How do you explain your spiritual/religious beliefs to others?


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sulis View Post
I don't try to explain my beliefs and it's never come up in conversation.. I can't imagine ever asking anyone what religion they follow unless it was part of a questionnaire or survey.
Maybe it's cause I've moved further south. I haven't had it as much before. People talk about their church affiliation all the time. Then I usually will either get an invite or start trying to figure out what I believe or ask me what church I go to. It's never that they flat out ask but so many times it's really obvious they are trying to get at it. Discussions over holidays also head that way.

I do agree that it is somewhat person when you go deep into it but in a way here it feels like it's so much part of identity. I feel comfortable with myself and my beliefs but to sum them up in a word is hard.
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I wouldn't try to sum mine up in a word. If the subject comes up among people I don't know that well, I've been known to say I was raised Catholic but attend a UU church. If my Catholic or raised-Catholic friends start talking about God or faith, I can still talk pretty good Catholic; they don't know about my Paganism (though some of them know about the divination). When the subject comes up in Pagan company, I'll call myself Christo-Pagan or some such.

But hardly anyone has come out and asked me what my religion is in a long long time. It's just not done around here. It only comes up among people who either know each other pretty well or see each other all the time.
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Most of my friends are churchgoers, but it is mostly a social thing with them, one of the things a respectable citizen may do, like giving to United Way, holding a decent job, and supporting the arts. They don't give a damn about what I or anyone else does or does not believe.
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I am from rural South Georgia, and here it is considered neighborly rather than nosy to ask a person 3 things upon meeting them: your name, your occupation and what church you attend. Woe to anyone who says they don't attend church; you will soon be besieged by people bearing fresh loaves of bread along with an unending parade of people inviting you to their church. I finally told these well-meaning folks I was a Buddhist with no belief in heaven, hell, rebirth or resurrection. They always look at me as if I might breathe fire at any moment, but now at least instead of visiting they just leave religious pamphlets stuck in my door. I do miss the fresh baked bread though.
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I'm so happy with my spiritual beliefs that I am very pleased to talk about them...if the other party wants to talk I don't go around shoving my religion on to people. But most people that know me know I'm Episcopalian and that it's important to me.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katyanne View Post
I'm so happy with my spiritual beliefs that I am very pleased to talk about them...if the other party wants to talk I don't go around shoving my religion on to people. But most people that know me know I'm Episcopalian and that it's important to me.
If I were to ever join a church, it would be an Episcopalian one! I have a dear friend who is a retired priest, and we've shared many ideas over the years.
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I don't think asking a new neighbour which church they attend (in N America) is that unreasonable - so very many local activities are church based, and many people "attend" the ribs 'n wings, the steak sizzles, the strawberry teas, egg hunts and the rest without being all that serious about the church side of it (I admit, I've done it myself... I can't resist a good steak sizzle...). As long as they accepted "I don't" and left me alone. In the UK it would be seen as deeply intrusive to ask that.
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I usually don't discuss religion unless someone pushes the issue. I believe everything is energy. Whatever energy someone puts into something, or belief system, it will manifest in some way. If I'm not in the mood to discuss a belief system, I just raise one eyebrow, and they leave me alone or I walk away.
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I've thought a lot about Episcopalianism, mainly because it has Catholic forms and trappings with a liberal outlook on clergy and sexuality and so forth. What usually held me back is that, at least in this part of the country, it used to be considered the bastion of the upper classes, and I'm so anti-classist it's ridiculous.

But several years ago we did go (at my insistence) to the annual blessing of the animals with our cats... it was open to anyone...
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I like the one about how I'm a spirit having a human experience, not a human having a spiritual experience. Or words to that effect, anyway.
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