should be mandatory. This isn't a bill that was introduced, but I could see how a bill like this could be proposed.

I do agree with her sentiment that there needs to be some sort of "moral awakening" in the country. I think we're long overdue for some form of spiritual reawakening in this nation, and have often been praying that more people will turn toward God.

That being said, though, I am opposed to the idea of legislation requiring church attendance. This is not the government's job, and no one should be forced to do things against their will. If they don't believe it, then forcing them to attend will only breed resentment and anger - basically the opposite of what this Republican state senator is desiring. Transforming this nation into a theocracy is not a step in the right direction, in my opinion.

Anyway, I posted this article in the "debates" section so I have a bit more leeway in injecting my opinions. ;) What about you?

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Re: "Church attendance should be mandatory."

Postby ccgr » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:41 pm

While recommended, I don't think it should be enforced. Now sure how they can enforce it or deal with the inevitable rebellion. If we were to put the shoe on the other foot and say church worship is prohibited, there would be more home churches etc instead.

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Re: "Church attendance should be mandatory."

Postby ChickenSoup » Fri Mar 27, 2015 2:55 pm

Christian colleges pull this crap (and so did a camp I worked for) and all it does is make a lot of people resentful.
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Re: "Church attendance should be mandatory."

Postby Deepfreeze32 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 3:27 pm

Christian colleges pull this crap (and so did a camp I worked for) and all it does is make a lot of people resentful.
Pretty much this.

I don't see how it would do anything other than add even more strife between those who are Christians and those who aren't. Frankly, I don't see how anyone could support this, because if we did this there would be a precedent for the government requiring religious attendance. What if your church isn't seen as "churchy" enough by the government? Should we take a track from some evangelicals (namely deep south) and exclude LDS from the definition of Christian? What about the more...extreme sects (Christian Science, for instance)? What if the majority swings towards Hinduism, or Islam? Would you be forced to go to a Mosque five times a day to pray?

Honestly, the whole idea is antithetical to freedom as a concept. By setting requirements on behaviour, you are contradicting the very definition of freedom. Should we be allowed to murder rampantly? Of course not. But how much should you be required to do? When it comes to regulating actions and what conduct is or is not illegal, I'm going to have to defer to libertarians for how I feel. I heard it once said that "as long as my actions do not harm another, they should be permissible."


I saw this last night, I decided to start looking at countries I could immigrate to. And I'm only half joking. :P

Also:
I do agree with her sentiment that there needs to be some sort of "moral awakening" in the country. I think we're long overdue for some form of spiritual reawakening in this nation, and have often been praying that more people will turn toward God.

That being said, though, I am opposed to the idea of legislation requiring church attendance. This is not the government's job, and no one should be forced to do things against their will. If they don't believe it, then forcing them to attend will only breed resentment and anger - basically the opposite of what this Republican state senator is desiring. Transforming this nation into a theocracy is not a step in the right direction, in my opinion.
I agree with this. It's fine to want more people to attend church. It's fine to pray about it, it's fine to proselytize, whatever. That's all fine and dandy. What is not is mandating that through government. It's not just going to breed resentment, because even if more people say they come to God, how many of those people are lying or being sycophantic(*) about it to avoid attracting attention? Among my friends (myself included), my Christian University who mandated daily chapel attendance turned off most of us to mainstream Christianity. I don't go to church anymore because I'm sick of being assaulted for my beliefs. I still consider myself Christian, I just haven't found a church that is courteous about disagreements(**).

Man, this whole concept has me hot and bothered now. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks it's a bad idea, though.

Footnotes:
Spoiler:
(*): This is why I cannot understand why people use Pascal's wager. Even if you ignore the obvious problem of other religions possibly being right, you assume that God tolerates sycophants and those who might try to believe, but just can't. Most of the people I know who use Pascal's wager are also more fundamental in their beliefs, and I don't see how a God of justice in their interpretation could tolerate deceit.

(**): This is a can of worms, but the issues I've had in particular are disagreements from whether or not instruments can be used in worship, to LGBT issues, to divorce, to abortion. I've been called "Not a 'real' Christian" multiple times because of it, and I find that to be an egregious use of the No True Scotsman. If the definition isn't universal (the only universal definition I can see is believing that Jesus died on the cross and rose again), then who is to say that my definition is any better than yours? It doesn't matter how strongly you believe it, because there will be people who disagree.

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Re: "Church attendance should be mandatory."

Postby Bruce_Campbell » Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:50 pm

This is pretty much the worst thing you could do for religious freedom in this country. Even if you forget about the horrible violation of my rights as a nonbeliever, what happens to people who are religious but not Christians? And even if every single person in the USA was a Christian, do we really want the government monitoring when and where we go to church? It's not just a bad idea, it's dangerous, and it amazes me that a politician would even suggest it (although I have a feeling she was probably just trying to pander to her voter base).

Besides that, I'm not so convinced that "declining morality" is such a problem in this country. If I'm not mistaken, crime rates have gone down over the past couple of decades, not up. And I seriously doubt forcing people to go to church will do anything but make people hate church and destroy Christianity in America as we know it.

If you can't see how scary this is, then just replace the word "church" with "mosque". Yeah, I thought so.
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Re: "Church attendance should be mandatory."

Postby ArcticFox » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:02 pm

I prettymuch agree with everything you guys said. I went and looked at the article in the hopes that maybe these remarks were taken out of context, but that doesn't appear to be the case. How disappointing.

Cue a bunch of anti-Christian backlash in some media outlets as they act like this person speaks for us all.
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Re: "Church attendance should be mandatory."

Postby ArchAngel » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:55 pm

I'm not a bit disappointed by everyone here's reaction to this horrendous idea.

The scary thing is that Senator Allen does actually speak for people, about half the state of Arizona.
It's always a bit terrifying to see who we've collectively elected.
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Re: "Church attendance should be mandatory."

Postby Deepfreeze32 » Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:03 pm

It's a weakness of the Senate that stems from the way it was designed. The House is (in theory) more representative of the people, while Senators originally represented the state governments (or some such), and were elected by state officials, not the people. This has since changed, but it has caused some issues like this.

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Re: "Church attendance should be mandatory."

Postby Bruce_Campbell » Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:07 pm

I didn't catch what her position was the first time I read this... when I was telling my wife about it I told her I thought she was part of the state legislature. The fact that she's a Senator is scary!
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Re: "Church attendance should be mandatory."

Postby ArchAngel » Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:31 pm

It's a weakness of the Senate that stems from the way it was designed. The House is (in theory) more representative of the people, while Senators originally represented the state governments (or some such), and were elected by state officials, not the people. This has since changed, but it has caused some issues like this.
That's a good point. I was playing fast and loose with words here.
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Re: "Church attendance should be mandatory."

Postby Sstavix » Fri Mar 27, 2015 7:32 pm

I didn't catch what her position was the first time I read this... when I was telling my wife about it I told her I thought she was part of the state legislature. The fact that she's a Senator is scary!
State senator, not U.S. senator. Fortunately, it's only the people of Arizona who have to deal with her. :) Or vote her out of office, which may be the case now....

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Re: "Church attendance should be mandatory."

Postby storm » Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:51 pm

Christ said we are to go out and spread the word

And in Revelation 3:20 He says "Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me".

There are other examples but the thing is it is a voluntary thing which we must do it is not something God is forcing on us He wants us but we must come to Him it can't be forced that is why it is called free will So we or government as well meant as it might be have no right to force people to do what God says is a choice of free will whether to be saved or not
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Re: "Church attendance should be mandatory."

Postby Guardian » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:29 am

You also run into the fact that nowhere in Scripture are we told to try and take over a government, or ever expect to be in majority. We're supposed to be the "salt of the earth" - I would expect that indicates that Christians can't be too plentiful, since salt isn't something you want in huge quantities. Or the fact that the gate is described as "narrow" - that's another indication that not many are going to be true believers in the end.

I strongly dislike the idea of mandating church attendance from the government level. At the Christian college level (I'm currently working at and pursuing a grad degree at one)? Well, if that's what they think is best for their students, that's fine - I actually would be concerned if it were not a requirement, depending on the school.

For the record, I strongly desire Christians to be involved with a local church, more than just regular attendees, but actually serving in some capacity, no matter how small. I wouldn't say it's sin not to (because it depends on the person and their circumstances), but I believe that there is danger in playing the lone ranger Christian. (I know opinions here vary - I've read some of them.)


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