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Thread summary:

Zen Buddhist Atheist considering Austin, seeking information on Austin being overly conservative Christian and accepting to other views, non-Christians loving in Austin

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Old 01-12-2007, 10:43 AM
 
108 posts, read 346,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desdemona123 View Post
Just be careful...UUs aren't well thought of (if the folks even know what they are) and Hickory is....well....it's even further out in the sticks then Raleigh.


You donít want to have to learn the heard way...discretion really is the better part of valor religiously.


If someone is going to be rude as to ask me I don't see why not. Also, for those who think it is alright to ask someone which church they plan to attend is as wrong as asking if they are republican/democrate. If someone wants to tell you, THEY WILL TELL YOU.

 
Old 01-12-2007, 10:47 AM
 
Location: in a house
3,574 posts, read 13,096,102 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desdemona123 View Post
Just be careful...UUs aren't well thought of (if the folks even know what they are) and Hickory is....well....it's even further out in the sticks then Raleigh.


You donít want to have to learn the heard way...discretion really is the better part of valor religiously.
Actually, Hickory is a fairly large (for NC) area - part of the Unifour region - which is transected by I-40. Several large healthcare facilities, a community college, a private college and an active diverse population. In fact, it is probably one of the areas that has the highest Hmong population in the state. Not everyone west of RTP live "in the sticks" anymore ......
 
Old 01-12-2007, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest NC
1,611 posts, read 4,398,058 times
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I think that culturally, here in the south they are asking you about church to Offer to Share something with you as opposed to just labelling you. At least that is the vibe I have gotten, although it is quite easy to see how a bad apple may be asking to decide whether or not you are "acceptable" or not.
Back north we had a priest who told us we should invite our neighbors to church. I never did, just couldn't bring myself to do it. The priest said that is how churches grow, when people offer to share their faith with other people. I don't know many people up north who would think to reach out like that though. It is just not done- it is considered bad manners..
 
Old 01-12-2007, 10:51 AM
 
108 posts, read 346,325 times
Reputation: 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by mm_mary73 View Post
Actually, Hickory is a fairly large (for NC) area - part of the Unifour region - which is transected by I-40. Several large healthcare facilities, a community college, a private college and an active diverse population. In fact, it is probably one of the areas that has the highest Hmong population in the state. Not everyone west of RTP live "in the sticks" anymore ......


I have to agree with you. Hickory seems pretty large and nice! I went there and there is an awesome UU church that has plenty of members. I loved Hickory and the surrounding towns. It is close to the mountains too, and it seems it is more liberal and open-minded out west. I think no matter which faith you follow someone won't like it, which is why people need to understand it is up to that person and their path is not your's.
 
Old 01-12-2007, 10:57 AM
 
Location: in a house
3,574 posts, read 13,096,102 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYer View Post
I think that culturally, here in the south they are asking you about church to Offer to Share something with you as opposed to just labelling you. At least that is the vibe I have gotten, although it is quite easy to see how a bad apple may be asking to decide whether or not you are "acceptable" or not.
Back north we had a priest who told us we should invite our neighbors to church. I never did, just couldn't bring myself to do it. The priest said that is how churches grow, when people offer to share their faith with other people. I don't know many people up north who would think to reach out like that though. It is just not done- it is considered bad manners..
Exactly! When I explained to people that back home (NEPA) we just didn't do this, they were surprised but didn't make a big deal out of it and no one stopped talking to me or mine because of it. This was 30 years ago!
 
Old 01-12-2007, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Colorado
10,017 posts, read 16,991,970 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teressah View Post
Nea1, which city were you in to have such a sick unjustise done to you?? Isn't this completely illegal? I don't want the same problem
We were in Raleigh and then in Apex. I dont think is it illegal, my husband had a construction business and they would either take his bid, or say no thanks, and then comment on the tattoos and church thing. We did have quite a few Northerners that had no problem with my husbands tattoos or earring. he dressed nice and is educated and very good at what he does.We had high hopes for NC we are sad it didnt work out. We love Asheville though and will be back there for visits.
 
Old 01-12-2007, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Wake Forest
3,124 posts, read 11,664,913 times
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I’ve been doing some thinking about this thread, certainly since folks are still giving me negative and positive ‘reputation’ points I know that some are still reading it.

What I was dwelling on is why there seems to be such a difference of opinion between Church-going Southern Christians and many others in this thread.

The best I can come up with are two things that are contributing to the hard feelings….and both of them really have little to do with the actual religion.

One, it’s a matter of the cultural difference from the South and elsewhere. I think we all knew that. The fact of the matter is that a Southerner is just not going to have encountered the idea that such a question is rather personal and not to be one of the first things asked when meeting someone, and a Northerner is not going to be used to the idea that it’s considered a polite question and not along the lines of ‘How much money do you make and how often do you change your underwear while we are at it?’.

This is only going to be solved with time and exposure to each other. Religion isn’t the only difference when it comes to cultural standards of polite behavior, so it’s an issue that most folks are can relate to in general, if not on this specific topic.

The second thing I think that is coming into play on this (at least for this thread) is when Christians get defensive when non-Christians relate their experiences. Claims such as “That doesn’t happen.” “I’ve never experienced that.” ‘No one I know would do that.” Get tossed out, which others basically take as meaning ‘You are lying.’ (Which may or not be what is actually being said.) This is the tougher issue, in my opinion, to be honest.

One thing that comes to mind however, is that both sides of this issue need to understand that our individual experience is not shared by everyone. Of course another Christian is not going to have the same things happen to them as a non-Christian simply because how they respond to the initial question in the first place.

“Where do you go to church?” is going to be answered with “XYZ Baptist over on Church Road.”

And a dialogue follows from there….. “Oh, do you know the Jones’? They attend there I believe. We’ve been at ABC Baptist for 10 years now. We really like Pastor Bob and his attention to Biblical teachings.”

Pleasant conversation (which one expects) and a common experience to build an acquaintanceship, and possible friendship from. This is what most Christians experience. It’s accepted, comfortable and expected.

Now, when that first questions is answered with “We aren’t a church going family.” (or something similar) The whole rational and accepted dialogue goes hay-wire. For folks that are not used to any other then the replies they’ve known their whole lives, well, some (note the use of the word ‘some’- not all) folks react badly – no frame of reference for the rest of the dialogue….and it goes against everything they’ve encountered and been taught their entire lives. They may even believe falsehoods about those with different belief systems (such as the Jewish businesses mentioned in this thread).

Many will just drop all attempts to establish a friendship, others will make an polite but vocal effort to ‘save’ this person while others will be more subtle and keep a family they perceive as a ‘threat’ to their belief system marginalized in the community with rumors and gossip, and few more, like the nut case next door to me, launch a full fledged attack.

Of course another Church-going Christian is NEVER going to have encountered any of the things in the second example….they answered the initial question in the expected manner! The conversation never got to the point that the other Christian could present themselves in a negative manner (if that is their inclination). You just aren’t going to have one church-going person saying things like, “Did you know? The Ridge Family goes to church! And they live in our neighborhood! Can you just imagine! That just isn’t proper!”

It is this, this lack of shared insight into each others experiences, that in my not so humble opinion (to use the internet parlance), that caused the real problems of communication in this thread, not the really differences in church going habits and religion.
 
Old 01-12-2007, 01:32 PM
 
3,042 posts, read 8,077,853 times
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albion,

I doubt anyone will even know unless you tell them and then if they dont like you, then why would you even care.

They wont even know, its not like you are in an Interracial Marriage and moving to NC, where people will not like that very much
 
Old 01-12-2007, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Blacksburg, VA
823 posts, read 3,603,633 times
Reputation: 231
Desdemona,

Thank you for sharing your experiences and your excellent insights that you shared in last post, especially how the "Which church do you go to?" question works with Christians and doesn't with others. I can appreciate both sides since I am an agnostic and my husband is a Christian. I realize that Christians see their religion as a gift that they want to share and are encouraged to prostelitize. I'm a private person and react to "which church?" question as an afront to my privacy. (I think the inner dialog is something like, "That's none of your business. I'll tell you about my beliefs, if and when I want to.")

I don't think that your recounting of your or family's experience should be attacked. It is your experience and it's not argueable. I am sure it is extra challanging to live in a small town with a seminary, especially for your children.

Peace,
Alice
 
Old 01-12-2007, 02:23 PM
 
116 posts, read 414,502 times
Reputation: 46
I think this is all very interesting, especially because I come from California where if you tell anyone you go to church you will be ostracized.
Certainly the church question can be a tough one, but in the South where it is simply a way of life for many, don't you think it is an "I'd like to get to know you better" question, kind of like "where do you live?" I truly do not believe that anyone needs to be either offended or defensive. I think that those of us who are "guests" in the south, need to except the question in the good manner in which it was intended. I don't think southerners are doing anything they were not born and raised to do, which is to be friendly and hospitable to others. Let's face it religion is a huge part of southern culture and if you want to live there you need to except and embrace the culture for all it's aspects.
~Duke101
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