!!!Christianity vs Atheism!!!

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 07/22/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )

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Spirituality is becoming more popular vs being part of an actual religion. (Some Atheist say they are spiritual)

Have your views on the religion you were taught growing up changed at all??
Do you still believe whole-heartedly or do you question some things??

This was brought up on a debating site that I am apart of…needless to say…it got heated, I wanted to know what your take is on religion .vs. Atheism
(There can be many answers…there is no right or wrong answer (although some would disagree)....just what you honestly feel about it or think……..

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Krista - posted on 07/22/2010

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I think that as a whole, people are becoming more aware that they can choose their own paths. Before, people were Catholic if their parents were Catholic, and on down the line. Very rarely did someone wind up with a different belief system from their upbringing.

Now, I think it is starting to become more accepted that faith is a very, very personal thing, and that it is something that must "fit" with the individual. And people are realizing that faith does not have to be one-size-fits-all, so they are basically believing in whatever feels right for them, and calling themselves "spiritual" instead of religious, because there is no one religion that is a perfect fit.

As well, I think a lot of people have become disillusioned or disgusted with organized religion, but they do not want to give up their actual faith. So they eschew religion and develop their own personal relationship with their given deity or deities.

Sara - posted on 07/23/2010

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My parents aren't particularly religious, but we did go to church growing up. My mom was brought up Christian, but she switched to a Quaker church in her 20's because she thought the local Christian congregation was too concerned with money and status. So, i grew up going to a Quaker church, which I think was a good experience. It's a fairly open-minded take on Christianity and I think instilled good things in me. However, I have always struggled with accepting Christ as my personal savior, and as I get older, I truly have a hard time accepting that there is a God at all. I"m somewhere between an agnostic and an atheist. I often wonder if I can't make that full leap into saying that I don't believe there is a God just because it has been ingrained in me my whole life that there is one. But deep down inside, I really don't believe there is. I think that when we die, that's it. And sure, that's scary, and i think fear is what truly lies at the center of most people's faith...fear of the unknown. Believing that you will see people that you have loved that have died or be rewarded in heaven when you die helps people deal with their lives. If that's what they need to get through, then fine. I understand that. My only problem with Christianity and some Christians is their seeming inability to respect other's choices and assume their way is the only, and best way, to live. And the notion that people without faith in God have no morals to live their lives by is truly ridiculous.

Coley - posted on 07/22/2010

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I was raised in a fairly strict Southern Baptist household, although my parents encouraged us to learn about other religions (not convert to them, just know what they're about). I learned a lot about honesty, love, loyalty, etc, but that can be taught with or without religion. I wholeheartedly believed everything I heard at church... until I was in my mid/late teens and started paying attention to the people I associated with. I started noticing the way they acted at church, and how they acted elsewhere. Put on a good show for the other church members in a look-at-me-I'm-a-better-Christian-than-you sort of way, then party and smoke and be douche bags when their church friends weren't there. I started to see how hateful some of even the nicest people were to anyone who was different, and how disgusted they were when they gossiped about their fellow humans who had a child out of wedlock, or lived with someone they weren't married to, or was in love with someone of the same gender. I saw churches split over unresolved quarrels about who was wrong, and a preacher lie in front of the congregation. I heard people spreading rumors about each other, and stabbing each other in the back. All I heard was gossip and hate. I've been to a number of churches, a few different denominations, but still heard the same things being whispered behind other people's backs. Don't get me wrong, though, I don't hate anyone because of their religion. I know a lot of good, kind, open-minded, non-judgmental Christians, and some are among my best friends. But in my personal experience, I find a lot of overly-religious church-goers to be hateful hypocrites.



I guess right now, I could be labeled "agnostic", since I believe there could be a higher power, but I'm not going to say (again) that my religion is right, and if you disagree, you're all f***ed. If my husband had to give his religion a name, he would say he's Buddhist.



When my son is old enough (only 10mo right now) to decide what is right for him, I will make sure he's able to make an educated decision after doing his own research, and not just believe the first person who wants to convert him.

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Danielle - posted on 07/23/2010

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I agree that in the past it was fairly typical for a person to follow whatever religious beliefs they were brought up into. I was born Roman Catholic and I still am to this day...we did go to church every Sunday when I was younger but that stopped as my brother and I entered our teenager years. My parents goal was to set a foundation but not to be forceful and I think they succeeded in accomplishing that.

Out of my own personal choices I decided to continue in the Catholic school system even when my parents gave me the option in high school to switch to public school. I chose to have my son baptized as well...again, to build the foundation of some sort of belief but not to be forceful.

Whatever my son chooses to believe I will be okay with. My fiance is an athiest but he and I have always respected what the other one believes in and he let me get our son baptized because he figures "I don't believe it so it's just a little water on his head."

To wrap things up I think I'm a fairly open minded and understanding person. I enjoy my religion but I will not push and pressure other people to believe. In other words, I respect what people believe and I would appreciate if my beliefs were respected in return.

[deleted account]

I'm odd, I guess. I go to Church on Sundays, pray, and try to follow the rules, but I do not consider myself a Christian.

I want very much to be a Christian, and I try very hard, but at the end of the day, I know I don't really believe in God. I guess I just "hope" there is a God? Is that a Christian?

I know there will never be Proof that God exists because that would defeat the purpose of Faith, but it seems that some Christians are so very sure that there is a God and they are following Him in the way that He wants them to, and that is very confusing to me since I cannot be that sure despite my efforts.


As for the way my parents raised me, we were not overly religious, but we went to a Methodist church when I was younger, then moved and did not find a church until I started going with several friends from school to a non-denominational church.
My father was a drug abuser, he never went to church, but my mother took us any time she could, which was not every Sunday, but close. She loved the church, and while she knew she did not need church to be a Christian, she said it gave her strength.

I lost my faith around age 9. We started the non-denominational church when I was about 13, for no other reason than wanting to hang out with my friends. That church split up because the youth ministers were reaching out to, how should I put this, heavily troubled teens? These teens were living in neglect, many were already heavily dependent on drugs and alcohol, we had piercings and wore tattered clothes, our parents were virtually non-existent. You would think that the church would have been happy that the youth group was reaching these kids and turning most of them around, but the pastor and a few others....like half the church, didn't like the image that those kids portrayed associated with the church.

After the split, I didn't try church for a long time and I felt comfort in the idea that there was no God. I felt rebellious, smart for questioning something most thought was so solid (I'm in the Bible Belt), and I didn't worry about anything except how much it would hurt my mom to know I didn't believe in God anymore....so I never told her.

Eventually some events took place that caused me to seek comfort in the Church. I am convinced that the only way I will ever be comforted is to have faith in God, but finding that faith is proving impossible and I do not really have any other alleys to turn down....

[deleted account]

I think of myself as a Christian although I rarely go to church (weddings, funerals, christianings, occasional xmas mass) because I believe that true Christians can show their faith without having to go to a building and pray, it is about how you live your life. I try to live mine to be tolerate of others and to be unjudgemental - IMO if people are happy and are not breaking the law or hurting others why should it disturb me how they live thier lives, it disguists me how people try to use their faith to have untolerant down right rude behaviour IMO those people give the rest of us a bad name.



I also have major issues with the Bible as I think it is not so much the word of God as a collection of stories which are designed to teach us lessons. I question whether Jesus was the son of God too - IMO he was probably just a really good man who did good deeds and has now been imortalised by exagerated stories :-)



I was not raised in an overly religious house - my dad went to church as a kid because he was given nice biscuits not because he believed, although he does believe in God, my mom is more spiritual than religious neither of them tried to force any opinions on us and were happy to take us to church when we wanted to go (we wasn't Christianed but that was down to money). They encouraged us to have our own beliefs and to make our mind up.



My hubby is agnostic and although he sometimes thinks there may be a greater being he often questions whether there is or not. With regards to our son he will be raised to question things and to make his own mind up - we had a non-religious Naming Ceremony for him because we do not want him to feel he is tied to one religion or another.

Sarah - posted on 07/23/2010

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I wasn't raised in a particularly religious household, although I did go to Sunday School pretty much every week until I was about 9 or 10. By then I was starting to think that Church wasn't quite all it was cracked up to be!!

Don't remember my parents ever going to Church. I went with neighbours.
Neither me nor my sister were Christened as babies, my parents thought it should be up to us (which is exactly how I feel too). My sister went on to get Christened and Confirmed. (Though I think fancying the Vicars son played a part in that! lol) I didn't.

I did believe in God and Jesus when I was little. As I mentioned though, around 9 or 10, it just stopped adding up. The people at the Church couldn't really answer my questions in a way that satisfied my curiosity. Also, I saw some pretty un-Christian behaviour from people there. They didn't seem very tolerant.

As I got older, I was very into R.E and took Philosophy in College, the more I learnt, the further away I leaned from ALL the organised religions.

I guess I'm agnostic in the sense that I like to believe there's SOMETHING after we die. I do lean towards Atheism though. I think everything happens for a reason, I don't necessarily think that's down to God though.

With my own kids, I will let them decide for themselves. My eldest goes to a C of E school, so she does go to Church occasionally, they teach her some things from the Bible etc. It's completely up to them what they choose to believe in, I'm just there to support those decisions, not make them for them. :)

[deleted account]

My parents didn't raise me to believe in their religion, they educated me on many religions, so I could choose my own path. My father is an athiest, and my mother is a lutheran. I grew up hearing about what they both believed, and then formed my own opinion as an adult. Which I think is nice. I don't think there is a place for spirituality vs. christianity. They are polar opposites.

Rosie - posted on 07/22/2010

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yes my views have changed :)
i was raised christian by a mother who grew up ina mennonite/amish household. my mother gave me the option of continuing to go to church when i was 16, and decided i ddin't need a church to worship god.
seeing how other churches worked and their feelings about homosexuality really made me question things. after a bit of searching, i just couldn't make myself belong to a group that was so hypocritical, and hateful towards people who have done nothing wrong.

i do understand that there are plenty of people out there who are christians that don't feel this way. i thought i could be a christian and just follow my own spiritual path free of the bible and it's teachings, i thought wrong. i just couldn't half ass it, and i came to a point where i just couldn't believe anymore. there are soooooo many things that don't make sense that i just can't make myself believe in it anymore.

i believe in nothing anymore, except making a good life for me and my family, and hopefully impacting a few people along the way. i don't need god to be good, and i certainly don't want him (if he exists) anymore. i'm content with how things are and i don't need to be assured that my dead loved ones are waiting for me in heaven. that scared me at first, the thought of no afterlife, but after awhile it just made me realize that our time on earth together is much more precious. :)

[deleted account]

This will probably get heated. Though, so far so good. =) I hope it stays respectful.

So that you know where I stand (in case you didn't already) I am a Christian. The definition is "Christ follower". I know there are many different denominations, but if the fundamentals of your believes are you believe Jesus was the Son of God and He died for our sins and was resurrected and we can have a new life in Him, then I consider you my sister in Christ.

Yes, I was raised a Christian. But my parents allowed me to be exposed to other religions. They allowed me to question. They are the type of people that LIVE their faith, not just spout out nice words and scriptures. That spoke the loudest to me as a child.

I believe and know that there are wonderful people of other faiths (or lack of). I respect their opinions and their right to have them. I probably won't say much else on this thread unless someone asks me directly about something I said.

Lindsay - posted on 07/22/2010

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Oh wow, i could go on and on but i will try to keep it as brief as possible. I grew up in a fairly traditional Catholic family. It was not overly strict but we attended church every Sunday (or Saturday night) without fail and I attended a Catholic daycare, preschool, elementary school, middle school and high school. So it was part of my daily life. I've never had any bad experiences per se but as I got older, there were things that I didn't necessarily agree with the church on, most political. I am far from the ideal Catholic as I have 2 children outside of marriage and even though I am still in a committed relationship with their dad, I have never felt the rush or the need to be married. Depsite those things, anytime i attend mass no one ever says anything negative about my lifestyle. I've known most of these people my entire life and they are kind and friends and love me, my family and my kids.

There are things that I've learning growing up that have stuck with me and are a comfort for me. i always thought these were "church" or "religion" things but looking back as an adult, they are just moral values that people can possess with or without religion in their life. Things like being a good person, treating people around you with respect, being honest, and realizing that no one is without fault or perfect....you just need to acknowledge your own faults and work to improve yourself all of the time.

Now a days, I wouldn't necessarily classify myself as religious but I could say I'm spiritual. I pray. I do not attend church regularly. The kids enjoy going so if they ask, we go. They were baptized Catholic as babies, though it was more out of family tradition than anything. We always go to mass on holidays but again, it's more for the tradition than anything else.

All in all, I would say I believe in a higher being but it's more of a personal belief than anything. I think organized religion can be a good thing to where people with similar beliefs can gather together and share that aspect of their life. But I think it also gives people unnecessary power to do things and act ways that shouldn't be acceptable and use the "label" of religion for a guard. I think if their truly is a god above that "he" is disheartened to see they way people are treated unfairly "in his name". Because if you truly believe that god has made us all, then you should also believe that he makes no mistakes. That means that everyone should be equal and treated equal dispite race, gender, sexual orientation, or anything else they were born.

Meghan - posted on 07/22/2010

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In my personal opinon you can have faith and be spiritual withough belonging to a church or specific religion. And Krista said it very well..a person's relationship with God can be (and agin imo should be) their personal choice

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 07/22/2010

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You bring up some very good points! I agree with you. I myself grew up in a Christian household, and now that I am older I have had some “Revelations” of my own….I’ll leave it at that for now ;-)

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