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Old 04-19-2014, 10:25 PM
 
181 posts, read 177,506 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heartfocus View Post
I am an ex-christian, now atheist and it drives me crazy when they insist "its not a religion, its a relationship." I tell them to look up the word, "religion" in a dictionary but it doesn't do any good.

My family no longer talks to me and my old classmates don't talk to me and if I find myself in a possible friendship situation with a religious gal, I keep my distance. I have had it pushed on me so much. I feel very hurt over what their "not a religion" has done to my life.

I have looked at a lot of YouTube debates and it has really turned me against religion even more. I think there is nothing worse than to cut off people you love because of the "not a religion." How can a thinking person subscribe to this denial? How can a so called intelligent adult be so cruel because of it?

P.S. My local Skeptics club consists of a handful of male college students and I'm female and 59. I don't think I will ever meet another atheist my age. I need to move so that I can find some friends who are not caught up in this abusive religion.
The whole "Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship" stems from a specific sort of evangelical Protestant Christian thinking. This concept is best understood in context. Protestantism emphasizes strongly on "sola fide". Traditionally, it means that faith is foremost, and works is the expression of one's faith. This belief is said to be directly opposed to Catholic teaching and tradition. Evangelical Protestants typically view Catholicism as a works-based religion that brings no salvation. When they use the term "religion", they intend to use the common connotation of the word, "religion", and that often includes a set of beliefs, practices, and rituals. Evangelical Protestantism is trying to make a point that beliefs, practices, and rituals by themselves do not bring salvation. Only faith in God through Jesus Christ will bring salvation, and out of love for God, people do good works. The "relationship" aspect is to emphasize some sort of relationship with God. In recent times, Western society has become very individualistic, and one way by which individualism affects the Christian church is that the relationship between God and mankind has become a very personal one-on-one relationship - between God and a human being.
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:12 AM
 
Location: The backwoods of Pennsylvania ... unfortunately.
5,846 posts, read 3,367,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AREQUIPA View Post
If it is the term for my feelings about old friends who have changed so much that we now have no point of social contact on which we can meet, the term you are groping for is perhaps 'regrettable'.
Hmm, 'regrettable' could certainly be used ...

Perhaps you've been in this or a similar situation at some point in your life, but it can be summed up in a quick little story.

I remember going to this old abandoned house at the end of a long dead-end dirt road way way out in the boonies. Of course there were rumors galore of the place being haunted, and whether it was or not, the place was intensely spooky.

Naturally there were dares and double-dares getting people to go into the place, but I managed to rally everyone and suggest we all go in together. Yeah! Everyone thought that was a marvelous idea. So I turned on my flashlight, crossed the expansive and overgrown front lawn, pushed open the front door, walked into the foyer and down the hall into the living room, turned around ....

And everyone was still standing around on the road ... way across the lawn and far away. I was scared half to death being alone in that place, but even more than fright, I felt a sense of anger, betrayal, loneliness, and wondering why they let me keep going when none of them had the courage to enter.

It turned out that life in general ended up like that because we all had a certain dream for how we wanted to live our lives, and apparently I was the only one with the courage - or the genuine desire - to pursue that life. Everyone else just hung around the same small town, got married and had children less than a year after graduation, got some minimum wage job sweeping floors or waiting tables, and buried themselves in fundamentalist religion.

I know one word that can describe it - disappointed. Holy damn am I disappointed. Sure I moved on, found other friends more in tune with my lifestyle, and haven't really looked back. But now that I AM back, stuck in the same town, the same house where I spent my adolescence, it's all slamming back into my life as if a repressed memory suddenly revealed itself.
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Old 04-20-2014, 04:48 PM
 
561 posts, read 1,035,439 times
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At the risk of seeming overly cynical, I think there are political motivations for asserting that 'Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship with Christ': Many fundamentalists want at least some of their religious principles enacted into law. Obviously this is unconstitutional, so the assertion that 'it's not a religion' gives them an erroneous way around this problem.

But professing to have a relationship with someone who died over 2000 years ago (assuming he even existed at all, which has not been conclusively verified) is a religious belief plain and simple.
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Old 04-20-2014, 05:27 PM
 
Location: northwest Illinois
2,331 posts, read 2,647,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apathizer View Post
At the risk of seeming overly cynical, I think there are political motivations for asserting that 'Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship with Christ': Many fundamentalists want at least some of their religious principles enacted into law. Obviously this is unconstitutional, so the assertion that 'it's not a religion' gives them an erroneous way around this problem.

But professing to have a relationship with someone who died over 2000 years ago (assuming he even existed at all, which has not been conclusively verified) is a religious belief plain and simple.
True, and well said as much as christians prefer not to face that fact.
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Old 04-21-2014, 01:12 AM
 
Location: The backwoods of Pennsylvania ... unfortunately.
5,846 posts, read 3,367,485 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apathizer View Post
At the risk of seeming overly cynical, I think there are political motivations for asserting that 'Christianity is not a religion, but a relationship with Christ': Many fundamentalists want at least some of their religious principles enacted into law. Obviously this is unconstitutional, so the assertion that 'it's not a religion' gives them an erroneous way around this problem.

But professing to have a relationship with someone who died over 2000 years ago (assuming he even existed at all, which has not been conclusively verified) is a religious belief plain and simple.
Anyone who claims that Christianity is not a religion better be prepared to forfeit Christianity's protection under the 1st Amendment. They can't claim it isn't a religion and still expect to have the right to practice their not-religion as though it WERE a religion. Once the cake is eaten, it cannot still be had ... if you know what I mean.

This is why I rarely argue against Christians who claim atheism is a religion. Okay ... I'll accept that atheism is a religion (even though I know it isn't) if that means I can plead the 1st Amendment when my right to practice atheism is threatened by over-zealous Christians who think their religion ought to be law.
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Old 04-21-2014, 06:47 AM
 
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
11,233 posts, read 11,037,191 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirina View Post
Anyone who claims that Christianity is not a religion better be prepared to forfeit Christianity's protection under the 1st Amendment. They can't claim it isn't a religion and still expect to have the right to practice their not-religion as though it WERE a religion. Once the cake is eaten, it cannot still be had ... if you know what I mean.

This is why I rarely argue against Christians who claim atheism is a religion. Okay ... I'll accept that atheism is a religion (even though I know it isn't) if that means I can plead the 1st Amendment when my right to practice atheism is threatened by over-zealous Christians who think their religion ought to be law.
Just exactly what does one do to "practice atheism?" I mean, if it is a religion, there must be some ritual or structured ceremony to go along with the "religious dogma."

Last edited by mensaguy; 04-21-2014 at 07:00 AM.. Reason: grammar nazi problem.
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Old 04-21-2014, 07:08 AM
 
39,369 posts, read 10,962,304 times
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Shinina is being cunning. Long ago, on this werry forum, my right to post here as an atheist was challenged. My response was that, if theists claim that atheism is 'a religion' (even if I don't think it is) they have no grounds for saying that atheists have no place in the religion forum.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:02 AM
 
Location: northwest Illinois
2,331 posts, read 2,647,106 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mensaguy View Post
Just exactly what does one do to "practice atheism?" I mean, if it is a religion, there must be some ritual or structured ceremony to go along with the "religious dogma."
An Atheist does nothing, because we worship NOTHING so we practice nothing. It doesn't get any simpler.
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Old 04-21-2014, 11:37 AM
 
Location: The backwoods of Pennsylvania ... unfortunately.
5,846 posts, read 3,367,485 times
Reputation: 4056
Quote:
Originally Posted by mensaguy View Post
Just exactly what does one do to "practice atheism?" I mean, if it is a religion, there must be some ritual or structured ceremony to go along with the "religious dogma."
Sure, WE know it isn't a religion ... but sshhhh! The Christians think it is - and I say let them think so, because as long as they believe atheism is a religion and we worship science or whatever, it means we have the RIGHT to "practice" our "religion."

Which means ANY law, policy, rule, or even tradition that requires or mandates acknowledging, praying to, or supplicating a deity denies we atheists the RIGHT be be atheistic under the 1st Amendment. It means Christians cannot use the "I have the right to practice my religion" arguement when they want to intrude upon other "faiths" - including atheism.

Just play along.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:12 AM
 
322 posts, read 678,225 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PegE View Post
It's a relationship with an imaginary friend. lol Did you know that they make an exception for religious delusions in medical protocols for treating mental illnesses? Because it's mass delusion, it's not considered a psychiatric condition. Now for most it's just cognitive dissonance. But considering Jim Jones, David Koresh, the Hall Bopp comet crew to name a few - there's definitely some mental illness going on there. It's just a matter of degree for some.
What is scary is in the very religious town I'm in, the main psychiatrist is religious and works in a religious clinic where you are confronted with bibles and god posters everywhere! I made an appointment with him, and had to see a nurse first (I have a mood disorder, bipolar) and I told her that I'm a victim of severe religious abuse coming from my father. Then the psychiatrist cancelled my appointment with him! So I had to go to the next town here in rural NorCal to find treatment options (I hope to move there).

Don't these psychiatrists know that manic people can be hyper-religious? I know, I've been there and was manic as hell and hyper-religious. That they use religion to treat such mental illness just is ridiculous. It should not be allowed. All the doctor has to do is to do some time in a mental hospital and he'd see. Then he'd see how many patients think they are Jesus Christ.
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