Why does debate turn into a religious war?

Savannah - posted on 12/08/2009 ( 63 moms have responded )

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I am wondering why most of the heated debates on this website always seem to turn into a religious debate. i see it over and over. One person says, in greeting, God bless you (or something of that nature, which, in Christians, is really just a standard greeting. It is meant to be a nice thing, not a hostile "first shot fired") and then everyone is jumping down their throats about them "forcing their religion on people". It just goes from there, atheists against the christians and the original question is completely forgot about. The debate is suddenly about christianity and who's ignorant and on and on and on and on.... Like the circumcision post several months ago... WOW! That was crazy. And a seatbelt post a while back... what does religion have to do with buckling a seatbelt?
I am not trying to cause yet another argument I am just wondering. Because It makes us all seem so mean to each other. A true christian has no business calling people names or being hateful because thats against a true christian's values. Or it should be. I mean, we are all human and not perfect. And I don't believe that a christian should be made to feel ignorant or pushy because of their beliefs either.
I just don't get it, ladies. Do you?
Once again, this is not a "hostile attack" against anyone. Just a question. Merely a "why can't we all get along?" Obviously we don't all have to agree with each other. Thats the beauty of opinion.
(BTW I posted this here because I think that if I posted it on the Welcome board the ladies there would happily tear off my head and throw nasty things down my windpipe... So please don't do that! :) )

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Krista - posted on 12/11/2009

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I don't mind if people say "God Bless You" or even that they'll pray for me. What irks me, however, is when someone posts to the boards with a genuine, serious problem, and you get a bunch of people basically saying "God'll fix it! You just need to pray to Jesus!" First of all, it's inane. Praying to Jesus isn't going to get rid of diaper rash. And second of all, it's...arrogant. It assumes that because prayer gets their spiritual bits all tingly, that it'll have the same effect for everybody.

There was a post on the main thread about this woman who came up to the OP and told her that she and her kid were going to hell because they weren't right with the Lord, basically. The OP found it bizarre, and her sole question was "Has this happened to anybody else?" I lost count of how many people responded with some variation of "Yes, that woman was out of line, BUT you really, really should let Jeebus into your life! He's brought me joy, straightened out my kids, and cured my gingivitis!"
Blessing me is fine. Praying for me, if that's what floats your boat, is fine. But it's the proselytizing -- that just drives me absolutely bonkers. If I wanted to be a Christian, I'd be a Christian, and it's the ultimate in arrogance for them to assume that I'm so weak in mind that the only reason I'm NOT a Christian is because I just don't know any better and need someone to push me into it.

Amanda - posted on 12/08/2009

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i don't know that it is typically an "i'll pray for you/my prayers are with you" or "God bless" statement that usually starts off the heated disagreement between people on CoM about religion/religious preference. i find that it is more when someone asks,(strictly for example purposes); "how do i cure diaper rash" and someone starts quoting bible scriptures and then someone else points out "hey, how do you know this person is religious? ". that's where the nastiness begins. and quite honestly most of the threads that turn out this way have NOTHING to do with religion/praying/or bible versus. i mean, a thread about diaper rashes, feeding, CIO, etc.... is really not a forum to for someone to "promote" (for lack of a better term) thier religion. i'm Christian and i am not perfect but i also know there is a place and a time for religious expressions, and trying to jam personal beliefs down someone's throat is distastful, condescending, and unneccessary. just my thoughts based on what i have seen.

~Jennifer - posted on 12/08/2009

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The only thing that offends me is when people END their stalemate argument with "I'll pray for you". You're not 'praying for me' you're praying to the god YOU believe in to prove YOU right and someone else wrong. You're praying to "God" to SPITE the other person. You'e not praying for their eternal soul, you're praying FOR your ego. I recall somethig about 'pride' in the bible - re-read that, would ya? I don't think "God" would answer prayers made out of spite for another person..... do you?

When someone ends their tirade with "God Bless You" (sometimes repeatedly) even AFTER knowing that the person they have just completely berated does not follow the same religious beliefs, they are again simply doing it to 'poke at' the person with whom they are angry. ......... Using "God's Bessings" to anger someone of a different faith, or lack of faith......seriously?

Read your scripture again - because you've completely missed the message in the text.



I always *love* dealing with the "I'm going to pray for you because I think it will make you angry" people.



Seriously, go back to church and try not to sleep through the next sermon - you might actually LEARN something.



(generalized "You" directed at 'no one' in particular.)

Ez - posted on 12/08/2009

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A large part of the problem is that people of faith demand respect and acknowledgement of their beliefs, and yet show none towards those who don't share those beliefs. Being an atheist or agnostic deserves the same respect and acceptance that any organised religion does!! It is still a set of personal beliefs, and they should not be attacked, just like a person's belief in the Bible shouldn't be attacked. That is why things gets so hostile, both here on COMs and in RL.

JL - posted on 12/08/2009

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I am not a fan of organized religion and I am not a devout believer, but I really don't take offense when someone greets me with God Bless you or when someone genuinely feels for my situation so they say I will pray for me out of concern from their heart.



I don't care if someone wants to poor a 40 out for me because we are homies or wants to greet me with What up Biatch. I don't care except for when it is said and done in a negative, condesending, judgemental tone.



When I am discussing the passage of a law I don't really see how a speal of bible verses has anything relevant to do with the topic so I will ignore the post, but I will respond if someone who disagrees with me finds it neccessay to respond with... I will pray for you or God Bless you, when it is obviously not meant out of charity, kindness, or as a greeting, but meant as a statement of YOU are wrong, your are a bad person, your are a deviant going to hell. I don't need someone who claims to be a follower of the Christian faith belittling be with antagonistic statements of I will pray for you or God Bless you or loads of biblical scriptures.



It is not the words and it is not religious ideals that is the issue ....it is the intent in which they are used and the way they are used to judge others. It is one thing to post a scripture that has helped you and state that you will pray for a person needing help or state that the bible says this and that as a devout follower you follow those words so you see it as this way.......BUT It is totally other thing to post biblical scriptures and say God said this therefore you are wrong and if you are doing the opposite or believe the opposite they you are a deviant going to hell and I will pray for you, because you are a bad person. Two totally different approaches and some of us who have read too many of the latter approaches are kind of burnt out of the religious discussions.

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Rosie - posted on 01/15/2010

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i think some of it has to deal with people assuming others aren't going to be offended. i think about it and i'm sure somewhere in my life i have said i'll pray for someone when they are in need of assurance, not thinking about their religious views at all, since it just seems natural to me to say that to someone because of the way i was brought up.

i am conflicted on religion right now, i was raised in a christian household, my family is mennonite & amish and religion is a VERY BIG part of their lives. i am married to an atheist however and i have learned alot of things from him. he is non judgemental of most all other religions, prays with my family, got married in a church for me and his grandmother, and even reads the bible (mostly as a learning tool so he can debate his side, but none the less reads it). my aunt and him got into it a little over the internet today because he posted a video on hisfacebook page about his anger towards pat robertsons comments on haiti's earthquake. apparantly my aunt agrees that these poor people should be prayed for because of their pact with the devil, and some of our family and friends are missionaries in haiti so they have seen the effects of witchcraft still practiced there. my aunt is a good woman, and i know she wants to help, and she always trys to come across nonjudgemental and understanding, but she was raised in a way that makes her want to pray for the people of haiti to change their ways. while she never right out said that that was the reason for the earthquake, she will still continue to pray for the people to change their ways. some people just have so much faith in their god that they forget or don't even know others may not feel the same way, and continue to believe that they are doing the right thing. so i son't feel all are bad that try to push religion, just the way they go about it makes a huge difference.

?? - posted on 12/14/2009

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He started walkin Oct 14, about 2 weeks before his 1st birthday :D Oct 16... he started running lol We don't have lights on our tree because of where we have to have it -- high enough so that mr grabby hands doesn't pull it down... hard enough keepin him away from the shiny wrapping paper, a tree low to the ground with lights...... I'd be redecorating everyday, so I took the easy way out and just put it high and simple but still festive LOL

Betsy - posted on 12/14/2009

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He's walking!!! Now the fun starts! He must live the lights and the tree. I have a bunch of trees done...I love Christmas trees. Mine come down every morning and just say "wow wow" walking around the house, though they think the round ornaments are balls...not good.

?? - posted on 12/14/2009

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Oh yes !! Lil brat that he is hahahaha he took a day to learn how to walk and has been running since! He's got quite the cheeky personality starting to show itself, definitely his mothers son - even if he ONLY looks like his daddy LOL he's wonderful, amazes me more and more everyday ! I'm so excited to watch him tear into his presents this year!!!! Even if he really only just wants to play with the shiny wrapping paper and cardboard boxes hahahaha I sincerely hope no one got him expensive gifts because they're gonna be completely ignored for the box!

?? - posted on 12/14/2009

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Awww, that sounds like your holiday is gonna be a blast!!! I hope your family packed event is full of fun and goes smoothly, Merry Christmas Betsy !!

Betsy - posted on 12/14/2009

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LMAO!! That was a funny thread. Yes, I am hosting dinner for my whole extended family. It's actually easier to cook and have them come here than pack up our family of 7 on Christmas and go there. I'm the only one with kids of my side. My sister and cousins haven't taken the plunge yet. Plus they all give a lot where they are the only kids in the family, so that means packing up all that too when we go there. I love to entertain though.

?? - posted on 12/14/2009

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Ohhhh will they all be around for Christmas? Your family table must be ginormous for holidays lol I'm glad to hear your family is doing well :D



I kinda wish Libby had stuck around a lil more... she was preachy but she was consistent and even if she was the type that would 'pray for you to agree with her' she was a lot of fun to kinda... poke back n forth lmao cruel, I know I know... I actually think that was how we started talking -- she kept saying no one was listening to her and I said something about people might listen to her if she just shut up for a minute LOL

Betsy - posted on 12/14/2009

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My kids are doing well. Frank is in college. Cheyenne is in middle school, and Luke, Anthony and Jesse are all toddlers keeping me busy. The differences in their personalities combined with how they interact usually keeps me laughing. Things are still a juggling act, but all good.



LOL about your 2nd bout with Sister Libby. Sorry I missed it. Your one-liners have always cracked me up! Personally as a Christian, I think God has a sense of humor and would find her preaching funny.

?? - posted on 12/14/2009

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We're doing GREAT :D thank you!! How is your super troop?? That's an awesome picture of all of them you have as your display! Your daughter looks so grown up from the last pic I saw!!



I stopped posting on the welcome page and came here soon after Libby's preachfest! There was an issue with another girl here, and she took it back to the welcome page, I ended up having to tell Libby off again because she went to the defense of the tools, yet again! I don't think that lady will ever learn, she is not God, no matter how much she believes in him - she is not God lmao

Betsy - posted on 12/14/2009

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LMAO Jo!!!! How are you and Gabriel? I was off the boards for awhile and when I checked them out again, I looked for you but didn't see you. Funny it's a religious thread again where I see you :-) Remember that thread...I was called a fake Christian because I didn't believe God really sent children of all other religions to burn in hell for eternity. God forbid they lived in a village with no food, electricity or clean water, nevermind no Sunday mass on the corner!!

?? - posted on 12/14/2009

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One of the first threads I ever talked to you in Betsy, was a religious thread where Libby Hanlin was preaching her lil ass off to you and me and others lol

Betsy - posted on 12/14/2009

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Quoting Krista:

I don't mind if people say "God Bless You" or even that they'll pray for me. What irks me, however, is when someone posts to the boards with a genuine, serious problem, and you get a bunch of people basically saying "God'll fix it! You just need to pray to Jesus!" First of all, it's inane. Praying to Jesus isn't going to get rid of diaper rash. And second of all, it's...arrogant. It assumes that because prayer gets their spiritual bits all tingly, that it'll have the same effect for everybody.

There was a post on the main thread about this woman who came up to the OP and told her that she and her kid were going to hell because they weren't right with the Lord, basically. The OP found it bizarre, and her sole question was "Has this happened to anybody else?" I lost count of how many people responded with some variation of "Yes, that woman was out of line, BUT you really, really should let Jeebus into your life! He's brought me joy, straightened out my kids, and cured my gingivitis!"
Blessing me is fine. Praying for me, if that's what floats your boat, is fine. But it's the proselytizing -- that just drives me absolutely bonkers. If I wanted to be a Christian, I'd be a Christian, and it's the ultimate in arrogance for them to assume that I'm so weak in mind that the only reason I'm NOT a Christian is because I just don't know any better and need someone to push me into it.


I am a Catholic who completely agrees. I have always been conflicted on praying. I do believe in God and have prayed, but I can't stand when people say to pray for a job opportunity or something of that nature, basically saying if you have enough faith, it will happen. People have prayed and died for their faith, so are we to say their prayers weren't answered because they didn't have enough faith to deserve it? That's a crock. I think prayer is personal, as all spirituality is whether in all religions or just personal views. As for praying for a cleared up diaper rash or a job, believing in God myself, I personally think he's shaking his head answering, "Hey I gave you a brain. Can you use it?" And if he happens to be Buddha, Allah or some unknown, I feel he is thinking the same way. We can all have faith, or lack of faith, but no one knows for sure until we leave this earth so my faith comes with what I believe to be true, but knowing none of us can really claim to know 100%.

Charlie - posted on 12/12/2009

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Quoting Krista:

I don't mind if people say "God Bless You" or even that they'll pray for me. What irks me, however, is when someone posts to the boards with a genuine, serious problem, and you get a bunch of people basically saying "God'll fix it! You just need to pray to Jesus!" First of all, it's inane. Praying to Jesus isn't going to get rid of diaper rash. And second of all, it's...arrogant. It assumes that because prayer gets their spiritual bits all tingly, that it'll have the same effect for everybody.

There was a post on the main thread about this woman who came up to the OP and told her that she and her kid were going to hell because they weren't right with the Lord, basically. The OP found it bizarre, and her sole question was "Has this happened to anybody else?" I lost count of how many people responded with some variation of "Yes, that woman was out of line, BUT you really, really should let Jeebus into your life! He's brought me joy, straightened out my kids, and cured my gingivitis!"
Blessing me is fine. Praying for me, if that's what floats your boat, is fine. But it's the proselytizing -- that just drives me absolutely bonkers. If I wanted to be a Christian, I'd be a Christian, and it's the ultimate in arrogance for them to assume that I'm so weak in mind that the only reason I'm NOT a Christian is because I just don't know any better and need someone to push me into it.


amen Krista !



LOL J/K   but i do totally agree ;)

Iris - posted on 12/12/2009

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Krista, I agree with all that you said. And like Jenn said, I don't need to be prayed for because I have an opinion that somebody doesn't agree on.
I don't mind when somebody says they'll pray for me when I'm going through a rough time or say God bless you when I sneeze or Merry christmas for that matter. Everybody is entitle to their beliefs, and so am I.

Louise - posted on 12/10/2009

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Quoting Jenn:



Formal debate would be impossible in this 'environment', however, informal 'Online Debate' IS a recognized form of exchange.





I apologize, I didn't mean to give you the impression that I don't recognize the online debate as a form of exchange/debate.  I do agree it's hard to have a formal debate in the online arena.  I find it hard, personally, to communicate well using the internet, rather than talking with someone face to face.  However, I do recognize the internet, is a great tool that brings people together.

Louise - posted on 12/10/2009

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Quoting Jenn:



Quoting Louise:

I have never seen a real debate here, most of them are just disagreements or discussions. Most fueled by subjective personal beliefs.

To answer why debate turns into a religious war is (in my opinion)

1. Debate goes off topic, it becomes a normal discussion thread
2. It's very easy to disagree
3. It's very easy to get emotional
4. There's no goal for the debate (is it to understand? or bash each other?)
5. It's very hard to empathize especially if we disagree with another mom
6. Practicing self restraint is hard

I can go on, but that's the gist. This has nothing to do with religion but plain human nature.






There are several different form / types of debate.  Obviously, here (online forum), there can be no time restriction placed, nor can there be immediate moderation of topics, discussions, language, opinions, facts presented, or emotional responses.   Formal debate is therefore impossible - unless we appoint a moderator that can be available at all times, as well as be available at all times ourselves.  We would need to either set certain times that the forum could be utilized, and in our little international community time(zone) differences as well as responsibilities to personal lives, (family, children,career, etc.) would (again) make that impossible. 






For your reference:






 Online debating






With the increasing popularity and availability of the and other forms of argumentation, which consist primarily of assertions, there do exist formalized debating websites, typically in the form of online forums or bulletin boards. The debate style is interesting, as research and well thought out points and counterpoints are possible because of the obvious lack of time restraints (although practical time restraints usually are in effect, e.g., no more than 5 days between posts, etc.).Forums are Moderated and welcome online debaters in a friendly format so all may speak their pros and cons. Many people use this to strengthen their points, or drop their weaker opinions on things, many times for debate in formal debates (such as the ones listed above) or for fun arguments with friends. The ease-of-use and friendly environments make new debaters welcome to share their opinions in many communities.






/






Although you may see it as discussion and disagreement, I see it as informal debate among people that have become friends / friendly -  with (mostly) civil discussions of relevant topics.  






 






Formal debate would be impossible in this 'environment', however, informal 'Online Debate' IS a recognized form of exchange.





I understand your definition.  I'm just used to a more structured debate (maybe formal debate as others define it).   But regardless of what type of debate, if there is no goal to understand, it will turn into a flame war.  I hope I help answer Savannah's question.



I bet there will be more topics like:



Why does debate turn into a [insert sensitive topic here] war?

~Jennifer - posted on 12/10/2009

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Quoting Louise:

I have never seen a real debate here, most of them are just disagreements or discussions. Most fueled by subjective personal beliefs.

To answer why debate turns into a religious war is (in my opinion)

1. Debate goes off topic, it becomes a normal discussion thread
2. It's very easy to disagree
3. It's very easy to get emotional
4. There's no goal for the debate (is it to understand? or bash each other?)
5. It's very hard to empathize especially if we disagree with another mom
6. Practicing self restraint is hard

I can go on, but that's the gist. This has nothing to do with religion but plain human nature.



There are several different form / types of debate.  Obviously, here (online forum), there can be no time restriction placed, nor can there be immediate moderation of topics, discussions, language, opinions, facts presented, or emotional responses.   Formal debate is therefore impossible - unless we appoint a moderator that can be available at all times, as well as be available at all times ourselves.  We would need to either set certain times that the forum could be utilized, and in our little international community time(zone) differences as well as responsibilities to personal lives, (family, children,career, etc.) would (again) make that impossible. 



For your reference:





Online Debating

With the increasing popularity and availability of the and other forms of argumentation, which consist primarily of assertions, there do exist formalized debating websites, typically in the form of online forums or bulletin boards. The debate style is interesting, as research and well thought out points and counterpoints are possible because of the obvious lack of time restraints (although practical time restraints usually are in effect, e.g., no more than 5 days between posts, etc.).Forums are Moderated and welcome online debaters in a friendly format so all may speak their pros and cons. Many people use this to strengthen their points, or drop their weaker opinions on things, many times for debate in formal debates (such as the ones listed above) or for fun arguments with friends. The ease-of-use and friendly environments make new debaters welcome to share their opinions in many communities.



/



Although you may see it as discussion and disagreement, I see it as informal debate among people that have become friends / friendly -  with (mostly) civil discussions of relevant topics.  



 



Formal debate would be impossible in this 'environment', however, informal 'Online Debate' IS a recognized form of exchange.

Louise - posted on 12/09/2009

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I have never seen a real debate here, most of them are just disagreements or discussions. Most fueled by subjective personal beliefs.

To answer why debate turns into a religious war is (in my opinion)

1. Debate goes off topic, it becomes a normal discussion thread
2. It's very easy to disagree
3. It's very easy to get emotional
4. There's no goal for the debate (is it to understand? or bash each other?)
5. It's very hard to empathize especially if we disagree with another mom
6. Practicing self restraint is hard

I can go on, but that's the gist. This has nothing to do with religion but plain human nature.

?? - posted on 12/09/2009

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Children with manners are adorable ! People who don't acknowledge that deserve to have some kid run up, kick their ankle, stick their tongue out, and run away again :)



Just sayin....

JL - posted on 12/09/2009

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When people sneeze usually I back away and say don't infect me and you are sooo gross. Then I sneeze all over them. Nah, usually I just say bless you and if I have a tissue I pass them one.

[deleted account]

Quoting Savannah:

my son says Bless you, when anyone sneezes. Just a simple, "bless you daddy, bless you!" It is very cute. We didn't teach him to say it he just does it because for me and hubby it is reflex to say. I think it is darling. He blesses anyone who sneezes, be it in a store, restaurant, etc.
It is very interesting to see people's reactions to it. Not once has anyone said, "thank you."
Bless you, thank you... How hard is that? We have all heard it. Most grew up saying it. And yet, my son is the one out of line? Some people tick me off with their God-o-phobia. So unnecessary.
I am wondering why I encounter so many people like that where I live and yet all of you ladies are so clear on the subject.
I mean, Come on! A "bless you" from a two year old? What can be sweeter than that?



Hee hee hee... my 2 year-old does the same thing, but then she just stares at the person, waiting for them to say "thank you." Most people ignore her and move on (and then I tell her "thank you for being such a polite princess!" since they didn't say anything.), but this morning the lady behind us at the checkout line in WalMart sneezed. Nadia said "Bless you!" and then stared right at the lady, waiting for the thanks. The lady turns to me and asks "Why's she looking at me like that?" I replied, "She's waiting for you to say thank you." So the lady turns to my daughter, leans over and says "Thank you so much sweetheart!" Nadia's reply? "You're welcome!" She has a huge smile on her face becasue she was so happy that the lady said "thank you" - it was so cute!



Of course Nadia did turn right around and say to her 9.5 month-old sister "I so sorry, I gonna bite you now." I did catch her before she bit her sister (it's her new thing lately, but at least she gives a warning and says sorry before hand!)... 2 year-olds are great! :P



Anyway, that was totally off topic, but I just had to reply...



Regarding the op's question: I also hate it when people say "I'll pray for you" with the implication that they are praying for you to go to "their side" as opposed to praying for your goodwill. In my opinion, that's improper use (and possibly abuse) of prayer.



I am not an overly religious person, but I am religious. I tell people all the time that I will pray for them or add them to my church's prayer list (my dad's a pastor), but it is always with the best intentions and never praying to change someone. It is a sincere and heartfelt sentiment. If someone were to get offended I would apologize, but that would not change my original intention of letting them know that I am thinking of them and wish them the best.

Esther - posted on 12/09/2009

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Quoting Savannah:

my son says Bless you, when anyone sneezes. Just a simple, "bless you daddy, bless you!" It is very cute. We didn't teach him to say it he just does it because for me and hubby it is reflex to say. I think it is darling. He blesses anyone who sneezes, be it in a store, restaurant, etc.
It is very interesting to see people's reactions to it. Not once has anyone said, "thank you."
Bless you, thank you... How hard is that? 



Are you serious? That's crazy!!! I would probably call myself an agnostic (not atheist) but I still teach my 2-year-old to say "bless you". I don't really think of it as a religious expression (although I know it is). It's just polite. And easier to say for a two-year-old than "gesundheit". I think it's adorable and I would love it if your little boy "blessed" me.

Isobel - posted on 12/09/2009

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I am not an atheist, but I do have a personal church of one. I say Bless You...But it's me blessing you...not God...hee hee

Sarah - posted on 12/09/2009

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I am a bit of a brat.....but shhhhh don't tell anyone!!
Can't believe people don't say Thankyou when your son says 'Bless you' !!!
I think that's really rude. I can't stand people who don't say please and thankyou! One of my pet hates! :)

Savannah - posted on 12/09/2009

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my son says Bless you, when anyone sneezes. Just a simple, "bless you daddy, bless you!" It is very cute. We didn't teach him to say it he just does it because for me and hubby it is reflex to say. I think it is darling. He blesses anyone who sneezes, be it in a store, restaurant, etc.

It is very interesting to see people's reactions to it. Not once has anyone said, "thank you."

Bless you, thank you... How hard is that? We have all heard it. Most grew up saying it. And yet, my son is the one out of line? Some people tick me off with their God-o-phobia. So unnecessary.

I am wondering why I encounter so many people like that where I live and yet all of you ladies are so clear on the subject.

I mean, Come on! A "bless you" from a two year old? What can be sweeter than that?



And Sarah... I think you may be a bit of a brat, Beatch! It takes one to know one, you know! Lol haha ahahahahaha! Jk! :P

Sarah - posted on 12/09/2009

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Jo, i can't believe you think i'm an immature illiterate brat!!!!! I'm sooooo upset right now!
*throws a tantrum* I'M NOT A BRAT!! I AM NOT A BRAT!!! *kicks and screams*


hehehe! :)

Sarah - posted on 12/09/2009

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S'up bitches!
Whenever my husband sneezes, and i say 'Bless you' he always says, 'Yes, Odin will bless me' or whichever god he fancies that day!!

I do think people can use phrases like 'God bless you' in a sarcastic way, and then it does annoy me, but people do it with other words too, like 'Ok, dear' or 'Whatever darling' i think it's a bit more annoying when people who claim to serve God, use the greeting in a sarcastic way tho. Not very Christian i guess!

Still, if anyone wants to pray for me, from whatever religion, feel free!! haha!

Johnny - posted on 12/08/2009

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Jenn, your last post should be pinned and locked on the Welcome Board!

As for what us atheists/agnostics say when someone sneezes... well, I use gesundheit too. Mostly because it means "good health". But also because when I was a kid & someone sneezed, people inevitably said, "gesundheit" to which my father always replied, "comes out loose". I found that extremely funny when I was 10, it amuses me to this day (yes, to anyone who'd already said so, I am immature).

Ez - posted on 12/08/2009

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Quoting dana:

Okay, got a question, what do atheists say to some one who has sneezed? Man, that sounds like the beginning of a really good joke but, it's not... lol

I also would like to add to something about Erin's comment, I disagree about part of the problem being people of faith demand respect and acknowledgment of their beliefs. I am a religious person and I don't feel that way. I also know that Erin is a reasonable person so I know she doesn't mean ALL people of faith, I hope.... hehe


Ok I need to clarify, because yes I absolutely AM a reasonable person :-p



When I say that people of faith demand respect and acknowledgement of their beliefs I am not meaning that in a negative light. I think we all deserve that.. and I guess that's my point. Religious people deserve to have their beliefs accepted, just as atheists do. Because being atheist IS a belief, and some hard core religious people (and here I don't mean reasonable people of faith) have trouble accepting that.



If someone says 'God Bless You' as a figure of speech meant with sincerity and kindness I am in no way offended, even though I am not religious. If someone tells me they will pray for me to find the Lord because I am doing my child a disservice by not raising her with the Bible, then I definitely WILL be offended and will tell them so. There is a very distinct difference, and as Jo said, the difference is intent.

Esther - posted on 12/08/2009

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Quoting dana:

Okay, got a question, what do atheists say to some one who has sneezed? Man, that sounds like the beginning of a really good joke but, it's not... lol





Gesundheit (sp?)

Savannah - posted on 12/08/2009

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Quoting Jenn:



Quoting dana:

Okay, got a question, what do atheists say to some one who has sneezed? Man, that sounds like the beginning of a really good joke but, it's not... lol







Even better one -






If you die and go to heaven and meet God, and He sneezes - what do you say?





you'd say, wow!  You can get allergies in Heaven?!  lol

?? - posted on 12/08/2009

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That's a good question Dana... I think there's a huge difference between saying God bless you and just... bless you. The word bless in itself means "to wish happiness" but when you add God... there is a difference. I have family members who are religious, and I grew up being taught religious gestures; adding God before saying bless you was one of them.



Now that I question the existence of God... I simply say bless you.



I also think that there are some things that people say that have become so common place that the religious meaning behind them is real to some people but completely pointless to people who just use them as a saying... Oh my God! Oh good Lord! Heaven help us! Jesus Christ even, etc etc etc. When we were younger the pastors children used to tell us to stop using the lords name in vain and I understand how it can be seen as offensive, rude or profane to say those things to people of faith... but to me, someone who doesn't believe in God, the bible or whatever... they're just words that have no greater value than regular everyday words that I would use.



Funny story about sneezing - it's habit for me to say bless you no matter who sneezes, no matter where, it's just an automatic gesture because when I was growing up my grandma used to tell me that if I didn't say bless you to someone who sneezed, leprechauns would nibble on my toes in the middle of the night. She was joking but it was always in the back of my mind when someone would sneeze and JUST to be sure, to make sure those freakin leprechauns didn't nibble on my toes, I always said bless you.

~Jennifer - posted on 12/08/2009

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Quoting dana:

Okay, got a question, what do atheists say to some one who has sneezed? Man, that sounds like the beginning of a really good joke but, it's not... lol




Even better one -



If you die and go to heaven and meet God, and He sneezes - what do you say?

Dana - posted on 12/08/2009

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Okay, got a question, what do atheists say to some one who has sneezed? Man, that sounds like the beginning of a really good joke but, it's not... lol



I also would like to add to something about Erin's comment, I disagree about part of the problem being people of faith demand respect and acknowledgment of their beliefs. I am a religious person and I don't feel that way. I also know that Erin is a reasonable person so I know she doesn't mean ALL people of faith, I hope.... hehe

?? - posted on 12/08/2009

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LMAO That's so ridiculous !! Keep God out of Christmas.... my guess is that person was never really told anything about Christmas just that it's another holiday where people give presents.



That's seriously so silly that it makes me sad for the person who said it!



Saying God bless more often than not is a pleasantry that comes from someone's actual real belief in the foundation of true love and the sense of sharing a caring and kind gesture....... people that take it personally have some serious issues. And the people who take people taking it personally as a personal attack, should take a step back and just evaluate what took place.



If you feel that being offended and upset by someone taking it personally, the intent in which you said it was not all that sincere in the first place. If you truly are saying it as just a kind gesture, brushing off someone taking it personally shouldn't be an issue. If you said it as a way to thrust your beliefs in someone's face, well then you should expect some people to take it personally.



Context and intent are key factors in deciding whether or not someone is saying something to be kind or to be rude lol a little bit of common sense goes such a long way!

Savannah - posted on 12/08/2009

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I wasn't specifically referring strictly to forums, per se. I don't know if any of you play Greenspot on Myspace but a lady threw out a nice greeting, simply, "Have a merry Christmas, God bless all of you!" and everyone jumped down her throat. It was ridiculous. They got offended and one person actually said, "why don't you keep God out of Christmas!"
How on earth can a christian keep God out of Christmas?
I just think that people from both sides get a little carried away.
I mean, that behavior was sooo uncalled for. She was just being nice. You know?

Charlie - posted on 12/08/2009

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YES Erin i completely agree !
Its not about having faith or which religion you choose to be its not even about saying god bless or the like , to me its about having respect for all faiths .
It really gets to me when people get all up in a hype about people disrespecting their faith and yet they push and impose their faith on others as if their faith is the only faith in the world ( can anyone say ignorant ) and when those people who are being imposed on are not of their faith and practice something else its incredibly offensive and presumptuous to constantly have those manic extremists on their backs .

Whats worse is when people say things like your going to hell for sinning or your a deviant in the eyes of ( their ) god , believe what you want but no matter which way you look at it judging , discriminating and damming people will always cause debate and when that is the way you choose to preach it expect it back , if your methods are a simple god bless in a friendly fashion then hey , thank you and best wishes to you too !

?? - posted on 12/08/2009

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Nah, it's ok Savannah :)



I think that thread is a perfect example of why this happens. A simple comment was turned into a personal attack (on purpose) rather than taking it at face value. I decided I would post and clarify what I meant. To show that it is THAT easy for things to be turned into a nasty fit. All it takes are the wrong words and the wrong reaction for people to get out of hand with something that is as personal as someone's faith, no matter how insignificant the comment is.



+ I agree 100% wih Erin, very well said :)

Savannah - posted on 12/08/2009

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Thanks Ladies! I get where you all are coming from totally and it really does make sense. I just wanted to add that the post about leaving your child in the car wasn't my reason for posting this question. I think the posts on that spoke for themselves. Sorry Jo, if it seemed that I was using that as an example. I really wasn't.
Amanda, you are the bomb. I couldn't have explained or thought it better than you said it. Rock on!

Cassie - posted on 12/08/2009

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Joy, I agree with you 100%!! I don't think I could have said it better myself. It is often all in the intent of the person who is using religious ideas to send a message to others. I agree that if it is in sincerity and the person honestly believes that their message could be beneficial to the OP because it has helped them, then go for it; speak your mind. But to those who use their faith to condemn others or to make themselves appear higher, their faith should be left out of the conversation.

I also believe that others are to blame as well. It seems to me, in reading many of the posts in this forum and others, that people, religious or non-religious, are just out for a fight and want to justify their beliefs in any way they can. The religious want to make sure that everyone knows there beliefs and make others feel unworthy or damned if they don't share those beliefs. The non-religious seem to feel that it is there job to make the religious seem like nut-jobs or fanatics who have no place in debate or conversation. This is just what I have seen from various posts on this site and obviously not all religious and non-religious fit into those categories either.

As others have said, a person's faith and beliefs are the core of who they are whether they are religious or non-religious. It is a fair assumption that we will each be bringing those beliefs into our opinions of things secular and religious. This is why debates can often take a turn from one thing to another and can often end in a religious debate. As responsible adults, we need to be able to separate our opinions, emotions, and faith from certain debates in order to keep the focus of the debate going in the direction it was intended to take (a circumcision debate staying on circumcision, a seat belt debate staying on seat belts).

?? - posted on 12/08/2009

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I'll start off by re-explaining the God bless bs from the other thread because apparently the whole concept was lost... I won't even use "God bless you" as the example this time - I should have known better than to use it in the other thread because the ENTIRE point was lost in the idea of attacking religion when that was NOT even REMOTELY what I was saying.



( Sarah I'm gonna borrow you for a minute ok, I hope you don't mind :x )

Jo says "Shit happens."

Sarah says "Yo Yo Yo Yo Yo wassup mah homies."



They are both common phrases used by different people. Jo's saying uses a cuss word. Sarah's saying uses horrible english. Both could be considered rude and offensive considering all of the different meanings, implications, assumptions that are just generally attached to them --- BUT BOTH ARE EQUALLY HARMLESS.



I CAN NOT CONTROL WHAT SARAH SAYS, so instead of being offended or insulted by her using horrible english and assuming she is an illiterate immature brat, I simply ignore it. I in turn decide, consciously to conclude that she means to say "Hello my friend" and I will continue the conversation with THAT idea in my head.



The same can be said vice versa. Instead of Sarah becoming offended or insulted by the use of the word SHIT and assume that I am immature and incapable of intelligent thought, she can ignore it. Turn it around and think ok she means "things happen."



We think of the entire picture of what is being said, rather than focusing on the bland and pointless argument of semantics, common phrases and CHOOSING to be offended over something that is completely irrelivant.





NOW I HOPE that clears up that stupid "God bless you" crap from the other thread.









As for why things turn into a religious debate, that is a perfect explanation was to why. Completely harmless statements, probably not written perfectly to explain EXACTLY what someone means without any room for misinterpretation, are taken as a personal attack rather than just a statement.



It happens all the time. People CAN NOT make ANY type of remark about ANY religion without SOME religious people getting a hair across their ass about it. It doesn't matter if it is the most general statement you could ever make, it doesn't matter if you NOTE that it has NOTHING to do with ANY SINGLE PERSON -- there will ALWAYS BE some religious person who will fight it........ because people's faith is the very base of who they are. Even if it's not meant as an attack, they read it, and they see it as an attack because it's ingrained in who they are. It's the very spine of their being.



And THAT is why EVERYTHING turns into a religious debate.



I guess us stupid atheists should just take out butts elsewhere... then no one has to worry about us ruining their perfect world with OUR potty mouths and bad behavior ;)







OH PS: If this post ends up spurring a bunch of religious anger... I'll just say... you proved my point :)

Isobel - posted on 12/08/2009

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Quoting Amanda:

i don't know that it is typically an "i'll pray for you/my prayers are with you" or "God bless" statement that usually starts off the heated disagreement between people on CoM about religion/religious preference. i find that it is more when someone asks,(strictly for example purposes); "how do i cure diaper rash" and someone starts quoting bible scriptures and then someone else points out "hey, how do you know this person is religious? ". that's where the nastiness begins. and quite honestly most of the threads that turn out this way have NOTHING to do with religion/praying/or bible versus. i mean, a thread about diaper rashes, feeding, CIO, etc.... is really not a forum to for someone to "promote" (for lack of a better term) thier religion. i'm Christian and i am not perfect but i also know there is a place and a time for religious expressions, and trying to jam personal beliefs down someone's throat is distastful, condescending, and unneccessary. just my thoughts based on what i have seen.


Plus...how long are these peoples' prayers...really.... if they are praying for strangers whose babies have diaper rash...what else have they got.



I guess what I'm saying is...it becomes kind of empty as well, and therefore hypocrytical.

Lindsay - posted on 12/08/2009

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Quoting Amanda:

i don't know that it is typically an "i'll pray for you/my prayers are with you" or "God bless" statement that usually starts off the heated disagreement between people on CoM about religion/religious preference. i find that it is more when someone asks,(strictly for example purposes); "how do i cure diaper rash" and someone starts quoting bible scriptures and then someone else points out "hey, how do you know this person is religious? ". that's where the nastiness begins. and quite honestly most of the threads that turn out this way have NOTHING to do with religion/praying/or bible versus. i mean, a thread about diaper rashes, feeding, CIO, etc.... is really not a forum to for someone to "promote" (for lack of a better term) thier religion. i'm Christian and i am not perfect but i also know there is a place and a time for religious expressions, and trying to jam personal beliefs down someone's throat is distastful, condescending, and unneccessary. just my thoughts based on what i have seen.



I really agree with what you are saying, Amanda. I also wanted to add that when you are in a heated discussion with someone and since you aren't coming to their way of thinking, they respond with "I'll pray for you" really gets under my skin. I do pray about many things but praying for someone because they don't agree with you is irrelevant. I'll pray for people going through tough times or whatever but beyond that it just seems like you're really saying "I'm right, you're wrong."



I try really hard to leave my religious beliefs out of most topics because it's not necessary.

Isobel - posted on 12/08/2009

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Crystal, I've already explained what the "first hit" was in that case...I personally enjoy having somebody around who disagrees with a lot of us, however, I recommend that you drop this line of conversation before it starts again. Both of you behaved inappropriately at moments. Whether it was based on a misunderstanding or not does not change it.

Crystal - posted on 12/08/2009

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Im afraid to say anything here anymore being as I was ripped to shreds for saying just that "God bless" and yes I did become agitated afterwards however it never was meant to be a "first hit" I think christians are often misconstrued because they are generally pleasant and people take that as "pushy" because they do say god bless or I will pray for you when you are ill,etc etc. But I think its necessary to point out that other religions also believe in God and say God bless as well...so that alone does not mean you are "christian". But I agree with your post that it has nothing to do with seatbelts, circumcision etc..Have a nice day!

Jaime - posted on 12/08/2009

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I am not religious and I would never be offended if someone talked to me about religion or made a religious comment to or about me. In this day and age, we are so concerned about offending another person that we have taken political correctness beyond the scope of rational. Granted, back in October I was a little taken aback when I went to the court house and had to swear an oath on the bible that my signature was valid and perhaps I went on a bit of a rant about it, and took it out of the context that I had originally wanted to discuss it...but that's precisely my point when I say that political correctness is sometimes overwhelmingly impossible to live up to. It really doesn't offend me that there is still a bible used to swear an oath in court...I like that I have the option to just 'affirm' my signature and statement, but I have no real issue with the bible. I think it comes down to self-discipline...one just needs to take a step back and really examine what is worth an argument. I went to Church on Sunday for my nephew's Christmas concert...there was hymn singing, prayers and scriptures...I wasn't offended at the insistance that we pray...I simply sat respectfully while others prayed and I observed the decorations in the church...I figured my day in Church was a small sacrifice to see the huge smile on my nephew's face when he realized that his family was watching him sing his little heart out! I enjoy debating on this forum because once there is a good discussion going, there is a lot to be learned from it...but as you pointed out, once someone takes the discussion to a personal level it is often impossible to set the debate back on course, discouraging people from participating or posting their own discussions. I have taken a break from COM for that very reason because now that I'm back, I want to take a different approach to my comments, so that, although I might feel strongly about a certain subject, I'm not driving the discussion off course or overwhelming the conversation by restating my opinion a hundred times so as to suggest that I'm shoving my views down someone's throat. I look forward to this forum because there are a lot of great discussions and some laughs to be had!

Sarah - posted on 12/08/2009

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He high fived me and said 'S'up Hommie.....here's ya sprog, now i'm off to bust some moves!'

Ok so that's not QUITE how it went, perhaps there is a time and a place for 'S'up bitch' !!

:)

Mary - posted on 12/08/2009

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Well, religion is the root cause of so many wars, it's not exactly surprising that it is a source of so much hostility here as well.

I agree with Sarah...it seems a bit unreasonable to be offended at a breezy "God Bless" when no offense was intended. It's a bit different, however, when one uses that same phrase in a heated argument, and the tone is a bit more sanctimonious or condescending. Sadly, I see that type of exchange on CoM all too often.

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