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Old 06-19-2002, 07:31 PM   #16
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I don't know many atheists, and zero militant ones. Many of the weirdest people I know are Christians, but most people here profess Christianity (as I do). Because of this homogeneous-ness, I appreciate the spectrum of views represented on this board on any given subject, and I embrace people's right to practice their beliefs, even when they differ widely from my own.

Which leads me to this: I am sick of the sentiment that I see growing in this country that basically says, "I have a right to live my life without being offended." These people obviously don't have the thick skin that is required of those who would sustain a democracy. When my views are not reflected in culture, legislation, etc., I get upset or whatever, but I don't threaten lawsuits. There are avenues in place for ideas to be put into the public arena and for change to be effected. Both the blessings and the frustrations of this nation hinge on freedom of speech, religion, association, etc. If someone has a problem with something, financial backing ( or withdrawal thereof) and votes can move mountains. If these fragile people (atheists, Christians, whatever) cannot learn to live within the established and proven system, and continue to impose their fringe agendas, I would invite them to exercise their freedom to live elsewhere. Not everyone can handle an open forum of ideas.
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Old 06-19-2002, 09:20 PM   #17
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'Militant' atheists? Hm, I am not sure if I know such people.

Does ridiculing my beliefs (I'm Christian) every turn they can, make them militant? How about when they insult a God I love? Or when they make fun of even the terms like 'quiet time' and 'sharegroup'? Or when they constantly publish anti-Christian articles in school?

If so, then yes, I think I know dozens of gung-ho anti-Christians.


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Old 06-19-2002, 10:18 PM   #18
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Your points are well taken, foray, but atheists are not necessarily anti-Christian and the anti-Christian people are not necessarily atheists. I'm sad that so many of you seem to be on the receiving end of such hostility regarding your religions. I must say, that doesn't exist in my life at all except occasionally from my family in mostly passive-aggressive ways. But I am fortunate to live in a pretty progressive community where people are generally not only tolerant but actually supportive of different spiritual paths.
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Old 06-19-2002, 10:55 PM   #19
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The difference between anti-Christians and atheists is acknowledged, joyfulgirl. I guess I use them interchangeably because most of the atheists I know are anti-Christian. I also thought your comment about the cross was interesting, too. I'd like to ask, do you believe that we are all God/gods, or something like that?

To be fair, I suppose anti-Christian sentiments are often a direct result of the 'overly eager' evangelical Christians (those who wave crosses in Ravenstar's face). In a way, it is the church that pushes away people from Christ.

However, Christians face the dilemma of how to go about sharing their beliefs with others. On the one hand, we are told by not to be 'lukewarm' in our fervour. On the other, as you know, by being more than lukewarm, we run into the danger of putting people off Christianity.

What I try to do is to keep it simple and share my experiences with God/Jesus' teachings the same way I would tell a friend of a good movie I've seen. In other words, have it come out naturally. Sometimes it's very easy, other times it is hard.

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Old 06-20-2002, 04:06 AM   #20
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I think religious people are weird!!! You believe in an invisible Man!!!!! Seriously though, I personally am upset with the whole"God Bless America" saying. I don't believe in God, so why should I wish a non-existant figure to bless my country? Don't get me wrong, I do understand the sentiment behind "God Bless America", I just don't like the saying. For me, my non-belief in God is easy, I don't believe in a judgemental, incompetent, INVISIBLE person that watches over everything. Man created God. Have you ever wonderd why no knew major religion has surfaced in the last few hundred years? Are we out of Gods? Well, the answer is simple, People would never buy into it. It would belooked at as a fairy tale, which is what I feel all religions are. A way for man to feel like he has a reason to exist, a purpose. Which we don't. To bad I won't be alive when we first make contact (hopefully) with an extraterestrial civilization. I wonder how religions will deal with that!!!!

I'm not trying to insult anyone here. It is difficult to express my feelings in any way that is not, at least to some degree, insulting to a religious believer. So to all you believers out there, good for you!! I just don't buy it...
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Old 06-20-2002, 04:32 AM   #21
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I'm sure there are more new religions in this day and age than there has ever been zooropa. We just call them cults these days. Except for the crazy ones we hear about where leaders convince the members to do ridiculous things like suicide or murder there ar probably hundres more that either fade away or remain localised or specific to the branches they form, never really gaining mass popularity or public support. Some cynics have even called Christianity the longest running and most successful cult. At least Christianity doesnt seek out the weak minded for its own advances.
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Old 06-20-2002, 10:16 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
I'm sure there are more new religions in this day and age than there has ever been zooropa. We just call them cults these days. Except for the crazy ones we hear about where leaders convince the members to do ridiculous things like suicide or murder there ar probably hundres more that either fade away or remain localised or specific to the branches they form, never really gaining mass popularity or public support. Some cynics have even called Christianity the longest running and most successful cult. At least Christianity doesnt seek out the weak minded for its own advances.
You've hit the nail precisely on the head ...

I took a course (at a Catholic school) that examined the development of cults. It was horrifying and fascinating at the same time.

All religions start as cults or fringe religions (even Christianity was at one point a cult). The distinction is between cults and destructive cults that utilize mind control (techniques that can include prayer, meditation, chants, singing songs, visualizations, affirmations, positive self-talk, breathing techniques, hypnosis, "speaking in tongues", ecstatic dancing, music, isolation from family and friends) and require total submission to an all-powerful leader). Cults convince followers that the outside world is bad and that the world of the leader is the "right" world.

There is a man Steve Hassan whose books we read for this course who explains a lot of these things better than I can ... It's interesting reading to say the least:

Here's an FAQ: http://www.freedomofmind.com/resources/faq.asp

Here's a current list of cults: .http://www.freedomofmind.com/groups/groups.asp

While it may seem a simplistic example, does anyone recall the Simpsons episode where everyone in Springfield joins a cult ... well, although a watered down example, it was dead on
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Old 06-20-2002, 11:32 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by foray
I also thought your comment about the cross was interesting, too. I'd like to ask, do you believe that we are all God/gods, or something like that?
Yes, I believe we are all Gods unrealized, that we were created in God's image, and that soul is that spark of God within each of us but it is basically asleep while the mind is the ruling power within. There are spiritual paths that deal with awakening soul/expanding consciousness through various contemplative/meditative disciplines--so that that spark of soul expands until it is the all-encompassing viewpoint. The soul can be likened to a drop of water and God is the ocean, and "God-realization" (or "enlightenment" as some teachings call it) would then be the drop merging back into the ocean. It's like Christians believe in heaven after death while other teachings promote that heaven is a state of consciousness that can be attained while alive, rather than a place soul goes after the body dies. Jesus, therefore, is seen as an example of what we can all become in time.

Quote:
Originally posted by foray
To be fair, I suppose anti-Christian sentiments are often a direct result of the 'overly eager' evangelical Christians (those who wave crosses in Ravenstar's face). In a way, it is the church that pushes away people from Christ.

However, Christians face the dilemma of how to go about sharing their beliefs with others. On the one hand, we are told by not to be 'lukewarm' in our fervour. On the other, as you know, by being more than lukewarm, we run into the danger of putting people off Christianity.
yes, I agree with all of this. It's a dilemma I face as well at times--wanting to share my beliefs in case it might be just the thing another is looking for, yet not wanting to proselytize. It's a fine line sometimes.

Quote:
Originally posted by foray
What I try to do is to keep it simple and share my experiences with God/Jesus' teachings the same way I would tell a friend of a good movie I've seen. In other words, have it come out naturally. Sometimes it's very easy, other times it is hard.

foray
I try to do the same. And I also feel that 'living the life' and showing by example is more powerful sometimes than talking about it. It's hard, though--walkin' the talk!
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Old 06-20-2002, 12:33 PM   #24
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The B'hai faith is a fairly new and consistently growing religion...I'm not sure 'how new'...but its a youngster compared with the other monotheistic traditions..

I don't mind atheists...some of my best friends are atheists I don't mind Christians...I'm one myself...

Its when either one gets so in your face you can't breathe or think that I don't like them...

Most of the atheists I have had the pleasure to meet have been good people overall...no fanatics..

I have met some fanatical Christians but thanfully they have been in the minority...


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Old 06-20-2002, 12:48 PM   #25
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JessicaAnn, those links don't seem to be working. That sucks because they sounded interesting.
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Old 06-20-2002, 12:53 PM   #26
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Another point to add,
In my geography class there were all these posters on different religions up around the walls. One religion whose name I cannot remember (I hadnt heard the name before) looked like a scam. There were all these pics of this "holy" dude. He was supposedly a religious leader who had some sort of power (faith healing, talking with "God", something like that). One of the pictures had rays of light coming out from behing him. It reminded me of pictures of one of those televangelists. It just looked like a scam. It's kind of hard to explain how, it just looked like one.
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Old 06-20-2002, 01:05 PM   #27
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Quote:
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JessicaAnn, those links don't seem to be working. That sucks because they sounded interesting.
Here they are ...

FAQ: http://www.freedomofmind.com/resources/faq.asp

List of Groups: http://www.freedomofmind.com/groups/groups.asp
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Old 06-20-2002, 07:22 PM   #28
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WHY do people have to judge each other? Ok, I'm NOT a atheist, but that doesn't make them differnt from everyone else. They just don't agree with some people. At school (during football season) the school makes us all go to the gym for a peprally ( "Let's worship wannabe football kings") and so everyone puts their heads down to pray. NOW I think that is just plain dumb, so I don't do it. I could care less about the football and cheerleaders. I just stare at the people that DO do it ( ah they are so sad). I have been visited by my counceler cause she
(and most of the teachers) consider me a devil worshipper
But, that's because I choose to wear black clothes and nailpolish...
I just think people should get along

I mean, if Mr. Marilyn Manson and Bono can get along, why not everyone else? Even though Manson had tons of people attacking him, Bono spoke up for him












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Old 06-20-2002, 10:57 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by gwenu2


1. WHY do people have to judge each other?


2. ( ah they are so sad).



uhm...did you notice that these phrases were within sentences of each other in your post?
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Old 06-20-2002, 11:17 PM   #30
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Excellent observation, Lilly!

~U2Alabama
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