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Old 12-31-2007, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
35,579 posts, read 43,835,802 times
Reputation: 20286

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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleatis View Post
can i ask you a question? this isn't an attempt to flame you, and you don't have to answer if you don't want to.

are you religious or not? i ask this because if you are, it would be pretty hard for you to understand how a non religious person is looked at in the bible belt. if you are part of the club, then chances are you may not see what others do. here again, not a flame, not trying to be a jerk, just trying to narrow the details down a bit.
Cleatis, I am not offended, and don't consider the question a flame, either. I am in a rather odd position in re: to my religious beliefs. I was raised Lutheran and spent most of my life actively in church, both teaching and as a liturgical organist and choir director. My beliefs have evolved and grown, and I have spent about 25 years studying Buddhism and Taoism . . . both paths or systems wh/ I find to be very compatible w/ Christianity.

I married a Catholic who had studied for the priesthood. (This only gets more complicated, believe me). He is a highly evolved spiritual thinker. Together, we have explored what we believe it truly means to be spiritual.

To make a long story short, we do not currently belong to a church. We appreciate and recognize many of the traditions of the Catholic church, but we disagree w/ some of the tenets/traditions, especially not allowing Priests to marry, stance on birth control,etc. Same for the Lutheran church - we are comfortable there and that is probably the church we would join if we decided to commit to organized religion again. . .

I believe God manifests himself daily to all of us through the Holy Spirit. I believe Jesus' message was somewhat altered through organized religion, as we have ended up establishing "churches" when Jesus himself encouraged individual ministry and not the dogma that all branches of Christianity seem to have embraced over the last 2000 years. We have divided ourselves into various branches of Christianity and quibble over such things as the real meaning of the eucharist (consubstantiation? transubstantiation? wine? Grape juice?). . . Baptism (sprinkle? Submerge?) . . .Original sin? . . . and the list could go on and on. Instead, I believe his message was to lift one another up in love . . . (help the poor, the disenfranchised, the forgotten amongst us) not being divisive and judgmental . . . and dogmatic. Jesus' message was one of peace, love and forgiveness, not score-keeping. There are churches that manage to incorporate mission w/ service and I find that wonderful and admire anyone who has committed to being a dedicated church member, even if I do not personally espouse their beliefs/tenets.

I respect anyone who has chosen a religious path and is faithful to it. However, I do not appreciate fanaticism on any level. I believe in the power of individual, as well as collective, prayer . . . I believe in miracles and healing (practice Reiki, wh/ is not a religion but still part of my own construct about the Holy Spirit and healing) . . . I believe that hell is the separation from God . . . and heaven is a state of "all knowing" and merging w/ God . . .

My family is aghast that my DH and I are not actively attending church at this stage of our lives. My family is clearly quite embarrassed that we are not involved in a church family, especially w/ our extensive religious background and training and former years of service to the church.

And yes, I am made aware of this regularly -but only by family members - never have been questioned any by others in my community, neighborhood, etc. I do my tai chi, yoga, TM, Reiki, pray w/ others at the drop of a hat . . . and suspect other people probably secretly think my DH and I are just old hippies who don't quite fit in w/ any one religious construct. However, no one says anything to me about it!!!!!
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Old 12-31-2007, 04:29 PM
 
Location: Cali
3,407 posts, read 3,817,694 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post

The only time I have encountered someone "evangelizing" has been the three times Jehovah's Witnesses have shown up at my door.
When they show up at my door I just start saying the Hail Mary prayer.lol That drives them nuts. JWs, Fundies, Baptists, and Pentacostals so hate her.lol

Funny, I've actually heard nicer things said about Mary from Muslims and Jews than the groups I mentioned above.
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Old 12-31-2007, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
26,562 posts, read 47,304,037 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CamaroGuy View Post
When they show up at my door I just start saying the Hail Mary prayer.lol That drives them nuts. JWs, Fundies, Baptists, and Pentacostals so hate her.lol

Funny, I've actually heard nicer things said about Mary from Muslims and Jews than the groups I mentioned above.
You folks are all so lucky. I wish the Jehovah's Witnesses would come to my door sometime. I'd love to chit-chat with them. They seem like friendly folks. Why does everyone, even the Jehovah's Witnesses, bypass Scranton?
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Old 12-31-2007, 04:43 PM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
35,579 posts, read 43,835,802 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWB View Post
You folks are all so lucky. I wish the Jehovah's Witnesses would come to my door sometime. I'd love to chit-chat with them. They seem like friendly folks. Why does everyone, even the Jehovah's Witnesses, bypass Scranton?
SWB - come to Charlotte - they show up here regularly. Please understand - I respect their right to believe what they want to believe, but I am a writer and when I am working on deadline . . . I do not appreciate interruptions.

Sometimes I just don't answer the door but three times I decided to just meet and greet. So happens (the last time) I was working on a manuscript about "The Nature of Faith" so I started sharing info about this as soon as I opened the door . . . and they practically ran.

I guess they were not interested in a dialogue - just wanted to "witness" their own beliefs.
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Old 12-31-2007, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
35,579 posts, read 43,835,802 times
Reputation: 20286
Quote:
Originally Posted by CamaroGuy View Post
When they show up at my door I just start saying the Hail Mary prayer.lol That drives them nuts. JWs, Fundies, Baptists, and Pentacostals so hate her.lol

Funny, I've actually heard nicer things said about Mary from Muslims and Jews than the groups I mentioned above.
Yes, and that is one of the problems I have had w/ protestant - and reformed - churches. Catholics have a place for Mary and hold her in high esteem. The Lutheran Church has, in recent years, afforded Mary more of a place. In fact, Lutherans now recognize Marian festival days.

The feminine principle has more or less been left out of protestant churches, and I have felt this was just wrong (doctrinally incorrect).
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Old 12-31-2007, 06:04 PM
Status: " On and off line interchangeably" (set 10 days ago)
 
9,823 posts, read 11,338,465 times
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Just peeked back in here and have a bit of time to say hi and reply a bit...

Quote:
Originally Posted by person View Post
Eliminating references to God is doing it in the name of tolerance because it makes sure not one religion is to be promoted, and that goes for non-religion like atheism.
Of COURSE it (eliminating all references to God) is doing so in the name of "tolerance." How ELSE could it pass as anything but what it really is? Gotta use a vague term. For instance? What is MEANT by "tolerance"?

Somehow, those who most often use it NEVER seem to be define it nor connect it to an historical premise. Or mean much more, in the social sense, than advancing moral anarchy. I mean, there is literally NOTHING that cannot be touted in the name of "tolerance" assuming the audience are a bunch of useful idiots and fools taken in by Orwell's 1984 "NewSpeak.

It seems to be one of those "Through the Looking Glass" (commonly titled Alice In Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll) terms... that mean just what the user wants it to mean. Well, to me, tolerance means the dictionary definition...which comes down to "acceptance within specified limits." Simple as that.

Quote:
You can be religious and want secularism in government too. Many religious ppl, even conservative christians, do want secularism in government, because one, religion is and should be a private thing, and second, many conservative christians can recognize the benefit of not having religion in bed with government, then you never have to worry whether a capable person of different religion (or even denomination) is going to come to power and abuse his/her power to spread it.
I agree with a lot of this. I sure do! And it is nicely covered by the First Ammendment. That is, no religion will be promoted nor mandated by the federal government. That is all Christian conservatives want! Nothing more.

Quote:
Well...in honest observation, that is one of the best jokes I have seen all year.
*grins* I am glad to see you have a sense of humor. In fact, I will even pass on another one.

Buddists don't recognize the authority of the Pope. Jewish people don't recognize the authority of the New Testament. And Southern Baptists don't recognize each other in liquor stores.

Now then, listen closer to us conservative Christians. And think a bit, really do, as to figure out which ones are the more neat, likeable, and got the most sense! And know our history and all that good stuff!

Ok..outta here! Happy New Year to All!
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Old 12-31-2007, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Yellow Brick Road
35,579 posts, read 43,835,802 times
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Default TexasReb - great post!

I think what so many people get mixed up in these discussions is that just b/c someone is a conservative - (be it in religion or politics)- it doesn't mean they are fanatics. Fanaticism is not limited to one spectrum - liberals can be fanatics, too.

You have a nice perspective. And . . . loved the joke. Read it out loud to my DH, and we both got a little chuckle.

Happy New Year!!!
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:18 AM
 
4,176 posts, read 10,179,951 times
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I moved to the Bible belt, and I did so in great fear because of all I had heard about it. I have been here over a year, and the crime is low, the people are good and they help each other. So much different from the city life I led in California. I have made friends here, some are Christian, and some are New Agers, some are atheists, etc. But I have never had a Christian force religion down my throat. For a while I went to the Unitarian Church because I thought since this is the Bible Belt maybe this is the place to meet people, but I learned from one or two members that you could not survive in this Bible Belt unless you were a Unitarian, and so for several months I believed it. Then I met a woman that was a New Ager, and she said that that was all hogwash. Well, my term, not her's. I am surviving quite well, and no one has forced any beliefs on me. Instead I have found a small community of people that don't even ask what religion you are, although a few when learning I was new here asked me to their church. I just thanked them. I came here disliking Christianity because of past hurts, but now I respect the people here, and I like how many in this community help the poor. I also learned that many here don't care for Bush. I have no idea how they feel about Huckabee, but I like the man because hopefully due to his Christian upbringing, etc. he may be an honest president. Now I may be naive about that, but I like the man, and I am not concerned that he is going to turn our nation into something it wasn't intended like someone else we know that professes God has done. But I have never been into politics, and so I can't really say for sure.

I believe when it comes to living in the Bible Belt you will find your intelligent Christians along with your no so intelligent, and that is true of any area.

Anyway, I left the Unitarian Church when I learned I didn't have to stay there to meet open minded people. I joined other groups instead.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
11 posts, read 21,230 times
Reputation: 15
[/quote]Anyway, just to wind it up, my own honest observations and experience is that the most intolerant, hateful, biased and supercilious people in the country, are NOT conservative Christians. But rather, those who define themselves as "enlightened."[/quote]

We will all have different personal experiences that will create the filter which we view others through. For instance, in my experience running a yoga center in Houston, I had several students who came because of high stress and anxiety but were afraid to try meditation. Why? Because their minister told them if they quiet their mind, the devil will come in! I find it so sad to hear of this kind of fear-mongering coming from someone who is supposed to give spiritual guidance.

Still, I would never make a blanket statement about Christians being fear-mongerers. I know many wonderful unconditionally loving Christians and many wonderful unconditionally loving atheists. I am neither Christian nor atheist but why focus on differences? The principle of unconditional love whether taught by Jesus or the Dalai Lama is in essence the same. Why not focus on unconditional love?
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:36 PM
 
51 posts, read 61,279 times
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The greatest love of all is displayed when a man lays down his life for those that are against him knowing that they have the possibility of turning to him. Jesus is the greatest love of all. He is God, God is love. Unselfish love. God displays his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:7-8)

After being beaten beyond recognition, As Jesus was spit on and mocked while he was hanging on the cross suffering and dying he said this: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. (Luke 23:34)

He was a friend to the worst of sinners, whom everyone else refused to be friends with.

Jesus laid down his life gladly to save anyone. (John 10:18)

He not only taught love but his life was the ULTIMATE display of love.

How can a greater love than this possibly exist?

Last edited by scooterBJK; 04-09-2008 at 01:47 PM..
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