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


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
I've seldom encountered it (my wife's fundamentalist sisters go after her and know enough to leave me alone). But I understand there are places in the rural US "Bible Belt" where it's the first thing out of new neighbors' mouths when they come around to visit.
It's not just rural. As a kid starting fourth grade in a city in Georgia I was asked what religion I was right off the bat. When I said I don't think I'm any religion the other kids promptly informed me I was going straight to hell. This is a common occurrence even in Metro Atlanta today. We aren't at all rural, with a huge diverse population, and my daughter experienced the same thing when she was in school. Frankly it makes me sick. I grew up thinking something was wrong with me due to all the fire and brimstone bible thumpers around condemning me to hell. When it happened to my daughter around the age of seven, I took her to a church of Christ for one full year so that she could see what it was and decide if it was for her. I went with her twice per week for an entire year. It isn't for us.

These days I don't discuss it at all unless someone else brings it up. Then I'm spiritual and not religious. The reactions are not much better from adults than they were from children. I'm always interested in listening to the beliefs of others, but others do not show the same degree of compassion,respect, or interest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizabella View Post
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.
This is the basic premise of all my metaphysical courses. I agree with it, so the courses all resonated.
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Disa, I am so sorry to read what happened to you & your daughter. I remember in school going through the same thing, really. I was born & raised Catholic. I consider myself Catholic still, though I don't practice it like I am expected to. If asked, I say just that.

I can remember in first grade the good nuns telling us that only "white" people actually made it into heaven, & also only those who were healthy too. I can remember arguing g with the nuns about that & thinking they were all ignorant & wrong. My defense & argument was that God made us ALL in HIS image,, so it didn't matter what color we were or even if we went to Church. The nuns didn't like me very much, right from the get go.

It is also one of many reasons I don't go to Mass on a regular basis. I see so much phoney crap going on, I just can't stomach it anymore. I will go if I feel the want, but haven't been since last Dec. 24 for the Christmas Mass. And that wasn't even in the Catholic Church, but a Lutheran Church. It was a lovely ceremony.

While on vacation last week, a lady at the same B&B we were at tried to covert me to her faith. She was a born again Christian after being born & raised Catholic & really degrading the Catholics. I just let her talk & basically ignored her, tbh. I think all organized religions have both good & bad in it. I thinkI am more of a free spirit now & have the "live & let live" mentality. Bugs the hell out of my mother & siblings.
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These days I would say something like: "I believe there is a Creator". As for a God. One side of my culture believes in many Gods and the other...just the one. Religion diversifies among my family/friends from staunch Catholics to Christians....even Ratana (Maori religion).

If I was not interested in the person asking and/or wanted to shock or have a bit of fun I might, these days, say something like: "I'm a devoted follower of the one with two horns on his head and pitchfork". No way would I say that to one of my close religious friends though as I might end up being part of an Exorcism or something.

I tend to go with "Spiritual" rather than "Religious".


DND
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If someone is suffering or troubled, I tell them I'll say some Jewish pagan atheist prayers for them, so they'll be covered on all fronts. So far I've met with laughter and appreciation.

When I lived in a semi rural part of the US southern bible belt, I met a number of people who'd never encountered a Jew. They were politely curious. In retrospect, I should have carried a supply of friendship bagels.
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I wonder if this subject - of what religious beliefs you tell others should they ask - is more of an American thing? In Europe nobody has ever asked me this - and I'm talking about various countries, predominantly Catholic or not. I wonder why that is? I'd happily engage in the conversation - it's better than talking about what you saw on facebook, which is what a lot of people talk about.

I suppose it depends on the circles you move in. Those people I know don't have any interest in faith or religion and talk about other things and those I don't know might think it is too personal.

I do think an acceptable answer though, should someone ask, is that it's a private matter but that you don't have any certainties.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Le Fanu View Post
I wonder if this subject - of what religious beliefs you tell others should they ask - is more of an American thing? In Europe nobody has ever asked me this - and I'm talking about various countries, predominantly Catholic or not. I wonder why that is? I'd happily engage in the conversation - it's better than talking about what you saw on facebook, which is what a lot of people talk about.

I suppose it depends on the circles you move in. Those people I know don't have any interest in faith or religion and talk about other things and those I don't know might think it is too personal.

I do think an acceptable answer though, should someone ask, is that it's a private matter but that you don't have any certainties.
You are spot on Leffy - as I implied. It is NORMAL to ask which church you go to in North America - it is very much NOT normal in Europe. But as I also said - I think it does tie in with the way churches do so much over there in the way of community activities that involve everyone in the community, not just their members. On the whole once you answer, they don't - in my experience - take it any further - unless you happen to run into a proselytiser who will try and convert you. Mostly that's not what it's about.
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I can't say I've had negative reactions to spiritual but not religious or the thanks for the invite but no to church invitations. I just had to think about it more especially since I don't want to freak anyone out but still be proud of who I am.
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I will tell you what my father did once when my mother lectured him about "spoiling" me and my younger sister and telling him that we should be learning to make our school lunches not buying them everyday. Who did she think she was?

He took us to different churches and religions each Sunday for about a month, however, the last church made the mistake of "asking" its members to "hug" one another at the end of it. This was kind of like "blasphemy" in my dad's eyes. My father was absolutely appalled and beside himself! And after one day of making lunches my sister and I made a pact to give our father the "silent treatment" which he hated just as much as the last church.

So, no church ever again and our daily money was restored to buy our lunches and even increased to our satisfaction. Mum was ignored.


RELIGION IS TRULY OVER RATED!


Be proud of yourself for who you are and especially if you are decent, kind, thoughtful and a person people want to be around or even if you are fine with your own company.


DND


Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentBreeze View Post
I can't say I've had negative reactions to spiritual but not religious or the thanks for the invite but no to church invitations. I just had to think about it more especially since I don't want to freak anyone out but still be proud of who I am.
Top   #28
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