Is anyone here not religious and not athiest? As in, just not pushy about religion? - Page 3 - U2 Feedback

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Old 11-02-2011, 04:54 AM   #31
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Without generalizing, Jehovah's witnesses are the most pushy and they will not become friends with you if you don't follow their beliefs. What does religion have to do with friendship anyway? And I am not even mentioning the evangelicals, which they fall to the floor and start shaking during their rituals and expect you to the same without saying a damn word.
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:04 AM   #32
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I never know whether to call myself atheist or agnostic. For me, personally, I don't believe in a higher entity at all, which would make me an atheist. But I also wouldn't go up to anyone and defend this position and say "No chance there is a good", which falls more on the agnostic side.
Overall, religion doesn't play a role where I live. Neither where I grew up, in the north of Germany, nor where I live now, Berlin. I grew up a Lutheran Protestant, like almost everyone. But that's because me parents wanted to give my brother an me the chance to decide for myself (and probably because the kids get a shitload of money at confirmation ) But it wasn't practice. My father left church when he started to work, because he doesn't believe and he wasn't willing to pay the tither. I did the same. Never got around to believing. For me it just was never there. My mother also left church a few years ago, for some very good reasons personally.
More than a third of the population doesn't identify religious, and the rest just can't be bothered. The churches are empty. People start attending church when they are 65 or older and nearing their end.
Here in East Germany religion also doesn't play a role at all, in part thanks to the communist regime. The Catholic church has called for north and east Germany to be in need of missionary activities. Bring it on!
Since religion is so much of a non-topic, I haven't made any particularly bad experiences with either side, and it hardly ever comes up. The only time I got a really evil look from a religious elderly was when I did my door-knocking job in Australia and for some reason that very topic came up. It was for world vision, so no gas or telephone contracts, and suddenly this woman started to vent how non-religious people are the evils of the earth. I couldn't help but mention that I don't believe myself. Death glare. But that's it.

This will also be an interesting part of my experience beginning the end of this month when I go to Kurdistan/North Iraq. Religion still plays a major role for many people, to varying extents. But those I've met so far were pretty cool about it.
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:07 AM   #33
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I'm an atheist, but I strongly object to the notion that an atheist is, by definition, someone who is "pushy about religion" as the OP seems to suggest. I would also dismiss the claim that atheism is a religion in itself, as there's no particular set of beliefs, traditions etc. associated with atheism. Atheism simply means: not believing in any god.

Never in my life have I tried to convince a religious person that there is no God. In fact I think of myself as being highly respectful of other people's religions. I actually own a Bible, a Qur'an and some books about Buddhism. I do think that there is a lot of wisdom in those books, even though I do not personally believe that they contain God's word.

In a small way though, I must add, my atheism is likely to have some influence on my political opinions. For example, I'm not likely to be sympathetic towards people waging war "in the name of God" or claiming they have the right to live in a particular land because "it was promised to them by God".
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:56 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Dfit00 View Post
I had an experience where some members of my family befriended two Jehovah's witnesses families, very kind and friendly people at the beginning but kept pushing my relatives to go to their weekly congregation thing. When we repeatedly came up with excuses to not go, they instantly cut back on all of the communication, kindness, and friendliness.

Without generalizing, Jehovah's witnesses are the most pushy and they will not become friends with you if you don't follow their beliefs. What does religion have to do with friendship anyway? And I am not even mentioning the evangelicals, which they fall to the floor and start shaking during their rituals and expect you to the same without saying a damn word.

Some people are fucked.
This whole post is generalizing. I'm friends with a Jehovah's witness and have never attended one thing at their church. Plus you're using the term 'evangelicals' incorrectly.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:34 AM   #35
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I did my Catholic confirmation later than most people at the insistence of my mother who was a late convert to Catholicism (father was Jewish, mother was Catholic and they simply agreed to not bring religion into the lives of their kids, save for my uncle's faux bar mitzvah). I was 16 heading on 17 in a room filled with 13 and 14 year old kids. They sent us away to Jesus camp for a weekend and I sorta bought into it. At the same time I was weary because some of the kids just straight up belonged in juvy and we had to do a face to face confession, my first and last. They gave us a paper saying what we should confess and it including "holding hands with the opposite sex." I should have crumpled up the paper and called a cab home at that point.

Then at another retreat we had some deacon (read: retard) take questions from kids. One in particular got me so ruffled, I still get angry thinking about it.
"Why is Harry Potter bad?"
Asshole: Because that book tells you that magic is good. How is it good if you make someone fall in love with you with a potion? You are taking away their free will. That is not God's way. You cannot read Harry Potter.
Again, I should have called a cab or walked home. I'm sure he shit a brick when he heard the pope declare Harry Potter was a good series that encouraged Christian values.

Anyway, those were the catalysts. I went through with my confirmation to make my mom happy and continued going to church, mostly because the priest there was friendly and funny during the homilies. He retired and we got a new priest who all of a sudden made abortion and Terri Schiavo an issue, saying that if you didn't follow the church's stance, you really shouldn't be there. So I took his advice and left.

Slowly but surely I've made my way onto the cusp of atheism, but something about being outdoors and seeing what the sunsets look like and what evolution has done for a frog or whatever brings me back to that there is something guiding all of this. It doesn't have a direct hand in our lives, and you really can't pray to it, but whatever this benevolent force is makes me admire it greatly. I won't ever flat out say God doesn't exist, but I can challenge you on what 'God' is, if that's a conversation one wants to have.

I had a discussion about whether or not there is such a thing as a "free lunch" with a friend recently, just a quirky dialogue about economics, and we somehow got to the point where she said "things were free in Moses times."
I really don't know what "Moses times" means, but things were not free then either, despite there probably not being "currency."
She also said, "well Adam and Eve were free. Do you believe in Adam and Eve?"
"Absolutely not."
"Well, you see I do."
I promptly ended the conversation and internally.

The funny part is that she's probably not been inside a church since she was a child, doesn't own a Bible (I likely have about 4 or 5 at home) and still buys into this annotated nonsense about talking snakes, gathering every animal into pairs, burning bushes and four horsemen who will bring up the apocalypse. Well maybe not the last one because it hasn't been made into a movie yet.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:49 AM   #36
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There was a survey done here in the UK not too long ago that basically showed that most people still actually believe that the Earth is around 10,000 years old or whatever the biblical correct figure is and the UK is pretty nonreligious these days. It mainly indicates an ignorance of science, but shows how hard those old ideas are to actually shift.
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Old 11-02-2011, 08:56 AM   #37
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I think it's just a vicious cycle. You're told not to question God and since the Bible is God's law then you can't question it. People simply cannot fathom that the Bible might in fact have been written by people who at the same time in other parts of the world still worshiped Zeus, or eclipses, or buffalo, and yet those things are laughed at now.
Hell, people make fun of Mormons for believing in magic glasses and magic underwear, or Scientology and Xenu, but is that really so far off from believing that every single person on the planet came from Adam and Eve (amusingly always white people), or that God turned Lot's wife into a pillar of salt for looking behind her shoulder?? I mean why did God punish her for essentially doing a double take, and not Osama bin Laden, for example? Why didn't he become a pillar of salt?

My family all believes in praying to saints who have assigned duties to them. There's one saint they all pray to when they lose something important. They're just one step away from offering them mead and honey and possibly slaughtering a goat.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:55 AM   #38
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I'm a Christian, but I'm also "okay with somebody not being religious" as stated in the original post. I wish everyone was a believer, but God works in his own time.

Since we're venting our frustrations, my frustrations are with the stereotypes and misrepresentations of Christians. There's almost too many to list. The "Harry Potter is evil" one mentioned above is a good example. I'd be willing to bet money that such an opinion is a significant minority in the Christian church. Speaking of which, the notion that Christians don't gamble is another one. Or that Christians don't drink. Too many people also believe that if a homosexual or an unwed mother is discovered in the congregation, then they're immediately kicked out. Or that every Sunday's sermon is about how evil Barack Obama is. That couldn't be further from the truth.

I've gone to the same church my whole life, and I've visited the churches of friends, relatives, and other churches around the midwest on mission trips. I think I've yet to find one where any of the above is emphasized.

I guess my point is that if you've got a problem with the church, at least make it something legitimate. Or true. Don't just go through life under the assumption that every Christian is Ned Flanders.
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:14 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by 2861U2 View Post
Since we're venting our frustrations, my frustrations are with the stereotypes and misrepresentations of Christians. There's almost too many to list. The "Harry Potter is evil" one mentioned above is a good example. I'd be willing to bet money that such an opinion is a significant minority in the Christian church.
I'd say that too, but there's something seriously wrong with the system if this guy can be preaching about a children's book, which if he even bothered to read would know that love potions didn't exist in that series (yet... this was in 2003. love potions were introduced in book 6, but were highly condemned in the series. Voldemort was a love potion child), to a bunch of kids who may have taken him seriously. It was that sort of sermon that made me give away all my colored markers when I was like 12 because some idiot at the pulpit said that Jesus said if someone steals something from you, just turn the other cheek. Obviously I'm paraphrasing. I don't remember what he said exactly, but whatever it was, it was enough to make me give away my things.

It's just that sort of hardcore believing in "the truth" (and by that I mean the entire Bible, as well as those authority figures from the church) that makes most religions a complete farce.

:topic:

This

annoys me as much as this

but this

takes the cake!

get over it, seriously. why do you need to prove anything to anyone?
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:40 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2861U2
I'm a Christian, but I'm also "okay with somebody not being religious" as stated in the original post. I wish everyone was a believer, but God works in his own time.

Since we're venting our frustrations, my frustrations are with the stereotypes and misrepresentations of Christians. There's almost too many to list. The "Harry Potter is evil" one mentioned above is a good example. I'd be willing to bet money that such an opinion is a significant minority in the Christian church. Speaking of which, the notion that Christians don't gamble is another one. Or that Christians don't drink. Too many people also believe that if a homosexual or an unwed mother is discovered in the congregation, then they're immediately kicked out. Or that every Sunday's sermon is about how evil Barack Obama is. That couldn't be further from the truth.

I've gone to the same church my whole life, and I've visited the churches of friends, relatives, and other churches around the midwest on mission trips. I think I've yet to find one where any of the above is emphasized.

I guess my point is that if you've got a problem with the church, at least make it something legitimate. Or true. Don't just go through life under the assumption that every Christian is Ned Flanders.
BUT these people and these churches do exist. And as we know the minority voice can often tarnish an entire group. I hear from conservatives all the time that "if Islam is a peaceful religion why aren't there more Muslims speaking out against...", BUT they aren't standing up and speaking out against the non-Christian practices that are now defining the western Christian church happening in their own back yard. It sickens me, and I think it's a big reason why this stereotype exists.
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:43 AM   #41
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I don't know what I am anymore. I would say that I'm not atheist, nor agnostic. I truly believe and feel there *is* something greater than ourselves, but I no longer have the desire to name it, define it, speak for it as if *I* know what it wants. I'll call it God because I was raised and baptized Christian (Christian Reformed). Right now I have some inner-conflict due to the fact that I remain a "member" of the Christian Reformed Church of North America yet I do hold some irreconcilable differences with this faith including one of the three things you must profess in order to be a member (I no longer believe in the concept of the Holy Spirit, at least not how I was taught or how it is understood from the POV of this denomination). The "God" I believe in is self-evident, meaning any person on earth can see and feel and believe it. To me the Gospell and creation/life on this green earth are the same thing. I'm rather sick of my family making me feel like there is something wrong with me because when I attend church I feel....nothing. I am not musical myself, as in, I don't play instruments anymore or write music or sing, but when I listen to music I think I feel what other people call "spirituality", what I am *supposed* to feel when I go to church. Often I listen to certain pieces of music and can't *not* believe that there is something out there somewhere bigger and more powerful than any of us can imagine. Besides how I feel, in my mind I have trouble with what humanity has done to itself in the name of "God". On a smaller scale the way my denomination deals with some of the issues in our local community leaves me embarrassed to be associated with them. I'm sorry to say that but it's true.
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:56 PM   #42
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I hope this doesn't cause the conversation to go down the toilet, because it's nice to actually see some civil conversation on the topic, but I'd like to hear the religious folks' thoughts on this quote. There are a number of reasons I'm not religious, but I think this succinctly puts forth the view against religion rather than passive 'do what you want' approach. I'm sure you've heard it before

Steven Weinberg on religion:

"With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion."

Thoughts?
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:01 PM   #43
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I'm an atheist, but I strongly object to the notion that an atheist is, by definition, someone who is "pushy about religion" as the OP seems to suggest. I would also dismiss the claim that atheism is a religion in itself, as there's no particular set of beliefs, traditions etc. associated with atheism. Atheism simply means: not believing in any god.
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:09 PM   #44
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My question in response to that statement...is it religion that makes good people do bad things or is the weakness in someone that allows for him/her to do bad things the same "weakness" that invites religion? Maybe weakness is not the right word...but a sense of something being missing. I've struggled with this concept over the past year. Why is it that some people are so drawn to religion and some people are so deeply spiritual when another person raised in the same community even in the same family wants nothing to do with it or at best views it as something they could take or leave? Recently during a discussion of a certain piece of scripture my mother in law said something that made me look at her as if she was from another planet but yet we were supposedly taught the same things in the same churches pushing the same doctrines.
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:58 PM   #45
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In context Weinberg was reflecting on certain moral understandings of slavery in US history; specifically, he quoted Twain and Douglass sorrowfully recounting "good Christian" white acquaintances who seemed if anything notably upstanding and kindly in most social dealings, yet didn't consider their ownership of slaves an aberration and would often justify it by claiming it to be "God's will." Weinberg acknowledges that American clerics, like their followers, were never of one mind about what light religious teachings might have to cast on the morality of slavery, but even so he arbitrarily attributes abolitionism (but not anti-abolitionism) to "primarily" nonreligious streams of thought, and seems unaware that even within Christianity this was a longstanding debate (for example, the fierce early-16th-cen. debates between the Dominican School of Salamanca and the Neo-Aristotelian Humanists over the Spanish Conquest and enslavement of the Indios). Predictably, Weinberg takes a more ambivalent tone on the Holocaust, which directly affected his family, settling for observing that while explicitly Christian forms of anti-Semitism are inextricably bound up in the cultural stream that birthed the Nazi version, Hitler for one could certainly not have been described as a Christian zealot.

I think that retrospectively and conveniently dividing human beings into intrinsically 'good' and 'evil' factions for the purpose of making sense of history is itself lazy, reductionist thinking with more than a hint of putting the cart before the horse about it.
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