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Old 05-28-2009, 06:20 PM
 
4,895 posts, read 5,281,029 times
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I have a funny story about this...

I remember, when I was sixteen, a VERY Christian friend of mine invited me to his church. I was Wiccan at the time, but open minded. Well, I am black, my friend was white, and his church was white...I mean WHITE. Well, keep in mind that this was before everyone had a cell phone and I could call him, and I was going to meet Jim over there. He was late, and I walked in alone, hoping he would still show up. I was well dressed, had on a jacket and dress shirt (no tie) and everyone, EVERYONE, looked at me like I was going to steal something. One lady walked right up to me and said "can I help you?" a if I was in a store or something. I said, "well, it said 'all welcome' at the sign..." she smirked and sat down.
Jim showed up a few minutes later, but still, I felt so uncomfortable.

Well, when I was twenty, I went to a Buddhist temple, after I got an email assuring me that they welcomed Westerners. I walked in, took my shoes off and placed them on the little rack, and, terrified, I walked in. See, this was a Asian Buddhist temple...not just any Asians, CHINESE. I have been taught my whole life that they are the most xenophobic of all people. Well, I walked in, and this middle aged Chinese man in robes looked at me, his eyes narrowd at me, and I was sure he was going to yell "get out!" ...but what did he do after that second-that-felt-like-a-hour that I held my breathe? He had an ear to ear grin, bowed and, in a thick accent said "welcome, welcome, come in...my English is, ohh, not good, but I find friend who speaks better can help you. Here for meditation?" So he lead me in, and introduced me to another monk (though they were both done with the monastery life and had jobs) who spoke almost perfect English and they helped me with meditation and chants...which, I never learned, as they were in Chinese and it was hard as hell to get down, and I ended up going to a Therevadan Vipassana center instead...also run by Asians, from Sri Lanka and a few from Burma, although their Sangha was about a third Westerners. Once again, I felt completely welcome.

So, as funny as it sounds, the Asian Buddhist temples were more welcoming of a black man then a White Church.
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:25 PM
 
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But you know, there is one kind of church that I have seen over and over again be ethnically diverse: Catholic Churches. Blacks from the Caribbean and Aftrica, Koreans, Filipanoes, Mexicans, Irish, Italian, etc, all under one roof. I remember when I was a kid and used to go there with my parents, there were all kinds of people there. You can call the Catholic church allot of names, but "Segregated" is not one of them.
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:37 PM
 
Location: southern california
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beats me why reverend wright is not attracting more white members, i dont have a clue --let's ask the gay community.
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Nashville, Tn
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huckeberry wrote:
Quote:
beats me why reverend wright is not attracting more white members, i dont have a clue --let's ask the gay community
I'm not quite sure what you're trying to say but I sense quite a bit of sarcism and I don't think you're really trying to contribute anything.
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:59 PM
 
4,669 posts, read 1,662,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victorianpunk View Post
But you know, there is one kind of church that I have seen over and over again be ethnically diverse: Catholic Churches. Blacks from the Caribbean and Aftrica, Koreans, Filipanoes, Mexicans, Irish, Italian, etc, all under one roof. I remember when I was a kid and used to go there with my parents, there were all kinds of people there. You can call the Catholic church allot of names, but "Segregated" is not one of them.
I actually grew up in a suburban white catholic parish. I don't recall a single black person in the parish...except when we had a visiting priest from Africa--and he was the only one. There were a few other minorities...but it was mostly white as white could be. I think it had more to do with the neighborhood than anything else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weekend Traveler View Post
I live in Northern VA in one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the United States. I have made a special effort to visit a number of churches in my community and in towns nearby. One thing I notice in most religions and churches is how homogeneous the people are.

Sure, some of you will tell me how ethnically diverse your church is and how wonderful that is, good. That is not the norm. Why is this the case?

People tend to go where they're comfortable. One thing that I've come to realize is that a large part of my church is all related to each other. We have a couple hundred in our congregation....but it seems that there are about 3-4 families that everyone is either married into or a cousin of someone. That would partly explain why we are all mostly the same skin color...as it's just a fact that white folks tend to marry white folks, blacks marry blacks, and have babies the same ethnicity as themselves, etc...with some exceptions, of course.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:39 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
4,086 posts, read 5,103,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victorianpunk View Post
I have a funny story about this...

I remember, when I was sixteen, a VERY Christian friend of mine invited me to his church. I was Wiccan at the time, but open minded. Well, I am black, my friend was white, and his church was white...I mean WHITE. Well, keep in mind that this was before everyone had a cell phone and I could call him, and I was going to meet Jim over there. He was late, and I walked in alone, hoping he would still show up. I was well dressed, had on a jacket and dress shirt (no tie) and everyone, EVERYONE, looked at me like I was going to steal something. One lady walked right up to me and said "can I help you?" a if I was in a store or something. I said, "well, it said 'all welcome' at the sign..." she smirked and sat down.
Jim showed up a few minutes later, but still, I felt so uncomfortable.

Well, when I was twenty, I went to a Buddhist temple, after I got an email assuring me that they welcomed Westerners. I walked in, took my shoes off and placed them on the little rack, and, terrified, I walked in. See, this was a Asian Buddhist temple...not just any Asians, CHINESE. I have been taught my whole life that they are the most xenophobic of all people. Well, I walked in, and this middle aged Chinese man in robes looked at me, his eyes narrowd at me, and I was sure he was going to yell "get out!" ...but what did he do after that second-that-felt-like-a-hour that I held my breathe? He had an ear to ear grin, bowed and, in a thick accent said "welcome, welcome, come in...my English is, ohh, not good, but I find friend who speaks better can help you. Here for meditation?" So he lead me in, and introduced me to another monk (though they were both done with the monastery life and had jobs) who spoke almost perfect English and they helped me with meditation and chants...which, I never learned, as they were in Chinese and it was hard as hell to get down, and I ended up going to a Therevadan Vipassana center instead...also run by Asians, from Sri Lanka and a few from Burma, although their Sangha was about a third Westerners. Once again, I felt completely welcome.

So, as funny as it sounds, the Asian Buddhist temples were more welcoming of a black man then a White Church.
That's quite a generalization to make based on one experience at one "white church" versus only a couple of Asian Buddhist temples. It's purely anecdotal and reflects your unique, highly limited experience rather than reality. I had an experience with an Asian Buddhist temple which was rather unwelcoming, to say the least; I would never dream of posting that experience as some sort of indication of how Asian Buddhist temples generally treat visitors, however. That would be unfair and irrational. That experience was one unique experience of mine, not an indicator of the religion or temple or anything other than that particular experience.

It seems that so often anti-Christian sentiments are summed up by such anecdotal experiences recounted in order to either demonstrate or at least strongly imply negative aspects of Christianity and/or Christians in general.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:56 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
4,086 posts, read 5,103,006 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by victorianpunk View Post
But you know, there is one kind of church that I have seen over and over again be ethnically diverse: Catholic Churches. Blacks from the Caribbean and Aftrica, Koreans, Filipanoes, Mexicans, Irish, Italian, etc, all under one roof. I remember when I was a kid and used to go there with my parents, there were all kinds of people there. You can call the Catholic church allot of names, but "Segregated" is not one of them.
Again, you make an over-generalization here. I know Catholic Churches that are very much one nationality, from Spanish to Italian to French and many other ethnicities. Furthermore, I know plenty of protestant churches, from Baptist to Presbyterian to Episcopalian and many more which are anything but segregated. I once attended a Baptist church which well represeted the ethnic makeup of its community and had large numbers of Latino, Italian, Irish, Dutch, Black, Indian (east), Greek, and a few asian families (very few as it was in a town that didn't have a heavy asian population). Oh, and it had at least a few Armenians (myself being one of them) in the membership.

On the other hand, there are many very mixed Catholic Churches as you correctly pointed out, and there are many segregated churches which will treat someone of an obviously different ethnicity wrongly. But your posts are very sweeping in that they at least imply that certain denominations are more or less mixed or segregated.

I think the only times when a church is truly ethnically segregated is when there is a church that is formed that way intentionally for its congregants, like Greek Orthodox or Korean Baptist Churches, where many people are more comfortable understanding the liturgy or sermons in their native tongue.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:19 PM
 
1,934 posts, read 3,201,359 times
Reputation: 1209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weekend Traveler View Post
I live in Northern VA in one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the United States. I have made a special effort to visit a number of churches in my community and in towns nearby. One thing I notice in most religions and churches is how homogeneous the people are.

Sure, some of you will tell me how ethnically diverse your church is and how wonderful that is, good. That is not the norm. Why is this the case?
The most obvious reason is cultural differences. It's not the color of the skin that matters, it's the way the service is conducted. Many stay with one they're comfortable with and can relate to. This usually means a division along cultural lines... with exceptions of course.

All IMHO, of course.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:49 PM
 
Location: OKC
5,356 posts, read 3,475,251 times
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There is a long and interesting history of official segregation and the church, The civil rights movement, the "kneel ins", etc. My boys, the Southern Baptist, were particularly slow to get rid of de jur segregation. Presbyterians started allowing black people to go to white churches in the 50's, around the brown v. board of education case. It wasn't until the late 70's that the Mormons would allow Black folks to have full rights, etc.

The churchs haven't fully desegregated yet.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:52 PM
 
Location: OKC
5,356 posts, read 3,475,251 times
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I recall it was just recently that the large Southern Baptist school Bob Jones University would allow it's students to date interacially. There's a guy on here from the 12tribes org who also don't allow interacial marriages.
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