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  1. #41
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    Again, you can think whatever you like.

    Ciao!
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  2. #42
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    Jun. 18, 2007
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    Haven't read all the thread, but I'll throw in my church attendance and why I go personal perspective while my next long job is downloading and taking a while to do so. (I'm working today.) This will probably get long.

    I was raised in a Christian home, in fact my grandfather was a preacher. Most of COTH would consider him an unusual one, I think, although most preachers I have experienced over the years have been similar. He never proclaimed he was perfect or "better than" others. He never ran down other denominations than his own. In fact, he once listed in my hearing what he considered was the strongest point of several of the others besides his - these are especially good at this, those at that, etc. He made it absolutely clear that he didn't think that only people who matched him on A through Z and all points precisely would be the only ones in heaven.

    But growing up, as a little kid, church was not voluntary. Mom took me along. That said, it was hardly drudgery, either. I have fond memories, especially the youth programs, and we took several mission trips. And by those, I mean get-your-hands-dirty mission trips, really serving some physical needs of people.

    So that was what I was raised in. Then I went off to college, which was a different universe. From the Bible Belt to way-the-heck-out-there liberal area. The lesbian, gay, and bisexual community had far more members than the Christian fellowship, and there was just a Christian fellowship, not a Baptist, Catholic, etc., fellowship. All identifying as Christians were together in that college if you wanted to join a Christian religious group. I had never been in an atmosphere like that, but the more I thought about it - and I DID think about it - the more what I was raised in made sense to me. I have personally experienced God, and I have no doubt that He is real.

    The Christian fellowship, which I ultimately became an officer in, was a great experience, too, because we did have a lot of stylistic and minor belief differences. Excellent opportunity to work with others focusing on the big thing we had together, learning to work with the differences, learning when to simply be quiet and not make a point.

    Back home, back into church and full speed into the music program. Youth choir had always bugged me by being "youthy." I wanted to be in adult choir since I was 6, because they sang music that was richer, fuller, and appealed to me more. Seriously, I used to attend choir practice with Mom as a little kid and just sit there listening - and I would sit there and listen throughout. She never had to worry about me. I looked forward to getting the vocal maturity to sing there, and ultimately I did. I always knew music would be my niche of service.

    Mom had just moved to a different city when I came back after college to help her, as my grandparents were starting to go downhill just then. We church-shopped together in the new city, looking specifically for a great music program, and the two finalists in that were interesting. Both had an excellent music program. However, the one that was slightly better KNEW they had an awesome music program. We agreed that there was a bit of a feeling of pride and "listen to how great we sing" there. The other church, also a great music program if maybe a few percentage points less, seemed more service-minded and less full of themselves. We joined that one.

    Over the years since college, I have thanked God many times for leading me to that church. I love to go. They are the most sincere, welcoming, truly helpful people. They have been a lifeline of support for me in Mom's illness, far more than my biological family. What I think of that church can be summed up by the fact that I have moved again years ago, and I now drive nearly 100 miles round trip to still go there. And guess what? When I had a problem on the roof and couldn't climb a ladder because of foot surgery and being in a surgical shoe and stitched up, they sent a team of men out that same round trip drive and repaired my roof. Not one complaint about the distance. They once years ago paid for replacing the transmission in my truck. They have unfailingly been there and supportive, not just on Sundays, but any day.

    It's not just among members that they care, either. We have a Monday through Friday licensed daycare at the church, which is sort of an inner city church, and the rates are what the people (people around there, I mean, whether members or not) can pay. The difference is made up by the members. We have a cold-weather shelter for the homeless on nights where the temp drops below whatnot. We have a food bank. We just recently had a campaign wanting people to donate enough to give new shoes to every kid in one class at a nearby grade school. The members gave so much that we wound up giving new shoes to every single kid in that school, all classes, all grades. They are living examples of servant-minded Christians.

    When I went to WEG 2010, I stayed with a woman in her wonderful house, and we got to talking about religion one night. She was a Christian but had known one of the "within the doors on Sundays but forget it once worship is over" churches. I said that I was sorry that had been her experience but that there were good churches and good people out there who weren't hypocrits and were quite sincere in their faith and loved serving people. She challenged me to name something my church had done specifically for me in the last 6 months outside of the worship service. No problem. Several examples. I could also tell her things they did for the community, for ethnic groups (not their own, but "foreign" ethnic groups), etc. She was impressed.

    I'm sorry there are such churches out there, but when they are, that is a fault of the people in them. There are also many churches full of sincere Christians who would bend over backwards to help others, believers or not.

    It is my privilege and joy to take that long drive to church every Sunday, unless I'm sick. Nobody forces me. It isn't just a habit. It's one of the highlights of my week.


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  3. #43
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    dressagetraks thank you so much for sharing


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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frizzle View Post
    So I don't have an exact quote, but the gist is the same. As to how you interpret that, well, there are of course many ways you can interpret it. My argument still stands.
    The gist really isn't the same. Context is very important when interpreting the Bible. Without context, many things...from the benign to the truly terrible...are justified.

    dressagetraks: your church sounds wonderful.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #45
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    Jun. 4, 2002
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    As a recently returned to the fold Christian, I've been mulling over finding a church and seeing how it works for me. I was raised in a very religious family in an old fashioned church called "The Church of the Brethren" or the Dunkard Church. It was mainly Pennsylvania based (where I was raised) and not dissimilar to Mennonites but not as strict. They were old Mainline Protestant, pacifists, non judgmental, tried to live their lives as Jesus taught...day to day and not just on Sundays...and I never even heard the term "born again" until much later. I always found the whole "born again" thing to be a bit much as I do the evangelical POV. Too in my face...too pushy. Unfortunately my old church in which I was baptised is not in this area at all so I can't find one within a 3 hour drive.

    I've even asked myself why I want to go to church several times but I really think it is for the spiritual guidance and fellowship that I want and feel lacking in. I have plenty of Christian friends who I stay in touch with and one locally who goes to a "contemporary" Baptist church I may go with. I also have Catholic friends to attend Mass with if I choose and somehow, weirdly, feel a bit drawn to the Catholic Church. My father was Irish Catholic...perhaps it's genetic. No idea.

    I think there are plenty of reasons why people go to church. My dear Baptist friends in NC say it's like their second family and they are very evangelical...yet not pushy nor judgmental which I like. My local friend says it's like hitting the reset button after a long week. My sister says that she feels like she can just "be herself" in church and also feels renewed. I always just felt closer to God in church as a girl but I certainly can agree with whoever said earlier that she sees God in the forest. Last time I backpacked the Appalachian Trail, I truly GOT that...standing on a mountain top I've just walked up overlooking creation is an amazingly religious experience to me.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  6. #46
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    What I see is that many of those happy with their religion can't see the pressures those religions put on the rest of the citizens when they become the ones governing.
    There is power in making others conform, either way, by wanting what YOUR religion demands, or by trying to keep from religion's less sensible mandates ruling the land.

    Compound that with the reality that our civilizations are based on whatever rules regional religions dictate and the big picture, when it comes to how people fulfill their spiritual yearnings, becomes murky.

    I will say, the baptist zealot pushing parishioners to boycott abortion clinics, knowing that some will resort to violence, is not any different than those that caused 9/11.

    What many in the USA keep ignoring when they want religion directly involved in everyone's lives and talk about how this nation was founded ignore is that most of those that started this nation at that time were men of the "enlightenment", an era that was known for intellectuals that were questioning it all, including religion.
    They could see the big picture and rise about what religion may mean personally for each citizen and find rules that preserve what is good in religions and avoid giving religions the power they work for to push everyone to conform under the guise that "it is for the best of all", which is the start of any dictatorship.

    Dictatorship can be by any one, or any one idea, that is unilaterally imposed on all, without recourse.

    I think this will always be a battle, how much to rule by decree and who gets to determine what rules and where to draw the line.
    Just because a religion tells everyone to do or not to do something, just because that may be a good idea for all, when we start using the religious angle to push for that one idea, it becomes automatically part of the slippery slope this country was founded on avoiding, with good reason.

    That is one answer to the title of this thread.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  7. #47
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    An interesting post Bluey and an interesting POV. One religious friend of mine once stated that our constitution gives us the freedom OF religion...not the freedom FROM it. So that is one way to answer those who want to see all traces of religion removed from every day life from taking down nativity scenes to removing prayer from public events. Interestingly it was a Jehovah's Witness friend of mine from high school who had a good answer to dealing with things you don't believe in or agree with...for example when the national anthem plays they don't cross their hands over their heart but they do stand up out of respect. If something conflicted with their beliefs, they simply ignored it...not wanted it banned or removed from their sight.

    As a Christian and an American, I would not be at all offended to see displays of other religions or belief systems put up in public places across America on their holy days or holidays. It is the freedom for all of us to express our beliefs freely that is one of the great things about America. We have to be very careful to not infringe on anyone's rights to express their beliefs simply to avoid offending someone. People need to get over their sensitivities and simply be accepting that others have different beliefs and move on. A true Christian will not be offended by that as tolerance is a teaching of Jesus and neither should an Atheist as we simply have to accept the fundamental rights of all Americans.

    When I was in school many years ago, we started our day with the Pledge of Allegiance and then a moment of silence...not a prayer...but for all of us to reflect upon the day as it started. I see no harm in that at all. If someone wants to pray, they can...if not, they can simply meditate or read a book.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  8. #48
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    Dec. 10, 2004
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    Religion (no matter what it is) should be seperated from politics. I say that as a Christian. I don't believe any religious group (even athiests) have a right to tell people what they can and cannot do with their own body. I am anti-abortion but pro choice. I can understand why some group protest abortion clinincs, but I don't agree with it. However, there are several non-religious people who are also anti-gay and pro-life. It's not always tied to religion.

    And, while Bluey makes some good, well thought out points, I would like to mention that the "Baptist zealot" is actually tied to certain churches and what they believe, not the entire denomination. I attend a baptist church, but our church and the people in it are far more liberal than most southern baptist in the US. Now, I am in Canada and our whole country is a bit more liberal as it is, but I digress.

    I don't agree with painting a broad stroke over a large group of people because they belong to a certain denomination or religion. I think it's unfair and it's judging us for something we believe in, even when we don't behave like the radicals (which most don't).

    So before you keep lumping "the religious" in a group together, please remember that it's not Christianity or any other religions that are specifically teaching people to be radical, it is an individual who has interpretted their written word for something other than it is and run with it. It's the individual's problem, not the entity behind it. We all have brains. We all were given the ability to think and act for ourselves, and it's our own choice to follow and believe what we want to believe, but we're not all created equal and we don't all believe the same thing.

    Also, I think religion is an awful term that now has so many negative connotations attached to it. I believe in relationship, not religion.


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  9. #49
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    Oct. 12, 2001
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    I think it's awesome that fewer and fewer people get involved in mainstream organized religion. That is REAL progress in society. I'm also very pleased to see the rise of "other" religions- freedom of religion in actual practice! maybe someday we'll be free of the intolerance and hatred the mainstream organized religions like to preach and instead we can strive to actually be ethical, kind, tolerant people who actually think about what we really believe rather than just regurgitating the myths fed to us in childhood.


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  10. #50
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    Dec. 1, 1999
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    Default Wow Bluey

    Boycotting an abortion clinic is the same as a Muslim terrorist?
    Do you really think that? I think you mean picketing, but that is no less offensive. With the leaps of logic here you could be a gymnast.
    Another killer of threads



  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    I think it's awesome that fewer and fewer people get involved in mainstream organized religion. That is REAL progress in society. I'm also very pleased to see the rise of "other" religions- freedom of religion in actual practice! maybe someday we'll be free of the intolerance and hatred the mainstream organized religions like to preach and instead we can strive to actually be ethical, kind, tolerant people who actually think about what we really believe rather than just regurgitating the myths fed to us in childhood.
    I think that this post is pretty rude to those people who are involved in mainstream religion. I am not hateful and I am not intolerant, nor does my church promote either of that. They promote love, honesty, relationships (in and out of the church), generosity, trust and fairness. Please, tell me how horrible my "mainstream" organized religion is. We are such awful people apparently.


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  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larksmom View Post
    Boycotting an abortion clinic is the same as a Muslim terrorist?
    Do you really think that? I think you mean picketing, but that is no less offensive. With the leaps of logic here you could be a gymnast.
    Didn't you know that fighting for the lives of unborn children is the same as killing thousands of people?


    3 members found this post helpful.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larksmom View Post
    Boycotting an abortion clinic is the same as a Muslim terrorist?
    Do you really think that? I think you mean picketing, but that is no less offensive. With the leaps of logic here you could be a gymnast.
    Exactly, where you come from, from your frame of reference, you can't see where the one and other are, but for an accident of birth, may just be the same.

    The kid growing up with a wild preacher calling for action against abortion clinics and the tendencies to kill abortion doctors over it is really not any less a terrorist than the kid Al Qaeda is grooming to be the next 9/11 bomber.

    Extremists, if dampened down by society's rules as we live under in the USA, or given more resources and pushed with martyr afterlife dreams by the religious dictatorship they live in, are one and the same.


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  14. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    Exactly, where you come from, from your frame of reference, you can't see where the one and other are, but for an accident of birth, may just be the same.

    The kid growing up with a wild preacher calling for action against abortion clinics and the tendencies to kill abortion doctors over it is really not any less a terrorist than the kid Al Qaeda is grooming to be the next 9/11 bomber.Extremists, if dampened down by society's rules as we live under in the USA, or given more resources and pushed with martyr afterlife dreams by the religious dictatorship they live in, are one and the same.
    So you are going to lump an entire religious culture and all the people who fall under the "Christian" fellowship all together because of one extremist? That pretty crummy.


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  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzy Lady View Post
    So you are going to lump an entire religious culture and all the people who fall under the "Christian" fellowship all together because of one extremist? That pretty crummy.
    You grew up without that kind of pressure.
    I grew up under it and now live here.

    I can see the important differences and want to keep them.
    Yes, any time any religious group gets the upper hand, all I will say is, as the old phrase goes, "when you see your neighbor's beard being shaved, start to soap, as you are next".

    Don't tell me that you think religious zealots didn't have anything to do with the issues we had thru this latest election?
    Can't you see that and how many voted because of those and how restrictive they are to so many?
    Still, because their religion told them, they still voted like they did.
    Well, what can I say?


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  16. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daydream Believer View Post
    As a recently returned to the fold Christian, I've been mulling over finding a church and seeing how it works for me. I was raised in a very religious family in an old fashioned church called "The Church of the Brethren" or the Dunkard Church. It was mainly Pennsylvania based (where I was raised) and not dissimilar to Mennonites but not as strict. They were old Mainline Protestant, pacifists, non judgmental, tried to live their lives as Jesus taught...day to day and not just on Sundays...and I never even heard the term "born again" until much later. I always found the whole "born again" thing to be a bit much as I do the evangelical POV. Too in my face...too pushy. Unfortunately my old church in which I was baptised is not in this area at all so I can't find one within a 3 hour drive.

    I've even asked myself why I want to go to church several times but I really think it is for the spiritual guidance and fellowship that I want and feel lacking in. I have plenty of Christian friends who I stay in touch with and one locally who goes to a "contemporary" Baptist church I may go with. I also have Catholic friends to attend Mass with if I choose and somehow, weirdly, feel a bit drawn to the Catholic Church. My father was Irish Catholic...perhaps it's genetic. No idea.

    I think there are plenty of reasons why people go to church. My dear Baptist friends in NC say it's like their second family and they are very evangelical...yet not pushy nor judgmental which I like. My local friend says it's like hitting the reset button after a long week. My sister says that she feels like she can just "be herself" in church and also feels renewed. I always just felt closer to God in church as a girl but I certainly can agree with whoever said earlier that she sees God in the forest. Last time I backpacked the Appalachian Trail, I truly GOT that...standing on a mountain top I've just walked up overlooking creation is an amazingly religious experience to me.

    Just chiming in to say I am a Plain Quaker who belongs to a liberal Meeting, but recently began to attend a Dunkard Brethren church here in Chambersburg, PA. I love it because I've been Plain for a while, but not part of a Plain community. I go every Sunday, and attend evening Meetings when I can. I find the process uplifting and the fellowship amazing. I do still attend my Quaker Meeting on occasion.

    I think Chambersburg, PA is a ways for you isn't it?

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


    4 members found this post helpful.

  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    You grew up without that kind of pressure.
    I grew up under it and now live here.

    I can see the important differences and want to keep them.
    Yes, any time any religious group gets the upper hand, all I will say is, as the old phrase goes, "when you see your neighbor's beard being shaved, start to soap, as you are next".

    Don't tell me that you think religious zealots didn't have anything to do with the issues we had thru this latest election?
    Can't you see that and how many voted because of those and how restrictive they are to so many?
    Still, because their religion told them, they still voted like they did.
    Well, what can I say?
    What issues would those be? People voting against Obama? That's an issue?

    Last time I checked, the US was still a democracy. It still had freedom of religion, freedom of choice, freedom of speech and the freedom to vote for whomever you please. So some people chose to vote for Romney. Some people chose to vote for a less liberal candidate. That is their choice and allowing them that choice is hardly an issue. So you didn't agree with those candidates, so you chose otherwise.

    Allowing people to believe what they want to believe isn't a problem. Should everyone be an athiest because you think there's no god? Does everyone who believes in an entity larger than themselves have issues? Are they bad people? Are there no bad people who do bad things associated with no religion at all?

    Think about that.

    Religion isn't the problem. People are and always will be.


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  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    What I see is that many of those happy with their religion can't see the pressures those religions put on the rest of the citizens when they become the ones governing.
    There is power in making others conform, either way, by wanting what YOUR religion demands, or by trying to keep from religion's less sensible mandates ruling the land.

    Compound that with the reality that our civilizations are based on whatever rules regional religions dictate and the big picture, when it comes to how people fulfill their spiritual yearnings, becomes murky.

    I will say, the baptist zealot pushing parishioners to boycott abortion clinics, knowing that some will resort to violence, is not any different than those that caused 9/11.

    What many in the USA keep ignoring when they want religion directly involved in everyone's lives and talk about how this nation was founded ignore is that most of those that started this nation at that time were men of the "enlightenment", an era that was known for intellectuals that were questioning it all, including religion.
    They could see the big picture and rise about what religion may mean personally for each citizen and find rules that preserve what is good in religions and avoid giving religions the power they work for to push everyone to conform under the guise that "it is for the best of all", which is the start of any dictatorship.

    Dictatorship can be by any one, or any one idea, that is unilaterally imposed on all, without recourse.

    I think this will always be a battle, how much to rule by decree and who gets to determine what rules and where to draw the line.
    Just because a religion tells everyone to do or not to do something, just because that may be a good idea for all, when we start using the religious angle to push for that one idea, it becomes automatically part of the slippery slope this country was founded on avoiding, with good reason.

    That is one answer to the title of this thread.
    Bluey, public thumbs UP!
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


    3 members found this post helpful.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzy Lady View Post
    What issues would those be? People voting against Obama? That's an issue?

    Last time I checked, the US was still a democracy. It still had freedom of religion, freedom of choice, freedom of speech and the freedom to vote for whomever you please. So some people chose to vote for Romney. Some people chose to vote for a less liberal candidate. That is their choice and allowing them that choice is hardly an issue. So you didn't agree with those candidates, so you chose otherwise.

    Allowing people to believe what they want to believe isn't a problem. Should everyone be an athiest because you think there's no god? Does everyone who believes in an entity larger than themselves have issues? Are they bad people? Are there no bad people who do bad things associated with no religion at all?

    Think about that.

    Religion isn't the problem. People are and always will be.
    Well, I do agree that religion isn't the problem, it's their influence that's a problem. Want to get involved in the election process...fine give up your non profit status.

    It's the whole "U.S. is a Christian nation" meme, denying the science of evolution, etc, etc, etc.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


    6 members found this post helpful.

  20. #60
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    The unproven theory or "science" of evolution is and has been taught in public schools since I can remember (I'm 41).

    Although a mass group has decided they believe in it although it is as of right now an unproven theory, does not make it correct. Anymore than creationists have proven their theory. What's wrong with teaching diverse opinions and letting young adults research and choose for themselves?
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.


    3 members found this post helpful.

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