Nightcrawler/Religious & Spiritual Discussion

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Post by Maelstrom » Mon Jan 19, 2004 4:42 pm

Originally posted by thylacine
... Anyway... speaking of religious prejudice... today in the newspaper's advice column, this guy's girlfriend dumped him because he was a Catholic. She said, "I don't want my kids being raised by a Catholic." Like, that is so awful! That sounds like, 'I don't want my kids raised by a crackhead' to me. What was she thinking? That he would glue rosaries to their little heads???
:urg This is such a very, very sticky situation....

Part of this is indeed blatant religious bigotry. "I don't want my kids raised by A Catholic" makes it abundantly clear that he thinks Catholics are inferior at best.

However, I've noticed that many, many religions (not just Christianity) don't like to have their members marry someone of a different faith. Anyone besides me remember Fiddler on the Roof? When the father disowns his daughter because she wants to marry a Christian instead of a Jew? That's a scene repeated many times, with many religions. Sometimes that applies to different sects of the same faith, i.e. Catholic vs. Protestant.

The reason given is that when you've got people with radically different religions living together, something's gotta give. It's assumed that one of the two will convert to the other's belief. And if not, then any children will grow up terminally confused about their religious "identity". My mother explained it a bit more gently. She is very much Orthodox Christian, and her faith is so important to her that she would hant to share it with anyone she loves.

This is a very, VERY old view. Not "old" as in "outdated", but as in "has been followed for thousands of years, not likely to be changed any time soon". It's woefully common throughout the world. (If you think Fundlets hate the Catholics, imagine what happens in India or Pakistan when a Muslim and a Hindu fall in love.... :shocked)

Personally, I don't agree with this all-or-nothing view. I think there's room for debate and room for similarities. True, if there are children involved, you'll have to plan ahead of time what's going to happen. I think it is a lousy idea to bring a child up actively following two distincly different faiths, because it will be confusing. An adult can make a decision as to what road to follow, but a child lacks the wisdom to do so. But, by that token, if you've persevered this long against social pressure and opposition, then you'll surely be able to figure out something mutually acceptable. ;)
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Post by The Drastic Spastic » Mon Jan 19, 2004 11:10 pm

Originally posted by Maelstrom
Originally posted by thylacine
... Anyway... speaking of religious prejudice... today in the newspapers advice column, this guys girlfriend dumped him because he was a Catholic. She said, "I dont want my kids being raised by a Catholic." Like, that is so awful! That sounds like, I dont want my kids raised by a crackhead to me. What was she thinking? That he would glue rosaries to their little heads???
:urg This is such a very, very sticky situation....

Part of this is indeed blatant religious bigotry. "I dont want my kids raised by A Catholic" makes it abundantly clear that he thinks Catholics are inferior at best.
Or it could just mean "A Catholic" would want to raise them in the Catholic faith, which she didnt agree with. I cant even see myself dating a devout Catholic long enough for the subject of kids to come up. For me, it would be a source of extreme friction.
Originally posted by Shadow_Dancer
What I believe, and we teach the kids is this:

What truly qualifies one as a Christian is motivation more than anything else. I had to come to a realization that I am a sinner, and because of that I cannot approach my perfect and sovereign Creator. But He could have tossed us all out and just started again, but He didn’t. He made a way for us to come back to Him. I think that much of the Old Testament was to show us that no matter how hard we try, we can never be good enough on our own. There is not anything we can do in and of ourselves.

So then He came himself, in the form of a man who was both God and man. Who had the same weaknesses, faced the same trials and temptations but lived a pure life. In His death Christ took our punishment, and then rose again, conquering death so that we might also live forever. He bridged the gap between God and us.

To me, a Christian is quite simply someone who takes this to heart, that realizes that there is nothing they can do to bridge that gap themselves, and trusts in the sacrifice that Christ made and my wongs are forgiven. The debt I owe God is paid in full. I also believe that there is nothing you can do to “work” your way into heaven. I can never be “good enough”, or do “enough” on my own. But it was already done for me. All I have to do is confess that I am imperfect and trust that God only sees the perfection of Christ. And when I do the good things that the Blble asks me to do, it is not out of trying to work my way to God, but out of love and obedience for the one who sacrificed His life for me.
I do like this though.
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Post by Lauren » Tue Jan 20, 2004 1:56 pm

My friend's mother actually found a way to get her kids to be both Jewish and Christian. She had them baptized and stuff, but they went to Hebrew school and stuff along with religion school to be christian. She said it would help because at some point if they wanted they could drop one religion and keep the other.
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Post by thylacine » Tue Jan 20, 2004 2:20 pm

That is cool to be both Jewish & Christian.

Quote: "He actually told me that I was a wonderful girl and that he'd stay with me if I would convert and turn my back on the "wretched" Catholic Church."

Did you slap that punk???

Anyway... I once worked with a Jewish girl who, when she found out I was Catholic, announced to my face that I was closed minded, prejudiced, uneducated, and ignorant, and homophobic. She only knew me for a few days. I could not say anything back to her, because she was a manager, and I knew right away that she was the type to make big trouble. All I could say was, "What-? I am not- " "Yes you are. All Catholics are! All of them! And you all just think you have to be so good so when you die you get to Heaven. But there is no Heaven," she raged. "There is nothing after this. Nothing at all! You just die!" (This behavior, of course, says more about her as a person than it says about her faith. She always left work early to see her psychiatrist. She was going to night school too, to be a sex therapist. I am not making that up!) She found out I was Catholic and treated me like an evil mutant!

Speaking of religious prejudice... My mother always said that she believed that my alcoholic father married her just because she was Catholic and he thought she would never divorce him no matter what. "Guess I showed him!" she said. It was a nasty divorce. Real nasty. "That's what I get for marrying a Protestant! If you ever get married, you should marry a nice Jewish boy. They're all doctors, and their mothers bring them up to do what they're told!" :LOL

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Post by Lauren » Tue Jan 20, 2004 3:35 pm

where did some of these stereotypes come from anyway? I mean, we've got the jews have big noses one , jewish women don't like sex, caholics are all this and that, people who pray the rosary are fanatics! Come on!
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Post by Maelstrom » Tue Jan 20, 2004 4:38 pm

Originally posted by Lauren
where did some of these stereotypes come from anyway? I mean, we've got the jews have big noses one , jewish women don't like sex, caholics are all this and that, people who pray the rosary are fanatics! Come on!
Well, the same "big, hooked nose" stereotype also goes for anyone who's even remotely Middle-Eastern (look at the political cartoons). The smidgen of truth that goes with that image lies more with adaptation than anything else.

On the average, Caucasian Europeans, Inuits, and Asians have slightly smaller nasal cavities. Why? Because they've adapted to a colder climate for a few hundred thousand years, and a smaller nose means you get to warm up the cold air you breathe in. (I know that large parts of China are swampy, humid, and hot, to say nothing of Japan, but originally only China's northern provinces were populated. It wasn't until a few thousand years ago that continued invasions from the North forced people into the southern, warmer areas, and then into Japan.)

By contrast, those from the warmer regions (Middle East, India, Africa, Native North and South Americans, Polynesians) have slightly larger nasal cavities for allowing the hot air to circulate and cool down on the way in.

The distinct shape of a nose is heavily influenced by these genetic factors, which were originally heavily influenced by environmental factors.
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Post by TelegramSam » Tue Jan 20, 2004 4:47 pm

Interesting to note that more genetic variance has been found within small groups of chimpanzees than in the entirety of the human species. At some point, the human population dropped to less than 10,000, and the resulting "population bottleneck" insured that we're all basically identical on a genetic level, much the same way Cheetahs and Pumas are, and a few other species that have undergone a similar situation.
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Post by thylacine » Tue Jan 20, 2004 4:52 pm

That is quite interesting... I did not know some of that stuff... I did know that thing on cheetahs though! See? Ain't I smart? I watch PBS!!!

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Post by Lauren » Tue Jan 20, 2004 5:26 pm

Yay for PBS! Aww...now I'm going to be reminded of Mr. Rogers again! *sobs*
"I am known as Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gombigobilla Blue Stradivari Talentrent Pierre Andri Charton-Haymoss Ivanovici Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser III. Don't hesitate to call." -Vash the Stampede


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Post by bluefooted » Tue Jan 20, 2004 6:18 pm

Originally posted by TelegramSam
Interesting to note that more genetic variance has been found within small groups of chimpanzees than in the entirety of the human species. At some point, the human population dropped to less than 10,000, and the resulting "population bottleneck" insured that we're all basically identical on a genetic level, much the same way Cheetahs and Pumas are, and a few other species that have undergone a similar situation.
Well, the level of genetic diversity that is considered 'normal' will depend on the species. I don't think the human race is in as dire a position as the cheetah population - they have such low genetic diversity that all individuals are practically clones. And, therefore, there is little difference in their disease resistance. One good virus could wipe them all out.

I think the most astounding and important fact is that we've found there is more (much more) genetic diversity within human 'racial' groups than between them. Making our perception of 'races' really pretty biologically irrelevent. And pointless, too :) The visible differences between people that we (as humans) like to focus on are not reflected in the underlying genetics. And we should just become more homogenous over time, as we become a more 'well-travelled' species.

And to keep it on topic... um... we're really all the same on the inside... so, um... we should try to love one another... rather than partition ourselves into groups... whew!

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Post by Warbird » Wed Jan 21, 2004 2:49 am

Is it just me, or is being Christian and Jewish an oxymoron. Of course Christianity came frome Judiism (sp?) but there is something that makes them completely different. Jewish peopel don't recognize Jesus as their savior and Christians do. That's the main point of Christianity and it's completely rejected by the Jewish faith. I can only immagine that those children would have a very confused spiritual identity.

My best firend growing up had a Jewish and a christian parent. They raised her Jewish, because it is where christianity gets its roots so later she could explore it on her own. Her parents tried very hard to only raise her Jewish so that she wouldn't have such extreem conflicts in faith as a young child. Their thinking, and I agree, was that if she was raised with opposing faiths at the same time, it would be more likely that she wouldn't belive either as a young adult. I don't know about any one else, but if two people tell me extreemly different stories about the same event, I assume they're both making most of it up.
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Post by Wolvertique » Wed Jan 21, 2004 3:05 am

"Is it just me, or is being Christian and Jewish an oxymoron."

Not necessarily. Believe it or not, to many people these days, being Jewish is solely a cultural and not a religious thing! Shocked the stuffing out of me when I found out, back in college, that a Jewish person I knew who grew up in Israel considered herself to be a Jewish atheist! I didn't think it was possible, but then she explained the whole cultural v. religious Judaism thing to me.

I know. Weird. But if you ask, you'll find out that what I say here is true. :eek
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Post by Warbird » Wed Jan 21, 2004 3:37 am

I realize the idea of Judaism as a cultural identity is common now, but Hebrew schools almost always teach faith. If it's following Jewish culture and Christian religion I understand, but not both faiths at once.

"She said it would help because at some point if they wanted they could drop one religion and keep the other. "

This implies that both religions are being learned in tandom. If you're asking someone to lear two opposing religions their entire life, you might as well be teaching them Greek Mythology while you're at it. If they could simply just "drop" one, their fiath probably isn't that strong in either.
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Post by Lauren » Wed Jan 21, 2004 3:49 am

*shrug* it worked for my friend and her brother at least. She's Jewish and he's Christian.
"I am known as Valentinez Alkalinella Xifax Sicidabohertz Gombigobilla Blue Stradivari Talentrent Pierre Andri Charton-Haymoss Ivanovici Baldeus George Doitzel Kaiser III. Don't hesitate to call." -Vash the Stampede


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Post by The Drastic Spastic » Wed Jan 21, 2004 5:31 am

Originally posted by Warbird
I realize the idea of Judaism as a cultural identity is common now, but Hebrew schools almost always teach faith. If it's following Jewish culture and Christian religion I understand, but not both faiths at once.

"She said it would help because at some point if they wanted they could drop one religion and keep the other. "

This implies that both religions are being learned in tandom. If you're asking someone to lear two opposing religions their entire life, you might as well be teaching them Greek Mythology while you're at it. If they could simply just "drop" one, their fiath probably isn't that strong in either.
I hate the idea that thinking about faith makes it weaker. It's part of the problem I have with most religions. Believe! Don't think! Ick.
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Post by Lauren » Wed Jan 21, 2004 1:38 pm

Honestly, isn't it better to think about your religion, maybe even analyze it and if you want study it to see where the holes are, and such? Isn't that what we're doing on this thread?
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Post by Maelstrom » Wed Jan 21, 2004 4:24 pm

Examining and thinking about a religion should never, ever make it "weaker". If it does, then you shouldn't be in it. The kind of people who rail against such examinations tend to be zealots, those who believe that any view but their own is utterly wrong. Also, cult leaders (there's that word again :rolleyes) smash any kind of critical thinking about their "faiths" with the "you must believe unquestioningly in order to be saved" garbage because critical thinking and cults cannot co-exist.

The major religions of the world have traditions of debating and scholarly research. (Some of the so called "debates" of the RC church during the middle ages were a bit silly, as they'd get really worked up over ideas such as how many angels could dance on the head of a pin....) When such scholarly research and debate is suppressed, it's invariably for purely secular reasons of power and control, not because the faith itself demands it. A preacher on the corner denounces you as a blasphemer for questioning the Bible? That's because he personally doesn't have the answers, but he doesn't want to lose control of the situation.
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Post by Lauren » Wed Jan 21, 2004 5:26 pm

kind of the like the situation you said you wre in when the guy kept repeating the same damn line over and over again.
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Post by bamfchickie » Thu Jan 22, 2004 4:43 am

Whew! Take a few days off to get some writing done, and I miss all kinds of stuff! ;)

I'm sorry I missed the end of the Mormon discussion, but I wanted to blow a kiss to everyone who responded with "Mormonism is not a cult." You expressed my opinion far more eloquently than I could have done.

(Hmm, I need a smoochy-Kurt smilie. The licky-Kurt one seems awfully forward). ;)

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Post by thylacine » Thu Jan 22, 2004 1:41 pm

Hi Bamfchickie... I don't truly know if Mormonism is a cult or not. I just don't think that people should make other people feel singled out. In other words, it is unkind to be like "this one is this, and that one is that -- " if you get my drift.

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Post by Lauren » Thu Jan 22, 2004 1:47 pm

it depends on how your specific church or temple or whatever is like when it comes to your faith.

There are some Catholics, i know because I've been to a few churches, where they do nothing but condemn, whereas there are others that do not.

Some Mormon groups are like cults in a way, maybe some are not.
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Post by bamfchickie » Thu Jan 22, 2004 3:47 pm

As I mentioned before, religion is one of those topics I try to avoid at all costs, because differences in opinion often cause the "debate" (such as it is) to disintegrate into an exercise in cyclical logic. ;) Or in other words:

"Is not!"

"Is too!"

"Is not!"

"Is too!"

And so on, so forth. LOL ...

That said, however, if you're interested in exploring the topics of Christianity, cults, their definitions, and the Mormon church (or any church, for that matter), I would recommend reading the following sites/pages.

http://www.religioustolerance.org

This is a wonderful site, with multiple cross-references and all sorts of lovely links to track down for more information. Of specific interest is this:

http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_defn.htm

Very nice overview of the multiple definitions of Christianity, with an explanation of why some denominations exclude others as being "real" Christians. There are links to cult information from this page as well.

And for a better look at Mormonism:

http://www.mormon.org/learn/0,8672,1598-1,00.html

These are the Mormon Articles of Faith: IOW, what they basically believe in. I think #11 is particularly meaningful when their church is faced with that nasty "cult" moniker. ;)

Hope that helps, if anyone wanted to know more. :)

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Post by thylacine » Thu Jan 22, 2004 10:43 pm

I hope no one upset you, Bamfchickie. I'm sorry about people calling your religion a cult. Like I said, most of the Mormons I met were nice people. I don't know much about what they believe, though.

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Post by Warbird » Fri Jan 23, 2004 1:12 am

I wasn't saying don't think about religion. It's always good to think about all important aspects of your life. I actually have a tendancy to over analyze sot that's not what I was saying at all.

Also historically the Catholic church has had many very importan internal arguments that have shaped all of modern christianity to some degree. One such debate called the Iconoclasm actually became so heightened that there were small battles over it. It was over weather christians should be aloud to have paintings inside churches. Pope Gregory the Great was able to eventually settle it by stating that the Catholic church uses these pictures to help reinforce the bible to the illiterate and the uneducated. If this hadn't happend, no christian painting would have survied. It would have all been burned as false idols. The sistine chapel wouldn't have been painted. da Vinci wouldn't have painted the Last Supper or Madona on the rocks. Much of Giotto's work wouldn't exist either. And no one would have any pictures of angels or Jesus anywhere in their lives. Not all of their squabbeling was pointless, just some of it.
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Post by bamfchickie » Fri Jan 23, 2004 2:27 am

I hope no one upset you, Bamfchickie. I'm sorry about people calling your religion a cult.
Call me Libs. :D Most everyone else does, and Bamfchickie always throws me for a loop. LOL! It's my LJ name, but no one calls me that online, so I always do a double-take when I see it. ;)

"Bamfchickie? Who is ... d'oh!" *face palm*

And naaaah, not upset at all! I'm not even Mormon. My parents are Mormon, though - so I tend to start twitching when "Mormon" and "cult" get used in the same sentence. ;)

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