Places of Worship

Brantford Mohawk church

Religion is something that has preoccupied people for centuries. No one knows when religion began. But for longer than history records, people have designated certain places as more "holier" than others.

Why the fascination with churches? In particular, why is an atheist fascinated by churches? Over the past millenia, nothing has shaped the course of history as strongly as religion. More people have died because of religious differences than for any other reason. Churches are simply the most visible manifestations of particular religious groups.

Of course, in spite of the shameful history of religion, churches often serve some useful purposes. In many communities, the church is clearly the most prominent building, and serves beyond the religious needs of the local people.

Churches are also interesting for their architectural design. In many cases, the design of the church reflects the beliefs of the users of the building. For example, some religious groups erect elaborate, decorative structures designed to reflect the glory of their deity. For others, their austere churches reflect their desire for a simple life. These days, economics often are a major influence in the design of a church, and the architect must balance the need to house a congregation of a particular size in a structure compatible with their beliefs, within a certain budget.

Check the menu on the left for a list of the church photo albums.

Quotes

Here, and on the church album pages, I've listed a number of quotes by famous people past and present that reflect our own particular humanist religious beliefs. Some of them are atheists, some agnostic, and some simply humanist. Some are even liberal Christian.

"The world is my country, and to do good my religion."
Thomas Paine.

"I'm an atheist, and that's it. I believe there's nothing we can know except that we should be kind to each other and do what we can for each other."
Katharine Hepburn, Ladies' Home Journal, October 1991.

"The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma."
Abraham Lincoln

"The divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for absurdity. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find a precept for Creeds, Confessions, Oaths, Doctrines, and the whole carloads of other foolish trumpery that we find in Christianity."
John Adams, U.S. President.

"Naturally since the Sumerians didn't know what caused the flood any more than we do, they blamed the gods. (That's the advantage of religion. You're never short an explanation for anything.)"
Isaac Asimov.