Is anyone here not religious and not athiest? As in, just not pushy about religion? - Page 9 - U2 Feedback

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Old 02-09-2012, 10:35 AM   #121
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I think those parents who teach their kids they must believe in God or else they'll burn in hell are not doing it solely for the sake of abusing their kids. They just think they're doing what it is best for their kids. I think saying indoctrinating kids is child abuse is a bit of a generalization.

Now, if the parents punish their kids for not believing in their religion or not believing in God at all, that's going to be fruitless because it would only make the kid hate his parents.

Either way, parents who do those things aren't the brightest.
I just had a discussion on FB (and it's still on going) with someone about this. Their position as a parent is that they're teaching what they believe is right to their children.

What I failed to get across in very clear language was, it is completely acceptable to raise the children you see as best fit. What I wanted to know is do they feel it's acceptable to state that one specific faith or upbringing is correct? Do they teach their children this is what they believe in and WHY, or just cause that's how they were raised?

I made the point that most people are religioius because of their parents made them. If you were born in India, there's a good chance you'd be Hindu. If you were born in the Pakistan, you'd be a muslim. And of course if you were born here in the USA, odds are you're a christian.

It really has nothing to do with the word of a religious book that has caused religion to spread, and then take a firm hold on the land where it's popular. It has more to do with people in positions of policital power that dictate what you believe in. Had Emperor Constantine not declaured Christianity the offical religion of Roman Empire, would that have altered the course of that religion through the western world? Had certain Mullah's not gained control of parts of the Middle East, would the religion of Islam still be practiced the way it is today (which IMO, is barbaric in most of those countries).

So while a lot of people would like to believe it was the power of words from those prophets, it was really more powerful of politicians enforcing their views on the general public.

Luckily most of us do live in a society where you are free to believe or not. But I don't feel it is right to give such a narrow minded viewpoint to children. You can raise them a Catholic, but should you completely ignore the other faiths or ideas of a non believer or secularist? Would it be better for the child to gain an understanding of right and wrong, and then let them figure it out on their own when old enough to comprehend?

I don't know, it's a sensitive subject. I don't have kids, I never will, so I can see how it's hard to take my opinion seriously when I don't have that perspective. I just think we should be fair to children when it comes to matters of faith. Tell them Jesus is love, and that helping others is the right thing to do. But if they ask questions about the rest of society, don't jump into that easy position of saying "well, those people are wrong". They're not wrong, they just more times than not did not have a choice in what they believe.
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:29 PM   #122
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Why does it matter to you? I'm Jewish (ethnically and religiously) and am giving my kids a Jewish upbringing as I understand that, which as they grow they'll make their own or reject in varying measures as their thoughts and experiences inform, like all children do. But I don't spend any time worrying about the fact that other people are raising their kids to be Christian, agnostic, Hindu, Muslim, atheist, whatever. If someone is telling their kids religion is just stories weak people tell themselves to feel better, are you bothered by that? It's a lost cause trying to hide from your children that you have your beliefs about various things.

When I was a kid and other children would tell me and/or my brothers that we wouldn't be saved if we didn't have Christ (usually said earnestly and without hostility, occasionally very nastily which had everything to do with anti-Semitism and nothing to do with doctrine), my parents responded by explaining the Christian doctrine of salvation to us in simple language, what Judaism has to say on the topic in equally simple language, and concluding that while we needn't be troubled by the implication, there was no good reason to be angry with people who said that, either. I tell my own kids the same thing when other children say that to them (thus far always politely, thankfully).
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Old 02-09-2012, 01:50 PM   #123
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I just had a discussion on FB (and it's still on going) with someone about this. Their position as a parent is that they're teaching what they believe is right to their children.
Oh, Christ, social media arguments are fucking horrible.

Never worth the effort.
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Old 02-09-2012, 02:32 PM   #124
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Why does it matter to you? I'm Jewish (ethnically and religiously) and am giving my kids a Jewish upbringing as I understand that, which as they grow they'll make their own or reject in varying measures as their thoughts and experiences inform, like all children do. But I don't spend any time worrying about the fact that other people are raising their kids to be Christian, agnostic, Hindu, Muslim, atheist, whatever. If someone is telling their kids religion is just stories weak people tell themselves to feel better, are you bothered by that? It's a lost cause trying to hide from your children that you have your beliefs about various things.

When I was a kid and other children would tell me and/or my brothers that we wouldn't be saved if we didn't have Christ (usually said earnestly and without hostility, occasionally very nastily which had everything to do with anti-Semitism and nothing to do with doctrine), my parents responded by explaining the Christian doctrine of salvation to us in simple language, what Judaism has to say on the topic in equally simple language, and concluding that while we needn't be troubled by the implication, there was no good reason to be angry with people who said that, either. I tell my own kids the same thing when other children say that to them (thus far always politely, thankfully).
I couldn't care less how someone raises their child, but as we see with both politics and religion we get a lot of people that want to pick sides, or state that their side is better.

So those are the people I have a problem with, which may be a minority, but it's a vocal one that seems to drown out the voices of reason. If you are raised Jewish and believe that faith is best for you and your family, great. I will never be bothered by that.

But if you or others go around stating that we should all conform to laws of your faith, and that others are wrong or infidels for believing something else....obviously that's a problem.

I just find the form of brainwashing that goes on with some families that create a very hostile view of the world. I have people at work when we get talking on matters of social importance that I can't have a legitmate view or answer because "in my world" I see things differently.

We all live on the same world, we just have differing opinions. I apologize if you felt I was attacking your personal upbringing or parenting style. Again, if you keep your beliefs to yourself and they do indeed create a sense of joy and enlightenment, more power to you.
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Old 02-09-2012, 03:46 PM   #125
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Oh, I didn't feel personally attacked, don't worry about that. I was just inquiring into why it mattered to you if parents convey to their children that people who don't share their beliefs on _____ have it wrong as far as they're concerned. It sounds like you're really thinking about people with a distinctly fundamentalist mindset, reactionaries whose outlook is shaped more by a drive to combat a perceived threat than by than by "beliefs" per se, and thus forbid and abhor challenges or questions. To me that says something kinda pathetic about the nature of their faith in the first place. I agree that's a bad outlook to raise children with regardless of the specific beliefs in question, but I also think it's important to locate the error you find in their thinking as precisely as possible when addressing it.
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Old 02-09-2012, 04:01 PM   #126
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Why does it matter to you?
It doesn't really matter to me except for the fact that the kids often grown up with a skewed and divisive concept of the world
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When I was a kid and other children would tell me and/or my brothers that we wouldn't be saved if we didn't have Christ
Just like that.
(Now just imagine those kids as adults in some position of authority)

People are welcome to raise their kids how they please, but they can't complain when the rest of us think they're shitty kids
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:58 PM   #127
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This is one of the nicest threads I've ever read here . It's so refreshing to see an actual discussion going on-I wish this could happen more often worldwide in regards to religion (and politics, and any other inflammatory topic).

I don't think there's any problem in and of itself with wanting to raise your children in the same faith you share, there's a bonding experience that can happen there, and I'm sure that's why most parents do that. I went to church as a kid because my grandma went, and my mom wanted to be with her, and so my mom took me along as well.

However, my mom never impressed upon me that I must believe what I'd been taught at church, nor did my grandma. My dad never went to church with us, but nobody hounded him about it. I remember wondering why he didn't go when I was a kid, but once I was older and knew his reasons, I understood. I think that's where the problem comes in, if a parent is completely unwilling to accept the idea of their child showing curiosity about any other thought process of any kind. I don't think everyone and their mother should feel the need to constantly tell people how to raise their children; at the same time, I don't think it's wise for parents to automatcally shut out any sort of suggestion or advice that doesn't fit with their worldview.

As for the religion topic itself, same ol', same ol' for me. I've become pretty much "who knows?" about it all. There was a post from mikal a few pages back where he said that he prays, doesn't know where it goes to, but it's out there for the taking-that's how I am now. Honestly, if I think anyone out there/up there is listening to me, I tend to believe it's likely my dad or grandma or aunt, and they're my "guardian angels" of sorts.

I've had many pleasant experiences with people more religious than myself over the years. I've had many friends/family members whom I disagreed with on that issue, but they never disrespected me and I never disrespected them. We usually just didn't even discuss it much of the time, just left it at "Well, this is what I believe." and that was that. My family has experienced the kindness of strangers on many occasions, people who I feel are definitely following the "WWJD" mindset. I have also dealt with people who were really rude and pushy and irritating. But I think most people who are rude, pushy, and irritating are going to be that way no matter what faith they are, or if they're an atheist, or whatever. I think that sort of behavior's deeply embedded in some people more than others.

But yes. I am deeply tired of all the divisiveness over religion. I don't care if you're religious or not, I never have. All I ask is that you be a good, kind person. If I ever have a problem with anyone, it's because I think they're cruel, mean people in general. I don't like it when people treat others like crap. I don't take kindly to bullies. You're not automatically better than anyone else because of the money you make or the beliefs you follow or the place you come from or whatever. And it's been proven in this thread we can easily discuss religion without wanting to beat each other up or kill each other, so I don't know why it is so hard for others out there to do the same.

I also agree with those who talked about being bothered by the absolute certainty people on both sides have about this issue. There is nothing wrong with simply saying, "I don't know". You don't always have to have an answer for everything. I don't think life is meant to have all its answers ready for us anyway (or if it is, I think we'll only find them out when we die). I think there is a beauty and mystery to this world that nobody will ever be able to properly explain away, and I also think skepticism is a very healthy attribute to have as well. I don't see why the two have to be mutually exclusive.

And now it's my turn to go .
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Old 02-09-2012, 09:04 PM   #128
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I just had a discussion on FB (and it's still on going) with someone about this. Their position as a parent is that they're teaching what they believe is right to their children.
what stupid reasoning. it's almost as if people like that have kids so they have sheep to brainwash to whatever opinions they have to raise mini-mes. people like that never speak of tolerance and that other people think differently and that's okay.

my dad was baptised, yes, but he wasn't raised in a religious environment. his parents didn't take them to church or anything and didn't say christianity was the proper religion or anything, as they wanted them to form their own views when they were older (which i gotta say is pretty radical, considering my dad was a navy brat born in 1949). my kids will know i'm christian and if they want to be that too when they're old enough to have their own opinions, neato. but i'm not going to force them into their little dresses and suits every sunday and force them to go to sunday school when they're little enough to just want to do whatever mommy is doing.
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:45 PM   #129
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Hey all. Saw the thread title and figured I'd share my 1.5 cents.


I'm definitely not religious. I'm not an athiest. And I'm definitely not pushy about religion. As a matter of fact, it's my least favorite topic of conversation. Next to politics, of course. I was raised Catholic, but I haven't practiced that religion since 1989 when I was 16. I started going to church regularly when I was about 7 when I was preparing to receive Communion for the first time. My dad pretty much made me go. I either had to go with my dad at the 8am mass or go with my mom at 1230p mass. 8am mass was 45 minutes long because there was no singing. 1230 could be 90 minutes long because it was all singing. So, from age 7 to 16, I got up every Sunday at 730 to catch 8am mass. Not exactly fun when you're a teenager and stay up late on a Saturday night. It wasn't all bad. A lot of the priests were actually really cool and the sermons were usually pretty interesting. After church, my dad would either stop off for bagels, pastries or doughnuts. Or he'd just take me out to breakfast. Definitely a plus. Eventually, I got a part-time job when I was 16 and worked all weekend, so my dad told me I didn't have to go to church anymore. I was out and I never went back. The only times I would have to go was when there was a christening, first communion, wedding or funeral. I've skipped plenty of wedding ceremonies, though. Unless, its an immediate family member. Plenty of people in my family are very religious and when they start talking about God things get loud quickly. I learned a long time ago to keep my opinions to myself. Usually I leave the room and go watch tv or something. Works for me. We've all heard of Freedom of Religion. Well, I'm down with Freedom of No Religion. That's my story. Thank you for taking the time to read it.
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Old 02-10-2012, 11:25 AM   #130
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I full admit that I dislike religion, and even to some extent faith. And to steal a classic line from religious people in regards to how I can get along with others, I hate the sin, not the sinner

I've never understood how a majority of people can cling to something without the slightest shred of evidence....which I understand is pretty much the definition of faith! I also admit that I can come off as a asshole, or condensending towards other in these matters, and a lot of that can be attributed to I'm not the greatest at expressing my thoughts as well as they sound in my head, to text form.

I've said before, you can believe in whatever you want. I do not care what it is you have in your head, as long as it can stay there for the most part. I think that great ideas, or solutions can come from people who have faith or belief, and should very well be in public discussion when it comes to the greater good of society. Just as someone who is secular should be respected too.

I do love discussing it, as it's probably my favorite topic to talk about. Of course it's frustrating because it's a topic and discussion that really never goes anywhere. I don't know if either side will ever give in, as both believe they have outstanding evidence to support their claims. Of course I think that's complete bullshit to say religion offers up a definitive answer over science. Religion was a very important foundation that humanity created to try and understand the world thousands of years ago. It should be respected for giving us our first jump start into philosphy and science. It's just that we now have actual science and methods to understand ourselves, the world, and even the universe a little better. But beliefs and a system set up to make you feel important, or special is a tough feeling to shake off. I find the scientific evidence that we were all created from the dust of a dead star much more facinating than some supreme being mixing a bunch of ingredients together to make the world and us. Doesn't mean it isn't a unique story, but it really adds nothing but to assure each one of us that there's a special plan for each of us.

If religion were to go away completely, I don't think that means the good works of those organizations have to go away. Churches are nothing but buildings to me, and therefore still have a function. Why couldn't people of a neighborhood or city still ge together on the weekend to talk about inspirational stories of the world, or discussions on how to improve the community? I just think adding a invisible force to accomplish all of this downgrades/diminishes how good we humans can be on our own. When disaster strikes, we can still all band together and provide relief or sancutary to those in need. Can't think of too many places better to do this than a church or a community outreach center.

My fear of course is that we're going to continue to accept religion and faith as something that's credible in our daily lives. It's lead to countless wars, countless deaths, and influencing our legislation that can openly discriminate against classes of people. While I understand that most religious people are good, and say "well can't you just let us have our beliefs" or "It's not bothering you that I practice, and a true xtian (or whatever) doesn't believe in violence or discrimination", I find that a moderate view on religion can be just as dangerous as the extremist. In a lot of cases (IMO) the moderate allows the extremist to have their way in that you don't hear a lot of backlash when someone on the extreme side blows up a market, bombs a abortion clinic, or it's clergy rapes a child. While it's frowned upon, and people in position of power come out and condemn the act, nothing really changes. The bible and the koran both have very extreme passages in it. Yet we're told those are just old stories, don't take literally....it was a different time. So why not remove them from your holy book if they're no longer needed? So that future generations don't latch onto a statement about killing infidels, or anything related to hell and suffering for not believing.

Are those really needed in today's society anymore? We all agree in justice, but do we have to go to such extremes to banish someone to an eternity of suffering? Seems like there are better analogies to choose from. Not to mention we have created our own justice system to make sure fairness is given to all.

I don't know, I'm just rambling Boring day at work
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