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Old 09-12-2011, 02:54 AM
 
125 posts, read 148,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zlynn View Post
So, would you say it is less in your face on liberal issues and more in your face on conservative issues? For instance, you are using my situation it seems, as a sounding board or an opportunity to voice your strong opinion opposing a lot of the things I hold important, instead of saying....good for you that is your right and freedom. If I were coming here saying gosh how is Eugene for heavy parties, gay rights, and anti-Christian views, would you then say "yeah man good for your it's your right"??? Sorry if that sounds confusing....my point is you live however you want, we can still be friends, do you feel the same way? Are you the 'norm' for the Eugene attitude? I want a friend regardless of our personal views.
You said it yourself--believe whatever you want, but don't impose your beliefs on others. That would have to, if the admonition would have any meaning, include your children as well. I would submit that freedom of religion means freedom FROM religion as well. Do you have the right to deny others that freedom? No, you most emphatically do not. If you try to indoctrinate your children in Christianity before they have developed the means to think critically, then you are violating that right. Didn't the Jesuits say, "Give me the child, and I'll give you the man"? By that they meant, if I control the child's brain, the man will be easier to control than if I wait until he can think for himself.

I ask you--will you teach your children that God definitely does exist, or that he may exist, and some people believe that he does and some don't? Will you also teach them that despite ardently strong belief in God on the part of billions of people, there is no proof whatsoever of his existence? Will you examine yourself critically to determine why it is that you hold such a belief in the light of the lack of any such proof? And lastly, if you have the courage to ask such a question, will the answer you come up with be "Because that's what I was taught as a child"? And if that's the honest answer, well, then....it means that you never tested your belief; it was inculcated in you before you had a choice.

I or anyone else in Eugene would certainly be glad to be your friend regardless of your beliefs. But since we're an educated and skeptical bunch, you should be prepared to be asked questions like the above. Please note that while I may oppose religion for several reasons, I also endorse the right of anyone to believe as he or she wishes. But that right, in my opinion, does NOT extend to the involuntary indoctrination of children. Belief systems and mythologies are not things that should be stuffed into the minds of impressionable children.

And by the way, I would feel the exact same way if I were an ardent fundamentalist Christian. The fact that I believe this or that does not mean that my children should.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:53 AM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,299 posts, read 12,870,835 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zlynn View Post
I've been reading some threads here and wondering if Eugene will be kind to a Christian family? I started out looking for tips on good schools, neighborhoods, etc., and noticed that people on these threads are a little brutal. With all the diversity will there be open mindedness towards conservative families like everything else that is accepted here? Thanks for your response.
I'm assuming that you are fundamentalist Christians rather than mainstream Christians by the way you worded that concern, which isn't common among mainstream Christians.

By fundamentalist, I mean that you believe the Bible is the perfectly inspired word of God - perhaps that one of the modern versions, (most likely King James, second revision) is the perfect one, or more likely that the original Hebrew and Greek texts were perfect, but not necessarily the copies and translations of them. Most Protestant fundamentalists also believe that the Bible is supposed to be interpreted literally unless it's obviously symbolic (as in Revelation).

The problem is that good (adherent, practicing) fundamentalists are necessarily evangelical to the community at large. Jesus and Paul among others in the NT said to go out and spread the gospel (good news).

That becomes a source of tension in communities, where most people do not believe the Bible is the literal, perfect word of God. Even mainstream Christians have less black and white views of its perfection and certainly don't think it is to be taken literally in all passages ....... they resist having their kids evangelized in that direction just as much as agnostics, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Wiccans, and atheists do.

So you might feel obligated to do something that other people find obnoxious, to "share" beliefs that they have probably heard many times before and rejected. On the other hand, if you're determined to just be a "light on the hill" and inspire people by your actions, then only talk about your religion if asked, you won't find any resistance at all in the community.

But there are other problems where you might still find conflict, especially if you get involved in local politics. For example, I'm sure you know that marijuana is very, very popular in Eugene. If you were to advocate harsher laws with more fines and jail time, you'd find that linked to your Christian faith and you would hear a harsh thing or two and experience discrimination, even though it's your right to be politically active and promote your values.

Of course there are no biblical laws against smoking marijuana (or being naked, or drinking wine, or swearing, or lesbian relationships, or marrying more than one person) but modern Christians often do get a wee bit confused about what's actually biblical and what is pop American christian/patriotic culture, and that gets opponents even more PO'd when Christians are associated with trying to regulate those things.

Another big issue is that fundamentalist Christians don't believe in evolution, and often believe the Earth is no more than 6,000 to 10,000 years old. That would not be important (there are lots of weird or unscientific beliefs out there), but most people get upset when there is any attempt to put such beliefs in public school curriculums. They don't want their kids to be taught primitive Jewish tribal creation myths as literal facts, especially in a modern world where we need BETTER scientific education to compete with other nations in the global economy, not worse!

It's your right to evangelize and to promote fundamentalist Christian values in the law and classroom ...... but if you do so in an aggressive public way, you will encounter a lot of resistance, discrimination, and anger directed toward your family and church. Non-Christians have the right to oppose you also, as long as they're not violent or breaking any laws.

I sense though that you are a "light on the hill" or "lead by example" type, so I don't foresee any problems for you or your family. You should be able to easily find a welcoming Christian community in Eugene, in fact the biggest chore might be to decide which one of many good choices is best.

Last edited by Woof; 09-12-2011 at 04:04 AM..
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:08 PM
 
125 posts, read 148,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woof View Post
I'm assuming that you are fundamentalist Christians rather than mainstream Christians by the way you worded that concern, which isn't common among mainstream Christians.

By fundamentalist, I mean that you believe the Bible is the perfectly inspired word of God - perhaps that one of the modern versions, (most likely King James, second revision) is the perfect one, or more likely that the original Hebrew and Greek texts were perfect, but not necessarily the copies and translations of them. Most Protestant fundamentalists also believe that the Bible is supposed to be interpreted literally unless it's obviously symbolic (as in Revelation).

The problem is that good (adherent, practicing) fundamentalists are necessarily evangelical to the community at large. Jesus and Paul among others in the NT said to go out and spread the gospel (good news).
The OP didn't evidence any intention to go out and proselytize. But even if that was her intention (which would depend on two things: one, that she actually is a "fundamentalist" Christian as you suspect, and two, that that stripe of Christians is, as you say, compelled by their faith to go out and "spread the word"), it's something she has every right to do--to other adults.

Her concerns of whether she and her family will be accepted in the community mask something larger--her concerns of whether she will be allowed to homeschool her children in Christian doctrine. She is worried about this because she thinks that a liberal and secular society such as that here in Eugene would object to a religious education in an unregulated environment. Her concerns are misplaced. We would object to the children being miseducated in any manner. Part of that miseducation would be spending instruction time on religious indoctrination (of any creed or denomination). The fact of the matter is, children have a lot to learn during their very limited time in school. If you subtract an hour from their learning day by telling them about how Jesus walked on water, something else will inevitably have to be left out.

I really don't think she intends to find converts here, though we are a den of godless heathens . I think she just wants to know if we're a tolerant society. I guess the answer to that is "yes and no":

Very tolerant of the choices you make that affect only yourself
Very intolerant of the choices you make that affect others, particularly adversely, particulary those over whom you have control, responsibility, or custody

This seems like the perfect situation to me. Of course, the debate here would hinge on whether religious indoctrination is helpful or harmful to children. If you think that the Bible is literal truth and that God exists, then you think you're doing your children a favor by teaching them this wondrous truth. If you believe that people should be allowed to make their own choices, and that complex belief systems have no place in the education of a child, then you oppose such teaching. Note that if you were intellectually honest, you might hold this latter opinion even if you were a Believer yourself.

So the resistance to religion, at least here, comes not from a hatred of religion itself, but for its unfortunate tendency to seep into other aspects of life. We have a strange tolerance toward silly beliefs, in that we consider it "impolite" to tell someone that they're full of it on religious matters, even if their mythologies are patently ridiculous. If I told you that the world is ruled by fairies and elves, and that they visited us at night and spun magic webs around all of us, you might smile uneasily and edge away. But you would probably NOT tell me that my belief is nonsense, nor would the local paper ever write an editorial on how wrong Fairy Believers are. That's kind of odd, but ever more odd is that we afford the same deference to Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc. etc. etc. It's considered impolite to even question the correctness of those beliefs. The thought is, I suppose, that criticism might hurt the feelings of the faithful. But so what? If you believe something that is patently false, why should that be immune from critical examination? Most of us would have no problem telling someone that astrology is utter nonsense. Why, then, can't we say the same thing about the mythical Man In the Sky?
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:40 PM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,299 posts, read 12,870,835 times
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Quote:
I really don't think she intends to find converts here, though we are a den of godless heathens .
It seems to me that you believe the majority of Eugene residents are atheists, MKL. They're not. I could look up the stats, but it's not even worth the effort since you would agree that most are not atheists now that I'm pointing it out (neither am I an atheist). However fundamentalist evangelical Christians would be a minority ..... my impression from talking with some of them is that people from Eugene believe in God for the most part, but it may be New Age or cafeteria-style beliefs that they don't get too concerned about in an intellectual way. It's hard to gauge the religious beliefs of a city from talking to a few of them, but if it's important we could look up the religions. The main City-data site has that information.

I'm not sure the OP was talking about homeschooling her kids since she said that she was checking out the schools, but in case she was:

Quote:
Home schooling is an alternative education option in Oregon. Parents who choose to home school their children must register at their local Education Service District (ESD).

TO REGISTER YOUR CHILD FOR HOME SCHOOLING:
Contact your local Education Service District (ESD). ESD home school contacts can be found by clicking on the “Home Schooling Contacts” link below.
Home schoolers must be registered with their local ESD within 10 days of withdrawal from public or private school
Do not register your home schooler with the State.


Curriculum and assignments are not provided by the state, however, testing is required at grades 3, 5, 8 and 10. Please review the guidelines, Q & A and laws and rules for more information on home schooling.
....... more at Home Schooling - Oregon Department of Education
The govt will not interfere with you teaching your children about your faith, Zlynn. Nor will anyone in the community care unless you get too vocal about your beliefs, or try to change the existing public school system. There are plenty of private Christian schools in that area, and plenty of Christian homeschoolers.
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,665 posts, read 18,052,416 times
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I don't agree that they eschew religion but they do not want others to impose their beliefs on them. Basically: do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

My husband has a way of dealing with proselytizing. He makes a bargain. You listen to my religious discourse and I will listen to yours, I go first. They beat a hasty retreat.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:41 PM
 
125 posts, read 148,105 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell Plotts View Post
I don't agree that they eschew religion but they do not want others to impose their beliefs on them. Basically: do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

My husband has a way of dealing with proselytizing. He makes a bargain. You listen to my religious discourse and I will listen to yours, I go first. They beat a hasty retreat.
I used to meet Jehovah's Witnesses at the front door wearing a black robe and a big smile. Before they could start their spiel, I'd ask them, "Have you considered the benefits of serving the Prince of Darkness?" I even considered buying a crucifix necklace so I could wear it upside down. Sometimes they would dash off the front porch so fast they forgot to use the stairs. I also tried answering the door naked a couple of times, but then I never got to the Satan part.

I agree that the majority of persons, even in Eugene, are Believers. I think you'll find a lower percentage than in the country at large, though--as has been said, this is an educated populace. (There's an inverse correlation between level of education and Belief.)
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:50 PM
 
125 posts, read 148,105 times
Reputation: 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woof View Post
It seems to me that you believe the majority of Eugene residents are atheists, MKL.

The govt will not interfere with you teaching your children about your faith, Zlynn. Nor will anyone in the community care unless you get too vocal about your beliefs, or try to change the existing public school system. There are plenty of private Christian schools in that area, and plenty of Christian homeschoolers.
My remark was tongue-in-cheek. Eugene is often cast as a hotbed of secular liberalism. One of the conservative radio bloviators--I think it is Rush Limblauuuuugggh--calls it "The People's Republic of Eugene".

It's quite true that nobody will interfere with faith-based teaching, neither the government nor private individuals. Perhaps they should, because miseducating your children is a mild form of child abuse (the other end of the spectrum would be letting your children die because your "faith" doesn't believe in medical care), but only a much-too-intrusive government could enforce that, so it's a non-starter.

The only thing we as a society can do is make sure that our institutes of higher education are centers of free thought. Religious conservatives decry American universities as hotbeds of pernicious atheism--they say that when young people go there and subsequently toss their religion overboard, it's because of all the sex and drugs and rock and roll and secular liberalism. They're wrong--it's what happens naturally when a young Believer is immersed in an environment of free thought and rational discourse. Though I suppose a Believer parent could try to forestall this by sending her child to a Christian college, like the one right next to UO.
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Old 09-12-2011, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,665 posts, read 18,052,416 times
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I will not argue the validity of any one's POV about religion, each unto their own. My recommendation is that no one disrespect the other. Let us each respect the humanity of others with their strengths and foibles. If anyone is in need let us do what we can to protect them, let us not impose on our neighbor.
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Old 09-13-2011, 12:51 AM
 
1,592 posts, read 3,124,843 times
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nah, lets shoot RPGs at each other from behind the coburg hills
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Old 09-13-2011, 02:32 AM
 
Location: where you sip the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
8,299 posts, read 12,870,835 times
Reputation: 8068
What is it with you young people and your RPGs? That's like shooting flies with a .45 Colt, it's overkill.
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