View Full Version : Christian? Nah...
08-09-1999, 10:40 AM
Whats with the bashing of all other religions apart from your own (oh and not getting your facts right)? is it because people are too scared to admit that all Christians worship the same God or that they need to attack other denominations to "prove" that they are better than other people? What happened to love thy neighbour, or has it just changed to love thy neighbour as long as they go to the same church as you?
BTW I'm a Roman Catholic and we come under a lot of attack from all other denominations. We do not worship the saints, Mary or the Host.
Life is a fatal, sexually transmitted disease.
08-09-1999, 01:19 PM
I feel your pain. I'm a practicing pagan; we get even more flak than you do. (I spent twenty years as a Catholic, so I can make that comparison. =B^)
Right now, there's this whole controversy about pagans in the US armed forces, and whether they should be allowed to practice their religion on military bases. Some preacher from near Fort Bragg actually claims that Wiccans steal children and eat babies! I shit you not, people still think this kind of thing! He actually asked that people bring weapons to his services-- in his words, "in case a warlock tries to take one of our children". Bloody stupid son of a bitch, he is.
Some other idiot said that pagans shouldn't be in the military because they are "self-professed pacifists." I guess he forgot all about the commandment in his own religion which says, "Thou Shalt Not Kill."
Ignorance and intolerance piss me off, no matter at whom they're directed. What really gets me is that the most intolerant people seem to be Christians-- the people whose savior supposedly bore a message of peace! What happened to "Love Thy Neighbor?" Or "Do Unto Others As Thou Wouldst Have Them Do Unto You?"
Grr, now I've gotten myself all worked up, and I'm gonna be cranky all day. But I really should stop ranting, because I know that this board isn't home to many bigots. (Though there are a few around. Hi, ARG220!)
Mr Thin Skin
08-09-1999, 02:13 PM
I realize that I'll get a lot of eye-rolling and groans from people of the 70's but, I think Robert Pirsig addressed this in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. My book is far away right now, but I think on page 189, he made the statement that those screaming the loudest about their beliefs, or dogma, are those that have the most uncertainty about their beliefs. "No one is shouting that the sun is going to rise tommorrow, they know it is." I probably goofed up that quote, but I tried. I suspect a lot of the shouting we hear is just people trying to convice themselves that their particular belief is valid.
08-09-1999, 03:46 PM
Fundamentalism, Katmarie, the inspired feeling of having the world move around your every word and deed. You've seen the results of what happens when fundamentalism of any creed takes over, look at Iran and Afghanistan. ARG's brand of it is pretty much the same, intolerant and dogmatic, without reason. The only reason they haven't again tried to burn Wiccans, like Auraseer, at the stake is that people like me, a lifelong Roman Catholic won't let them. I spent 20 years in the military and have known my share of pagans and gays. I really didn't care, so long as they did their jobs and put their units' needs above their own when crunch time came. I protected their careers as best as I could because the ones I served with were every bit as ready to die in some Godforsaken corner of the world so people like ARG could have the luxury to rant on this board. We should all take a lesson from Germany in the 1930s when a real dark form of fundamentalism was taking hold. If they do decide to come after Auraseer and her Wiccans, then how much longer before they come for the rest of us?
"...send lawyers, guns, and money..."
08-09-1999, 09:53 PM
Catmarie: I think it's because they need to feel right, and they're afraid to admit that what they believe isn't the only path. Bernie Ward (Talk show host) says of fundamentalist religions: "You check your brain in at the door". Fundamentalists are pretty much like sheep, they follow what their pastors say (and what eachother says). If their pastors have a beef with a religion or denomination, their parishoners follow suit (i bet they would walk off of a cliff if asked). Anyway, i am also a Roman Catholic, and i get quite tired of the flack from other denominations about what heathens we are, and how we are going to hell because we worship saints and Mary (like Catmarie said we DO NOT worship them, or Mary). However, i agree with Auraseer, Wiccans get much more flack about their religion (i have heard many fundamentalists say how pagans are satanic and evil). I cannot judge other religions, because who am I to say that what i believe is the only way? I have friends who are Muslim, Atheists, Wiccan, Buddhist, and i would fight to protect their beliefs from people like ARG.
Unlike ARG, i do not believe in pushing my beliefs on others. If ARG wants to show how virtuous and good he is, he would stop the preaching and just live his life, and let others live theirs.
"Raw to the floor like reservoir dogs"
- A.V. Helden
08-10-1999, 01:08 AM
Once again: I'm male, for those who assumed otherwise.
If this happens one more time, I think I will go find a different username. The ambiguity is starting to mess with my head. =B^)
I'm agreeing with you, Doobieous. For a little background, I am a Christian, although one who is in a bit of blob phase of her faith. I find myself rethinking certain beliefs, and have been changing quite a few of them.
About 8 years ago, I was a fundamentalist--and most disturbingly, proud to call myself that--and it truly seemed to be rooted in Being Right. Notsomuch being right so I can prove you wrong and thus be better than you (although that wasn't completely banished from thought), but so that I could Know. There are questions about life that we all share, and that we all will simply never know the answer to on this side of existence. Those who say they do may believe with all their oompth, but fact of the matter is, no one has ontological, scientific, measurable proof. And thus, the wars begin. Most people want something to believe in and do; challenge it with differing beliefs, and it can be very disturbing to them. They have to be right--because the contrary would dismantle their world as they have come to understand it.
I am actually very quiet about my faith these days, due to its state of flux. Yet, I also refrain from witnessing/etc. because I believe that people in any religion are in search of Truth and what is Right, and it is not my place to tell them their journey is wrong. Even Mother Theresa said she loved all religions, because they were a search for God. It is arrogant for me to make any such judgment.
My sister is very, very much a fundamentalist, and as a result, no one in the family can have much of a conversation with her about anything spiritual/moral/ethical/even scientific, because it degenerates into debate. Well, not much of a debate--she more or less covers her ears and blurts out various Christian cliches and platitudes, to such an extent that she cuts us off. She doesn't even want to hear the other (or heck, any other) side.
Catmarie, I almost want to apologize to you. I know I have not said or passed judgment on you directly, but my previous attitude just irritates (and shames) me. It's knowing what I would have thought about you then simply because you were Catholic--despite the fact that I do not think that now--that makes me want to apologize. So, heck, I am sorry.
Wait a minute, this is the Pit. What am I doing apologizing and being nice? SHIT! FUCK! ASSWIPE! SUCK DICK! There, that's more like it! ;)
"Me fail English? That's unpossible!"
"English? Who needs that? I'm never going to England."
One thing that need to be said here is that the term "Fundamentalist" is a word that is slippery at best and loaded at worst. There are very many people who would fall into the category of fundamentalist, theologically speaking, who do not support many elements of what is seen as "The Religious Right's" political agenda.
And doobeious, yeah, I know this is the pit and all, but quite frankly, your description is pretty nasty and, I suspect, based more on hearsay and media than in actully talking (as opposed to arguing) with fundamntalists about their beliefs.
08-11-1999, 03:50 AM
Let me clarify for you furt what i mean by fundamentalist: People who are so zealous about their religion, that the would gladly see others wiped off of the face of the earth (Taliban, etc.), who are quick to judge other religions without studying them, who say that other religions are twisted, etc. (i could go on). Those kind of people are the fundamentalists im talking about. I don't mean people who do live good lives and treat others with respect, including beliefs. I have a good friend who is very much into Christianity (he goes to bible study sessions every week, and is passionate about his beliefs) but he does not judge nor will he tell others they are wrong. That's cool with me.
Personally im at a point where my beliefs are from different types of religions (kind of a Buddhist, Christian type thing but i wouldn't categorize it).I'm very interested in learning about other faiths, i even considered following a few of the tenets of Buddhism for a while. My friend who is muslim got me a little interested in Islam also. I'm very reluctant to discuss my beliefs because i dont believe that is something everyone needs to know about. I gave up on religious disputes because of a very zealous and fundamentalist muslim (meaning he thought jews were evil and Christians were doomed at judgement day)i used to chat with on IRC, and the conversations went of for hours but we still got nowhere.
"Raw to the floor like reservoir dogs"
- A.V. Helden
How many of the people who flame out fundamentalists have sat down and talked with a minister about what they believe?
I have, for one. (Although I wouldn't say I "flame out" funadmentalists.) I've been active in the church for nearly 10 years, and have spoken with many, many pastors about their wide spectrum of beliefs (many of which contradict those of other pastors/ministers) as I have searched for what I believe, for what is True. BTW, these weren't just exploratory conversations; I was a member or at least attendee of their church at the time I would speak with them. Some experiences were very positive; just as many were quite damaging to me and my faith.
I guess my frustration is that "tolerance" is so often seen as the ultimate virtue in religion, and things like truth--even the possibility of it--are dismissed.
Not "tolerance," but love and respect. This does not mean winking at offenses, but simple humility when it comes to judgment of others.
Well, I'd agree with you as far as the violent types (Taliban, abortion shooters, etc), but some of the other things I would categorize as "just being a jerk;" and of course you don't need to be religious for that.
I guess what frustrates me is that there seems to be this idea that "tolerance" is the one great virtue, and the one thing you must never say is that you think somebody else is wrong.
I'm a fundamentalist in the sense that I believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, and agree with the tradtional Christian teachings. But even though I try to be polite and respectful, people get offended because my beliefs. Examples: It comes up in conversation that I'm a Christian. Someone pointedly asks what I think about homosexuality; I say "Well, I certainly have nothing personally against gays, but the Bible calls homosexual activity a sin, and I believe in the Bible." Whammo, I'm castigated as intolerant, hate-filled, bigoted, homophobic and whatever else; I have not tried to attack anybody or even persuade them. It's just my belief that upsets people. This has happened to me any number of times. (not always about gays; abortion and other issues)
Or a better illustration of what I'm trying to get at is people getting upset because Christians believe that Christianity is the only way to heaven. Mind you, I'm not talking about the guy screaming "You're all going to BURN!!"; he's being a jerk. But many people get upset because Fundamentalists or others dare to believe in their hearts they are right. I mean, if I think that the Redskins will win the Super Bowl this year, nobody's going to say I'm closeminded or intolerant because I eliminate the other teams. But if I say I think Jesus is the only way to heaven, even if I say it in a nice voice, many people consider just thinking this "intolerant."
One of the lines you used is "study other religions," and this is often used. But the truth is that 99% of the population does not "study other religions." (Heck, most people don't "study" their OWN religion/belief system, let alone anybody else's.) How many of the people who flame out fundamentalists have sat down and talked with a minister about what they believe? No it's more often something along the lines of "I went to summer camp at one of those churches," or "My cousin is fundamnetalist and I see him every Thanksgiving."
I highly doubt the Dalai Lama has "studied" Christianity or any other religion; he may have read the Bible and had a few polite conversations with preists or something, but it ain't like he's approached the issue with an open mind. Is he "intolerant?"
I'm rambling; I guess my frustration is that "tolerance" is so often seen as the ultimate virtue in religion, and things like truth--even the possibility of it-- are dismissed.
"It all started with marbles in school..."
And I agree with that, completely. What I was ranting about was that some people--on this board, today--seem to express the idea that anyone who says, however politely, or even THINKS that they are right and others wrong, is intolerant.
08-12-1999, 07:48 PM
I think it's because they need to feel right, and they're afraid to admit that what they believe isn't the only path.
As one who has held some pretty strong opinions from time to time (some supported by more evidence than others), I can tell you that's not the whole story.
The need to feel like I'm right is part of it. But so is the feeling that those who disagree with me are being "duped" by false information diseminated by my opponents. I've felt that if only those ignorant masses out there knew THE TRUTH they'd all come around to my (obviously correct) way of thinking. Hence, I harbored an undeserved degree of hostility toward any argument that seemed to weaken my position -- even if the argument against my position was a really good argument backed by really good evidence. I regarded any attack against my position as an attack against me personally, and felt obliged to defend "myself" against those poor, misguided sould out there on the wrong side of the issue.
I've also even felt that if the opposition's position were "officially" accepted and passed as, say, national policy, that everybody's freedom would be stripped away and the government would turn into Nazis and everybody would be miserable and no one would ever get laid again. (Which, I guess, is for me the equivalent of a Fundamentalist feeling that everyone would end up in Hell.)
So no, it's not just uncertainty about one's faith/opinions, and a defensive need to guard them against one's own doubts, that can lead to overzealousness.
I'm not flying fast, just orbiting low.
FURT -- I agree with your post (mostly) but would only say that my problem with fundamentalist Christians (speaking as one of the non-fundamentalist variety), is that so many of them approach others in one of three ways:
1. By attacking the beliefs held by the other person, instead of by simply stating the beliefs held by them -- trying to prove that what I believe is "wrong" instead of explaining why they believe as they do.
2. By emphasizing the scary things in their own religion, instead of emphasizing the good -- like ARG telling people repeatedly that they are going to Hell and then feigning astonishment when people are offended.
3. By patronizing others, as if their beliefs stem from stupidity instead of thought. If a person truly believes they know "the Truth," and that person can't convince someone else of it, I think it's easy to say "Well, if you really understood this, you'd see that I'm right." This drives me nuts.
That said, I absolutely agree that if people ask you what you believe, they then have an obligation to refrain from attacking those beliefs.
08-22-1999, 07:12 PM
Member posted 08-11-1999 12:20 PM
“I'm a fundamentalist in the sense that I believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, and agree with the tradtional Christian teachings. But even though I try to be polite and respectful, people get offended because my beliefs. Examples: It comes up in conversation that I'm a Christian. Someone pointedly asks what I think about homosexuality; I say "Well, I certainly have nothing personally against gays, but the Bible calls homosexual activity a sin, and I believe in the Bible." Whammo, I'm castigated as intolerant, hate-filled, bigoted, homophobic and whatever else; I have not tried to attack anybody or even persuade them. It's just my belief that upsets people. This has happened to me any number of times. (not always about gays; abortion and other issues) “
The Bible says that homosexuals should be killed. Do you believe in that part of the Bible, too? Or just the warm fuzzy parts? Do you think that your prejudice against homosexuals is more valid just because the Bible told to be prejudiced against them? Was anti-semitism in Nazi Germany more valid because the government encouraged it? The Bible is a book written by a bigoted people, and by simply going along with what the Bible says, you are taking part in their bigotry. I'm not saying that you personally have attacked gays, but by saying you believe, without question, in a book that condones violence against gays you are implying approval of such actions.
“Or a better illustration of what I'm trying to get at is people getting upset because Christians believe that Christianity is the only way to heaven. Mind you, I'm not talking about the guy screaming "You're all going to BURN!!"; he's being a jerk. But many people get upset because Fundamentalists or others dare to believe in their hearts they are right. I mean, if I think that the Redskins will win the Super Bowl this year, nobody's going to say I'm closeminded or intolerant because I eliminate the other teams. But if I say I think Jesus is the only way to heaven, even if I say it in a nice voice, many people consider just thinking this "intolerant."
If you say that you know that the Redskins will win the Super Bowl, and you refuse to consider the possibility that they won’t, I’d call you closeminded.
“I'm rambling; I guess my frustration is that "tolerance" is so often seen as the ultimate virtue in religion, and things like truth--even the possibility of it-- are dismissed.”
Actually, intolerance is not a virtue in religion. If you look at how Jesus treated his ideological opponents, you’ll see nothing but intolerance. That’s why I have such a problem with religion: any ideology that encourages intolerance is not, in my view, a good thing.
Member posted 08-13-1999 10:04 AM
“That said, I absolutely agree that if people ask you what you believe, they then have an obligation to refrain from attacking those beliefs.”
So suppose you ask someone what they think about Christians, and they tell you that they believe that God has commanded them to kill all Christians, you won’t attack that belief?
" 'Ideas on Earth were badges of friendship or enmity. Their content did not matter.' " -Kurt Vonnegut, Breakfast of Champions
08-22-1999, 07:55 PM
The Ryan wrote:
That’s why I have such a problem with religion: any ideology that encourages intolerance is not, in my view, a good thing.
For the record, not all religions are like this. I personally support the right of everyone to believe whatever they want-- even if they believe that religion is fictitious and I'm a poor deluded nut.
I'm not a warlock.
I'm a witch with a Y chromosome.
08-25-1999, 12:07 AM
[Quote] From Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintence: <snip> Those screaming the loudest about their beliefs, or dogma, are those that have the most uncertainity in their beliefs. [/Quote}
I couldn't agree more with this statement. Everytime I hear someone profess to be a Christian, I just know they are possibly the farthest example of what a Christian is s'pose to be. ( This is from my own personal accounts.) Any one in any faith, a true believer, keeps their mouths shut and heart wide open.
When asked recently what religion I was I responded, " I don't beleive in organized religions or sports. The rules for both are constantly changing and there are a filled with lots of whiners." :)
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