Religion!! gasp...

[deleted account] ( 110 moms have responded )

probably not the best community to post anything about religion or politics in, but anyway...



so my great grandmother and i had a discussion the other night about religion. she identifies as Christian but myself? not so much. it's not that i don't believe in Christianity itself, it's just that i don't believe in the people who claim to be Christians. i'm not very religious in the sense that i would ever go to church or communion or fellowship, whatever a given religion calls the coming together of its members, but i consider myself fairly spiritual in that i believe in a higher power and i believe in being a good person just for the sake of being good to others. when i attempted to explain this to my great grandma, she got a little upset, as to be expected since she was raised Southern Baptist and has for some reason always thought i was so very religious and that i loved going to church and all that, when i didn't. i'm just not a people person and i don't click with the people who have been born and raised Southern Baptist like my great grandma and that go to the churches around here.



my husband was raised Pentacostal and it's easier to talk to them in this area, but i'm still not religious and sometimes it seems to upset my husband that i occasionally scoff at certain religious customs, but we usually don't bother talking about it.



anyway, the reason for this rant is mainly to ask, are your beliefs different from your family's (be it parents, grandparents, or even significant other or children) and if so, how have you handled these differences?

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Kylie - posted on 01/30/2012

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I'd consider myself antitheist i guess. But you don't see atheists like me going around starting wars, killing the religious, condemning, burning or picketing churches, treating women as less than human, brainwashing children or trying to teach fairy tales in the classroom as fact, etc etc

Antitheism does not at all equal the atrocities of religious fanatics.

You cant make up wild stories that have zero proof to back them up, then spin it as truth then expect people not to question and make fun of it.

Krista - posted on 01/30/2012

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And with regards to the "rude" atheists....well, it's a very tricky line to walk, I have to confess.



I can easily say to a religious person that I don't believe in god and am not religious. Most reasonable religious people I have come across are not offended by that, but there are some who really are.



The problems is that sometimes when I make that statement, the question "Why?" comes out.



And that's when things get tricky.



It's actually very difficult to explain why I do not believe in any deities or religions, while not offending. Goodness knows I've failed countless times, as some of you here could likely attest.



I could say, "I think that throughout history, gods and goddesses have simply been mankind's way of trying to explain things for which they had no facts," but then I am accused of calling religious people ignorant. I could say, "I think that overall, religion has really just been a tool used by the corrupt to control the masses," and I'm accused of calling religious people sheep. I could say, "The thought of there being some loving deity in the sky who created the universe and who is all-powerful, and who answers prayers about football games but lets millions of children starve and suffer...it just makes no sense to me whatsoever, and I can't comprehend how anyone can just believe wholesale in a being like that" and I'm accused of telling religious people that they have no critical thinking skills.



Don't get me wrong, I'm not angry, and I really hope that I'm not hurting anybody here by saying this. If someone has their faith, and they're not trying to impose their faith on me or my kids, then that's cool. I don't GET it, though. And unfortunately, it seems that when I try to explain why I just don't get it, my explanations raise hackles, despite my best efforts.

Sara - posted on 01/30/2012

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I'm an atheist too, and while I don't consider myself anti-theist really, I do draw the line when religious beliefs cross over into what is supposed to be secular in our society. For example, right now in Indiana where I live the state senate is voting on a bill that would allow creationist theory to be taught alongside of evolution in science classrooms. Now, I think that there is a place for creation theory, but it's not a science classroom and you better bet your sweet bippy that I will have a major problem if it is taught to my daughters in a public school. Those are the times I am antitheist. I understand why people have and need faith, but it should remain a personal thing. It has no place in schools or public policy, IMO.

Jenny - posted on 01/30/2012

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See I don't understand how someone with a degree in biology isn't OK with the fact that even if 1 in 1 billion women get pregnant after being told they can't there will be the 1 who does. You being the 1 makes it a long shot, not a miracle.

Krista - posted on 01/30/2012

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Suzie's post brought something to mind for me.



A lot of religious people seem to think that atheists/agnostics have 100% faith in science, and that we think that science has all the answers and is completely infallible and explains everything.



That is a misconception.



There's a reason why the word "theory" is used in science. It is not because scientists do not have proof. It is because science, by its very nature, realizes that at ANY time, new information could arise or new discoveries could be made, that would change everything. In science, nothing is truly set in stone. There is ALWAYS room for new discovery and for adaptation. Scientists used to think that atoms were the smallest form of matter. They now know better. And that's okay.



We know that science cannot explain everything yet. And we know that perhaps science never WILL be able to explain everything. But the reason why I prefer science over religion is because science continues to seek out answers. It admits when it is wrong, and it is unabashed in embracing new information and changing course to include new discoveries.



Has science been wrong in the past? Of course. And so has religion. But out of the two, only science seems to be adapting to new information and seeking out new answers, whereas religion (in my opinion) seems to be only too eager to stick its proverbial head in the sand and refute or discredit any information or new discoveries that contradict its previously held assertions.



So I guess that's why I'm perplexed if a religious person brings up the fact that science has not always been correct in things. Because religion sure as heck has not always been correct in everything, no matter how many theological knots people twist themselves into in order to try to prove Biblical infallibility.

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Mother - posted on 02/25/2012

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My belief system is different from my Parents....much to my devout Christian mother's dismay.



I am the same as one of my siblings but the rest I think fall in behind my parents....I think. I just know....they don't accept mine.

Proud - posted on 02/12/2012

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Parents: Mine are the same

Husband: Mine are different

Sibling: Mine are different

Alessia - posted on 02/10/2012

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That's right Jen I forgot the Rice Christians and Inquisition. Good times, good times. ;)

[deleted account]

"

As far as the question as to why Christianity became so widespread, that's easy: Convert or die. Pagan Holidays were "Christianized" to make the transition easier and by the 4th century, the Council of Nicaea had established the set dates, rituals, and "birth" of Jesus. This was all a calculated move by the early church to indoctrinate the willing and eradicate the unwilling. Torture, war, genocide, and other persuasive means were also helpful in the spread of the "good news"."



Toss in that many charitible missionaries have only offered food and aid to those who converted from their native faith to Christianity and that for a good 1300 years, they could just set those who questioned or disputed Christianity on fire...

Jamie - posted on 02/09/2012

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Hey popping on because I just saw the last post. I'm not going to get into a theological debate on COM.



However, I did want to point out that there are two versions of Mithra's story (Persian and Roman) - The Roman story is where you see some of the similarities to Christianity but the story has been dated at the earliest 200CE (when Christianity was growing and long been established in the area)



Also, I've read both versions in the original tongue and both are quite different from the Jesus story. Both stories serve the purpose of that time and for that particular group of people. It is fascinating.

Alessia - posted on 02/09/2012

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The story of Jesus is nothing original. In fact there are several virgin birth/rose from the dead god myths that predate the Jesus myths by thousands of years. Mithra, is an example. Predating the Jesus myth by over 1500 years Mithra has the following in common with the Jesus character: Mithra was born on December 25th of the virgin Anahita.He was wrapped in swaddling clothes, placed in a manger and attended by shepherds.He had 12 companions or "disciples." Mithra was viewed as the Good Shepherd, the "Way, the Truth and the Light," the Redeemer, the Savior, the Messiah, and many more similarities.

Predating Mithra by another 1500 years is the god Osiris, who also shares many similarities with the Jesus myth. Born to a "virgin" mother, he is also resurrected after death, and is the redeemer of mankind.

So Jesus is nothing new, nothing original, and probably a myth just like his predecessors.



As far as the question as to why Christianity became so widespread, that's easy: Convert or die. Pagan Holidays were "Christianized" to make the transition easier and by the 4th century, the Council of Nicaea had established the set dates, rituals, and "birth" of Jesus. This was all a calculated move by the early church to indoctrinate the willing and eradicate the unwilling. Torture, war, genocide, and other persuasive means were also helpful in the spread of the "good news".



And while Christianity is the dominant world religion, at a population of 2,039 million, or 32% of the world, it is steadily dropping, especially here in the USA where secularism is steadily on the rise. Islam, on the other hand, is also on the rise at 1,570 million or 22% of the world's population.(source religioustolerance.org)



Ironically, neither of these two major belief systems are the oldest, as Hinduism predates them by centuries having been founded circa 1500 BCE.

[deleted account]

Deborah Stechschulte-

I feel the same way at times. I have been struggling with things lately. My husband believes in God and his faith is strong, he is not a Bible thumper by any means, but he does believe. I am what you call a 'Doubting Thomas' I do have my views on things and believe in some things, abd not so much others, but I rarely voice them anymore. I came to this site in hopes of connecting with moms who would be willing to listen, offer advice without being cruel and possibly have a nice debate here and there. I don't know if that is such a good idea though. Sometimes it can be hard to decipher if a person is being smug and sarcastic and I do not want to argue. I do not feel that religion should be forced on anyone, I do not feel anything should be be forced on anyone. But I also do not feel it is right to do away with some of the religious artifacts and murals that have been around for ages because one person says they are offended. Really I do not see a middle ground with any of it and it can be enough to make ya just wanna bang your head against a wall

[deleted account]

I have my own ify beliefs but I am not of any religion. We do not go to church, though we have and have enjoyed it. I never gave it much thought until I had a close family member die from Cancer. I just started thinking about life and if there is an afterlife which lead me to the Bible then to other people in my life (husband, friends, family) and I still do not know what I believe as far as God goes. I do not believe the man came into existence by the means of evo so some people think I MUST believe in God as our Creator. I would like to, I mean of course I want there to be an afterlife where I can see my kids and the people I love again, but the whole thing is just very hard to fathom and I am a major skeptic. The Bible has been something I find very interesting though, the way it is written, the age, etc. I had someone tell me once that If Jesus were not real, and did not raise from the dead then why did Christianity rise? You would have thought if Jesus were to have been proved not the Messiah and did not rise that perhaps there would have been a few stray followers but that would have soon died out but instead there are an estimated range of 2 - 3 billion Christians worldwide. Christianity remains the most dominant of the world, and is still growing at an astonishing rate.

I just find it interesting.

Jennifer - posted on 02/02/2012

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I am learning that religion is the title and the rituals in which you choose. Faith is something entirely different. Its based on your spirit. I am pretty excited about my own personal faith but have no problems accepting others. I find more times I have been rejected for mine then I ever have for theirs. To me it all falls back on relationship. The relationship. Sadly, people will fail us no matter what religious title they choose.. thats why to me it important to have a faith that does not put too high of an expectation on people and keeps the focus on growing in myself. I was raised christian and have been very wounded by christians.. I know that pain. I do see however, that people everywhere are imperfect and the one imperfect person that I am in control of is myself. Its then taking out the term "imperfect" and using your own wounds to understand the walks and many paths and struggles of lives of PEOPLE (from all over) that it becomes to me a wonderful journey in loving others and less of a debate or need to shove anything down someone's throat. When I see people I see someone who has value and thats how I go in. I would rather go in that way then always hard. But thats just my way. I want my son to see beyond titles and labels and into the needs and value of a person's worth. Its not easy in such a "labeled" society but my personal choice of faith has allowed me to really do that well. I hope my son asks and tests my views and I always come back to my own mistakes and errors. As I have come to see it all religions have had a bad history in some way.. just like all that can be intended for good can equally be used for bad if we are not in our faith to better ourselves. I have differences in my family as well and that is the truth of love.. differences and remaining accepting.

[deleted account]

"2. A highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment.



Just a word regardless of whether you choose to assign it to a higher power or not. "



I like definition #2. That means I can now (since it's just a word) call getting struck by lightning a miracle and also catching ebola a miracle (because the odds of someone like me in my part of the world catching it is 'highly improbable.'

Katherine - posted on 02/01/2012

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I was raised in a Jehovah Witness home and my husband and I became christians and are raising our kids in a christian way. My mom doesnt care as long as we are all happy and doing well. my husband was not raised in any religion.My sister who is a devoted jehovah witness feels it is the only right way to raise a child. To each their own.

Mary - posted on 02/01/2012

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Oh Cathy - you are absolutely right. I'm offended by the assumption of moral/ethical superiority just as much as intellectual.

[deleted account]

Intellectual superiority v moral superiority ... or rather assumption of either, based on one's religion or lack thereof, piss me off in equal measure.

Mary - posted on 02/01/2012

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Megan - I agree with you. I really could care less about a person's religious beliefs or lack thereof. Believe in Zeus, Jesus, Allah, the tooth fairy, or nothing at all...doesn't concern me in the slightest. However, when you take the stance that I am somehow intellectually inferior to you because of whatever it is I believe (and based on nothing else but the presence of that belief), I do take offense.



People believe in all sorts of things that I find illogical, or which simply don't make sense to me. I've found this to be true in almost any topic, be it birthing choices, child-rearing methodologies, money management, relationship choices, or whatever. However, I rarely, if ever, find the need to tell someone they are delusional or in some way lacking in intelligence for reaching a different conclusion than I did. Unless, of course, I am trying to antagonize them into a fight.

Krista - posted on 01/31/2012

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I'm with Laura. Religious faith has nothing to do with intelligence, or lack thereof. There are some damned stupid atheists out there, and some damned smart religious people.



I view religious belief as utterly illogical -- that's true. But goodness knows that we're ALL illogical about something, aren't we?

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 01/31/2012

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Same here. My mom's older sister is very religious and she has a masters in accounting, is an accountant for the Diocese of Rochester,NY and made the Who's Who of Universities in 1980. She's not an idiot.



What gets me is when DH compares believing in God to a fairytale for adults. I've told him a few times it's very disrespectful to some people.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 01/31/2012

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I had an interesting discussion about religion yesturday with a neighbour and my husband who are both Atheists. My neighbour believes that anyone who is religious is an idiot which offended me because my parents are religious and definitely not idiots. I told him so.



Personally I'm not sure what to believe. I was raised Catholic but there's a lot of what the Church teaches that I don't agree with.

Deborah - posted on 01/31/2012

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I'm not particularly religious either -- People claim that the Bible has all the answers, but it is an ancient text written in so many different languages that I feel as though too much has been lost in translation.



I believe in a higher power too, but I have problems with every avenue of Christianity I know something about. (Catholics don't believe in birth control because people should "Go forth and multiply" well we've accomplished that goal now I think, we're getting to the point where the world will soon be over-populated, as if it isn't already. Mormons don't believe in drinking caffeine or watching R-rated movies...how is that going to damn my soul?)



I guess I call myself Christian because I like to avoid those awkward/preachy conversations with people. I am comfortable with my beliefs, I do my best to be a good person and to be good and honest to those around me, and that makes me feel like I'm doing a good job. I Don't see a point in going to Church all the time because, well, if God gave us these lives to live, shouldn't we live them? It's kind of like giving someone a car...do you expect them to thank you over and over again, or do you expect them to go out and use it to better themselves and their lives?



I honestly think they put it best in the movie "Dogma" (Concerning the Bible) They took a good idea and based a religion off it. THe bible does have good teachings in it, such as the ten commandments, but it also says it's okay to sell your daughters into slavery. How can you follow the bible in its entirety without question and still follow that? It seems really convenient that you can pick and chose which parts to believe and follow, and which parts to ignore.



There is no way you will come to terms with your Great Grandmother, unfortunately. At least not in a way I can see, religion was a very important aspect in many peoples' lives when she was learning about the world.



As for 'how to deal' with those conversations, be as polite as possible and refrain from the conversation. I believe every person's relationship with God, or Allah, or Buddha, or Mohammed, or whomever is PERSONAL. Therefore, it is no one elses' business. Tell them that, since your relationship with 'God' is personal, you don't see how it is any of their business or concern what makes up that relationship. It's kind of like my stance of homosexuality. If you prefer members of the same gender for romantic partners, that's fine. If I am not your partner, however, then it is really none of my business. I don't make my heterosexuality my 'lifestyle', so why do they feel the need to do so? Don't 'keep it in the closet', but please, keep it personal. What you do behind closed doors with someone else is NOT my business. You can tell people, okay, but it should be like the color of your hair or the color of your eyes -- just another fact about you.



I have actually told friends I will not discuss religion with them anymore because they have told me I am "wrong" concerning some of my understanding. They can't know for a fact if I'm wrong or not, and since they Judge me and call me wrong, I simply remove that topic of conversation with them.

Krista - posted on 01/31/2012

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I can't help but feel the same way, Alessia. I know some people are comforted by the thought of a deity. But for myself, when I see how many innocents suffer, I just CANNOT understand how anybody could believe in an omnipotent and loving God...who doesn't intercede and prevent people from raping, torturing and murdering children. No explanation has ever made sense to me.

Alessia - posted on 01/31/2012

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What grinds my gears (to quote the venerable Peter Griffin) is when someone wins the lottery or a game show and they say things like "thank god" or "god is good".



Really? Tell that to all the starving children around the world, or the victims of abuse, or the children dying of horrible disease. Any deity, whether real or imagined, that would allow the suffering and harm of children is worth nothing.

Krista - posted on 01/31/2012

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We're picking at semantics, though. Goodness knows I've referred to things as being miracles before, and I certainly ascribed no divine intervention.



It certainly doesn't twist my knickers if someone wants to say that their lottery win was a miracle. Any extremely lucky break, if someone wants to say it was a miracle, then so be it. Some call it luck, some call it fate, some call it a freak accident, and some call it divine intervention. Whatever.



The only time I DO get a bit tetchy is if deities are given sole credit for human efforts and accomplishments. For example, someone's life was saved due to the heroic efforts of doctors and nurses, and that individual goes on and on about it being God's miracle, and that God saved them, but makes no mention of the hardworking medical staff. That always sets my teeth a bit on edge.

Isobel - posted on 01/31/2012

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bucking the odds is an entirely natural event. Mary's got it right, winning the lottery is only a miracle if you didn't play.

Shelley - posted on 01/31/2012

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A miracle supersedes or suspends natural laws, while a blessing is God's divine power working through natural laws. Both are from God.



I'm sorry if i offended anyone :)

my comment was probably a little pedantic.

Also my above comment is in my opinion i accept and understand that there are some who don't believe ect and thats cool.

Mary - posted on 01/31/2012

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So would I, Cathy! Even more so for me, since I don't play =)



Jen, I think it really depends on how you define a miracle. Some see it as a manifestation of divine intervention, while for others, it simply an unusual or extraordinary event. Unless you are looking for a religious leader or institution to officially sanctify it, I'm not sure it matters exactly how long the odds are.



For me, some mornings, it really is a miracle that I managed to get showered before leaving the house, even though for you, it may simply be routine ;-)

[deleted account]

mir·a·cle/ˈmirikəl/

Noun:

1. A surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is considered to be divine.

2. A highly improbable or extraordinary event, development, or accomplishment.



Just a word regardless of whether you choose to assign it to a higher power or not.

[deleted account]

"You see a long shot, she see's a miracle, I see fate... In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter?



How big do the odds have to be for it to be a miracle? Is winning the lottery a miracle? Is getting struck by lightning a miracle?

Krista - posted on 01/31/2012

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and to me this thread only proves one thing that Atheist like my parents have to rub my face in in there belfes and how I am wrong



I agree with Laura, Suzie. Not one person here has told you directly that your beliefs are wrong. Not one. Your post led me to a bit of a sidebar thought about science in general. The only one who addressed you directly was Jenny, who said that she didn't understand how, with your degree in biology, that you weren't willing to see that in science or medicine, there are still cases that beat extremely long odds, and that don't have to be explained by way of divine intervention.



So I really, really don't understand where any atheist here has rubbed your face in their beliefs, or told you that you're wrong.



But really, if you're THAT sensitive to even the slightest bit of discussion and debate about your faith, then it's no wonder you think your family hates your faith. They probably don't hate it at all -- they just want to have an intelligent discussion about it, but you shut them off.



Hey, I could be wrong though. So if you do have examples of where anybody here has rubbed your face in their beliefs, then please point out where this has taken place.

Sal - posted on 01/31/2012

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i think there are rude intollerant people every where some belive in god and some don't i think religious persation has anything to do with it....

Shelley - posted on 01/31/2012

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Some things have to be seen to be believed.

and

Some things have to be believed to be seen.

Isobel - posted on 01/30/2012

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but if that's how you talk to your family, I understand why they have a problem with your religion...and I doubt it's the religion itself but your anger about atheism in general.

Isobel - posted on 01/30/2012

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I don't understand Suzie...who has said anything to you other than what their beliefs are? disagreeing is not "rubbing it in your face" you are on a debating site, we generally don't agree on much.

Jenny - posted on 01/30/2012

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Why not? Aside from the fact this is a debate board (that has been way too quiet lately) I am a non believer raised in a believing family. This is the topic, is it not? "are your beliefs different from your family's (be it parents, grandparents, or even significant other or children) and if so, how have you handled these differences? "



Yes, my family has different beliefs than my own and I have shared my beliefs on religion.



How have I handled it?



Quietly. I am not up front of what I believe to most of my family. I have requested my Grandmother stop sending me religious forwards though and she did. She stopped any email period actually.



So you have shared that you are a believer and why. I have shared that I am a nonbeliever and why (it's the no evidence part). So why can't we debate it on this debate board?

Suzie - posted on 01/30/2012

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I call it Faith and this thread was not to debate weather there is a God or not its how we live in familys that dont see eye to eye and how we cope long shoot faith a bleaing from God thats my belifes and to me this thread only proves one thing that Atheist like my parents have to rub my face in in there belfes and how I am wrong thank you for proving that but what many of you did not read in the first place is I WAS RAISED AND ATHIEST so i am not gooing to sink to a level Ill just Pray for you GOD Bless

Krista - posted on 01/30/2012

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I agree that some individual churches have been adapting to societal change. Some, beautifully so.



When I made that statement, however, I was thinking more of the baseline dogma that forms the foundation for many religions, like the idea of Creationism, and how any archaeological discoveries that contradict the story of creationism tend to be, for the most part, either studiously ignored, or explained away as hoaxes. Obviously this isn't the case for all religious PEOPLE. I'm speaking more about high-ranking religious officials and other "public voices" for religion.

Mary - posted on 01/30/2012

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" But out of the two, only science seems to be adapting to new information and seeking out new answers, whereas religion (in my opinion) seems to be only too eager to stick its proverbial head in the sand and refute or discredit any information or new discoveries that contradict its previously held assertions. "



Krista, on this point I have to respectfully disagree. Undeniably, there are some religious institutions that refuse to change, or accept "new" ways. However, I don't really think that is true of all, or even most religions. I will willingly concede that they can be painfully slow to do so, but they have, and continue, to change.



I can only really speak about the Catholic church with any amount of knowledge (and you know that I am far from either devout, or even what most would consider "religious", unless compared to an atheist or agnostic). The Catholic teachings of today are a far cry from what they were when I was a child. Compared to the church my father knew as a child, they are damned near unrecognizable. Albeit not to the standards or liking of many, even what I would term their social policies are slowly, but surely changing.



As well, things really do vary from parish to parish. The Pope in Rome may say one thing about homosexuality, and yet, at my local church, gays are openly welcome, and a very involved part of the community. The cardinal in Baltimore is aghast, but our current governor in MD, a church-going Catholic, has again renewed his fight to legalize same-sex marriage in this state. I love his response to the cardinal's request that he "consider his faith" on this topic: ""I do not presume, nor would I ever presume as governor, to question or infringe upon your freedom to define, to preach about and to administer the sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church. But on the public issue of granting equal civil marital rights to same-sex couples, you and I disagree."



So I have witnessed great change in Catholicism in my 41 years - and we are way behind a lot of those Episcopalians! It's a far cry from perfect, but then again, so is all of humanity. Like man, it has some glaring imperfections, and some downright horrific atrocities, but every it also has some amazing gifts and potential.

Charlie - posted on 01/30/2012

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Dad was an atheist, mum agnostic.



Both of them encouraged me to freely explore all beliefs and use my own mind to draw my own conclusions.



Having done this I am now most definately an atheist.

Johnny - posted on 01/30/2012

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It doesn't matter unless she is expecting other people's perceptions to change or other people are expecting her perception to change. I really could care less if she wants to see it as a miracle. But if she was to stop lobbying against healthcare research funding because she thought that everything in life was based on miracles and we should not need medical science to help, then yeah, iI would have something to say about it.



I do see atheists acting like jackasses, just like religious people. We are all just human, some good, some bad. Lumping all people into groups that we expect will all act the same is never all that successful a tactic. I often read the Belief Blog on CNN, and there is a monumental amount of dickishness from the atheist posters on there about things that they just don't really need to be commenting on. But then, look at any comments board and you'll find plenty of jerks, no matter what the subject matter. I'm not sure how that sort of thing can be used to tar an entire group.



I will say that I must take issue with the atheist argument about how religion is responsible for all sorts of bad stuff. People are responsible. People will search for any excuse for evil or jerky behavior they can find. Sometimes they blame other people and sometimes they blame god. They decide to do the wrong thing (the pope, the inquisitors, the Jim & Tammy Faye Bakkers, the 9-11 Terrorists etc.) and they use God/religion as their excuse.



Religion can't be held responsible for it's assholes. They can be held responsible for distancing themselves from those actions, but nothing more. I can't be held responsible for the dweeb on the CNN comment board who insists on telling every religious person what a moron they are any more than every Catholic can be blamed for the stupid shit the pope says. Unless they don't distance themselves from that shit.



Of course, one of the issues that complicates this is that religious beliefs are all bound up in morality for so many. Once their religion, religious leaders, or God does something, it becomes automatically a "moral action" regardless of whether it causes harm. So very often throughout history and today, people who follow religion do not distance themselves from harmful immoral actions and ideas because they can only see morality through this narrow lens.



Sorry for rambling, this thread brought up a lot of thoughts for me. Like Krista said, as an atheist it is nearly impossible to explain why we think the way we do without causing offense. I decided a while ago that it's not about me. I respect people's right to their own faith. It does not effect me. I only feel that I too have the right to my own system of beliefs, to expressing what those beliefs are, and to living free of being constrained by other people's beliefs. People are welcome to disagree with my beliefs, they just can't expect me to conform to theirs. And if they get "butt-hurt" about how I feel, they need to look at themselves and wonder why.

[deleted account]

You see a long shot, she see's a miracle, I see fate... In the grand scheme of things, does it really matter?

Isobel - posted on 01/30/2012

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The beautiful thing about science is that there is always room for error. It is always evolving and there are VERY FEW hard and fast permanent rules :) just saying



My guess would be that they believe you are being brainwashed in a cult-like fashion (not that I'm saying that's true) but it's the only thing that I could figure would make a family behave that way.

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